Same sex house mates? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 10:22 AM Thread Starter
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Same sex house mates?

My 8 year old female GSD mix has been around Male dogs most of her life. We had 2 males when I adopted her. She has become friends with a few females but not many. I am bringing home a foster she is a shy, young, playful, female that loves to play. She is always submissive and respectful. She is about 1 year. Her personality seems like it will mix well with my dog.

I had 2 females in the past with no problems. I am just nervous due to my dogs history of being such a dominant bitch. But she did just make a female friend that lives next door. So It's not about the sex it's about the personality of the other dog I think.

Would love to here about your experiences with same sex dog friends. I have also had 2 males even 3 when pet sitting with no issues. All dogs have and will be fixed too.

Opposite sex better? Or is same sex is good? Or get the dog you like and live happy.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 10:30 AM
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Opposite sex is more in your favor I'd say, based on prevailing advice and my own experience? I have had same sex. Sometimes it was fine, sometimes it was not. I had 2 males that got along great until full maturity on the part of one of them. A little pit. That could be genetics. Terriers in general are not known for same sex friendliness.

One thing that is different about 2 females..once they fight, it is usually a forever more type thing. Go into it prepared for it to possibly work out for a while then suddenly not workout when the one year old hits maturity. Especially if your other bitch is dominant. People crate and rotate, it is very doable and there are benefits to be sure. But, if you want a household with a loose pack that is always together, just keep in mind at any given time it could stop working and if it does you will either have to rotate or make tough rehoming decisions. Once 2 GSD bitches fight each other, it usually is never safe again.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 10:37 AM
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I used to think all would be smooth sailing with bitches together, but I have learned the hard way...

At 1 you won't see same-sex aggression. It usually starts around age 2-3. A young submissive pup at 1 may feel differently at 2 when she is being bullied by a grouchy older female.

The easiest thing for you is to get a male.

If you keep females together you may be fine... until you aren't. Hard to say. Lots of the aggression I see comes with hormones so you've eliminated that problem which is a plus.

It is best to head any problems off before they start. Strong leadership, limit arousal, don't leave them alone together in the house, that type of thing.

It's really one of those things that hopefully it won't happen, but when/if it does, you'll wish you'd just gotten a male.

And don't forget to consider the stress on your older female. If she already doesn't like other females, why bring all this unnecessary stress into her and by extension your life?
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 11:06 AM
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I had two females they were fine until the youngest was around 3 and then it was crate and rotate. It’s not how I would have wanted them to live I would not do 2 females again
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 12:33 PM
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For me introductions came when the younger bitch was a pup (12 weeks or so) and the older one 3 or older. My latest pair is now 9 & 5. So far so good in each case. The pups respect the older dog regardless of the personalities. But that's my house, my animals.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 07:44 PM
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I don't really think I'd call her dominant, but I do have a female who will fight. She has lived with submissive females who would not fight back no matter what in relative peace. Because I made it so by making my one female toe the line.

She does much better with males and better still with intact males. My adult male now is like perfect for her...he has a coat that's thicker than some and she has tried to bite him to bully him and only came away with a big mouthful of fluff. He respects her but he isn't scared of her and that's the perfect other dog for her...an intact male who's bigger, respectful, and not easily intimidated.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 08:48 PM
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Hi Sarah. I've had several same-sex dogs, male and female, that have lived in perfect harmony (well, by that I really mean relative harmony!)!

I think you're right though when you say it's as much a personality thing as it is a gender thing. If it "feels" like their personalities will work, they probably will!

I don't at all subscribe to the perspective that suggests that once females fight they can never get over it...I've seen it happen too many times. Even with animosity, 2 bitches can be as bitchy as they want and still get along reasonably well.

My current female and another female that lives here got into a spat once, and there has been some strutting and posturing around each other since, but no further violence between them...

A lot of how it goes is on you though! If you are tense when they get tense (if they ever do), they will pick up on that.

It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog. Mark Twain

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 10:08 PM
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Opposite sex seems to be easier. Ive had two pairs of females though, and havent had any issues. Carly is 9 and Scarlet will be 3 soon. For some odd reason, Carly really likes her.

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and absent friends... SAGE ~ Lauremi's Whim Z v Jakmar ~ AKC major ptd, HIC ~ 2010-2015
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 11:19 PM
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My GSD will not tolerate another female in her house. My partner and his SIL and I all live together, and her dog and my dog do not interact anymore without leashes attached. They were best friends until my girl hit a year and a half, after that it became vicious fighting. The Golden Retriever is older and is submissive, and will obviously go out of her way to avoid any interaction with my GSD, but if we aren't watching they will fight.

My partner's female WGSL was the same way with his female Border Collie x Blue Heeler. They were rotated for the 8 years they lived together. One day they would be fine, the next there would be blood. And it was always the GSD pinning the other dog down... same as in my case.

I know of other people who don't have that issue, and I think they're very fortunate. But most breeders I have spoken to and trainers I have encountered strongly encourage opposite sex pairs unless you have a good outdoor kennel and can rotate easily should things go south.

The world would be a nicer place if everyone had the ability to love as unconditionally as a dog.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 01:41 AM Thread Starter
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Well I took the foster dog home. She is being very respectful and submissive. She is not coming from a normal place. She was 7 months old when she went to this rescue were all dogs are let to do whatever. It is a big pack and it is run like a crazy pack. She was there for the past 6 months. She was the bottom of the pack. When I went to see her I watched her get aggressively nipped by dominant dogs and always submissive. In fact she tried to avoid all the other dogs when let out with them. She is not a fighter. She is about 1.5 years old we are guessing.

So far she is great with cookie they both just snifft and we went for a walk. The new pup is extremely in tune with body language. So she picks up on my older dogs body cues. Cookie invited the new dog to play and it went great.

This is not my first time with females but it has been a long time. I think personality is key. We will see it is still the first day. Thanks guys
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