Our Suddenly Aggressive Doberman
by Bill R.
(Port Huron, Michigan)
We have a 15 month-old male Doberman Pinscher. Until recently, he has not been aggressive. We have taken him to training classes for several months. His main "behavior" problem has been excitement or anxiety around other dogs. He has never growled or lunged at other dogs, but he is not socially appropriate around them. While walking him in "on leash" training he constantly whines and yelps, yet walks appropriately. Off leash he usually will even "STAY" on command. On occasion though, he will unexpectedly run to other dogs and playfully, but rudely, jump on other dogs. The trainer suggested that we obtain another dog as a companion. We adopted a male Pit Bull. We were apprehensive about two intact male dogs, even though they got along well. After a few weeks, we had the Pit Bull neutered as a precaution. They continue to get along very well. But the Doberman's whining and yelping in training continues.
Yesterday, my 22 year-old son was laying his head on the standing Doberman's back and making a "snoring" sound. Without growling, the dog swirled around and encircled my son's entire head in his mouth and bit down several times with force. He was able to pry the dog's mouth off his head and force him to the ground, holding his mouth closed and forcefully telling him "NO"! The dog did not resist, and trembled while being held down. My son received several deep puncture wounds.
If we are unable to change our normally lovable, though "pushy" Doberman's behavior, we will be forced to get rid of him. (We owned two female Doberman Pinschers before this dog, and love the breed.)