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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 18943
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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I have a Doberman/German mix, he is 6 years old. He recently

Customer Question

I have a Doberman/German mix, he is 6 years old. He recently started biting, twice my step daughter and this past weekend my daughters friend. The first bite was a small bite no blood or injuries, the last two drew blood and the last one required stitches. He has never bitten before or even showed signs of aggression. I did basic training on him and lots of social interaction with him as a puppy up to now. I adopted him at 6 months old from a Doberman rescue and he has been fixed. Is there ways to help him? he has always been a great family member and he is tremendously loved by the whole house hold, we need help!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.
Hi Customer,
My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.
In order to supply you with an informed answer, it is necessary for me to collect some additional information from you. When I receive your response or reply, it will likely take me between 30-45 minutes to type up my reply if I am still online when I receive notice that you replied. I hope you can be patient.
Do you do structured training every day or just give commands during the day?
Can you describe the circumstances surrounding both bites such as what was going on, when the dog bite and what happened afterward?
What testing has been done?
Does he have any health issues?
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.
Customer,
I was hoping to receive a response to my information request before answer, but you need an answer.
The first thing I would do is have your dog checked for health issues. The breed is prone to a few different health issues that can lead to sudden aggression. One is disc issues which can lead to pain and dogs tend to nip and lunge when in pain or fear of future pain. You can read about disc issues below. Dobermans tend to have issues with the discs in the neck often.
http://www.petplace.com/dogs/intervertebral-disc-disease-cervical-area/page1.aspx
http://www.petplace.com/dogs/cervical-vertebral-instability-wobbler-syndrome/page1.aspx
.
Another possibility is hypothyroidism which is also seen in the breed. Read more about sudden aggression here:
http://www.petplace.com/dogs/medical-causes-of-aggression-in-dogs/page1.aspx
. http://www.apdt.com/veterinary/assets/pdf/Dodman_MA10.pdf
Given his age and not having previous problems with aggression, an underlying medical cause is the most likely reason, so I would go ahead and have him seen by your vet and tested for these conditions.
I hope this information is helpful to you. If you need more information or clarification, please reply and I'll get back to you as soon as possible. If you are satisfied, please take the opportunity to rate.

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