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Old 10-19-2012, 01:07 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Possible Food Agression. GSD attacked puppy

I don't know if this is the right place to post this but we have an 18 month old GSD. Male- Not neutered. We recently acquired a puppy (my friend found 6 young puppies abandoned at a dog park.) Things were great between our GSD and the puppy except the GSD played way too rough with him. We figured it would be ease over time. A few nights ago my husband heard the puppy yelping and went outside to find the GSD attacking him. We think the puppy got to close to his food but we're not 100%. Normally we feed the GSD alone in the back yard and the puppy in the house but my husband had let the puppy out to go potty and I guess he might have wondered too close. We're not sure what to do now. Our GSD has bitten my husband before and he tries to drag my kids around by their clothes. We recently moved and we're having our fence replaced but the company keeps pushing our date back and he keeps breaking new holes in the fence that's up and just taking off..... The GSD has broken through at least 10 different spots in our fence and we try to put a stake in the ground with a lead for him to stay in the yard but that didn't work either. I'm not really sure what to do. We had him in obedience training and we did a little bit of "protection" training to stimulate his mind but it was an hour away two days a week and I just couldn't keep doing it. We did it for about 5 months. This dog is also "leash aggressive" from what we've been told. He can't seem to get around another dog without going berzerk. I'm really uncomfortable having a dog in the house who has attacked a puppy when I have two small kids and with how often he keeps breaking out I'm afraid he will attack a neighbor dog and I'll end up sued.
I'm not sure what to do or why he's acting this way. I see a lot of comments in here are really negative and I really don't want to be insulted when I've tried to do everything I can to give my dog the best life.
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Old 10-19-2012, 01:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I might sound like captain obvious here, but...

Never allow food and the two dogs to be together. Don't even allow them to be in the same room together when feeding. Don't set the puppy up to be attacked by putting him/her in situations where it may happen.

And regarding the dog and the fence... is he an outdoor or indoor dog? Is he crate trained? Just don't let him be outside alone without supervision until the new fence is up.
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Old 10-19-2012, 01:35 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Misstwixler View Post
I'm not sure what to do or why he's acting this way. I see a lot of comments in here are really negative and I really don't want to be insulted when I've tried to do everything I can to give my dog the best life.
Do you want real advice or just someone to be sympathize with you on the decision it sounds like you have already made to get rid of the GSD?

#1 Find a new home for the puppy. Why on earth would you bring home a puppy when you are having issues with your GSD?
#2 Neuter the GSD
#3 Find a trainer and stick with it.
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Old 10-19-2012, 01:57 AM   #4 (permalink)
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You've got a LOT of issues going on. It sounds like your older GSD is outside all the time or most of the time? New pup is inside? That's problem number one. Two is that you haven't contained the older dog, he's reactive (this is NOT a dog that should be in 'protection training' BTW) and dog aggressive. So knowing this... you brought a puppy home? Problem number 3- the dogs were outside without supervision. Knowing what you know about your older dog, this should have been an automatic no-no, ESPECIALLY if your fence isn't secure. Problem number 4- your older dog needs training classes, socialization, a behaviorist and a LOT of work before he ends up doing some major damage. IMO, you're in over your head. There's no clear leadership, and you're going to have a second dog reactive dog because your older dog is attacking him.

In your place, I'd re-home the pup. Get into classes. Get the older dog inside. Get a GSD trainer. Find out how to manage the issues with your older dog. It will be a long, hard road...but it can be done. Don't get another shepherd until you've learned more about the breed. Tying a young dog outside is asking for trouble. It fuels frustration, which builds anger which turns to aggression. Until this dog is properly managed and cared for, I'd stick with that dog as an only dog. There is a tremendous amount of time and energy that goes into raising this type of dog. When you learn how to be a pack leader, and train your older dog you may be surprised at how he turns out.

You know, after re-reading your post, I'd opt to re-home both dogs. It sounds like you don't have the time or the dedication to give this dog what it needs or deserves. I'm curious as to why you'd pick this breed with little kids at home and not enough time or energy for training. Maybe you can find a rescue to surrender him to that can work with him prior to placement. If you just try to sell him, this would be the dog that continues to be tied out and not worked with (good chance of that happening anyway). This could end up being a great dog with the right environment, outlets, and training. You can't not follow up with training. You can't banish a dog from his pack because of puppy behavior. It's not fair. Sorry, this isn't the post you wanted, but it's the truth. Sometimes the truth is hard. You have to do what's right for the dog and the puppy. I don't think you have the time to deal with a pup right now. I think food aggression is the least of this guy's problems. I'm sorry... but I can't just lie or tell you what you want to hear. Shepherds need leadership, training, mental and physical stimulation and plenty of interaction with people. They need to be socialized. You didn't follow through with any of that. It's not too late to turn him around, but it's going to take a lot of time and effort that you sound unwilling or unable to do.
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Old 10-19-2012, 02:15 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I have to agree with Paul. I wouldn't leave the puppy unsupervised around the GSD, with or without food present. You already know he plays too rough, so he should never have the opportunity to hurt the puppy. You didn't say how long you've had the puppy or how old it is, but this is not going to just magically get better over time. If you want to make this work, the GSD needs guidance as to how to interact with the puppy, which requires constant supervision whenever they're near each other. Leashes may be required in order to maintain control and safety.

Second, a few months of obedience training and some protection work is nowhere near enough. I'm sure you could find a good trainer more conveniently located who can help you. Maybe if you put your general location in your profile or this thread ("Northern California" covers a lot of territory!), people can offer some suggestions on where you can go. An 18 month old shepherd is too big and strong to not be trained how to behave properly. You really should have done something about him sooner, but it's never too late to start.

I also wouldn't leave a dog outdoors who is out of control (biting your husband, dragging your kids around by their clothes, he can't be walked on leash without going bezerk), and has already broken through your fence and escaped your yard multiple times. Why is he left alone in an unsecured yard?

You say you've tried everything you can to give your dog the best life, but I don't agree with that at all. And I don't mean that in an insulting way, I mean that there is plenty more that you can do if you're truly committed to this dog. Halo, my youngest GSD, who will be 4 years old next month was in 5 obedience classes by the time she was a year old - Puppy 1, Puppy 2, a Canine Good Citizen prep class, Family Dog 2, and Basic Manners 2. And then we worked with a private trainer, and then I put her in flyball classes, and now we race in tournaments. Her first class was at 13 weeks old, 3 weeks after we brought her home, but I started training her at home right from the very beginning. Like Keefer, my 7 year old, and two of our three previous GSDs, she's been crate trained, and still sleeps in a crate in our bedroom at night. I practiced NILIF (Nothing in Life is Free) from the time she came home. I worked on impulse control every day, and default behaviors like sit, down, and eye contact. I spent hundreds of hours walking hundreds of miles to work on polite leash skills.

You're not going to like a lot of the responses you get here, and I'm sorry about that. But you can choose to be offended and get defensive, or you can take some of the suggestions and run with them. Good luck, I truly wish you the best.
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Old 10-19-2012, 02:16 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Great post, Jag!
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Old 10-19-2012, 04:30 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Okay. Clearly I'm not a good dog owner. Thanks for being so helpful.
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Old 10-19-2012, 04:50 AM   #8 (permalink)
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^ seriously? People took time to write lengthy HELPFUL responses. Instead of getting offended, actually read them and take the advice. What did you want people to say? Your right you need to get rid of the dog? The fact is you have a dog that needs a lot more leadership from you. You didn't say what kind of exercise he gets either. He sounds bored, if he is escaping. Re home the puppy before he gets seriously hurt. Check out NILIF. And get an experienced trainer/behaviorist.

If you can't put the time and effort in for training and exercise for your first dog, then re honing him would be the best thing. He needs more from his handler.


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Old 10-19-2012, 09:13 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Until your fence is rebuilt both dog/puppy need to be taken outside on leash. That will solve your fears about the GSD getting loose and maybe hurting someone leaving you open to a lawsuit. If possible, I would find a fence company that is actually interested in work and cancel the other one. You need that new fence ASAP!!

Find a good trainer that knows GSD. Stay away from regular pet trainers and 99% of the behaviorists. They don't understand the breed. Your GSD needs more training and more leadership in his life. He sounds like he is getting to make far too many decisions and sort of ruling the roost.

I would also keep the GSD and the puppy separated if he is being too rough with the puppy. If you want them to play then it needs to be very supervised and maybe have both dogs drag a long line so you can step in and intervene if things get too rough.

You need help and those of us on the boards really are limited in what we can do.
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Old 10-19-2012, 09:16 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Rehome the older dog and the puppy has chance to become great part of family. All of the problems stim from the older dog. Your post reflects him having little respect for you and husband. Notwithstanding, the aggression issues with puppy, other dogs, and your husband......this story won't have happy ending if he stays.....and you have kids......??......he needs to go to environment where he will have better structure and knowledge and maybe this can be a win win for both dogs.
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