"Good aggression"? - German Shepherd Dog Forums

Increase font size: 0, 10, 25, 50%

GermanShepherds.com is the premier German Shepherd Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 11-02-2012, 11:18 AM   #1 (permalink)
New Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 2
Default "Good aggression"?

I got a GSD because I take care of my elderly mother and she's alone during the day, and we had strangers who'd come through our property. Since we live out in the country... That was odd. So I chose a GSD. I've had my boy Dante since he was 6 weeks, and he's a part of the family now (going on 2 years). We've only had two incidents: first was when my mom's little Schnauzer tried to bully him after Dante hit puberty. Dante tried to fight him, but we stopped it and remedied the situation. The other was at a friend's house. All of us missed the fact that Dante kept trying to remove himself from her brother, and he "cornered" Dante. Dante snapped at him (did not bite), whined and hid himself against me. Turns out the brother had been messing with chemicals and burning a dead tree that day, so we *think* that was it. He's not had an issue with the brother since.

Anyhow, back to my point. A man showed up unannounced yesterday to check the electric poles. He actually let himself through the gate, despite Dante barking at him. When the man got out to check the poles, Dante's hackles were up and he'd lunge, but didn't snap, at the man. My sister happened to be visiting and made Dante calm down (although his hackles remained raised). My question is, all and all, was that acceptable? Dante's never shown aggression towards anyone we've let through the gate, even if they're a total stranger. Regular visitors, even the propane man, don't need to be "invited" either. So I really think it was an issue of an uninvited stranger.

I know I said I got him for protection, I just want to make sure it wasn't "too" aggressive.
Rion is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 11-02-2012, 11:36 AM   #2 (permalink)
Crowned Member
 
hunterisgreat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 3,588
Default

That was defensive behavior, not what I would call aggression. If you want him to be protective and have an appropriate level of aggression, you must train, build confidence, and teach him how to think in this state of mind. Without doing this, any defensiveness/aggression is "too much" in my opinion.
__________________
Hunter, USA trial helper, Charleston Working Dog Club Training Helper/Training Director
Beschützer des Jägers v. Sportwaffen, HOT, IPO1, AD, CGC
Katya v. Hügelblick, HOT, IPO2, CGC
SG Aska v. Ketscher Wald, 2 x SchH3, Kkl 1
hunterisgreat is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-02-2012, 11:36 AM   #3 (permalink)
The Administrator from the Great White North, eh?
 
Castlemaid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Northern British Columbia
Posts: 13,103
Default

All of the behaviours you describe are fear reactions. None of it is "good aggression". What Dante needs is more socialization and exposure to good people and new places and situations so he can feel confident about what is normal and not over-react.

He also needs more structure and leadership so he can feel secure in his own home, and know that the pack leaders won't let anything bad happen to him. Protective behaviour comes from a place of quiet, unshakable inner confidence, not from a place a insecurity. Hackling, snapping, lunging, are all insecure, fear-based behaviours.

Dante may be an insecure dog at core, and may never get to the point of being calm and confident and have the inner resources to show real protective behaviour. However, quite often, just have a barking dog on the premises will offer all the protection that most people need. For now, remember that a fearful dog is an unpredictable dog, and he may bite inappropriately, so make sure he has enough training that he is always under control, and manage situations to prevent unwanted bites.
__________________
Lucia

Keeta BH, OB1, TR1, AD
Rottweiler/Hairy Dog mix?? Shelter rescue
Gryffon Vom Wildhaus BH
Castlemaid is online now   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-02-2012, 11:50 AM   #4 (permalink)
Jag
Knighted Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Ohio
Posts: 2,683
Default

Both of these are correct... I really hope you can 'hear' them. Your dog really needs some confidence building. This is FEAR. It's possible that this is the dog's temperament, genetically, and he will never be what you're wanting. True 'protection' would not involve these kinds of defensive, fearful responses. A sound dog would not take action without *true* provocation. He's seeing a threat where there is none. This dog sounds like a huge liability. My previous male would allow strangers into our yard. He simply 'watched' them. No hackles, no growling, no snapping. He looked to me to see if things were 'ok' when they came in. I've already seen this in Grim. He will take his 'stance' if he thinks something is 'off', but he will not raise his hackles or start barking, snapping, lunging, etc. He's assessing the situation and deciding if there is an actual threat. (Of course, in his puppy brain he's not really ready to decide that, IMO)

Is there a vid that someone has a link to for a dog that's responding appropriately to a threat or non-threat? I think that seeing is the best way to really show someone. I hear this all the time from owners of fearful GSDs. They think that have a great 'protection' dog, when in reality they have a fearful, low-threshold dog that cannot tell a threat from a non-threat.
__________________
Wrath of Grim z Dragon
"Mr. Grim"- Threaten my handler. I dare you.
Jag is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-02-2012, 06:03 PM   #5 (permalink)
New Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 2
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jag View Post
Both of these are correct... I really hope you can 'hear' them. Your dog really needs some confidence building. This is FEAR. It's possible that this is the dog's temperament, genetically, and he will never be what you're wanting. True 'protection' would not involve these kinds of defensive, fearful responses. A sound dog would not take action without *true* provocation. He's seeing a threat where there is none. This dog sounds like a huge liability. My previous male would allow strangers into our yard. He simply 'watched' them. No hackles, no growling, no snapping. He looked to me to see if things were 'ok' when they came in. I've already seen this in Grim. He will take his 'stance' if he thinks something is 'off', but he will not raise his hackles or start barking, snapping, lunging, etc. He's assessing the situation and deciding if there is an actual threat. (Of course, in his puppy brain he's not really ready to decide that, IMO)

Is there a vid that someone has a link to for a dog that's responding appropriately to a threat or non-threat? I think that seeing is the best way to really show someone. I hear this all the time from owners of fearful GSDs. They think that have a great 'protection' dog, when in reality they have a fearful, low-threshold dog that Cannot tell a threat from a non-threat.
I heard them perfectly well. He's of good stock, he just needs more socializing. If I hadn't had serious doubts about the behavior I wouldn't have included the two previous incidents and I sure as heck wouldn't have signed up to ask. Truth is, I was told by someone I know IRL that too much socialization would make him unguarded around strangers. Now I know they're full of it.

This is a failure on my part, something I have to step up to correct. I know you didn't intend anything by it, but if you have trouble with people "hearing" you, it may be how you say things. Calling him a "huge liability" kind of ticked me off, even though I knew what you were saying.

Thanks for all of the input. Now I know what I need to work on.
Rion is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-02-2012, 06:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
Member
 
KayleeGSD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: DE
Posts: 138
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by hunterisgreat View Post
That was defensive behavior, not what I would call aggression. If you want him to be protective and have an appropriate level of aggression, you must train, build confidence, and teach him how to think in this state of mind. Without doing this, any defensiveness/aggression is "too much" in my opinion.
I totally agree.
KayleeGSD is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-02-2012, 07:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
Crowned Member
 
martemchik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 3,882
Default

I don't think this dog is terrible...but his reaction is definitely defensive and not aggressive. An aggressive dog would've bit/attacked that repair man, not just barked/lunged. It's not horrible aggression at this point, this was a grown man, coming onto "his" property, its how I would expect many GSDs to react. You at least want to see some sort of show of force.

The only way your dog will react with an attack is with training. You have to teach him a different way to present those feelings. Now the liability comes in because he might bite a child or something that isn't a threat. Something that does have permission to be on your property and for some reason something about that person sets your dogs fear off.

The way I look at the word liability is that its not your dog...its society. People are sue happy, people don't take responsibility for their own actions, and are always looking for that quick buck. To me...no matter what "feeling" or "drive" cause the reaction...if your dog bites someone that isn't supposed to be on your property...its their fault. They're trespassing. But sadly that's not how our law system works...and if your dog bites a kid, not only is he probably getting put down, you're probably in a hefty lawsuit.

So don't take liability personal...its more how society will react to your dog's bite rather than your dog actually biting. Sadly in today's world you'd rather have a dog that never even thinks about biting someone, than a dog that is trained to bite!
martemchik is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-02-2012, 10:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
Elite Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 1,565
Default

Unfortunately if someone comes on your property and your dog bites them, they can sue and will usually win because you have a "vicious" dog.
Any dog that bites for whatever reason is a legal liability,(I am not talking trained police K-9's, I am talking household "pets).
Get some professional help to train you and your dog to be what you want him to be. He will probably never be a "guard" dog because of his fear behaviour, but with training on both your parts, he can be the dog you want him to be.
Good luck
wyominggrandma is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-02-2012, 11:30 PM   #9 (permalink)
Elite Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Toronto Ontario
Posts: 1,841
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by wyominggrandma View Post
Unfortunately if someone comes on your property and your dog bites them, they can sue and will usually win because you have a "vicious" dog.
Any dog that bites for whatever reason is a legal liability,(I am not talking trained police K-9's, I am talking household "pets).
Get some professional help to train you and your dog to be what you want him to be. He will probably never be a "guard" dog because of his fear behaviour, but with training on both your parts, he can be the dog you want him to be.
Good luck

So because this dog was very defensive while a strange man went into his yard you think he can't be a good guard dog?

What do you think makes a good guard dog?

defense in its purest form = fear

its what the dog chooses to do with this fear that matters most this dog didn't run away it didnt rip the man up either,,, YET.

I can't believe men just walk into yards there to check power lines thats insane??? Id put locks on my gates thats so creepy that they would do that. They should at lest tell you when they are comming? Do they not think some dogs in the world might just bite? Police these days do.

Last edited by pets4life; 11-02-2012 at 11:39 PM.
pets4life is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-02-2012, 11:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
Elite Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Toronto Ontario
Posts: 1,841
Default

also remember hackle don't always mean fear they mean the dog is aroused

My dog will hackle at rabbits and she will even do it to me if i make her really wound up by teasing her on the other side of the fence with a prey object or something.
pets4life is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the German Shepherd Dog Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:36 AM.



Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
SEO by vBSEO 3.3.2
PetGuide.com
Basset.net DobermanTalk.com GoldenRetrieverForum.com OurBeagleWorld.com
BoxerForums.com DogForums.com GoPitbull.com PoodleForum.com
BulldogBreeds.com FishForums.com HavaneseForum.com SpoiledMaltese.com
CatForum.com GermanShepherds.com Labradoodle-dogs.net YorkieForum.com
Chihuahua-People.com RetrieverBreeds.com