Recently Adopted GSD-Extreme Protectiveness - Page 10 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #91 of 95 (permalink) Old 11-25-2012, 04:08 PM
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It should state specifically how much time the dog is crated, where the dog is crated, how many times he is taken out, and for how long.
Well the article has been understood clearly and utilized by hundreds if not thousands, so I don't think that's what's really wrong here.

The article also says some dogs don't need the full 2 weeks, some don't need any, some need more, to "play it by ear" and "listen to the dog".

In our case, there was no way I was going to integrate a 95lb. dog who'd never lived with other dogs, really, let alone small dogs, into a household with some 6 small dogs by tossing him into the existing pack and saying "sort it out".

While we took the full 2 weeks, each day he was slowly more "integrated". It all depends on the dog.

Last edited by msvette2u; 11-25-2012 at 04:11 PM.
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post #92 of 95 (permalink) Old 11-25-2012, 04:36 PM
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My views and suggestion are probably more controversial than the 2 week shut down (which I agree should be implemented in this case)

Working strictly from what was posted it appears to be that the reactivity began after that first uncontrolled reaction to visitors by all the dogs in the house. If the resident dogs are allowed to be chaotic in greeting the new dog is going to be overwhelmed by the experience. Once the limbic system is engaged in a flight or fight response it can take days for a dog to recover. And then the dog had other visitors? And a trip to the vet?

2 week shut down. Train the other dogs to be mannerly when the doorbell rings or someone knocks and visitors enter. Ramp the atmosphere DOWN before you allow the new dog complete run of the house. Tether the dog to you when he is in the house and out of the crate. Work attention training almost constantly. Introduce to and play with one resident dog at a time.

Some trainers will say, regarding certain behaviors, "it is only a problem if it is a problem for you." When it comes to greeting guests to my home I completely disagree. When it comes to how a dog reacts to the vet I completely disagree. No other person should be subjected to scary and unmannerly dogs. It matters if it is a problem for other people in those situations. And it matters to the dog.

IMO. YMMV. All the usual disclaimers.
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post #93 of 95 (permalink) Old 11-25-2012, 07:43 PM
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I have deleted the most recent back and forth arguing about the 2 weeks "shutdown". Let sleeping dogs lie and agree to disagree or I will be sending out warnings.

Hopefully the OP is still reading.

Thank you,


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post #94 of 95 (permalink) Old 11-25-2012, 08:37 PM
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something else to consider, most dogs in shelters dont show their true colors... some dogs that do well meeting dogs they will live with show well at the shelter and get along great with the resident dog..... then, once the dog is home from the shelter and is finally relaxed, shows some dog reactivity or dog aggression... this is why some folks like to give a dog a few weeks to destress... its called the honeymoon period for some dogs, they act all perfect when you bring them home then once they are comfortable their true colors show (sorta like dating- everyone is on their best behavior in the beginning then once they are comfortable their bad habits come out lol).. i think that since you have resident dogs your new dog is picking up on their behaviors (like how they greet folks at the door) and that isnt a good thing for a new dog... letting the new dog destress will help with behavior issues.. some dogs when stressed will act out, which is what your new dog is doing.. he isnt sure of what he is supposed to do, so he is doing what works for him... you could up his exercise and practice some obedience while leash walking (which will also bond him to you) and work his mind... some dogs will pick up on the resident dogs behaviors, so if your dogs are doing anything naughty and arent being corrected the new dog will see this and figure he can act the same way... which is why for some dogs a destressing time frame is needed..... its not isolation you can use baby gates too and gate the new dog in another room if you dont want to use a crate... some dogs show their true colors immediately, some take a few weeks, and some can take months to finally settle in and show their true colors.. it all depends on the dog itself... i have seen that if a new dog is given solid structure right from the start the transition goes smoother.. a set schedule on feeding/walking/training etc that is in black and white with no grey areas works really well for the new dog...

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post #95 of 95 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 12:04 AM
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I really hope the OP hasn't stopped reading, because there IS some good advice in this thread.

I experienced a similar thing (albeit on a much smaller scale) with my GSD resuce, Heinz. Took the sad, malnourished dog home, rehabbed him, and for about 4 months everything was great. I thought I had lucked into the world's nicest dog - nothing upset him, I could take him anywhere! He was perfect!

And then the issues started. My formerly happy-go-lucky, sweet loving dog who would let ANYONE pet him was turning into a barking, threatening monster whenever a new person approached! I thought I had rescued an ill-tempered, aggressive beast who was just now showing his true nature. I was afraid to let him near people.

Thanks to some threads I found on this forum, and the advice of other experienced dog owners, I sought help at a local boarding kennel with a good training program. Heinz and I had a consult with one of their trainers, who thought that some of his aggressive behavior was due to his overexcitement and my lack of clear instruction. We enrolled in a group obedience class and I learned a lot about working with my dog - mostly how proper timing of the release/reward is everything!

Anyway, I learned how to make him more comfortable in strange situations by being a good, consistent pack leader (note I didn't say "Alpha") and giving him clear instructions. It helped us immensely. And I learned that if I have to pack a pocket full of treats to distract him when we go into a high stress environment, it's not a moral failing on my part (I have a very treat-driven dog)

My opinion is that GSDs like to Do Stuff. If you don't provide them with Stuff to do (in the form of a command, or a job, or some kind of redirection), they'll come up with something on their own. Which might not be what you had in mind
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