First bite - VERY LONG post - 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 12-30-2012, 05:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 243
Default First bite - VERY LONG post

I have been too embarrassed to post this story, and also afraid of the responses I will get, although for the most part I have had only one or two people criticize me here ever. Mostly I have received nothing but great advice and I have learned a lot. So here goes because I need any help or ideas I can get. Bear with me on the back story; what ultimately happened is that my dog bit my 76-year-old mother.

Hank is just over 2 years old. A few months ago, while walking him, he was startled by two teenagers who came running around a corner toward us. He was so scared he ran toward the road and I had to pull him so hard to keep him from going in the road that I fell down onto my knees (and the kids laughed.)

Since that incident, he has been more fearful of people while we are out walking. He will now occasionally bark and lunge at mostly men or anyone on a bicycle although whenever I see anyone coming I make a wide berth between us and them. I understand that barking and lunging is a fear reaction, and before the incident where I fell down he only lunged once or twice in all the time I had him.

He has also gotten somewhat worse at walking, and I admit I need to be firmer and correct him more. I don't mind if he walks ahead of me but my arm has to be straight down by my side, if it's pulled forward then he is corrected. Mostly he seems to want to pull to the side to sniff things more than he used to. I don't mind if he goes out doors in front of me, but he will sit and wait if commanded. He sleeps on my bed.

He only sees my parents a few times a year. He was always fine with them until they came down in September; he barked at both of them although I told them to ignore him, not make eye contact and keep their hands by their sides. I think they are both very afraid of him and I think he senses that. Just to show how odd this behavior toward my parents is, I had an appliance repair man in the house a few months ago, and Hank loved him, and it turned out the guy was a creep who spoke to me in a suggestive manner and even touched my leg (Hank didn't see that part.)

I took Hank to my parents' house for Christmas last week because we were staying overnight. He continued to bark at them any time they entered a room where he was, so I kept him separated from them and/or in his crate. Christmas Day, we were getting ready to leave, his crate had been packed up, my Dad, my two teenagers and myself were sitting in a room together and my mom walked in. I had Hank on a leash. Hank began barking. I told my mom to ignore him but as she walked past he lunged and nipped at her shirt tail and got her hip while he was at it. He didn't break the skin, I think he really just meant to grab her shirt, but still COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE. He has never done anything like this ever before and I am devastated. My parents both forgive me, but I do not forgive myself, and want to know what I have done wrong.
__________________
HANK 9/3/10
HankGSD is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 12-30-2012, 05:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
Crowned Member
 
onyx'girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: SW, MI
Posts: 25,788
Default

Sorry this happened, but really nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about....dogs do bite!

I would get with a good trainer to help you work on managing him. If you put your general location in your profile, there may be members here who know of someone to suggest.

My dog Onyx did the same thing with my mom, though she reached timidly over the counter to 'pet' Onyx and Onyx lunged at her(missed, but still was in it to bite)Onyx fed off her timid emotions and from then on I knew Onyx needed to be crated when ever my mom comes over.
I don't hesitate to use a muzzle with her either.
Bump up the NILIF with Hank and show him you are in control of every situation he is in, so he doesn't feel like he needs to be 'on' all the time.
A strong leader for a weak nerved dog is necessary at all times in that dogs life.
Show confidence and that will go down the leash to Hank, he'll feel more secure knowing you are in control of his world. Instead of correcting, try redirecting him before he zones in on people.

I was lucky to get in on a class based on the book Control Unleashed by Leslie McDevitt and it truly helped my management with Onyx. If you constantly correct a reactive dog, they may see that correction as coming from what they are reacting to...backfiring and ramping up the dog instead. So redirection does work.
__________________
Jane~
Kept by
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
and
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Kacie
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
7.21.05-5.01.15

Last edited by onyx'girl; 12-30-2012 at 06:07 PM. Reason: added book link
onyx'girl is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-30-2012, 06:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
Knighted Member
 
Mary Beth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Pierre, South Dakota
Posts: 3,036
Default

First, can you talk to Hank's breeder? The breeder may have insights and suggestions for you. Second, I am sorry for you and and your parents and Hank. But it does seem from what you described of the visit and with your parents being afraid and Hank also after that incident with the teens, that what happened, is not really all that surprising, at least to me. The barking was a warning - when that was ignored - and I know you meant well, but unless you had gone up to Hank and had him sit and be quiet and controlled him, well, Hank took the next step - he lunged. Hank has beocme a fearful agressive dog. Try to find a trainer in your area. It may also be helpful for you to look on Nicky B.'s threads on his Zoey - as she has bit but now she is making wonderful improvements with ongoing training.
__________________
Sting Chance von Gaard AKC GSD 2/8/2006
Mary Beth is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-30-2012, 06:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 243
Default

Thanks, Jane. I am in Michigan too; the Detroit area. I do have a co-worker who found an excellent trainer for her fear-reactive pit bull; I am going to talk to her after the holiday and get the name. But I am still open to ALL SUGGESTIONS and interpretations of what happened.
__________________
HANK 9/3/10
HankGSD is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-30-2012, 06:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 243
Default

Mary Beth, thank you. I do want to call the breeder, she is fantastic and has been raising German shepherds for 40 years. I don't think I can call yet without crying. And I think you area exactly right; I did not respond appropriately when my mom walked in the room.
__________________
HANK 9/3/10
HankGSD is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-30-2012, 06:17 PM   #6 (permalink)
The Agility Rocks! Moderator
 
MaggieRoseLee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Bushkill, PA (The Poconos!)
Posts: 27,138
Default

I agree that things happen and you just need to be pro-active and fix this and posting will help.

Definitely work with your breeder and any other trainers/behaviorists you can find in your area.

Have you thought of using a Gentle Leader harness to walk your dog so he won't be able to pull and you'll have more control in a management rather than just in a correcting way? If he's fearful and stressed when out and about, adding corrections to show he's bad is adding to the mess.

Did you purchase and watch the DVD 'Calming Signals' by Turid Rugaas? Huge help on helping our dogs before they over react. The book is ok but the DVD really shows what we need to look for to help our dogs by realizing what's really going on.



Also anything you can do to help with his confidence and get rid of some of the fear will help. Have you started up and continued with clicker training? So valuable for dogs with fear issues because it's all positive and won't break them down into their natural fear issues when the dog is 'bad' and not doing something right. They are never 'bad' in clicker training and when they think they are brilliant and wonderful it starts removing the avoidance and fear issues too.

Healing the Dog that Bites: An Interview with Emma Parsons | Karen Pryor Clicker Training

How to Help Your Fearful Dog: Become the Crazy Dog Lady | Karen Pryor Clicker Training

Helping Shy Dogs Blossom Using Targeting | Karen Pryor Clicker Training
__________________
*****
MACH3 Bretta Lee Wildhaus MXG MJG MXF MFB TQX HIT CGC TC
Glory B Wildhaus AX, AXJ, XF
plus Miss Osin Blue Wildhaus

"Nothing new can come into your life unless you are grateful for what you already have. ~ "--- Michael Bernhard, gratitude

Last edited by MaggieRoseLee; 12-30-2012 at 06:22 PM.
MaggieRoseLee is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-30-2012, 06:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
Administrator & LOTR Addict
 
lhczth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Michigan, USA
Posts: 16,365
Default

I highly recommend talking to Steve Robinson at Common Scents Canine. His site seems to be down at the moment for maintenance. Steve knows dogs and knows GSD.

http://www.commonscentscanine.com/

Another option is: About Dogs LLC She is helping an old club members with a very fearful rescue (GSD) that he adopted.
__________________
Lisa Clark

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Vala SchH3 AWD1 FH2 CGC B/HOT, SG1 Deja IPO3 AWD1 KKL1 B/HOT, SG Elena BH AD CGC B/HOT, LB (the ugly little sable) B/HOT, Donovan IPO1 TR2 AD, and gone but not forgotten, Nike SchH1 OB1 TR3 AD CGC HOT, Treue SchH3 CD CGC HOT




lhczth is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-05-2013, 03:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 243
Default

We started with a new, highly-recommended trainer today. Hank was extremely nervous and barked when we arrived, and the trainer asked me to wait in a different room while the other dogs came and went. I thought she was going to tell me I couldn't join the class.

Instead, she got everyone situated and came out and talked with me, and I told her about his recent fear aggression and how I believe it started when the kids scared him and I fell down. Hank loved her immediately. We went into the class and he settled down after a bit of skittishness. I think he settled down since the trainer put me so at ease and she wasn't afraid of my dog or expecting me to fail.
__________________
HANK 9/3/10
HankGSD is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-05-2013, 03:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
Crowned Member
 
onyx'girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: SW, MI
Posts: 25,788
Default

What type of class is this? I'd maybe get some one on one with her if you can as well as the group class. That way you'll maybe make more progress as she can learn more about Hank's personality.
__________________
Jane~
Kept by
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
and
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Kacie
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
7.21.05-5.01.15
onyx'girl is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-05-2013, 03:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
Crowned Member
 
llombardo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Illinois
Posts: 10,698
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by HankGSD View Post
We started with a new, highly-recommended trainer today. Hank was extremely nervous and barked when we arrived, and the trainer asked me to wait in a different room while the other dogs came and went. I thought she was going to tell me I couldn't join the class.

Instead, she got everyone situated and came out and talked with me, and I told her about his recent fear aggression and how I believe it started when the kids scared him and I fell down. Hank loved her immediately. We went into the class and he settled down after a bit of skittishness. I think he settled down since the trainer put me so at ease and she wasn't afraid of my dog or expecting me to fail.
Sounds like your on the right track
__________________
Misty- Samoyed Mix, Tannor- Golden Retriever CGC
Robyn- GSD CGC, TC, Midnite-GSD CGC,TC, Brennan-Golden Retriever CGC, Batman-Husky/Greyhound , Apollo-GSD
llombardo 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:
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:
Security Question
While balancing on a piece of wood, two inches by four inches known as a 2x4, john and his friend sally both spotted a dalmatian inside a truck with sirens, headed to put out a fire. State what the 2x4 is made of.

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 06:05 PM.



Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
SEO by vBSEO 3.3.2
PetGuide.com
Basset Hound Forum Doberman Forum Golden Retriever Forum Beagle Forum
Boxer Forum Dog Forum Pit Bull Forum Poodle Forum
Bulldog Forum Fish Forum Havanese Forum Maltese Forum
Cat Forum German Shepherd Forum Labradoodle Forum Yorkie Forum Hedgehog Forum
Chihuahua Forum Retriever Breeds Cichlid Forum Dart Frog Forum Mice Breeder Forum