Can a puppy's temperament be affected by living with a dog who is Fear Aggressive? - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 01-03-2013, 05:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
Rua
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Default Can a puppy's temperament be affected by living with a dog who is Fear Aggressive?

For those who have multiple dog households, with varying degrees of temperaments among your dogs:

How much can the behaviour of a puppy with the genetic potential for a very solid temperament be affected by living with a dog who has a nervy temperament?

The reason I ask, is that my older girl Juno (14 months) has Fear Aggression issues with strangers, and sometimes towards other dogs she doesn't know. This isn't down to a lack of socialization in her younger days. I did everything by the book with her. And unfortunately, I have finally had to admit that a lot of the Fear Aggressive tendencies she has are down to poor genetics. She was my first GSD and is my little star. We are working through her "nervy" moments together the best we can.

We recently bought a new puppy - this time from a very reputable breeder and with plenty of research before buying him. Bowser comes from a very good background and his parents (and grandparents) are absolutely stellar in temperament.

Bowser is currently 13 weeks old and he and Juno get along like a house on fire. She is very gentle with him (almost too gentle! He can be a bit of a brat to her!), and they play together very very well. She is like a big sister to him.

I know Bowser is young, but so far he has been absolutely bomb proof. In comparison to Juno at the same age, he's incredibly cool, calm and collected. He meets new people, dogs, places with gusto and likes to sit and observe the world. However, he sees her get anxious when we meet new people. He sees/hears her bark at every possible "threat" around our property. None of her FA is directed to him. But he sees her direct it to other situations. He doesn't seem to care, and his calm, friendly demeanour has been quite a good influence on her when we are meeting new people. But over time, will living with a dog who IS fearful change that? How have you dealt with this in your own dogs?
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
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He doesn't seem to care, and his calm, friendly demeanour has been quite a good influence on her when we are meeting new people. But over time, will living with a dog who IS fearful change that? How have you dealt with this in your own dogs?
It MIGHT.

So far it sounds like Bowser is not being affected but I would make sure to give him equal time out in public WITHOUT Juno, just so he can see things through his own eyes (so to speak). At least until he gets older and his temperament is 'set'.

That way his solid temperament can help Juno.
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I agree with Lauri.

I had a fear biter at one time, when I got him, at 8 weeks, I also had a 4 year old very stable male. My stable male stayed stable but my fearful dog stayed fearful..I then added a stable female, she never picked up the fearful dog's tendencies, and neither did the next two I added.

So I count myself lucky, because I have seen puppies pick up the bad habits of existing dogs, but also pick up the good, I imagine it can be more 'behaviors' as well.

Again, I agree with Lauri's suggestions
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I suppose the one thing I have going for me in this is that Juno's fear issues aren't out of control. She barks. A lot. She gets all hackly and acts spooked and if on a lead, she occasionally slightly lunges. But she's never bitten anyone. When it comes to new people, I tell them to ignore her and she will eventually warm up if they don't try and touch/talk to her. When it comes to strange dogs, unless they are aggressive to her, she will run off and play with them if they wanna play, once she's had a good investigation of them. Whenever we encounter things that I can see she won't cope well with, the "leave it" command has been invaluable, and she obeys.

Since getting Bowser, he automatically greets new people happily and with a wagging tail. Juno sees this, and I can literally see her little mind trying very very hard to not be scared and reactive and let the "stranger" touch her like Bowser does. I'm not sure if thats jealousy of the attention that Bowser is getting that's making her do that though.
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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...Actually your suggestions are great, but they've brought another question to mind. How do I give Bowser his own socialization time without making Juno feel left out? Ever since she was a baby, she's gone everywhere with me! If she sees me driving away with the baby pup in the car without her, I will be inundated with guilt from her "sad eyebrows"!!
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I have three GSD's. One(Onyx) was FA when she was younger. I brought in a male pup Karlo(my situation sounds identical to yours, bombproof puppy from a great breeder)
And Karlo continues to have a wonderful temperament with confidence and solid nerves. In fact, I think he helped Onyx to become a bit more confident as well.

As far as the one on one, give her some time with just you and maybe give her some high value treats when you leave and return. Don't feel guilty or make a big deal of it!
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:24 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onyx'girl View Post
I have three GSD's. One(Onyx) was FA when she was younger. I brought in a male pup Karlo(my situation sounds identical to yours, bombproof puppy from a great breeder)
And Karlo continues to have a wonderful temperament with confidence and solid nerves. In fact, I think he helped Onyx to become a bit more confident as well.

As far as the one on one, give her some time with just you and maybe give her some high value treats when you leave and return. Don't feel guilty or make a big deal of it!
Onyx'girl, how far apart in age are your dogs? I actually meant to wait until Juno was nearer to 2 years old before getting another pup. But when I was visiting with the breeder one day, I saw Bowser and my sense went out the window and I got him. As it turns out they have nearly the same birthday, but one year apart.
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:36 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Onyx was 2.5 when puppy Karlo came into her life. I also had adopted 21 month old Kacie when Onyx was 5 months. Onyx didn't start really showing her reactive side until after she was spayed at 6 months.
They are now7, 6 and almost 4. They get along very well! Though Onyx is a bit of a bully with Kacie, herding her constantly and if she doesn't have a ball in her mouth, she'll lay into Kacie if she gets over excited. Karlo's barking can ramp her up to that state.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:28 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I think dogs can develope conditioned responses from eachother. Something like running the fence barking at neighbors, digging holes, barking through windows at people who pass by.

I think a stable confident dog can help an unstable dog, but I don't think it can change genetic behavior.

An example would be my old Golden is terrified of thunderstorms. None of my other three dogs could care less. My GSD is aloof towards strangers, my Lacy insists on full body coverage towards everyone.
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