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Old 02-03-2013, 11:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Anywone esperienced anything similar??

Not sure if this question would go in the General Behavior Groups, but this may be more appropriate. I have a 18 month old male GSD who over the past 10 months or so has nearly ripped the bark off every tree in our back yard chasing squirrells. Once he chases a squirrell up the tree, he literally jumps and bites the tree pulling off huge strips of bark. I'm assuming that its' over agression at chasing these critters that's causing him to bite at the tree. Every tree in our backyard is missing bark with series teeth gouges into the tree itself all the way around for several feet up the tree, regardless of what kind of tree it is. Otherwise, this is the most laid back, kid friendly, visitor friendly dog one could ever have. He's almost too laid back. This just occurs when he goes outside and on the prowl for squirrells. This is gonna wind up costing me several thousand in dental work from damaged gums and teeth, not to mention beautiful hardwood trees that I may possibly loose. The vet when initially asked said this is a working dog and he's looking for "work". He advised us to build an obstacle course to keep his mind busy. If I posted pictures of the trees on here, it would blow your mind. This is also a championship bloodline GSD. My dog has not been neutered and wanted to get imput if this might help any other helpful recommendations. Thanks
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:46 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Your Vet is right. He's looking for a job from you and as you have seen, if you don't give him one he'll find one on his own.

How much do you play with or train your dog? Exercise is not only physical. They need mental exercise as well and that can be almost as tiring for a GSD as the physical exercise.

They're very intelligent you know.
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:08 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Determined dog. If he can't climb the tree to get the critter, he will just tear the tree down. A lot of drive there. Hope you can find a really physical sport to start him in. He will probably excel.
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The way they think just amazes me. I would like to see pictures of the trees
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marnie View Post
Determined dog. If he can't climb the tree to get the critter, he will just tear the tree down. A lot of drive there. Hope you can find a really physical sport to start him in. He will probably excel.
Not a lot of drive, pure frustration. My GSD does/did the same thing to our tree due to squirrels. If you watch the squirrel, it'll actually sit and tease the dog. This helps it determine how close the dog will allow it to get while seeking food.

My GSD has low drive. He tore up our tree. I'll try to post some pictures of the tree. We hung a flirt pole type toy so now he'll grab the toy and pull on it. I'm hoping it'll save his teeth.
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Interesting responses, I do play, train my dog sporatically throught the day. I think he receives a ton of attention, but with that said, he may not be mentally challenged enough. Someone told me this will continue until I get him neutered. We take him on walks to the parks, to children's baseball games, and do all sorts of things with him. Even if we're in the yard with him and he sees a squirell, he will exhibit this type of behavior. Not sure if we should get him neutered, can't realistically build a fence around every tree. Thanks for the insightful imput. PICS are posted.
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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One more thing with respect to drive, my dog was initially the breeder's litter pick that she intended to keep. The breeder is very actively engaged with Schutzhund all over the US with the GSD. During the last few days the breeder spent with my dog, they realized that his drive was "low" or at least too low to be a good candidtate for Schutzhund, and he became available for my family. So with that said it sounds like he may have a low drive, while still needing to be mentally stimulated to quell the aggression.
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Wow. He's really a 'barker'.

Never seen one so aggresive with trees in the past. The squirrels must really taunt him.

I know around here the large fox squirrels will sit on a branch and bark and click at you.
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I would NOT put money on the 'not a SchH candidate' thing. Have you had him evaluated? Neutering isn't going to change anything. Squirrels taunted my previous boy so bad that he also did some damage to a tree... although NOTHING like what you've got! Those pics are just mindblowing! I'd say he's not mentally worked enough. Get him evaluated. He can still title in tracking or obedience. There's also agility and other sports to get into with him! He's got focus, determination, drive... I think the breeder made a mistake in labeling him a 'family dog' that isn't right to do sport with.
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