People/dog fear/aggression and excessive barking. Help! Please.
He barks at every little noise when he's on the sideyard. My poor neighbors can't even have a conversation in their own BACKYARD (he can't even SEE them) or go get their mail or enter/exit their car because he just barks and barks and barks at everything and everyone. I thought he'd just get used to it all, considering he's always outside (my mother's a clean freak and will NOT let him in the house. we do have some baby gates put up in our kitchen though because he barks so excessively when people are outside that we have to bring him in in fear that we'll be fined).
He is a white German Shepherd (Ghost is his name) who will be a year old in December. He was never properly socialized as a pup and is now just horrible with other people and dogs. I cannot take him for walks because he outweighs me and should he see another dog/person I will most definitely be dragged and come out with all sorts of booboo's. (there was a moment in our house where he started after one of the cats. i caught him by the collar and i fell and was dragged clear across the room. i have some beautiful pink scars now on my knees and feet because of that. thank you doggie).
We don't have any family or friends that can come over and try and loosen him up. My grandpa does come over every month or two but I think he has a bad influence. He's a very intimidating man - looks alone - and when he went up to the gate to see my dog for the first time not too long ago, Ghost was barking so much that he was foaming from the mouth. That was the first time I seen his hackles spike up all the way down to his tail (when someone's walking by with/without their dog it's usually just his neck). :C My grandpa then was wrong and raised his hand at him (like "shoo") and Ghost ran away for a minute and then started right back at the excessive barking. :C He's not baring his teeth or anything but I'd still be scared to let him out of the gate WHILE he's like this in case he had the courage to go up and take a bite of someone.
THOUGH recently... My grandma and her husband (myy... step-grandpa?) had seen him once when he was a puppy (when he was like 8weeks). They came by just a week or two ago since then and (i didn't expect Ghost to remember them but he) started doing the same thing as with my Grandpa-grandpa. But EVENTUALLY after a good 7-10 minutes of mad barking and a bit of sweet-talk from my step-grandpa Ghost was wagging his tail and just got super hyper/excited/happy whatever and he was just running around playing like nothing ever happened. He was even fine with my grandma when she eventually walked out (she had gone back in the house because he was scaring her) and just ran up to her tail-wagging.
I've been looking all over for programs and other places to take him for proper socialization help but everywhere REQUIRES socialization/well-behaved dogs so I'm just so incredibly lost?? Especially since most things that focus on socializing dogs around here is for puppies puppies puppies.
I really don't know what to do. He pushes me over the edge so much I've become such a crybaby and my mom stressing out over him and yelling at me for every little thing he does wrong is no help either. (Though yes, I know it's all my fault.) It's hard when I have no support or help from anyone and everyone's solution is to just "give him away". My mom didn't believe in putting him in obedience or puppie play-dates/day-care when he was younger to give him even SOME socialization when he was younger. She likes to keep referring back to our old german shepherd who was just naturally a good obedient dog and the fact that no one else in our neighborhood had to take their dog to classes to be well behaved.
Where do I start? My step-grandpa thinks that I should take him to a doggie-beach(?) because he says that the water/waves will distract him from all the other people/dogs or something... and that he'd eventually just loosen up when/if other dogs come up and around him?
It's never too late to train. Find some classes or at least a private trainer!
I'm in a similar situation, although Ollie went through all the classes as a puppy, now he is 1 year old and causing some of the same problems. So back to training we go.
Also....is he getting enough exercise? Ollie only misbehaves on days when we miss our bike ride... Find a deserted dog park or someplace with a fence and tire him out! That's all I know. Hopefully some of the more experienced owners will chime in.
you need to put a prong collar on him so you can control him better without being dragged all over. once you have better control of him, you need to EXERCISE him!!!!!!!! walk him every day. get him use to sights and sounds. tell your mom dogs arent born knowing how to behave just like kids dont just KNOW how to behave, they have to be taught. if you dont socialize and exercise your dog then he will always be reactive and bark bark bark.
The training should be with a trainer/behaviorist that is experienced with aggression, knows and understands the GSD. While working with Ghost's behavior, they will be training you to handle him.
Private training is more expensive, but at this point a class would be to overwhelming for Ghost. You would see his usual antics except maybe on a larger scale or he could shut down, you want neither to happen. The plus side to private training is you would have the full hour focused on the issues you are having.
The fact that he was able to settle with your grandpa and grandma is good, keep in mind however that the hyper/overexcited behavior in a reactive dog can flip over to aggression.
If you will post the area you are located, someone may be able to give a name of a good trainer.
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