2yo With Sudden Onset Aggression - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 12-13-2013, 10:28 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 2yo With Sudden Onset Aggression

My 2yo shepherd mix (mostly shepherd) was rescued from a house where she was loved but not enough, fed but not enough, and forgotten about for long days while the owners traveled to work in another county and only returned at the end of the night. There were 8 other dogs in this house as well that were all left running loose during the day. I met the dog when she was in these conditions while he owner had her at work. Fell in love with her right away. Sweet as could be, cuddled with people, played with other dogs, active and alert and always looking for a way to please. I got her after the owner tried to rehome her without luck, and I told her I would love to have her. When I first got her, she was fine. The same as she was when I met her. This was about 2 months ago. In the past week though we've been going to the dog park more often than we did before, and she has gotten aggressive with other dogs. She always played rough, but its to the point where she drew blood on another dog (a family members dog so we handled it between us and it wasn't bad) and yesterday she attacked a different dog and that dog fought back. She has a nasty nick in her ear but that's it from it. I'm worried though cause this behavior has only just started. I can't trust her to be off leash around any other dogs at all which is stressful cause I have 3 other dogs as well who regularly love the dog park and she needs the exercise as I've been living in an apartment and will be here till the end of the month. Any ideas you guys may have on the why its happening or how to fix it would help. I'll answer any and all questions cause I need to get this figured out. Thanks.
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Old 12-13-2013, 10:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Stop going to the dog park with her.

This may seem sudden but it's likely been building (and seems as though it was by her rough play). At 2 months in your home, she is just starting really settle in and show her full personality before it was like when you are on your best behavior when you first meet someone. Also, at 2 years old, she is just reaching maturity which is the age when many dogs are no longer as carefree as they once were.
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Old 12-13-2013, 02:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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GSDs aren't really suited to dog parks, for many of the reasons stated by Jaimie.

It's okay if she doesn't play with other dogs - not fair to put her in a situation where she feels that things are out of control and she needs to single-handedly take control, and not fair for the other dogs at the park. GSDs are happy with their owners, and you can be her friend, playmate, exercise partner. You may need to start making extra time to play with her and exercise her separately from your other dogs, or just do more leashed walks and other activities with your pack that does not include the dog park.
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Old 12-13-2013, 03:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I stay away from dog parks. They aren't the best places.
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Old 12-13-2013, 05:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Take your other dogs to the park and get them their exercise if they are good with that.

Take this dog for walks and hikes. Dog parks aren't her thing like gymnastics isn't mine.
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Old 12-14-2013, 06:11 AM   #6 (permalink)
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i agree with the others. alot of GSD'S just are not dog park material. they want to dominate and they do play rough. if you keep taking her and let her practice this behavior things can get worse.

if you really want her to have other dog friends i would do one on one stuff like onleash walks with friends dogs in a controlled atmosphere. otherwise as said above i would spend time with her alone, maybe even get her into an activity like tracking.

not all dogs do well in a dog park, i for one would never take my dogs to one. just because it is an uncontrolled atmosphere, to me its just setting them up for failure. don't forget about the prey drive which these dogs have. other dogs running and playing brings out this drive..........sometimes if introduced to a dog park as a pup some gsd's do ok, but after they start getting mature and then you take them to a dog park its party time and not the good kind.
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