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Old 12-22-2013, 03:53 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Cats n Aggressive Big Dogs

It's been a while since i've been on here or have asked for any assistance but would like to get some input on Thor's behavior, he's never shown any aggression towards any person or children, but when it comes to cats, squirrels or big dogs it's a different story, when he turned one yrs. old I stopped taking him to the dog parks due to a couple of fights, he's now three yrs. old n I take him hiking n let him of the leach so he could run the trails n get his exercise, the unthinkable happened a lady was jogging and had her dog of his leach also and as they were crossing each other her dog growled at Thor, so Thor went on attack mode and went aggressively at her dog, it took me to put my hand around his collar n my other hand by his snout for Thor to release her dog, my son n nephew were with me n were traumatized n seemed to have been disappointed with Thor needles to say I put Thor back on his leach n continued on our hiking, he has always been of leach when we've been hiking he loves to run and chase the deer but always returns when I whistle for him to get back, this was the first time we've encountered another dog on the trails so now i'm concerned about taking him hiking n taking him of his leach, my second concern are the cats in our neighborhood, Thor has always lived inside our house sleeps on the floor next to my bed, follows me all over the house n will lay under the table when i'm having dinner, he follows me everywhere I go, but for some reason he's never liked cats or kittens. He's actually gotten out of the house and has stalked n chased them under cars even under trucks, he's actually dug out a few from under trucks n seems to be a game for him he pounces on them, shakes them in his mouth toss's them up in the air and then catches them when I try to get him to drop them he runs away with them in his jaws, once he's killed them he brings them back into our back yard as to show me. I don't know what ever triggered it or where it came from, so any input would really help. He's really a gentle GIANT other then when he's encountered BIG dogs or cats. Thanks for reading and your input will be appreciated.
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Old 12-22-2013, 11:12 AM   #2 (permalink)
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As a responsible pet owner, you can't have him off leash unless he's got a 100% reliable come.

It's unfortunate that when he started having issues at a year you just avoided dog parks rather than begin training. No learning takes place if we just avoid what is causing a problem.

I'm also not sure why he's alone and allowed to run the neighborhood to kill cats? Once again, as a responsible dog owner I need to know where my dog is at all times. So if he's not going to stay in the yard unattended, then he's not going to be in the yard unattended.

Since you have waited until he's 3 before trying to fix these issues, it will be much more difficult than if you had just addressed them immediately when they cropped up. You now have 2 years of bad habits added to what was just initially undirected bad choices with no guidance from who was supposed to be the responsible ones showing right from wrong.

When left on their own, MANY of our dogs will make bad choices. Unfortunately the ones you are permitting your dog to do is killing cats and giving our GSD's more of a bad name when he's attacking dogs out in public that DO have responsible owners who are keeping their dogs on a leash.

All you need to do is take charge. Dog in the house all the time. If in the yard, so are you. MOST OF US go to dog classes/trainer if we find things are not improving but getting worse when we try to fix issues on our own. So that's also what I would do. None of us on a forum can give you the one on one 'real' help you and your dog need.

And frankly, this will NOT get better, only worse. Hate to see your dog pay the penalty as and have to be put down because you didn't take charge NOW to give him the guidance and training ALL our pups need.
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Old 12-22-2013, 11:17 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I have to agree with Maggie and say it's past time to take control of your dog. If you don't have a fenced yard, the dog is always leashed.
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Old 12-23-2013, 09:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks, but i don't think you understand what i'm asking, I'm asking for suggestions not assumptions about a gate or a leach, I do have a fenced yard, doesn't take him very much effort for him to leap it, the dog park was actually a suggestion by many members on here as far as not taking him when he was a puppy, seems to be alot of other dogs or owners that let their dogs run around chasing, or trying to dry hump other dogs, Thor didn't become aggressive with big dogs until he turned one, and only after a dog tried to mount him, caught me by surprise since he had never acted in this manner, it happened twice and the was the end of his dog park time. I'm a very responsible owner n have never gave him any false ideas that it's ok to stalk or hunt cats, just trying to get some ideas of what might have triggered it. Thanks once again for taking the time to reply to my thread, if you have any suggestions please feel free to let me know. Thanks
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Old 12-27-2013, 04:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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With regards to the cats it sounds like a high prey drive to me which has been rewarded by his catching some cats. My GSD has been raised with a very tolerant old cat. she loves him but plays very rough and I've found her with the cats head in her mouth! (don't worry they are now never left alone unsupervised). There's no malice in it she just sees small furry animal and wants to chase. She caught a rabbit once and practically spat it out. She hasn't caught one since because she finds the chase us the best part.One thing that's worked when out and about is I've encouraged her to be ball obsessed. There is a brilliant book called Stop! By David Ryan which has helped a lot. My dog is also dog reactive (I put a post on about her earlier) and although I'm still having problems with her this book helped me a lot in calling her back when she is starting to run at another dog.
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Old 12-27-2013, 10:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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If he is able to get out of your yard, then he can't be left unattended. You can work on redirection while leashed (I'm not going into the training, there are some threads on here if you do a search), but you have a lot of damage control to do in the mean time. He should never be able to catch another cat. If he does, it's on you. Contain him!
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Old 12-28-2013, 12:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thank you will look for the book, I don't understand the cat part, he was raised around a few cats that i saw him around at the breeders, so i'm really puzzled by him, I did buy him alot of furry toys and alot of tennis balls when he was a puppy so not sure if the furry toys led him 2 them, I don't let my dog out, he lives inside the only time he's out is when i walk him or take him on some trails, or put him on his runner so he can enjoy some of the weather outside, he's only 2yrs old so he's very active and honestly he's easily distracted by other animals, so I don't trust him around the neighborhood, would hate for him 2 get run over, or picked up by animal control. I now have custody of my nephew n nieces along with my son, my son knows his dog very well, but my other teens have not gotten used to him as far as closing the storm doors all the way, n he looks for those opportunities to run out the doors n run around the neighborhood, so i'm working with them also as far as getting used to Thor and his sneaky ways.
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Old 12-28-2013, 12:34 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The thing with cats is prey drive. There's no reason to try and understand it, just work the problem you have. The dog cannot be around cats. My dog cannot be around cats. I don't try to train it out of him, I just avoid cats. We know we will never be able to have cats and I don't bring him anywhere that cats are roaming free. They're prey. He wants to chase, kill, and eat them. It's just a natural instinct.

The fence thing...teach him to not jump it. Correct him for trying to jump the fence. Don't let him out of your yard. If you can't teach him to not jump the fence...keep him inside and only let him out when you're watching him. I have a 4 foot chain link fence...in theory my dog can easily jump it. He doesn't know that he can, so he doesn't try. There's also no reason for him to do so, and so he doesn't. If I see him putting his front paws up on the fence (standing up) I correct him and make sure he knows not to do that.
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Old 12-28-2013, 12:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks, makes me feel alot better I was thinking I had done something wrong while raising him. The fence I have is also 4ft, but i've actually taken him to the dog park recently, it's by the trails I take him so I wanted to see how he would react from the outside, and he actually surprised me, he was able to leap up to the top of the 6ft fence. He actually saw my teenager jump the fence when he was under 1yrs old and thats where he got that idea. I'm not happy or do I condone Thor about the cats, it was traumatic n gruesome what he's done with them, and it did bother me, so I do want the members to know I don't condone it, never have. He does have a high prey drive on the trails he will chase the deer or the rabbits or even a bird that happens to be close by. Thanks for your input.
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Old 12-28-2013, 01:21 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjThor View Post
Thanks, makes me feel alot better I was thinking I had done something wrong while raising him. The fence I have is also 4ft, but i've actually taken him to the dog park recently, it's by the trails I take him so I wanted to see how he would react from the outside, and he actually surprised me, he was able to leap up to the top of the 6ft fence. He actually saw my teenager jump the fence when he was under 1yrs old and thats where he got that idea. I'm not happy or do I condone Thor about the cats, it was traumatic n gruesome what he's done with them, and it did bother me, so I do want the members to know I don't condone it, never have. He does have a high prey drive on the trails he will chase the deer or the rabbits or even a bird that happens to be close by. Thanks for your input.
Why did you allow him to jump onto a 6 ft fence? That is something I would never allow. Once they know they can do it, they'll keep doing it. You should've been close enough, or he should've been on leash and you should've been able to prevent him from even getting close to the fence.

Without proper intervention by you, and not allowing your dog to do those things, he's going to keep doing them. And I'm guessing your kid jumping the fence is not where he got the idea to jump, he just did it one day, and now he knows he can do it because no one has stopped him from doing it. My dog has seen me jump the 4 foot fence, he still doesn't do it himself.
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