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-   -   Neighbor's GSD (http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/aggression-good-bad-ugly/400338-neighbors-gsd.html)

diane0905 01-23-2014 12:23 AM

Neighbor's GSD
 
I would like to begin by saying I love German Shepherds. They are my favorite breed of dog, other than my Golden Retriever who is my soul mate. I asked for a GSD, but my husband was more comfortable with the Retriever and, as things have turned out, it was meant to be.

My neighbor has a GSD. She's a beautiful rescue GSD -- I think a working breed, from her appearance -- my favorite. The couple who rescued the dog is probably early 70's (wife) to mid to late 80s(husband). The wife told me they rescued the dog because her husband was in WWII and scared of GSDs. Anyway, he was awesome with the large female GSD. He taught her to sit and behave as me and my GR walked by. This was a big step from the initial lunging and barking.

Very sadly, I found out the man had cancer and he died this past summer after they probably owned the dog about six months. The rescued dog seems very out of sorts again. The man's wife is extremely overweight and can't walk the GSD like I'm sure he needs to be walked. She's probably able to walk him a couple of blocks. I walk my Golden four to five miles a day. She either has a friend or has hired someone who is walking the GSD. This woman is in her mid 60s to 70, I would guess. She's probably walking the dog a mile tops. The GSD is not listening to her any and with good reason. She is not exhibiting any control over the dog. The poor dog is completely lost.

When they walk by me and my GR, I usually turn and walk away because the GSD is able to drag her across the road and is rearing up and barking at my dog. My dog is totally ignoring her and walking straight ahead out of self preservation, I'm sure. She seems to want to eat him for dinner. He's not a small Golden -- about 80lbs. She's not a small female GSD -- at least 80lbs or more.

Today when we passed, the woman said "I'm very nervous and don't know what to do." Good grief! She let the GSD drag her completely across the road and within two feet of my dog's flanks. Her dog was barking and lunging and she seemed almost completely helpless. She has her on what appears to be a six foot leash. She's holding the leash by the handle. I calmly and politely told her to choke up on the leash because the less leash the dog had to work with, the less she could pull her and get leverage. I also calmly told her her dog was beautiful. She looked like she was about to have a heart attack. I didn't know what to do, but figured calm was better than freaking out. The dog is freaking me out way less than the lady.

Good grief. I don't know what to do with this situation. I want to adopt the GSD, but obviously I can't. I certainly don't want the GSD eating my Golden Retriever for lunch. My Golden has never shown any desire to attack anything ever. It's just his nature. I know he would be fast friends with the GSD and perhaps the GSD in return if it had any semblance of a leader.

I feel sad the neighbor man didn't live because I really think the GSD connected with him. I feel guilty for feeling any animosity in this situation, but goodness! The dog obviously needs exercise and socialization.

Suggestions? My husband says walk the other way whenever I see them coming.

Mocha 01-23-2014 01:19 AM

There's really nothing for YOU to really do. The current owner needs to take responsibly in getting a trainer or being the pack leader.

However, you're looking for suggestions :)

What if you offered to walk the dog occasionally? Not only would the dog benefit from the increased exercise, but then it would begin to recognize and feel more comfortable around you. Once she feels she can trust you and possibly look up to you, you can then move on to meeting your dog. Maybe she just needs an authoritative person in her life. I mean after all, GSD's really look to their masters, and she's obviously lacking one currently.

Not really an expert though. There are some awesome trainers whom are on this site. Hopefully they'll chime in!


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diane0905 01-23-2014 08:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mocha (Post 4887570)
There's really nothing for YOU to really do. The current owner needs to take responsibly in getting a trainer or being the pack leader.

However, you're looking for suggestions :)

I know. I noticed this morning I "good griefed" twice in my initial post. :) It's one of those frustrating things where I really sort of know what the dog needs, but I'm not the dog's owner. I don't know the dog's past, but I know the man, who was her pack leader, was doing a great job training her for the short time they were together.

Quote:

What if you offered to walk the dog occasionally? Not only would the dog benefit from the increased exercise, but then it would begin to recognize and feel more comfortable around you. Once she feels she can trust you and possibly look up to you, you can then move on to meeting your dog. Maybe she just needs an authoritative person in her life. I mean after all, GSD's really look to their masters, and she's obviously lacking one currently.

Not really an expert though. There are some awesome trainers whom are on this site. Hopefully they'll chime in!


Sent from Petguide.com Free App
Thank you so much for your suggestion. I told my husband when we were walking that I'd like to walk her myself. He realistically replied telling me I already spend an hour to an hour and 15 minutes a day walking my own dog. We usually go four to five miles a day. I also workout at a gym several times a week and I'm 52 years old. Throw cleaning my house, cooking, general errands and babysitting my 11 month old grandaughter -- it's a lot. Now I'm whining. :p This is probably the best thing to do. I may ask the lady if I can walk her sometimes. I don't want to overstep and I certainly feel for her having lost her husband.

It has crossed my mind the GSD needs more exercise. The owner, as I have said, doesn't walk her far at all because she's unable. The dog's walker lady (the scared one) isn't exactly walking at a pace to exercise the dog either. All that falls into what is probably none of my business, other than the fact I'm worried the GSD is going to attack my dog. I will say my Golden gets quite rambunctious if we don't get our exercise. He's not naughty, but he definitely gets the zoomies and bored if he doesn't exercise - which only happens on stormy weather days. We're in S.C., so we don't have to worry about winter too much.

My other option is just turning and walking in the opposite direction. To loop our neighborhood we walk the circle which skirts it -- that's 1.2 miles. I can do figure eights in the neighborhood. One day I was doing this walking my dog alone (without my husband) and turned in the opposite direction when I saw the GSD and the lady heading my way. Unfortunately, when I headed home she had gone down my road which is a culdesac and I had to head the other way until she ambled her way down the road and back. It's annoying, but obviously not a huge life ordeal.

Honestly, I just hope she never lets go of the leash. The dog looks perfectly capable of getting away from her eventually.

On a positive note, I used to be really scared of dogs when I was much younger. That has totally left the building and I'm thankful for that. I didn't tense up any when the GSD was lunging at my dog's heels. I stayed calm. My dog (Luke) stayed calm. Calm is good in these situations. :D

Kayos and Havoc 01-23-2014 09:26 AM

First, I want to commend you for looking for a GSD board to come to for help for a dog that is not even yours. I think your GR is lucky to have such a great and compassionate mom!

I would second the offer to walk the GSD. Even 1 brisk mile a few times a week is better than nothing.

I suspect the GSD would do fine with your GR, especially if your GR is a male and the GSD is a female. Many GSD's have issues with leash reactivity but are fine off lead. Many of them lunge and bark because they are spatial protective and do not know what to do or how to act. I suspect that if you were willing to get to know the GSD and then introduce the GSD to your GR they would get on fine. Then perhaps you might be able to walk them together. It would be so nice if you could adopt her. :)

If you do chose to consider any of this, allow your hubby to handle the GSD. Try a side by side walk with about 20 feet between you. When GSD is calm start to close the gap. Side by side walking is wonderful to help dogs calm near each other. You remove the head on meeting with 2 dogs on leash that way.

Bless you!

Gretchen 01-23-2014 12:31 PM

Maybe you could start by looking into your community resources, does the animal shelter or SPCA have discounted training for seniors with pets or any other services, dog walking?

Then I would look into or just buy a prong collar for her so she has more control on the walks. We have one that is easy to clip on and off, rather than removing the metal rings which hurt my hands.

And then I liked what Mocha wrote about getting familiar with the dog, walking it to see if at some time you can adopt it. So they lady won't be lonely, she can adopt an older, smaller breed that requires less exercise.

My husband's sister thought she was doing my MIL a favor many years ago and bought her and her husband an Aussie. Yah, super high energy dog for seniors in their 60's who never exercised in their life. The dog had so much misplaced energy it tore up lots of furniture. When my father in law died, my MIL kept the dog for a while, but she was actually so relieved when her daughter took the dog to live with her. So you never know, maybe your neighbor would be relieved to have someone take the dog for her.

diane0905 01-23-2014 11:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kayos and Havoc (Post 4888346)
First, I want to commend you for looking for a GSD board to come to for help for a dog that is not even yours. I think your GR is lucky to have such a great and compassionate mom!

I would second the offer to walk the GSD. Even 1 brisk mile a few times a week is better than nothing.

I suspect the GSD would do fine with your GR, especially if your GR is a male and the GSD is a female. Many GSD's have issues with leash reactivity but are fine off lead. Many of them lunge and bark because they are spatial protective and do not know what to do or how to act. I suspect that if you were willing to get to know the GSD and then introduce the GSD to your GR they would get on fine. Then perhaps you might be able to walk them together. It would be so nice if you could adopt her. :)

If you do chose to consider any of this, allow your hubby to handle the GSD. Try a side by side walk with about 20 feet between you. When GSD is calm start to close the gap. Side by side walking is wonderful to help dogs calm near each other. You remove the head on meeting with 2 dogs on leash that way.

Bless you!

Thank you. I read this when you first posted it and have been thinking about it all.

I don't think the lady who owns the GSD wants at all to have someone else adopt her. I see her taking the GSD places in the car and she waves and seems happy. They may have a lovely relationship. I don't know that she's healthy enough to walk her, so maybe there will be an opportunity where I can talk to her about perhaps walking her dog sometimes. I will put forth the effort the next time I see her. The problem is I always see her or her dog's walker when I am walking my own dog. We are kindred spirits and together more often than not.

I really appreciate the advice I've been given here. I will make an effort to get to know the GSD better. I can tell she's a good soul.

diane0905 01-23-2014 11:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gretchen (Post 4889722)
Maybe you could start by looking into your community resources, does the animal shelter or SPCA have discounted training for seniors with pets or any other services, dog walking?

Then I would look into or just buy a prong collar for her so she has more control on the walks. We have one that is easy to clip on and off, rather than removing the metal rings which hurt my hands.

And then I liked what Mocha wrote about getting familiar with the dog, walking it to see if at some time you can adopt it. So they lady won't be lonely, she can adopt an older, smaller breed that requires less exercise.

My husband's sister thought she was doing my MIL a favor many years ago and bought her and her husband an Aussie. Yah, super high energy dog for seniors in their 60's who never exercised in their life. The dog had so much misplaced energy it tore up lots of furniture. When my father in law died, my MIL kept the dog for a while, but she was actually so relieved when her daughter took the dog to live with her. So you never know, maybe your neighbor would be relieved to have someone take the dog for her.

Yes, I'm not sure this was the right fit as far as the exercise the GSD needs. On the other hand, perhaps the dog is getting more love than it ever has in its life. I don't know what the situation was before.

Not really knowing GSD's very much as far as behavior is concerned, I've been wondering how to handle the situation at hand as it happens. When the GSD was on my dog's flanks barking and lunging, I wondered if it would respond to me simply saying "No." "STAY." with my hand raised in the stop/stay sign. Not yelling, but firm and calm. I wish the dog had a walker or owner who could calm her and let this happen more calmly. I don't think the GSD is being overly aggressive, because surely she'd be snapping and growling, etc. She isn't doing that -- just lunging hard and barking and dragging her walker all over the place.

Gretchen 01-24-2014 12:15 AM

You could always try the firm "STAY" or even see if it knows "down". Without knowing the dog, any contact is risky. I can just tell you my 3.5 female really likes to meet other dogs and comes on a bit strong. Many German Shepherds are very vocal and can make growly noises when they play. It may be this dog wants to play or at least smell your dog. The thing is its owner is not in control. When my dog comes on strong, I can tell her to go "down" and it is very calming. I'm wondering rather than stop, if you can keep walking and ask the GSD lady if she'd like to walk with you or near you. Then mention getting a prong collar.

Stevenzachsmom 01-24-2014 10:04 AM

Was the shepherd adopted from a rescue, or a shelter? If she came from a rescue, I would recommend that she be returned to them. Rescues understand that bad things happen to people and they may not be able to keep a dog. It doesn't sound like this lady can handle the dog on her own. It isn't a good situation for her, or the dog.

JackandMattie 01-24-2014 01:06 PM

Any chance you live in a golf cart community? It's a great way to run a dog without having to put out much effort personally.


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