He's Injuring Others! What do I do???? - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 01-25-2014, 03:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default He's Injuring Others! What do I do????

I'm really worried and bit freaked out. I've been lurking on this forum for awhile and regret that this is the topic of my first post.

My GSD, Roscoe, attacked 3 dogs today. He bit and drew blood on two of them, seriously injuring one of those two.

We were at a dog park playing fetch far away from any other dogs when a blue heeler suddenly ran across the park and jumped at my dog. Roscoe attacked. The two had separated on their own in seconds. Neither dog was bleeding but we left.

Called up a friend who we have regular doggy play dates with to see if we could play with them since our dp time got cut short. I took Roscoe and my other dog Annie over there to play. They have a 1yr old Great Dane, Brutus, and all the dogs get on great. Another playmate, a GSD, arrived later too. Roscoe was avoiding Brutus for some reason but playing with the GSD. Brutus would try and play with Roscoe but Ros would turn and bark at him. Normally he and Brutus can't get enough of each other...

A long story short we noticed a bloody spot on the Brutus's side. Looked like he'd been nipped. He went inside to get cleaned up. While the Brutus was inside I was talking with the other GSD owner when suddenly our dogs went for each other. Both GSDs had been by their respective owners' sides and then suddenly there was a snarling mass of fur between us two owners.

The other GSD is a female and got severely bitten on the nose. Part of her nose was hanging off by the time we got them separated. They rushed her into a car to take to the vet. I haven't heard from them yet about her current condition.

Roscoe was fine. No cuts or scraps I could find. He went over to go play with my other dog and acted fine. We came back home and he's acting normal. I'm scared to leave him with my other dog unsupervised though....

Roscoe has never shown any aggression previously. I've had him since he was a puppy; he's two now. He's never bitten another dog or been attacked before. He and my eskie, Annie, get on great. I'm just really freaked out.

I called my family to ask for advice and Dad says to euthanize him. 'Once a dog attacks other dogs it's only a matter of time before he attacks you.' I think that sounds a bit extreme. I love Roscoe. He's never been any trouble before. Today though, fighting with the heeler, nipping the dane, and then mauling the GSD...I'm at a loss.

Is it safe to leave him alone with Annie? Is he 'safe'? It's the sudden aggressive change in personality that really worries me. I don't know if I can trust this new development. Please help!
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Old 01-25-2014, 03:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I called my family to ask for advice and Dad says to euthanize him. 'Once a dog attacks other dogs it's only a matter of time before he attacks you.'
First...that is completely UNTRUE. Dog to dog aggression does not translate or carry over into human aggression.

Second, don't take this as a slam, but you did everything wrong today. When a dog is in a fight, their adrenalin is WAY up. It can takes weeks for it to come down. So he was all ramped up and then you put him with other dogs. I suspect that played a large role in the second fight.

So...what would I do?

1) Get a trainer.


2) No more dog parks..EVER. Who knows what was going thru his mind when the heeler ran at him. He may have thought he needed to defend himself.

3) keep him separated from Annie for a bit. Crate and rotate for a week or so. Then closely watch them. Just because he attacked outside his pack does not mean he'll attack one in his pack. But be safe, not sorry.
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Old 01-25-2014, 03:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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When dogs get into fights their adrenaline is ramped up. I wouldn't have taken him to another play date after the first fight.
I wouldn't even think of euth'ing him either!!!!
Take control and manage him. Is he in any structured classes? Do you crate him?
I wouldn't leave him alone with Annie unsupervised.
GSD's are not dogs that can just randomly go and play with dogs they don't know....epecially when new ones are added to the mix.
How old is Roscoe? Is he intact or neutered?
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Old 01-25-2014, 03:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I would get a trainer involved. Personally, I will not go to dog parks and I would never schedule a play date for my dog. I exercise him. We go to dog club once a week. Those dogs all have responsible owners and there is never a problem that blows out of control.

Before a fight happens there are signs. When dogs are together they have to be supervised at all times. Not just being present, like actually paying attention to the dogs. My oldest dog just barely will raise one side of his lip showing his teeth. That was enough to start barking, then growling and sometimes a fight. It was so slight I missed it the first few times. I was wondering why the GSD was always getting in the oldest dogs face...well the older dog was being a turd. That has stopped!
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Old 01-25-2014, 04:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Don't put him down over that. he wont attack you or more then likely the dog he lives with. If you're upset he'll pick that up and then be tense. If you were already tense at the play date, that's probably why he was on edge himself. Dogs reflect our feelings so take a look at how you're handling it and that will tell you where his state of mind is. Find a good trainer that can help you get past it, the dog will be over it way before you will.
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Old 01-25-2014, 04:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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We don't have a designated trainer per se. He's been through obedience and has his CGC. We can def look into contacting the club again for help.

He has a crate but normally he's free during the day. Just sleeps in there at night.

He 2 and is neutered. Annie is spayed.

I had no idea about the adrenalin! Here I thought it would help to have a positive experience playing with other dogs we know.

The only reason we go to the park is to play fetch for him. Our backyard is too small to really play fetch and he loves it. He does get two walks a day and on the weekends, like today, we make a point of going to play fetch somewhere to really wear him out.

We've played with both Brutus and the other GSD multiple times and never had any issues. Honestly, neither the other GSD owner or I know who started it. We both thought the dogs were just hanging out by us since Brutus had gone in.

I just feel like such a bad dog person.
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Old 01-25-2014, 04:12 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Kate, don't beat yourself up....hopefully the nose on the other dog is not injured bad and the owners are forgiving, but expect to fork out $ for the vet bill(or at least 1/2).
Get back into a club that knows the breed and keep on training!
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Old 01-25-2014, 04:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Don't feel bad! It happens!

Who knows what started the last fight. One just could have gotten slightly tense and the other launched.

What's important going forward is you are proactive. Find a place to play fetch where there are no other dogs. He may have thought the other dog was going after his ball? And find a good trainer. I would look for a Schutzhund club so I found a trainer that was familiar with the breed or find a good trainer that knows about aggression. At 2 years old, he is maturing and that puppy attitude may be gone.
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Old 01-25-2014, 04:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
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No your not a bad person you just made a mistake with a breed of dog that will show you where your flaws are if you screw up, somewhere along the line! Been there done that.

His pack member is most likely not in any sort of danger but as others have said he bears close watching.

And your friends,.. yeah my dogs don't know my friends have dogs! I never put my dogs at risk and never put anyone else's dog at risk. You put there dog in harm's way and she got hurt, apparently they knew no more than you but you'll be lucky if your friendship doesn't take a hit.

He has now demonstrated that he can't be trusted around other dogs! No more dog parks no more doggie intros...you've been warned!

So what you do now determines what kind of guardian you are and finding a qualified certified trainer would be a step in the right direction. And no Petco's, not gonna cut it here for finding help!
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Old 01-25-2014, 04:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Oh...24 to 30 months is when "flaws" in there training show up at maturity, yep I learned that one the hard way to!
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