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Old 02-07-2014, 01:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Sudden Aggression

I adopted a german shepard male about a year ago from an abusive home. We've had our struggles with him being fearful of various events and people but started working with him and we've got most of those types of issues taken care of.

Last night we had an incident. I had another dog previous to this new guy coming into our house. They occasionally get into disputes but normally they end quickly. Last night was a whole other situation. We keep their food in our pantry and I've noticed lately that the shepard has become territorial of the door. I've made him sit and backed him out of the kitchen several times until his food is in his bowl. I wasn't quick enough last night and a fight broke out. He had my other dog by the neck and was shaking him violently. I honestly thought he was going to kill my other dog. I could not get them apart. Finally, I had to just bite the bullet and realize that I might get bit to get them apart. Thankfully, I didn't but the whole ordeal has left me very shaken. My instant reaction was that this dog needs to go. He's a big lover and has never had that kind of reaction to humans only to Cooper (the other dog).

I've had dogs all my life and have never dealt with this kind of situation. I'm at a complete loss as to what to do
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Old 02-07-2014, 01:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Can you crate them for meal time, that way you don't have the one dog resource guarding against the other one?

My dog is fed in her crate and she runs and waits there when I'm prepping meals.
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Old 02-07-2014, 01:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Especially if the dog isnt' showin HUMAN aggression I would just manage the 2 when they are together. If that means they can't be out together alone then so be it.. craet one, play with the other and switch.. if it's only with food.. then seperate during feeding times like blackshep suggested.

I have a friend that manages her female GSD who can't be around ANY of the other dogs and they have 3. It was weird at first but becomes routine for them now.
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Old 02-07-2014, 01:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitchb2 View Post
I adopted a german shepard male about a year ago from an abusive home. We've had our struggles with him being fearful of various events and people but started working with him and we've got most of those types of issues taken care of.

Last night we had an incident. I had another dog previous to this new guy coming into our house. They occasionally get into disputes but normally they end quickly. Last night was a whole other situation. We keep their food in our pantry and I've noticed lately that the shepard has become territorial of the door. I've made him sit and backed him out of the kitchen several times until his food is in his bowl. I wasn't quick enough last night and a fight broke out. He had my other dog by the neck and was shaking him violently. I honestly thought he was going to kill my other dog. I could not get them apart. Finally, I had to just bite the bullet and realize that I might get bit to get them apart. Thankfully, I didn't but the whole ordeal has left me very shaken. My instant reaction was that this dog needs to go. He's a big lover and has never had that kind of reaction to humans only to Cooper (the other dog).

I've had dogs all my life and have never dealt with this kind of situation. I'm at a complete loss as to what to do
I'd move were you keep the food and Feed them separate. I have a nine month old German Shepherd female and a seven-year-old black lab female. Food is kept in the garage the lab is fed in the garage and a German Shepherd is fed on our deck.
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Old 02-07-2014, 01:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Just be more mindful of the dogs behaviors when you have a trigger like food-door. Mine all pile at the food door for meal time. You just need to read which one is about to kick something off and correct them sternly for considering indulging in that behavior.
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Old 02-07-2014, 01:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Michele Maxcy View Post
I'd move were you keep the food and Feed them separate. I have a nine month old German Shepherd female and a seven-year-old black lab female. Food is kept in the garage the lab is fed in the garage and a German Shepherd is fed on our deck.
That is avoiding the problem instead of addressing it. Nothing wrong with avoiding the problem... its safer in the short term, and many people have no wish or ability to address the root problem. I prefer to address the problem directly.
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Old 02-07-2014, 03:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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You just need to read which one is about to kick something off and correct them sternly for considering indulging in that behavior.
I agree--You need correction BEFORE it escalates. Watch body language, watch the eyes and ears, and step in between them when you see it the signs, facing the guilty one, BEFORE it escalates. Step into him, if necessary. Stop the feeding preparation until he is calm again. Be persistent with this.

Do they have a good sit-stay? If so, put them on a sit-stay, and if one moves, stop the feeding process, make them sit and stay, then continue. Put a leash or a short 'handle' on him if necessary.

I have 2 rescue GSDs, and the female is VERY dog aggressive. She has been here about 8 weeks now, and they now are eating peacefully right next to each other. But, I don't leave them alone until they are finished and then the bowls are put away. There have been other issues, but I don't let her get away with aggression in any of those situations, either (toys, who gets which bed or crate, etc.). Actually, once she got the rules down during feeding, she improved in other areas, too.
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