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-   -   Overprotective in the home. Aggressive, Please help! (http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/aggression-good-bad-ugly/419057-overprotective-home-aggressive-please-help.html)

Grittlebone 03-03-2014 07:16 PM

Overprotective in the home. Aggressive, Please help!
 
Our dog Tonka is about 2 and a half years old. He is very sweet with my husband, me, our cat and our friends. Tonka has began protecting the house a little too much. He has gotten a little nasty with two mail people and now a neighborhood kid. He has begun growling at the window by the door when he hears someone outside. The second mail lady came today and he apparently had his hackles up while she was at the door, but we didn't open it because we didn't have time. Then about 5 minutes later, a neighborhood kid came to our door and he growled, charged a little bit and snapped his jaws in her direction. I will say, that we have had to speak to this same child about her inappropriate way of approaching Tonka, as in she tends to scream and run over which totally freaks out the dog. Tonka also tends to growl at strangers in the home if he feels uncomfortable. I'm thinking that his outburst with our 9 year old neighbor was due to him already being overstimulated from the mail man but both are inappropriate displays of aggression. I would say this is the very beginning to a potentially very aggressive dog, but I'm not sure as to how to proceed with it.

I came up with the training regimen that instead of allowing him to greet people at the door that one of us would have him lie down on his bed and the other person would handle the people at the door. We are also going to try and keep him away from the window and obsessing with what is going on outdoors. Does this sound like a good plan for our situation? Tonka is the first German Shepherd I have ever owned and I've never dealt with this level of protectiveness in a dog. Your suggestions would be greatly appreciated by our family.


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glowingtoadfly 03-03-2014 07:32 PM

You might need some friends to come ring the doorbell/ walk by while you feed him treats to counter condition?

Grittlebone 03-03-2014 08:10 PM

That's a great idea. We'll have to set up a day with someone in order to make that happen. Should it be a stranger or could it be someone he knows?


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glowingtoadfly 03-03-2014 08:17 PM

If he is having the most trouble with strangers, then probably. Does he also do this with people he knows? Aggression in Dogs by Brenda Aloff is a great book for this issue. A behaviorist may also be able to help
-Emily
Macro z Gildaf Von Schraderhaus " Skadi"
Viking z Gildaf Von Schraderhaus " Grim"

Grittlebone 03-03-2014 09:35 PM

I'll pick up the book tomorrow. Thank you for your advice


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glowingtoadfly 03-03-2014 09:38 PM

You are awesome for working with him!

lawhyno 03-04-2014 12:43 AM

Gotta say, these are characteristics that lots of people want in their GSD. This is what the GSD was originally and what some enthusiasts are trying to keep alive. He perceives threat and wants to protect his territory and his family. Great. If your lifestyle isn't in need of that, then by all means neutralize the behavior or tone it down best you can. But it sounds like you have a good dog here. A dog like this needs some training and needs to look to you for the right moments when to express aggression. That can be done with the right trainer/training.
Good luck.

my boy diesel 03-04-2014 12:47 AM

a child is not a threat nor is mail delivery
he is responding inappropriately and not listening to his owners who are saying even with their body language
this is not a threat

of course if owners are nervous and giving off that scent and body language the dog is misinterpreting it

a dog should be able to trust its owner to make the decision as to whom is a threat and who isnt

this owner owner needs to take reigns back from dog and soon

obedience obedience obedience!!

lawhyno 03-04-2014 12:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Grittlebone (Post 5129433)
I came up with the training regimen that instead of allowing him to greet people at the door that one of us would have him lie down on his bed and the other person would handle the people at the door. We are also going to try and keep him away from the window and obsessing with what is going on outdoors. Does this sound like a good plan for our situation? Tonka is the first German Shepherd I have ever owned and I've never dealt with this level of protectiveness in a dog. Your suggestions would be greatly appreciated by our family.


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Keeping him down on the bed while you handle the person at the door is a good plan.
The dog is protecting it's territory when looking out the windows. Again, lots of people covet this type of behavior. Surprisingly, lots of GSDs these don't have the genetics for that anymore. It's been bred out, unfortunately. That is a gift you have. I wouldn't squander it. If he's loyal and sweet to your family and you trust him/her completely, then take the extra precaution and keep him down and away from the door and out of potential trouble BUT let him/her patrol the territory. That's genetic… and again… it's a great attribute.

lawhyno 03-04-2014 12:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by my boy diesel (Post 5131601)
a child is not a threat nor is mail delivery
he is responding inappropriately and not listening to his owners who are saying even with their body language
this is not a threat

of course if owners are nervous and giving off that scent and body language the dog is misinterpreting it

a dog should be able to trust its owner to make the decision as to whom is a threat and who isnt

this owner owner needs to take reigns back from dog and soon

obedience obedience obedience!!

True. I agree with you. I think there needs to be some handler/owner tweaking here. They need to look to the owner before reacting like that. That's why i mentioned some type of trainer/training that can teach this to the dog.

Good luck.


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