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-   Aggression (the good, the bad & the ugly) (http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/aggression-good-bad-ugly/)
-   -   Struggling to keep it together (http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/aggression-good-bad-ugly/432417-struggling-keep-together.html)

CJthePuppy 04-01-2014 07:11 PM

Struggling to keep it together
 
My baby boy (he will be 11 months old in four days) has started to get aggressive. He is neutered.

He is perfectly fine with dogs he has known since early puppyhood. He is good with the dogs at daycare and at the park. However if the dog is walking by him on leash he loses his mind... Lunging and barking.

Last night we tried to introduce him to a puppy and he tried to bite her! Then today we tried to introduce him to an old dog and we had to pull them apart they were going at each other.

He also barks and lunges at joggers.

We are working with our trainer and using the book Click to Calm, but is this just the teenager phase or something worse? What more can we do?

Any advice please. I'm just about in tears over this behavior lately.


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zyppi 04-01-2014 07:17 PM

Is there a necessity that your dog interact with other dogs?

You want to be able to control your dog, but not all dogs are going to interact well with others.

I'd spend more time putting him in situations where he can succeed and where he will meet dog friendly people. Build his, and your, confidence.

CJthePuppy 04-01-2014 07:21 PM

It's not necessary that he interacts with other dogs. Just wish he would be able too.

It is necessary that he interacts with people because he is in the process of becoming a therapy dog. I just don't want his fear of dogs to transfer to people.


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Gretchen 04-01-2014 07:27 PM

There is a similar post today on this subject:

http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum...-question.html

CJthePuppy 04-01-2014 07:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gretchen (Post 5308889)
There is a similar post today on this subject:

http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum...-question.html


Thank you for this!


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Harry and Lola 04-01-2014 07:37 PM

He is at the age where they do change, often around this age people find their normally easy going GSD starts to develop likes and dislikes when it comes to other dogs.

He has been through a good amount of socialisation and now it is important you train him to ignore other dogs, he doesn't have to meet and greet other dogs, it is not important any more. With being on the lead and becoming reactive, this is quite common and engaging him in focus training where he learns and is rewarded to focus on you when passing other dogs will help you both.

My experience - around this age they are only interested in being with you and don't want to engage with most other dogs, so putting him in this position may cause him to react aggressively. Build up his confidence by training him to ignore.

With the joggers, again apply the same training where he is encouraged to focus on you and then rewarded. He is at a difficult age, and it will take consistent training and trust from you to get him through this stage.

selzer 04-01-2014 08:03 PM

I think we need more information.

You mention dog parks and day care. How long has he been going to the dog park, and how often. How often does he go to day care? Have you discussed the behavior with people at the daycare to see if he is having issues there?

You mention a trainer. Is this one-on-one training or is it training classes? Has your dog been to classes? If so, how old was he and for how many weeks (I am guessing dog class once a week for a number of weeks)?

He is maturing now. The barking and lunging on leash is usually a sign of an insecure/fearful dog reacting to something to make it go away. I don't like it that it tried to bite the puppy though.

Your dog has two choices when it is confronted with something that makes it uneasy: it can fight with whatever it is and conquer, or it can run away from whatever it is. On leash, the dog knows it cannot run away. Lots of dogs that are tethered to something act like they are guarding it. Lots of bites happen when someone gets too close to a tethered dog. The dog cannot run away, so it needs to make whatever it is afraid of go away. Barking and lunging causes you to increase the distance between the dog and the object of his fear. And therefore, it is something that works, and he will do that again and again.

Next question: What do you do when he acts like this?

Without those answers, I would say skip the dog park and the day care. Read up on NILIF, and implement it. Take your dog to training classes, and if it makes you more comfortable, put a muzzle on him. It's not necessarily forever, but you do not want him connecting. Also, you need to either work below his threshold and build up his tolerance by decreasing the distance between objects that he reacts to slowly, or you need to give him a quick, meaningful correction the moment he starts his routine and move on very positively. Don't give him the change to get entrenched in the behavior.

The problem with the correction, is that it masks the symptom, and not necessarily deals with the problem. Sometimes symptoms do get a life of their own though, and snapping him out of his behavior, and then moving on quickly and confidently, very positive, can allow you to work within proximity of whatever he is reacting to, and without any negative problems from those joggers or dogs, he will become less concerned.

I think that the problem with day care and dog parks is that we condition dogs to interact with other dogs, when for some of our dogs it would be best if they interact with us, and ignore other dogs. The interaction may look like aggression and be play, it can be punished/discouraged, while other behaviors may be encouraged. The interaction may look like a good response and it could be subtle bullying or pack order stuff. And God knows what happens in day care when we are not there?

Dog classes are better in some ways, because our dogs learn to function, interacting with us, while other people interact with their dogs. They can be in the same proximity, but there is no racing about, play fighting, humping going on. They are learning to view other dogs as something of interest that is no concern, because they are working on getting that hunk of steak or hot dog out of their owners hand. And eventually it will be for just a bit of praise that the dog will find you much more entertaining than other dogs.

Dog parks and doggy daycare provides a situation where dogs are highly stimulated by other dogs, and lets face it, humans are pretty darned BORING.

SIT FIDO
Good Boy!

STAY!
Good Boy!

STAND!
Good Boy!

SIT!
Good Boy!

BOOOORINGGGG!!!!!

When the dog can be running, chasing, body slamming, jumping up, locking teeth on each other's necks. Yayyy!!!!

How do you compete with that?

There are ways. But the best thing is to forgo dog parks and day cares, and take the part of the dog's best outlet for mental and physical stimulation. Get out there and play fetch, play tug, catch frisbees, teach him to run next to your bicycle (not while he is reacting to other dogs), be more exciting than anything out there, and then pull the training into line with the wonderful games. Use treats, use praise, use a highly stimulating happy voice, use a tug or toy for when he does really good.

This builds a bond between you and the dog, which a dog park or doggy daycare CANNOT do. Working in class training, helps to solidify that bond with the distractions of other people and dogs around.

I think I am rambling.

SuperG 04-01-2014 08:21 PM

"There are ways. But the best thing is to forgo dog parks and day cares, and take the part of the dog's best outlet for mental and physical stimulation. Get out there and play fetch, play tug, catch frisbees, teach him to run next to your bicycle (not while he is reacting to other dogs), be more exciting than anything out there, and then pull the training into line with the wonderful games. Use treats, use praise, use a highly stimulating happy voice, use a tug or toy for when he does really good.

This builds a bond between you and the dog, which a dog park or doggy daycare CANNOT do. Working in class training, helps to solidify that bond with the distractions of other people and dogs around "


I really like that mentality.....

SuperG

CJthePuppy 04-01-2014 08:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by selzer (Post 5309065)
I think we need more information.

You mention dog parks and day care. How long has he been going to the dog park, and how often. How often does he go to day care? Have you discussed the behavior with people at the daycare to see if he is having issues there?

You mention a trainer. Is this one-on-one training or is it training classes? Has your dog been to classes? If so, how old was he and for how many weeks (I am guessing dog class once a week for a number of weeks)?

He is maturing now. The barking and lunging on leash is usually a sign of an insecure/fearful dog reacting to something to make it go away. I don't like it that it tried to bite the puppy though.

Your dog has two choices when it is confronted with something that makes it uneasy: it can fight with whatever it is and conquer, or it can run away from whatever it is. On leash, the dog knows it cannot run away. Lots of dogs that are tethered to something act like they are guarding it. Lots of bites happen when someone gets too close to a tethered dog. The dog cannot run away, so it needs to make whatever it is afraid of go away. Barking and lunging causes you to increase the distance between the dog and the object of his fear. And therefore, it is something that works, and he will do that again and again.

Next question: What do you do when he acts like this?

Without those answers, I would say skip the dog park and the day care. Read up on NILIF, and implement it. Take your dog to training classes, and if it makes you more comfortable, put a muzzle on him. It's not necessarily forever, but you do not want him connecting. Also, you need to either work below his threshold and build up his tolerance by decreasing the distance between objects that he reacts to slowly, or you need to give him a quick, meaningful correction the moment he starts his routine and move on very positively. Don't give him the change to get entrenched in the behavior.

The problem with the correction, is that it masks the symptom, and not necessarily deals with the problem. Sometimes symptoms do get a life of their own though, and snapping him out of his behavior, and then moving on quickly and confidently, very positive, can allow you to work within proximity of whatever he is reacting to, and without any negative problems from those joggers or dogs, he will become less concerned.

I think that the problem with day care and dog parks is that we condition dogs to interact with other dogs, when for some of our dogs it would be best if they interact with us, and ignore other dogs. The interaction may look like aggression and be play, it can be punished/discouraged, while other behaviors may be encouraged. The interaction may look like a good response and it could be subtle bullying or pack order stuff. And God knows what happens in day care when we are not there?

Dog classes are better in some ways, because our dogs learn to function, interacting with us, while other people interact with their dogs. They can be in the same proximity, but there is no racing about, play fighting, humping going on. They are learning to view other dogs as something of interest that is no concern, because they are working on getting that hunk of steak or hot dog out of their owners hand. And eventually it will be for just a bit of praise that the dog will find you much more entertaining than other dogs.

Dog parks and doggy daycare provides a situation where dogs are highly stimulated by other dogs, and lets face it, humans are pretty darned BORING.

SIT FIDO
Good Boy!

STAY!
Good Boy!

STAND!
Good Boy!

SIT!
Good Boy!

BOOOORINGGGG!!!!!

When the dog can be running, chasing, body slamming, jumping up, locking teeth on each other's necks. Yayyy!!!!

How do you compete with that?

There are ways. But the best thing is to forgo dog parks and day cares, and take the part of the dog's best outlet for mental and physical stimulation. Get out there and play fetch, play tug, catch frisbees, teach him to run next to your bicycle (not while he is reacting to other dogs), be more exciting than anything out there, and then pull the training into line with the wonderful games. Use treats, use praise, use a highly stimulating happy voice, use a tug or toy for when he does really good.

This builds a bond between you and the dog, which a dog park or doggy daycare CANNOT do. Working in class training, helps to solidify that bond with the distractions of other people and dogs around.

I think I am rambling.


Wow what great insight!!

CJ goes to the park maybe once a week. Daycare is only twice a week. I also talk to the daycare people and they say he was fine and nothing has happen in the area of aggression.

CJ has been in group classes since he was ten weeks old. He has complete his CGC and CGCA.

Typically we try to caught CJ before he reacts but it's hard to do that all the time. When he does react, I get him to look at me which still needs work and I use the command quiet. It's a slow process and I'm not working it as much as I should...

To me the trying to bite the puppy was completely inexcusable but that being said I think he did it because he doesn't like the idea of me playing with an "unknown" dog. My fear there is I don't want it to translate to people. He does amazing with kids and people but I want to be able to take him out on walks with lots going on outside. Especially because we are moving to southern California and it will be next to impossible to go outside without something going on there



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Chip18 04-01-2014 08:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SuperG (Post 5309129)
"There are ways. But the best thing is to forgo dog parks and day cares, and take the part of the dog's best outlet for mental and physical stimulation. Get out there and play fetch, play tug, catch frisbees, teach him to run next to your bicycle (not while he is reacting to other dogs), be more exciting than anything out there, and then pull the training into line with the wonderful games. Use treats, use praise, use a highly stimulating happy voice, use a tug or toy for when he does really good.

This builds a bond between you and the dog, which a dog park or doggy daycare CANNOT do. Working in class training, helps to solidify that bond with the distractions of other people and dogs around "


I really like that mentality.....

SuperG

Going with this,Gonna try and be helpful and post this link:
http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum...allenging.htmlLess helpful would be "my" opinion on "Click to calm" dog reactive and a "clicker"???? :rolleyes:


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