Male GSD - 1 year Old - Showing Agreession - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-01-2014, 10:03 PM Thread Starter
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Male GSD - 1 year Old - Showing Agreession

This is our second GSD. Our first GSD was laid back, very calm and could be taken anywhere. Our second GSD was brought home when he was 10 weeks old. He turns 1 year old this week. We have two teenagers and kids ranging from 2 years old to teenagers coming to our house daily. Our GSD will bark and raise his hair at one of the boys that comes over daily. The younger sibling comes over and our GSD does nothing. Our GSD dislikes the neighbors behind us. In fact he jumped over the fence and tackled the one boy and mouthed him. This took place about 3 months ago. The kids continue to play in the back yard but they run away screaming when they see our dog. We turned on the electronic fence and added some decorative border so our dog no longer goes over. We also enrolled him obedience class which he just passed. I took our dog for a walk and the neighbors kids wanted to see him. I made him sit and the one boy was able to pet him. Our GSD immediately lunged and barked at the boy who he tackled a few months back. Why does our GSD pick certain kids to dislike? I would take our GSD to my daughters LaCrosse practice every day and had a little 5 year old girl walk him around the track. I also had boys play ball with him and he never shows aggression. Our GSD will also play nicely with some dogs and other dogs he has no tolerance for. He continues with his next obedience class next week. Although I am teaching him obedience I do not understand the breed enough to figure out why he acts like this. I really do not want him to be that "do not pet" type of dog.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-01-2014, 10:11 PM
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This isn't excusing your dog's behavior.... but I do wonder if the boy has done something to your dog.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-01-2014, 10:23 PM
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For one, he has already jumped the fence once, tackled, and "mouthed" a child. That's extremely concerning to me. As much as we may not like it, we own a breed that is often viewed by the public as dangerous and if that behavior happens again, it would be very simple for someone to sue you, call animal control, and pursue euthanasia for your "dangerous" dog. I don't want to be mean, I just want to make sure you understand the reality of that behavior now.

So after he jumped the fence and mouthed the boy, he now gets to see them run screaming away from him when he is in the backyard. This is not a good association and I would assume does not elicit a desirable response or association between your GSD and the kids. Get the yard behavior under control now. Don't let the screaming kids become a thing for him. If the neighbor kids come out, either bring your GSD in or engage him in training or play so good things happen around the kids.

It is good that he was in obedience class. Continue to work with him. I usually teach my GSD's to ignore children in general. In controlled situations, he does not have to be a "do not pet" type of dog, but it sounds like you need to put much more work into controlling his interaction with children. I would start off by stopping interaction between him and children for now. He lunged at a kid and then you let a five year old walk him around the track? Unless I've got the timeline wrong, that's not something I would ever, ever do. It's simply too much of a risk.

It's hard to know exactly what's going on without seeing it, but I would make a point of having space between him and children for the time being. Drill leave it's at a safe distance from children. Children should not be something that excites, scares, or worries him. They should be really below his attention. He should be focused on you. Drill greeting. When my dog greets someone, their butt is cemented to the ground and their mouth NEVER opens for mouthing or barking or they are removed.

It could be aggression, it could be puppy excitement, it could be that he jumped the fence because he thought it would be fun to chase the child and that child is now associated with rough play. In any case, it needs to stop now. And his interaction with other children needs to be monitored very strictly to make sure he does not decide any other children are alright to lunge at. Until he is bombproof with greeting and attention behaviors, I would not personally facilitate any interaction between him and any strange children. When it comes to kids, there is simply too much risk.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-01-2014, 11:19 PM
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Uh wow

Congrats on reaching out for help! This dog is unpredictable so your first step is to quit putting other people and dogs at risk!

A nobody got hurt..this time is "not" a good way to go!

I'd start here post 8:
New Dog, Very Challenging

Who Pets my Puppy or Dog is where I would start, I would add this:

He most definitely should be a "should not pet dog" until you can get work done with him!

And this:
Leerburg | Dealing with the Dominant Dog

Basic obedience is of course very important but you have problems way beyond that!

There is also this Dog DVD Rentals | Dog Training Dvd | Dog Dvds | Rent Dog Videos

It's a subscription service and you can rent the Don Sullivan DVD's there. Don't know what he does but I look his "attitude."
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-02-2014, 12:08 AM
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Originally Posted by twyla View Post
this isn't excusing your dog's behavior.... But i do wonder if the boy has done something to your dog.


You see, I'm not like a alpha,

I'm the ALPHA
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-02-2014, 07:28 AM
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Back fence is chainlink? Put a privacy fence up - personally I would go with 8 ft since he has shown he willing to jump the fence to attack a kid. Decorative borders and efences are great but a dog can push through those. Why risk it?

Everything Pax said - he/she spelled it out perfect.

While continuing the ob training, I would consider some private classes to work on these specific issues. Get trained eyes on him and determine what this behavior is.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-02-2014, 09:14 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the feedback. The only comment I disagree with is euthanasia. I am not going to give up on this dog.

The reason why I allowed the 5 year old to walk him is because I brought him to every LaCrosse practice and she got to know our dog and he would actually look for her every practice and give her his ball. He was always on a pinch and two leashes. She would hold the short leash and I would have the backup long leash. The only time he ever showed aggression at the field is when a girl ran up to him with a mouthguard that looked like teeth. This scared the heck out of him.

The aggression showed up a months ago with the neighbors. Until this point we took him everywhere, beaches, stores, parks, anywhere we could bring him to socialize him.

This is why I am concerned and confused and was not sure why this was so sporadic and whether withholding interaction with ALL children that are strangers was the right thing to do. He is great with dogs with the exception of our neighbors lab mix (different neighbor) which was very aggressive with him from day one and two male puppies in class. I stopped all interaction with the neighbors dog a few months back. The puppies were walking behind him and got their noses right up into his rear and he did not like that at all.

These are the actions I am currently taking -
-No matter where we take him he is always on a pinch and leash, never off leash.
-I always make him sit if someone wants to pet him.
-I have been distracting him or bringing him into the house if I see the kids are out. There have been times when I catch my dog just laying on the deck and could care less they are out there. As long as he is not watching them I will monitor him and bring him in if he starts to bark or show interest.
-I am also having him repeat the beginner obedience even though he just passed. I want to make sure he is solid going into the intermediate class.

Do I avoid bringing him in public? Or do I avoid just children he is not familiar with. I am not sure if this is the right thing to do? I would think that I would want him out in public to continue socializing or do I have to eliminate this risk until his greeting training is solid? Would bringing a toy with help to distract him ?

I'll be reading all the links above, thanks for pointing me to additional resources.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-02-2014, 09:42 AM
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Is it just this one kid your dog has a problem with or am I just missing something?

If it is just this one kid; refer back to my first comment. With the privacy fence, I would take it a step further and add a camera over the backyard. Either that or your dog isn't outside unless you are with him.

As far as socializing - read through this thread >>> rethinking "popular" early socialization . There are excellent points made on types of socializing, many specific for this breed. I wouldn't stop bring him out in public, but the focus would be on the interaction between you and your dog. Kids, animals, people - just background noise.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-02-2014, 09:45 AM
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This isnt a forum question. This isnt an obedience class thing either. Go find a real trainer who is experienced with the breed and that kind of behavior and get it under control before something unfortunate happens.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-02-2014, 09:50 AM Thread Starter
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Just read - Who Pets my Puppy or Dog

That was very interesting, wish I had seen this months ago. This answers some of my questions. Also, I agree with the Dog Park article. Dog Parks are off limits for us.

Back to reading...
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