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Tide vom Nobles 12-15-2013 12:48 PM

Raised hair while playing
We have a 4 month old GSD male and he is now playing a lot more rough. He is not neutered male. I am concerned he is becoming more aggressive as he gets closer to sexual maturity. At the dog park this morning his hair became raised at other dogs and his bark became more deep. Any suggestions on how to control his more agressive behavior as he gets old and reaches sexual maturity. I don't want him aggressive in public or charging other dogs in public becasue he is not neutered. He is going to be about 90-97lbs and i just want him safe and presentable in a public setting.

SummerGSDLover 12-15-2013 01:45 PM

He doesn't sound aggressive, he sounds like a puppy. Maybe stay away from dog parks and just socialize with peoples dogs you know for now? I'm sure you'll get experienced advice from a long term GSD owner. I've only had my puppy for a couple months. I do wish you luck though. I just don't think at four months they can BE aggressive because they're still babies but that's just my opinion.


Nigel 12-15-2013 01:58 PM

Raised hackles does not equal aggression, They can raise from excitement to, same goes for barking. We can't see your pup so its hard to say for sure why your pup is doing this. I don't have an opinion on dogs parks as we've never used them. We socialised ours with known stable dogs from classes and family.

Tide vom Nobles 12-15-2013 02:02 PM

Ok, so him playing more rough as he is getting older isn't a bad thing. It has just happened recently and I just don't want him to reach sexual maturity and become aggressive towards dogs in a public setting. That is my ultimate fear with having a male.

Courtney 12-15-2013 02:08 PM

Some dogs at the park are well behaved & social with other dogs, while some are not. Some dogs want to remove the other dog from the planet for whatever reason.

I'm not a fan at all of dog parks & see no value in them but some people honestly do & it works for them.

He's literally a pup at 4 months. Pups are playful, goofballs.

I want to control other dog interactions especially when I have a pup, trusted dogs period. I position myself as the leader & one of my responsibilities is to protect my pup & watch the situations I put him in.

I don't believe your pup was being aggressive. He could however been on the defense because of another dog or just overly excited causing his hackles to rise.

Nigel 12-15-2013 02:10 PM

Male or female, makes no difference, most of it comes down to genetics and how you raise/train your pup. Are you taking classes with your pup?

Sunflowers 12-15-2013 02:10 PM

Sexual maturity does not equal aggression.
If you want him safe and presentable in public you have to train him, and letting him run loose at a dog park does not equal training.
In fact, things can happen there that would have the opposite effect of what you're trying to do.
Raised hackles and barking could very well mean that he's becoming fearful.

I would suggest you find a trainer who is familiar with the breed.

Courtney 12-15-2013 02:16 PM


Originally Posted by Nigel (Post 4674938)
Male or female, makes no difference, most of it comes down to genetics and how you raise/train your pup. Are you taking classes with your pup?


My male (3 years old) was in classes starting at 12 weeks. This built a strong foundation for me. We trained to ignore other dogs & it's nice when we are out & about. He does have one dog he plays with everyone now & then. Our neighbors lab who has great calming signals & social skills. But, I'm the only other being he needs to worry about...I provide plenty of fun & exercise! lol

Tide vom Nobles 12-15-2013 02:23 PM

Thank you so much! We have a female that I have trained the past year that listens very well in any setting and I am the alpha with her, but having owned my first male I know they are a bit different from females and want to do things right with him from the get go because of the mere size he is going to be. I also want him to be a balanced healthy dog as he grows.

He is now going through his fear period so I do agree with staying away from dog parks now as I see what all of you are saying about that. I do not want him scared of things and want him to grow up trained very well and have control of him in any situation. He knows come sit and stay. He does them and now is learning heel on leash so that he does not pull my arm off as he grows.

I am just very concerned of aggression with this breed, due to hearing horror stories and don't want to feed it. I am very particular with him and how people who come into the home interact with especially with playing rough with his face and teeth so he doesn't learn to bite hands.

Sunflowers 12-15-2013 02:26 PM

Some aggression is inherent in every German Shepherd. Too much aggression would be genetics, and not something under your control.
It sounds as if you want to socialize him. Take him everywhere you can, but you don't have to let anyone or anything interact with him. The goal is actually for him to ignore everyone but you.

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