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Old 11-03-2012, 11:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Fearful/Aggressive GSD

I have been having fearful/aggression isues with Odin. He joined the family when he was 9wks old. I already had a 2yr old GSD Loki. Loki can be a bully. The "everything is mine" attitude, snatches it back and runs off with it. He use to "bully" Odin out of his food and take his treats. I have been told by my vet that he is fuel to Odin's behavior. Odin likes to "flex his muscle" around other people and dogs, not so much dogs. During puppy classes he actually was nervous, paws sweating, standing next to a hyper poodle mix. He was good unless they approached too close to him. The only dog he has gotten along with was a friend's female pittie. He was like a playful puppy around her. They playfully ganged up on Loki. That same friend is the only one who he allows to pet him, its taken 3yrs and it is still a love/hate. He still gets barked at when he walks in the house, even when he leaves for a moment. He doesn't let anyone get close to him unless they have food in hand. He barks and runs around barking at my friends, whom he has know since day 1. He flees at scary sounds, crouches down and sometimes pees. He walks beautifully on his leash and doesn't bother a soul. No barking. No pulling. Any advice? He is the 4th GSD I've had and never had this issue before. Loki is a "big bear rug" and loves everyone.
TWYLA, Loki is not as bad as he was. He does not eat his food or take his treats. He does wait til Odin is done with his treat and then lays in front of him and eats his. Sometimes Odin acts like he wants to go out, once they are out he will run back in and take Loki's treat. Sometimes he trots to his house with it or will run outside and hide it. When I start to let them outside Loki chases Odin and jumps on him. Then when Odin tries to go outside Loki "pushes" him back in the house or jumps on him when he walks out the door. I let Odin go first and make Loki wait. As for "flexing his muscle" he barks the minute you lay eyes on him. Then backs away. Some of my friends are afraid of him. I have tried having them give him treats when they came over. He took the treats right from the hands of my girlfriends but wanted nothing to do with the guys. So the morons that they are would throw it towards him. That ended that. I tell them to completely ignore him. He sat at my pregnant friends feet when she was over. He sat next to another friend who was going through a tough time. Anytime anyone feels the slightest unnerved by him, he will be in front of them barking. Its like he feeds of their energy more than any dog I have known. My husband says that when I am not around he is alittle more easygoing. He walked around and let 1 total male stranger pet him at a bachelor party at our house. A few friends tried to pet him then too but he only let one of my girlfriends and barked and ran from the two guys. If you move too quickly around or startle him he will jump back, bark at you and run off. When he gets nervous, he sometimes pees, like when I try to put the leash on him. Once he is on it, he is wonderful.
Sorry so long but it is nice to finally have others to discuss this with. I love Odin, I got him 2 months after I had to make that awful decision to let my Jake go. I was so heartbroken. I starting looking for puppies and when I saw his picture, I knew he was the one to join our family. He fills my heart with love and joy everyday. I would like if he could be alittle nicer to others.
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Mar, mother to:

Loki (March 8, 2006) the "finisher" of Odin's makings

Odin (February 2, 2008) the "innocent" mischief maker

Sir James "Jake" (November 9, 1996-February 22, 2008) who is running free at Rainbow Bridge
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Old 11-04-2012, 10:59 AM   #2 (permalink)
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From the description, Odin sounds fearful. I would get an evaluation set up with a trainer and get a pro's eyes on him. Be sure they have verifiable experience with GSD and behavior issues. Since husband says Odin's behavior is different when you aren't near, be sure the trainer knows that as well.

For the 2 dogs, meals and treats completely separate. While it may be play for now, from their history, this could be a fight waiting to happen.

It is amazing how these dogs can read emotions. I know with Woolf, if he senses a person is scared or nervous of him, he can be a real jerk. He'll try and see just how much more scared he can make them. My rule is if a person is scared, nervous, Woolf is put away. While Woolf has not bit anyone, I'm not prepared to take the chance with the safety of the guest or Woolf. Otherwise, for new people, Woolf is leashed and in a sit or down stay until the person is settled and ignoring him. Then while still leashed, sniffs and treats are allowed. Judging by the interaction, Woolf is unleashed or not.

Look at LAT. This is something you can begin working with Odin now. He looks at something, no reaction, looks back at you, you treat. He reacts, you are to close, move back a bit. As you progress, you can move closer. It will feel sometimes like you gain 3 steps and lose 2, but it is still progress.
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