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Old 12-28-2012, 02:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Ready to expand our GSD family,have minor aggression, need some help and information!

Hi there, My fiance and I are feeling that it may be time to expand our pack.

We have had Shadow, our 2 Year old male sable Shepherd (not neutered) for about a year and a half. He is a fantastic dog, has given us little grief. He is trained well, great with kids, other adults, and for the most part other dogs.

The little grief he has given us would be owner dominance, and food jealously.

Our old neighbors had 2 dogs, a boxer (female) and a pit (male) (both very submissive to us and our dog )

When we would look out the window they would be playing like no other, Rolling romping chasing tugging, and eventually laying exhausted next to each other. looked like great fun

When i would walk outside shadow insisted on being between myself and the other dogs, if the got too close he would give a warning snap. went from friend to foe quickly. i was never able to really pet them when shadow was around.

The food dominance occurred when i would treat shadow, i would every once in a while toss a fancy biscuit to the female. once shadow saw he would flip. deciding that it was his biscuit and would take it from them, forcefully if need be.


My question is what sex age and temperament should we be looking for. i am also suspecting that most will wonder why we have not neutered shadow, personal preference, we would rather not and eventually breed him, but we are open to neutering him. i know it will calm his temperament, so if we decide to how long should we wait after before selecting a new member of the family.


Also suggestions to correcting this horrible behavior would be great.


Thanks so much!!! All and any information really helps!
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Ready to expand our GSD family,have minor aggression, need some help and information!-shadow-2012-g.jpg   Ready to expand our GSD family,have minor aggression, need some help and information!-shadow-2012-f.jpg   Ready to expand our GSD family,have minor aggression, need some help and information!-shadow-jan-2012c.jpg  
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Old 12-28-2012, 02:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I would say that I would first try to work out Shadow's issues before trying to get another dog, or you could have some real problems on your hand. I have never worked with dog agression, but Sasha did a similar thing with people instead of dogs. The short version of what I did to fix this was, anytime she started her resource guarding behavior (ie, going off when other people would come near me.) she would get a very stern correction word (usually either "ah-ah!" or "No!", and then she would be put in her crate away from me. What she wanted was me to herself, what she got by behaving badly is not having me at all. After being in there for a bit, she got an opportunity to try again. If the same thing happened, then she got to go back, if she was good then she got praise. Now, this worked well for me, but I don't know if your dog is doing resource guarding or if he truly had dog agression. If he truly has dog agression then that's a whole 'nother issue, and I have no advice on that, but the food guarding would be similar. I would also practice NILF with him (that stands for nothing in life is free, and there are some great articles on this site that can help with explaining that more). Essentially the thought is, anything Shadow has is because you are allowing him to have it. He cannot demand anything, and has to recognize your control over his resources. It sounds a little harsh, but it's really not if you take the right attitude with it. It's not a punishment, but rather a tool to keep him and yourself safe.

Shadow is very very handsome, by the way
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Old 12-28-2012, 02:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Well you don't want to breed him since you have no information on him: Help me determine what specific type of GS Shadow is!

So yes, no one will agree with me probably, but I am guessing neutering will help as you say. If you wait about a month, he will be unlikely to be able to reproduce, in 3 months you will see more of the behavior change.

Since he does seem to have some issues in terms of thinking he can choose this behavior, you can work on that time to do some training. This specific trainer (who may have GSDs, I can't be sure) is recommended by Suzanne Clothier and is in Chicago area - not sure if you are nearby, but it might be fun to train with her, and if you aren't close enough (I have to go an hour to get to classes so that's my limit) she might be able to recommend someone.
Is the trainer.

After you get him all set behaviorally, I would also consider seeing if local GSD rescues have Meet/Greets. We do that and people can come out - it helps if they email first - and let their dog meet different dogs. Lots of times a dog will really hit it off with another - sometimes matches we don't expect, but it's pretty neat to watch. Even if you end up not going the rescue route (or you could foster!), you may be able to see his preferences.

Good luck!!! He is a good looking (BIG) boy!
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Old 12-28-2012, 02:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the information! Jean, we are rather close to St. Louis and Chicago is roughly 7 hours away. And as far as the breeding is concerned, if you were to meet him in person, you would understand that it would be hard to not want one or more of his puppies, he is an absolute stud. with a perfect bill of health. and fantastic traits ( minus the newly found dominance)

And
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Old 12-28-2012, 03:03 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
So yes, no one will agree with me probably, but I am guessing neutering will help as you say. If you wait about a month, he will be unlikely to be able to reproduce, in 3 months you will see more of the behavior change.
No do not breed this dog - you could wind up with disasters on your hands.

Go ahead, get him altered and wait a few mos. for the hormones to die down to see what you really have.

BTW he's pretty chunky in those pics, to help preserve his joints you may want to lean him up and tone him up as well
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Old 12-28-2012, 04:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by msvette2u View Post
No do not breed this dog - you could wind up with disasters on your hands.
Could you explain your reasoning?
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Old 12-28-2012, 06:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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There's enough GSD being bred. What have you done with your dog to reasoning for wanting to breed him so much.


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Originally Posted by cwinkler340 View Post
Could you explain your reasoning?
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Old 12-28-2012, 06:51 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I always say, if you want the same type of dog go back to the breeding of the one you like. If you bred your male, there is that little combination of a "female", and doesn't mean your male would produce himself.

I also would work on Shadow's resource guarding you , and other issues before I'd add another dog of any sex to the mix..It sounds like he likes being the "big cheese" and isn't into sharing.

Just curious, do you have a pedigree you can share of Shadow? He is gorgeous.
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