How can I control my GSD from excessively barking or running towards people? - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 12-20-2013, 12:45 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How can I control my GSD from excessively barking or running towards people?

I have a 8 month old female GSD
She knows her basic commands alright, come, sit, stay and we're working on her commands under distractions. However, I've never been able to get a handle on her barking.

She barks at strangers and people from afar, if they are walking towards us she barks more aggressively and tries to lunge towards them. I understand she's a working/ protective breed, but when I tell her quiet I want her to listen and settle down.

She's actually a very submissive dog, when I take her to the dog park she is the first to roll on her side and get down, but when it comes to people they could be ignoring her walking the other direction even and she goes after them barking.

I've tried things from treats, toys, waking the other way to distract, even a choke chain and still no response.

I've tried to get her excited and make her bark so I can separately teach her when it's okay to speak and when to settle down and be quiet. I can't even make her bark let alone control her to stop.

When I go to the pet stores she barks at staff despite them being gentle and feeding her snacks 2-3 times over.

She is an inside dog, my family would be gathered around the living room and when one person gets up completely minding their own business she barks at them!

Dogs bark, foot whatever reason, I get that. Given her breed and size it can be scary for someone to encounteritI am desperately seeking and helpful advise to correct this ill behavior. Thank you GSD community!
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Old 12-20-2013, 01:12 AM   #2 (permalink)
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your dog isnt being protective. she's being fearful. she is unsure and nervous about people coming towards her so she barks and lunges and is basically trying to scare them away. i'm sure this probably isnt the "advice" you want to hear but you should get a qualified trainer in your area to help you. a dog that is unsure of all people in general can be quite dangerous. i had a dog that would just be laying there and if someone walks by what he considers "his room" he will go crazy and bark and growl. this type of dog is really nervy and it will only get worst with age. i'd seek advice from a qualified trainer instead of us internet experts because cases like these arent an easy fix.
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Old 12-20-2013, 03:40 AM   #3 (permalink)
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hi i had a thread on here not so long ago about the same thing.... zola our 19 old female gsd is perfect in many ways but when it comes to meeting other people she barks shows her teeth, and also launches at people. she is better of lead coz she can keep out there way, she is also a very submissive and from the protective working line,she is great with our little toddler boys loves them. we are still trying to gain zolas trust with people sometimes if they dont look at her she is not so bad.
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Old 12-20-2013, 06:53 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
She's actually a very submissive dog, when I take her to the dog park she is the first to roll on her side and get down, but when it comes to people they could be ignoring her walking the other direction even and she goes after them barking.
From that I understand she is still a puppy (?) Or, if she is over 2 years of age, she must still playing, she is playing a hunter. Later on she would include other dogs in her list of prey. In your case here you can see two behaviours, two instincts and two drives: predatory and the urge to protect. Every GSD has a potential to grow agressive and hunt humans ( decoys mainly), or become choosy, prefering a ball only and tracking of different kinds. Tell her by using your calm low voice and your body language, that the person she wants to hunt has no value, only to ignore, and involve her with that precious ball, the best thing to prey on of all.
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Old 12-20-2013, 10:26 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Agree this isn't protection, this is fearful behavior. Locate a trainer very experienced with GSD and aggressive behavior.

While you are finding the right trainer... When out walking, avoid the head on meetings with people. Instead, walk in a curve keeping you pup's focus on you - be silly, use a toy, practice obedience. The idea is to keep her attention off the person. I would suggest also introducing a muzzle, condition her to using it. Be sure to keep a loose leash, not tight - which may be hard to do because you are already expecting her reaction. Main thing - a good trainer.
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Old 12-20-2013, 10:33 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Generally I like Twyla's recommendation but I wouldn't add the muzzle.

Other thing is the FASTEST way to work thru this, and clearest to you and the dog, would be to contact a great trainer and work with them. Dog classes in a group may not work initially, but that should be your goal. Getting into group classes and then continuing the training you need to then teach the dog.

I've found when we get into the

Quote:
I understand she's a working/ protective breed
it's a slippery slope that has us making excuses and not FIXING stuff. Because what you are seeing isn't protection from a thinking and calm place but instead 'crazy' from a reactive dog.

Have you started clicker training? Great help for clarity in training.

Also this is a great video and the dogs behavior may seem familiar


And I'd use a Gentle Leader Training harness (not a regular harness) too

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Old 12-20-2013, 12:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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GSDs do not have the basic instinct to hunt humans - please disregard some of the advice.
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Old 12-20-2013, 01:35 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaggieRoseLee View Post
Generally I like Twyla's recommendation but I wouldn't add the muzzle.
You are right, I wouldn't add the muzzle in the context it appears in that post either Good example of being in a hurry and not typing fast enough.

To add what should have been there the first time; condition her to wearing a muzzle for those times you just can't avoid closer contact with humans, such as the vet etc.
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Old 12-20-2013, 04:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I dont get it a dog should not consider another large dog as prey

Prey drive kicks in and the dog can treat another dog in prey and hurt that dog but the dog knows its not real prey. ITs just not respecting the other dog and just being a jerk. Dogs are picky who they will treat as prey, my female never gets treated as prey but I know dogs her size that do, its like they pretend the other dog is a deer or something. seems like a rough bad game.

A goat is prey, chickens are prey, sheep, to some dogs horses also.

But another dog should not be seen as prey
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Old 12-20-2013, 05:10 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pets4life View Post
I dont get it a dog should not consider another large dog as prey

Prey drive kicks in and the dog can treat another dog in prey and hurt that dog but the dog knows its not real prey. ITs just not respecting the other dog and just being a jerk. Dogs are picky who they will treat as prey, my female never gets treated as prey but I know dogs her size that do, its like they pretend the other dog is a deer or something. seems like a rough bad game.

A goat is prey, chickens are prey, sheep, to some dogs horses also.

But another dog should not be seen as prey
No, they can. When we first brought home our foster dog my boy definitely saw her as prey at certain times. They'd be running around and all of the sudden his demeanor would change and he was definitely hunting her. He would catch up and try to grab by the neck very aggressively. It was corrected within a few times and now they play very well together, but he for sure saw her as something to hunt instead of playing nicely with her.

He'll also do it to random dogs that he meets at a dog park (we don't go often due to that). I really have no idea what sets it off, I think many times it only happens if the other dog is unsure about itself.
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