|09-04-2013 01:57 PM|
|Mary Beth||What may work and this is going to require a lot of time on your part and Riley's is for Sasha to have one on one time with you or Riley or both. The time would consist of training, playing, and exercise. If you have classes in your area - you could do that. From your post, I got the impression that you gave up on the training when it became too frustrating. So that leaves Sasha, a young gsd, with no training or outlet. She is not the type of dog to be content just playing with your other dogs - she wants and needs interaction with her humans and doing work. When she doesn't get it - she becomes frustrated and acts out. She is desperate and will take any attention from you - even bad attention.|
|09-04-2013 01:06 PM|
We have seen our vet and a medical issue isn't the problem. We have also seen a couple of trainers that I am hesitant to listen to: 1 told us we should shout at her until she submits (to me that seems like a good way to get bitten by an already scared dog and make her issues worse) and the other said that we should reward her when she is good (I agree with this) and pay attention to her when she whines (isn't this just going to reinforce the bad behavior?).
I guess I was hoping that someone would be able to recommend a specific technique that had worked for them or that they had seen work. For now we will look for another trainer and keep the dogs separate unless they are fully supervised and try to figure out a way to build up Sasha's confidence.
|09-04-2013 06:30 AM|
|OriginalWacky||I'd go with step one = full vet check for all of the dogs in case of anything physical that might be causing aggression. Step two = look for a behaviorist who can work with you on this. Until then, you'll probably need to keep them totally apart from each other.|
|09-04-2013 12:47 AM|
Have you guys looked around for a trainer? If not, i would look for a well known professional trainer to come to your house and witness what is going on and go from there. If that trainer doesn't help, it probably was the trainer not your dog, so i would look for another one.
Sometimes we just need someone to step into the picture who hasn't already been in it. You guys may not be catching the body language or the things that trigger sasha's problems. And perhaps this trainer will point them out to you and also give you a plan to help sasha get through them.
Good luck to you guys and to Sasha!
|09-03-2013 10:33 PM|
|Mary Beth||From your post, I don't see how you can keep Sasha. I do hope I am wrong and you will get better advice. To quote from your post " Everything is so nice and quiet when she is away from our other dogs and I really resent her for causing so much trouble." Love is not enough, she is clearly miserable and the situation is getting worse. She would do well in a home where she is the only dog and it is in her favor that she gets along with cats.|
|09-03-2013 06:07 PM|
Fear Aggression? (long)
Iím really hoping that someone here can help us. I'll start out by giving you some background information on our family. We have 3 dogs: a 7 year old Shiba Inu (Ogami), 6 year old Rottweiler (Freyja) (up until recently she has been very well behaved), and a 3 year old German Shepherd (Sasha), she is our problem dog.
We got Sasha from a breeder when she was 6 months old, her mom was a very nice dog and Sasha was a quiet but active puppy, she was already house trained but had not been worked with otherwise. At the time that we got her, my fiance (Ryan) was away at work during the week and only home on weekends. We really weren't concerned about that since I had trained our other 2 dogs before meeting Ryan and they are both well behaved. At first it seemed like Sasha had created a strong bond with Ryan and she would be a little sad when he left for work but she soon calmed down and was fine while he was gone. Whenever he came home we made sure that he didn't make too much of a fuss over her since I didn't want her to think that him coming home meant that she was allowed to by hyper and also because I had read that too much attention when leaving or returning was a good way to cause separation anxiety. I started working on clicker training her but she was always so hyper that she paid little attention to what I was trying to teach her, even after long walks. I know now that I should have tried harder but she was exhausting and I never seemed to get anywhere, she does know how to sit, lie down and go to bed (her crate) but we didn't get much further.
At this point she started whining a lot. I grew up with a GSD and remembered that for the first 2 years she was crazy, she chewed everything, dug up the garden and was a general pain in the butt. I remembered my dog whining a lot also and assumed that it was a normal German Shepherd thing so I didn't think too much of it. We were careful not to give her attention when she whined as I didn't want to reinforce the behavior. She is now 3 years old and things are getting worse.
At home it is clear that Ogami is the boss (of the 3 of them) and Freyja is next in line with Sasha at the bottom. Sasha is usually submissive to both of them and doesnít show any aggression. They are all crated at night with no issues and are left at home outside during the day with no issues. Sasha does not have the usual symptoms of separation anxiety and doesnít have an issue when we leave the house or while we are gone (that we can tell, no destruction or anything). When we return home she whines and barks at us (she is in the fenced back yard and can see us but canít get to us) and we always ignore the dogs when we first get home so she settles down quite quickly When we are all in the house she is comfortable lying down quietly with the other dogs and she doesnít try to get our attention or jump on us. It seems like she is unsure of herself because she will lick the faces of the other dogs and whine and whimper. The other dogs clearly don't like this and they will growl at her but she doesn't seem to understand that they are telling her to stop. Freyja will usually get up and walk away but Ogami continues to growl at her and has snapped at her a couple of times and she doesn't seem to get it. We have to take her away from him otherwise she just keeps doing it. She does well when riding in the car and doesnít have a problem with strangers, she does bark when people come into our yard but we see that as appropriate behavior. She is ok with our indoor cats but we have outside cats too (we live on an acreage) and if she can see them she will bark until they go away, she will literally do that for hours if we don't move the cats.
We often spend weekends at Ryan's parents' cabin at the lake and this is where she has the most problems. Since there is no fenced yard, we use tie-outs for all 3 dogs. Sasha gets very anxious when Ryan is not by her side, when he walks away from her she whines and howls and cannot be calmed down, she gets herself so worked up that even he can't calm her down when he returns. We have tried ignoring her, giving her attention and crating her and nothing helps. This past weekend she cried in her crate for 6 hours before finally settling down, we made sure that she was calm before she was allowed out of her crate. She will even sit right next to Ryan and still whine if he isn't petting her.
She then graduated to barking at the other dogs when they were close to Ryan which then escalated to barking at them when they were near any people (even strangers) and she has now started attacking the other dogs when they are near other people. She has now attacked Freyja so often that Freyja has also begun to start fights with her too (I sense that this is Freyja being proactive because she assumes that an attack is coming). We have had to muzzle her and shorten her tie-out so that she canít reach Freyja at all but she still lunges and growls at her if people are close by. On Saturday I was sitting on the living room floor brushing Freyja when someone let Sasha into the cabin, she ran up the stairs directly to Freyja and started to attack her. Each time they fight we pull them apart and separate them, Freyja can take a while to settle down but during this time she has no aggression towards people or the other dogs, only Sasha. Freyja always wins these fights and I had originally hoped that this would put Sasha in her place and that she would stop attacking but it hasnít happened yet. We have both been hurt (not badly) separating them and it is happening more frequently. They can go from fighting at the lake to sitting together happily in the back seat of the car in minutes, it just doesn't make sense to me.
We donít know how to solve this problem and we donít really understand why Sasha is behaving this way. What are we doing wrong? It is to the point where I don't want to be around her at all because she is making me so unhappy, I know that that isn't fixing anything though. Everything is so nice and quiet when she is away from our other dogs and I really resent her for causing so much trouble. Having said that, we both really love Sasha and we donít want to have to find a new home for her but unless we are able to fix her behavior we will have to put our own well being and that of our other dogs first. Please help us!