|12-22-2013 08:24 PM|
"Feeling totally overwhelmed with Macy lately. I guess I just wasn't even thinking that our puppy could be aggressive when were deciding to get a puppy and now it just gets me feeling so down when I see her act aggressive. I can't take her on walks anymore because she is lunging/growling at people."
My response most likely might get some serious critique but I'm going to give my opinion anyway from my experiences and observations regarding GSD behavior. So, feel free to tell me I am wrong, crazy or anything else.
This much I know for fact...the 3 shepherds I have had over the years acted differently, dependent upon whether my wife or I was with the dog. All 3 acted the same when all 3 of us were together. My analysis of this different behavior when the dog was alone with either of us was, in my opinion due to who was really "in charge". When I am with my dog, I am protecting her and in charge...plain and simple....I do not allow my dog to act inappropriately " lunging/growling" and the few times she tried this behavior, she was plainly "told" this behavior is not required and/or allowed. Case in point, when I walk my dog, she is in a position which is not ahead of me...when my wife walks the dog...the dog is up front. I truly believe this simple observation strongly suggests, the dog is "in charge" and protecting my wife...and yes, my wife will tell me how the dog will bristle up and bark at humans and other dogs on her walks. Our dog is simply "protecting" my wife as the dog has no choice but to be that way BECAUSE my wife allows her a choice, whereas I simply do not. The old axiom regarding a dog's mentality " lead or be led" shines through when my wife is walking the dog..and our pooch is leading not being led.
If you choose to be a true leader with your dog and display it with every sense and action your mind and body can allow for, I think you might find a "different" dog than how he/she is acting currently. GSDs are amazingly smart and their stronger drives are predicated on instinctual behavior which doesn't need to be squashed but needs to be acknowledged and intelligently allowed to exist, in the measures YOU allow. I strongly suggest, if your GSD knows that YOU are in charge and are his/her protector, you will find a relationship quite different than what you are experiencing. I also might suggest hiring a professional trainer savvy to the GSD. If the individual is a true 'professional" you will be amazed at how quickly all the bad behavior you describe disappears when your dog is under the control of the professional.
The nicest benefit of learning and accomplishing the task of being your dog's protector and leader is the relationship which comes to be, your dog will flourish as will you. The two of you will make a team that will be second to none but it takes dedication, commitment and patience.
All your puppy is telling you right now is "show me the way" and it is incumbent upon you to do exactly that.....easier said than done but you have a young pup which most likely isn't "aggressive" yet but most certainly is testing the waters as he/she matures and you have a golden opportunity to blaze the trail for your pup and be the leader he/she wants.
|12-22-2013 07:35 PM|
Rocco has been very difficult too. He is very nervous and skittish and has become fear aggressive in adulthood. As a pup he was just very friendly but skittish and easily spooked. We took him to training and work with him some now at home (not as much as I would like or should). But, he's easier to handle now. I remember the puppy stage being so difficult and overwhelming much if the time. Don't become discouraged or "down". Keep doing what you're doing, have patience and stay focused. It will get better... And when it does, you'll find yourself sometimes missing this stage. Lol.
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|12-22-2013 07:00 PM|
The city K9 officer lives across the street from me and owns Lisl's half-brother.
He told me Ibor acted the same way when he was a pup and the trainer instructed him to make certain that the dog understood who was a threat and who was not. And who the handler was and who played the part of the dog.
He was instructed to physically and forcefully push the dog to the ground while pulling the lead back and in a loud commanding voice shouting NO! repeatedly.
He told me this was to make certain you had the dog's attention, and that in this situation the aggression is not warranted. When this technique is repeated enough the dog learns with a firm no, and a slight tug on the lead that whatever the dog sees is not a threat. He also said that you must tell the dog this each time a possible threat is encountered so the dog remains calm.
Socialization and maturity helps immensely with learning to control aggression. However, you need to know whether or not the aggression from your pup is fear aggression. At this age it is difficult if not impossible to tell. With Lisl, this is exactly what I thought it was, and several people here thought the same thing...until I told of an incident a couple of months ago involving a helper, Lisl, and I.
Lisl comes from a line of K9 bred GSD's even though she is not being used as such. She still has many of the traits and characteristics common to what a K9 dog should be. I've been told this is actually what the entire breed should be like, but the jury is out on that one.
I did not know this. I didn't not know those traits could be genetic. I thought all dogs used for K9 work had to be thoroughly and carefully taught this type of work. Many traits seem to be ingrained into them.
Lisl responded very well to this technique and as she grew up and was socialized even more she has become an outstanding young Lady. She is fearless and outgoing while maintaining an aloofness I've never had in a GSD before.
She is calm around strangers though she won't let you pet her. She will look you over up, down, and sideways before she figures you're OK unless I tell her first that you're OK. She is still very suspicious and has a low threshold. That is the most difficult aspect of her to manage. She has come a long way since she was a young pup.
She's still my sweetie though.
|12-22-2013 06:41 PM|
Paisley was the same between 4.5-7.5 months. She is now almost 9 months and life is much much easier. The private lessons we had were invaluable!
In hindsight, I would have only done the first session of puppy classes and then headed straight to privates instead of the 2 6-week puppy class sessions.
Hang in there!
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|12-22-2013 06:36 PM|
|dawnandjr||Sounds exactly how Conner was at that age. We went to puppy socials starting at 8 wks and stopped when he went to Oklahoma at almost 16 wks. He did get to the point of being aggressive with the other puppies when playing in a large group indoors. I did try out separating just him and another puppy Mackenzie. The two of them played together fine. It was just too much for him with 5 other puppies playing. Now mind you, most of these other pups were all goldens and their personalities are VERY different from GSD's. I also believe Conners breeding has a lot to do with it as well. His father is very protective of his handler. You have to remember, she is just a baby and is not sure how to react in all situations. One thing you can look up to teach is 'look at that'. Teaches them its okay to look at something but you dont have to react to it.|
|12-22-2013 06:31 PM|
|12-22-2013 06:18 PM|
Lisl was a handful when she was a very young pup, but I was expecting that compared with my other GSD's upbringing.
What did make it easier is that she is so scary smart.
And yes, Lisl was aggressive as a young pup and I wasn't certain if that was fear or not. Turns out it wasn't but I didn't find that out until she was older.
The aggressiveness is very well controlled and she is mostly a very well socialized dog, if very aloof. She, like her owner, doesn't trust many strangers.
|12-22-2013 05:50 PM|
you quoted me but i don't think you caught my point. attitude,
attitude. i think everybody can have a positive attitude towards
training. you have well trained dogs. was it hard for you?
|12-22-2013 05:49 PM|
and if the owner is 'new' to gsd's, puppies/ dogs in general than one can get a bit overwhelmed.
I agree with hanging in there
|12-22-2013 05:43 PM|
It depends on the dog.
Not all dogs are easy to train, because not all dogs have good nerves or even good memory, for that matter.
I am glad yours was easy for you to train, but to think everyone can do what you did is unrealistic.
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