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Thread: 4 month old gsd aggressive towards my husband? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
05-14-2014 05:47 PM
selzer I don't think your pup is old enough to show dominant-aggression to a human. Though, pups in a litter do start figuring pack order out. But, your pup is learning and pushing and trying to figure everyone out. He has to learn how to respond to everyone, and what works with everyone. It is at this point, if your husband makes a few minor changes, that your pup may not grow to believe he doesn't have to listen to your husband.
05-13-2014 08:13 AM
pupperdoodle Now that you mention it, my best friend has a son who is autistic, and our pup has never been as outgoing towards him as he is with other children. He wasn't by any means aggressive, but usually he gets so excited to see children! He absolutely loves kids, gets super happy and wags his tail so hard his whole body moves.
With the autistic son, he just always ignores him. I figured maybe he sensed that the son was nervous so chose not to mess with him. Maybe its the other way around and abnormalities make our pup nervous? I always figured that dogs would be kinder to people woth disabilities, but maybe our pup is too immature at this age to react appropriately.
Thanks for your insight, this is something I would never would have thought of!
ThanK's to everyone for their input! I hAve gotten a lot of good advise and tips that I intend to put to good use!
05-13-2014 07:31 AM
JakodaCD OA Something to ponder, and I'm no expert, you said your husband suffers from seizures.
Dogs are soooooo intuitive. Puppy may be picking up some vibes your husband unconciously throws out and confused by them?? thus is more aggressive with him.

I don't want your husband to feel bad, so maybe don't mention that! Just something to maybe think about.

I'd have your husband , as one posted, feed him, good things come from him, and try to be more assertive in his obedience with him..Talk to your trainer as well,,
05-12-2014 10:52 PM
pupperdoodle So this may be actual aggression/dominance rather than rough playing? I forgot to mention one of the things that worries me. When my husband does try to scold him or correct him, our pup will start barking at him, with a little bit of growl mixed in. How can he correct this? If I scold him, he will stop immediately with the barking, but if my husband does so, he will continue to bark and make a lot of eye contact.
I am not sure if the eye contact is a big deal or not. I have heard so many different theories as to whether it's good or bad. I guess perhaps it depends on the situation, but every time I scold him he tends to avoid eye contact with me. He will occasionally look up with sad puppy eyes, which makes me think he knows he is being scolded, but he will generally look away for the most part. It's the exact opposite with my husband.
The best way to describe it: when you have a dog that loves to fetch, and you show them a tennis ball, that intense concentrated look they give the ball. That's the kind of eye contact he makes with my husband.
You have made great suggestions that I am going to be following through on, and I appreciate it.

I have to ask though, if this is indeed aggression, why would he direct it at my husband?
We picked him out when he was five weeks old, and visited the breeder every weekend till he was ready to come home at 8 weeks. Ever since then he's never experienced anything that would trigger aggression, nor has he ever displayed aggression towards anyone or anything else. He is beyond friendly with strange people and dogs. I am not sure if he will ever fit the breed standard that claims they must be aloof; I have never had a shepherd that loves meeting new people more than this guy does! It is just so strange that he can be so friendly with strangers, then turn around and show aggression towards my husband.
Another thing. We do allow him to sit on the furniture. But when he is taking up a spot, my children or I will order him to move, which he does with no issue. My husband tries it, and our pup will literally just stare at him.
So is he challenging my husband, and is this normal at this age? If not normal, is there something my husband or I could have done to make him behave this way?
As I said, since I have been out in the world on my own, I have only ever adopted adult shepherds from shelters, and while some did have aggression issues, they tended to be aggressive out of fear more than anything. This pup does not have any fear of anything. Loud noises, strange animals, baths, vets office, nothing. So I guess I am just wondering what coUlster be causing the aggression, if aggression is what it is.
He's only 37 lbs at the moment, I wwould love to get this figured out before he hits 80+ lbs. Thanks again for the help everyone!
05-12-2014 09:26 PM
selzer I suppose someone probably has put out a book on NILIF. But I don't know for sure. Basically, you can just google it and get a lot of great information about the theory. Maybe someone can give you a good link that they found very useful.

I have a Ford Explorer. My dogs ride in crates in the back. I know if there is a crash, my dogs will be in their crates where they are safest, and it will be very unlikely that either of them will end up thrown as missle in the car or thrown out of the car. A seat belt is the next best thing.

Your pup is pretty young to actually be aggressive, but if he feels he should be up front with you, and your husband is taking his normal spot, I don't know. Also when you rough house with your husband, the pup is only biting at him. It sounds like he has chosen you as his person.

I think I would back off and have the husband do the feeding, a good part of the training, and I might even get that seat belt and have the dog stay in the back seat with your kids. I doubt he is confused at this point about where he belongs in the pack, but if we are noticing stuff at this point that possibly could be a problem down the line, maybe it is best to nip it in the bud at this point, when we can probably do it by just steering him in the right direction.

Check out NILIF.
05-12-2014 08:48 PM
pupperdoodle
Quote:
Originally Posted by devinh View Post
I wouldn't worry too much. I'm going through this with my puppy and my wife. She seems to nip her more than anyone else. But I know she loves her but I think she also knows she can get away with more. I correct her immediately by "no bite" and she backs off where my wife will just nudge her back an walk away.
Pretty much sounds like what my husband does lol.
05-12-2014 08:46 PM
pupperdoodle Well I have a Cadillac sts, and there is definitely no room for a crate in there. My husband has seizures so cannot drive. I am the only operator of the vehicle, and our pup has always left me alone when I have driven with him, so I never saw the need to restrain him.
If it's just me in the car, he sits in the passenger seat up front. If it's my whole family (4 people) he sits in the back in between my children.
I am not keen on the idea of crating him in the car. He has a crate at home that he has access to at all times, whenever he wants privacy, but he almost always chooses to be with the family. I feel like I would be sequestering him from the rest of the family if he were crated in the car.
I do however like the idea of a seatbelt though, mainly for his sake rather than me finding him disruptive while I drive. I honestly have never used one on a dog before, I guess the thought never occurred to me.
Do you happen to know if they sell that book in stores, let can you only order online? Thanks for your input!
05-12-2014 08:36 PM
devinh I wouldn't worry too much. I'm going through this with my puppy and my wife. She seems to nip her more than anyone else. But I know she loves her but I think she also knows she can get away with more. I correct her immediately by "no bite" and she backs off where my wife will just nudge her back an walk away.
05-12-2014 08:29 PM
selzer What does your husband do when the dog bites him? If it is a game to the puppy, your husband needs to stop the game when it gets too rough. If he must, scoop the pup up and put it in its safe place. It might be a good time for your husband to read up on Nothing In Life Is Free, NILIF. It sounds like, since he has not owned a dog before, getting a good foundation on how to be a good leader will help him and the puppy get along better.

As for the behavior in the car, that's crazy. Your dog should be crated or seat belted in the back seat. The dog should not be able to attack (even in play) someone who is in the front seat, driving or a passenger. It is much safer for everyone if the dog is crated in the vehicle and if that doesn't work, good harness/seat belts are available.
05-12-2014 08:22 PM
pupperdoodle Thank you very much for your input! I had wondered if it might be something along those lines, so its nice to have someone with more puppy experience verify it! My only worry was whether this was playful behavior or a genuine dislike of my husband. If it were the latter, I think my husband would be pretty hurt; he loves this little guy very much! Heres a couple pics of the pair in question!
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