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Thread: OMG. What do we do now? Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
12-04-2014 11:12 PM
FJH I just experienced something very similar with my 13 month old. It started exactly the same way with him bolting out the door to chase someone but eventually came back. At this point he didn't try to bite but just barked. It has now escalated to a point where he was in a dog park and randomly ran up to a person who was simply standing there and bit her. I wish I had taken it more seriously when he exhibited that initial behavior, but am now taking the steps to address the issue. While he has been in training and knows lots of obedience and trick commands, we have now changed our focus to managing his aggression. In addition, we have now started a NILIF approach. I have to say that in as little as 3 days there has been changes. For the first time he has actually not attempted to chase the cat when he runs past and is focusing on me when there are other people passing by the house instead of barking. I've heard a few people say that this is a "difficult" period in dealing with male GSD's since this is the time where extra effort needs to be put in to ensure that they learn the right behaviors. I would love to know, for those who experienced dogs barking aggressively at the door, how long did it take before you saw progress in improving that behavior. Thanks! @DannyG...hope things are improving.
10-07-2014 12:17 AM
RocketDog This post is over 6 weeks old.
10-07-2014 12:14 AM
sunsets I'm nowhere near an expert, but I'd guess the excitement of a young dog getting through the door and then seeing Something! To! Chase! is a far more likely explanation than some crazy underlying super-high prey drive (not saying that's NOT the case, but seems to be the worst case scenario here)

Regardless, you've gotten excellent advice. Work on that "place" command over and over and over. I do it all the time - for instance, if Heinz is begging for a piece of popcorn and I'm sitting on the couch he doesn't get a snack until he goes to his bed. Reinforce the "place is an awesome place" idea so it becomes an automatic response. We are ALMOST at the point I can order him there when the pizza man is at the door and he'll stay. Almost.

And get cracking on an automatic down/stay. I can't say ours is perfect yet, but it usually gets Heinz to pause long enough that I can grab him.
10-04-2014 05:02 PM
mego teach a solid recall, if he bolts you'll be able to call him back. Or an emergency down.

When my dog was a teenager I leashed her with a prong when people came up to the door. If she got huffy I asked her to sit, told her "it's fine", and gave her corrections for breaking the sit and corrections for barking after I told her it was okay. We've phased out the sit. If she hears "it's fine" she remains silent and watchful. If I am not around to tell her it's fine, she knows the person is uninvited and she is allowed to bark - she alerts me and stops when I tell her to.

Skateboards used to trigger my dog's prey drive. It was the one thing that could set her off but it was trained out of her, she's fine, she doesn't care now. However, really really think about proofing a solid recall and leave it. If that kid hadn't jumped over a fence you could be in big trouble
10-04-2014 11:17 AM
pets4life I think the whole alpha thing is over done, just keep exercising him and training him new things finding him new jobs, him trying to bite you i dont think is a big deal, it was redirection aggression, just make sure he cant dart out the front door like that again. Trust me a lot of gsds and almost every dog would love to chase down the mail man and whoever else they think should be caught. I would never let any german shep ever out my front door that I have had.
09-01-2014 01:53 AM
Originally Posted by Danny G View Post

Hey, I understand. No need for an apology.

Just wondering why you would alter a part of my short quoted sentence???

Thanks a million.
Oh, that's what you're talking about. I wasn't trying to quote you at all. I was just trying to talk specifics about working up a place command from a sterile training environment to the real world situation. I believe the issue was that he would do his place command under calm circumstances but would not hold it if there were people? So I was just trying to point out that that means his command has not been gradually proofed against real stimuli leading up to an unscripted door greeting. Him not holding his place command is almost nothing to do with his "protective" instinct and everything to do with the fact that he has learned to place when everything is calm, but has not learned to have the self-control to continue that behavior in the presence of stimuli. It's something has can't be taken straight from place in a sterile situation to place when relatives drop by. It has to be built up level by level of distraction to become a reliable behavior.

That's all I was trying to say.
09-01-2014 01:17 AM
Originally Posted by Danny G View Post
Yeah, since the incident, I have been exiting through a back door that the dog has no access to. Hopefully I can use my front door in the future when I get better control of the dog.
I would never use the front door without him on leash or behind some door in some room.
I don't take chances like that. I'm 100 percent sure he won't run out, besides we live in the building but i won't. why risk it?
09-01-2014 01:15 AM
Steve Strom Yeah, you know now Danny, that he will act if it gets into his little coconut so what matters is what you do from this point on. Sometimes management gives the appearance of great training. Since you have kids and they probably have friends, I'd eliminate his ability to ever chase them. I'm not one to spend a lot of time on the why's or anything, I'd just put a leash on and teach him what he's going to do. I skimmed most of the thread, so I'm probably repeating what others have said.
09-01-2014 01:10 AM
Danny G
Originally Posted by my boy diesel View Post
this is us too
in fact i dont even go out my front door if someone approaches is
i go through a gate to get to my side door and the dogs stay behind that gate
just too easy to mess up when your front yard is not fenced
Yeah, since the incident, I have been exiting through a back door that the dog has no access to. Hopefully I can use my front door in the future when I get better control of the dog.
09-01-2014 01:08 AM
Danny G
Originally Posted by Steve Strom View Post
Hey Danny, for what its worth, what you just had happen is exactly why my dogs are restricted from being able to get to the front door. They listen, they have place commands, they show no inclination to chase anything they shouldnt. But thats just one of those things I choose management over training. I think you cited a few of my reasons, Ins. etc..

Thanks Steve, I'm trying and trying. He's is as stubborn as they come :-)
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