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Old 11-24-2012, 04:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 12 Week old GSD agression.

Hello, i am a new owner of a 12 week old GSD. I have had the dog for 5 days now and i have not seen any aggression except for the nipping when playing around with hes toys. Today i took him to Petco to socialize and help him explore a little and everything went great. He had the chance to see other dogs and people. Everything was going great.
I figured why not take him to the dog park to meet my friend with a 8 month old GSD. It was around 2:30pm that we met up. This was the day im ever taking my dog out of the house premises, and the first time i took him to Petco and also the first time he is meeting my friends 8 month old GSD. To make a long story short, i take Crixus my dog out of the car to meet Pash my friends dog. As soon as they started smelling each other my dog jumped on the other GSD and almost bit his nose. He then started barking non stop to the point of where i had no control of him. Pash my friends dog was always calm, submissive and relaxed. My dog was the opposite.
So we then proceeded to the park, i was following them with Crixus on the leash next to me. The whole time he was barking and very hyper. When other dogs came close by he would bark and try to attack them. At one point i tried to get his attention by touching him while very aggressively barking at the other dog and he almost bit me.

This was very embarrassing. At no point i had any control over him. At no point he stopped barking. At no point did he calm down. It got to the point where he would try to bite other people who would try to pet him.

What should i do, i am very disappointed. My friend said that hes GSD was very quiet at 12 weeks.

Thanks for your time.
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Old 11-24-2012, 04:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Miri, you're going to get a lot of replies to your post, some of them probably rude, fussing at you for how you handled that situation. However, you do need some advice and help, so please read it all carefully, don't get your feelings hurt, and do some research on this site for help on how to train your "reactive dog" not to be reactive.

Basically, you overloaded your dog with too much stimulus too early in your relationship. Your dog needs you to be a leader he is close to and he trusts, so he can rely upon you to be his protector and he can trust you to take him only into safe situations. If he doesn't have this relationship to you he has to then decide on his own how to react to strange and threatening situations. In this case he felt threatened by Pash and the other dogs in the park and reacted in the way dogs naturally react--he became aggressive and unfriendly.

You need to read about the "two-week shutdown" and learn the principle behind it. Basically, you need to devote several weeks to establishing a trusting bond with your dog, just you and him.THEN and only then should you begin introducing him to small, secure, fun outings--short walks, meeting only one stranger or one friendly dog at a time, etc. As he gets used to these stimuli, and becomes more trusting of you, he will relax and begin to act more calmly around them.

Your concern is admirable, but your post seems to say that you are very confused about how to raise and train a dog. That is OK--we all start off that way--but you MUST educate yourself with lots of study on how your dog thinks and reacts and train yourself to be an appropriate owner.

READ, READ, READ!

Good luck!
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Old 11-24-2012, 04:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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A twelve week old pup should not need a 2-week shut down, maybe one week, but socialization episodes should be kept short and positive and whether training or socializing, less is better, quit when the dog is still looking for more.

I agree that the dog was over-loaded and that he did not know you well enough for that level of trust. Try not to worry too much about it, and next time just go to the store or just go to the park. Take it easy.

Also, whenever you feel like you have no control over your dog, back away from whatever you are doing -- not literally. But if you felt you had no control in the parking lot, you should not have gone for a walk with the two dogs. Your pup needs to know you are in control. So, what I would have done was to at that point crated the pup in the vehicle and told my friend that I probably did too much with him already.

Don't feel too bad. l know that when I had a good time at one pet store, I went to another with the pup, and trying to get the most for my gas, I then went to a third. Then I talked to this woman for about 25 minutes while her child danced around and kept dancing toward the dog. Finally the poor pup had had enough and barked at the girl, it woke me up to what I was doing wrong.
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Old 11-24-2012, 04:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Looking forward to the responses. 12 weeks seems. VERY young for aggression, even if it is from fear. Did you get your dog from a breeder? Have you talked to the breeder about this?

Eta- by looking forward to the responses, I mean to learn more myself from the more knowledgable members here.
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Old 11-24-2012, 05:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billsharp View Post
Miri, you're going to get a lot of replies to your post, some of them probably rude, fussing at you for how you handled that situation. However, you do need some advice and help, so please read it all carefully, don't get your feelings hurt, and do some research on this site for help on how to train your "reactive dog" not to be reactive.

Basically, you overloaded your dog with too much stimulus too early in your relationship. Your dog needs you to be a leader he is close to and he trusts, so he can rely upon you to be his protector and he can trust you to take him only into safe situations. If he doesn't have this relationship to you he has to then decide on his own how to react to strange and threatening situations. In this case he felt threatened by Pash and the other dogs in the park and reacted in the way dogs naturally react--he became aggressive and unfriendly.

You need to read about the "two-week shutdown" and learn the principle behind it. Basically, you need to devote several weeks to establishing a trusting bond with your dog, just you and him.THEN and only then should you begin introducing him to small, secure, fun outings--short walks, meeting only one stranger or one friendly dog at a time, etc. As he gets used to these stimuli, and becomes more trusting of you, he will relax and begin to act more calmly around them.

Your concern is admirable, but your post seems to say that you are very confused about how to raise and train a dog. That is OK--we all start off that way--but you MUST educate yourself with lots of study on how your dog thinks and reacts and train yourself to be an appropriate owner.

READ, READ, READ!

Good luck!
Thank you for taking the time to educate me on the matter. I have not done the proper homework. I was to caught up on how to do basic training like sit stay potty training etc..

Do you think i have made a permanent scar on the pup from what happened today.

My friend took him out at the same age and he said there was no aggression whatsoever and he only had pash for 3 days at that time.

Thanks.
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Old 11-24-2012, 05:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capone22 View Post
Looking forward to the responses. 12 weeks seems. VERY young for aggression, even if it is from fear. Did you get your dog from a breeder? Have you talked to the breeder about this?

Eta- by looking forward to the responses, I mean to learn more myself from the more knowledgable members here.
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I have not called the breeder yet. I came straing here to ask the question.
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Old 11-24-2012, 05:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Every dog is different. Your dog might be reading body language of the other dog. Just because the dog seems calm, it may have been giving him the stink eye. It could also be that your pup has been secluded in a kennel situation and is not socialized at all to outside dogs. It sounds like he was ok in the pet store though -- I cannot remember if he met other dogs there.

Permanent scars are something I really don't believe in. I think that when the dog has a bad experience, we also have a bad experience. I think that tomorrow, the dog will remember and associate things about the situation, but they also take vibes from us. I think we have a harder time getting over things than our dogs do sometimes, and, well, we often transmit that to the dog by tensing up, or getting nervous, expecting the pup to act up.

Also, if the other dog or person backs up or goes away, when our dog acts like an idiot, than they have just learned that acting like an idiot makes what they want happen. I think that the best thing to do, is to step out confidently, and if the pup starts to react, say EH! and with a little tug on the collar keep moving forward and away from the item that he reacted to. Next time try to stay a little farther away. Even if the dog is moving in my direction, I would not turn around and walk the other way, or make my dog sit and stay. I would angle myself forward and away from the other dog, but keep going.

When on a bike path -- bikes are something dogs often react to. I listen for the bikes, or skateboards, and before the dog reacts, I steer him off the path and put him in a sit, allowing the dog to see the approach, but he is on task. I have told him to sit and stay, and I have only him there, and if necessary and he breaks his sit-stay, I can help him get into position again, and keep him there.

I don't like the idea that you feel you have no control over a 12 week old puppy. I suggest getting yourself in training classes with the dog post-haste. If you cannot control a baby, a ten or twelve month old adolescent with no manners will be a danger to society.
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Old 11-24-2012, 05:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Someone once told me, at 12weeks dont take out your dog to the dog park, they can attract diseases from other dogs.. at least thats what he said :P

I feel really bad about crixus but when we first got shadow, we went straight to basic commands. Did you try that? I am not much of an expert, but ill try helping .. build a relationship with your pup, make yourself his leader.

You say he is really hyper? Maybe thats why seeing pash he kinda jumped and barked... a LOT!

Goodluck with crixus
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Old 11-24-2012, 05:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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When our dog acts like an idiot, than they have just learned that acting like an idiot makes what they want happen. I think that the best thing to do, is to step out confidently, and if the pup starts to react, say EH! and with a little tug on the collar keep moving forward and away..."



Couldn't be said any better
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Old 11-24-2012, 05:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Let me just say that i appreciate all of the comments. At this point i'm scared that my pup will grow up to be very fearful and aggressive towards other dogs, adults and worse kids. I will have to take things slower from now on. I think this might have been to much at one time for Crixus.
As far as basic obedience, i'm teaching him to sit, stay, leave it, not to pull on the leash and housebreaking.


I have been by Crixus side since the day i got him.

Last edited by miri23; 11-24-2012 at 05:36 PM.
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