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Old 12-13-2012, 12:31 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Aggressive towards other dogs.

My 1yr 1mth old GSD has developed some serious aggression towards other dogs. She has not been around many other dogs, but when I walk her and she encounters them it always quickly turns into aggression on her part. This has happened three times now. First time involved a little chihuahua, then a pretty white malamute (like), then a boxer. Make it four...she went after a little mini Australian Shepherd too. She sniffs for about three seconds then straight to aggression. In every case the other dog displayed submissive behavior before she got aggressive. Her aggression is displayed by trying to jump on their head and barking quite viciously after being pulled back...similar to her response to the doorbell. Of course, the hair on her back is straight up too.

Once when she was a puppy at about 3 months old she was sleeping in the floor while I was watching TV when I made a slight noise. This was enough to wake her and she went straight for my face. I was completely shocked and smacked her instinctively before she got to my face with her razor blades.

She was pulling so hard during walks with a choke chain that I had to get a pinch collar for her. Now she still tries to walk ahead, but is manageable.

She is doing good with my daughter's friends (children) in the neighborhood, but I monitored her very closely until I became more comfortable with her around them. Now she plays frisbee with them and I trust her after they have been over for a few minutes.

She is terribly excitable, which I largely attribute to her still being a puppy- right or wrong. She loves every morning, because she expects a walk. She loves it when one of us comes home and jumps all over us. She loves playing frisbee.

When I went to pick her out I was quite concerned at the mother because she was making circles in her pin that I describe as terribly anxious. I tried to get her mother to stop doing circles, but she just kept going and going. I almost passed on her litter for this reason, but how cute these puppies are.

One last thing about her. She does really well learning with treats, but if something else is going on she will completely lose attention on the training and is unable to listen or control herself. For example, she knows sit, but if we are out for a walk I must always give her a firm push to her back side to accomplish this.

We love our family member very much, so I hope some of the experts on here can give me some suggestions that I can work into out routine.



Last edited by winger; 12-13-2012 at 12:34 AM.
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:34 AM   #2 (permalink)
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My 1yr 1mth old GSD has developed some serious aggression towards other dogs. She has not been around many other dogs, but when I walk her and she encounters them it always quickly turns into aggression on her part.
Sounds like a reactive and dog aggressive female. What kind of socialization did she get as a youngster? Regardless of her socialization, it sounds like she is reactive by nature. You will need to control and manage her. No dog parks, no off leash play with other dogs, and maintain utmost control when around other dogs. Keep her away for now until you get control over her. Think about what you are doing and how it feels for her - she sees a trigger (dog), you increase leash pressure, restrain her, build her drive and anticipation, she goes even more nuts, and the drive to act out increases. Quick pop on the leash, good correction, and turn her away. Do not prolong or exacerbate the situation. Some dogs are not cut out to be social with other dogs - don't know if that is her case, but for now, manage her until you can up the training and get a formal evaluation. We cannot see the dog so we cannot offer you the same aid a trainer in person can.

What type of training are you doing? Do you have a trainer? Have you attended classes? How many times a week are you training? What does your training consist of? What method do you use? How has this been working?

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She is terribly excitable, which I largely attribute to her still being a puppy- right or wrong. She loves every morning, because she expects a walk. She loves it when one of us comes home and jumps all over us. She loves playing frisbee.
What is her exercise regimen? Whatever she does, double it. Walks are not enough for most dogs. Try hiking, swimming, dog sports for mental outlets, two ball, biking with her alongside. A tired dog is more compliant. Add more obedience and mental tasks to her day - sometimes it is not an issue of physical exercise, but the brain needs to be worn out.

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When I went to pick her out I was quite concerned at the mother because she was making circles in her pin that I describe as terribly anxious. I tried to get her mother to stop doing circles, but she just kept going and going. I almost passed on her litter for this reason, but how cute these puppies are.
Sorry to say this after the fact, but I would have left the second I saw the mother behaving like that. Spinning, chasing tails, repetitive compulsive behaviors are VERY indicative of the mental health and well-being of the dog. She was stressed, anxious, bored (?), compulsive, reactive, and threatened by you being there. Spinning to reduce anxiety - a primitive coping mechanism. Especially when this is the mother and a breeding female - very worrisome to say the least... What is she teaching the pups and what is she genetically passing onto her pups when she behaves like that - not at all reassuring. This offers further support that this dog lacks certain traits that would otherwise allow her to integrate as a well-adjusted and stable member of your family - you will need GREATER work and management for this dog. What else do you know about this breeding pair? What was the male like? What health and temperament tests were performed on the breeding dogs? What support and advice has this breeder given you? Do you have contact with any littermates - what are they like?

Quote:
One last thing about her. She does really well learning with treats, but if something else is going on she will completely lose attention on the training and is unable to listen or control herself. For example, she knows sit, but if we are out for a walk I must always give her a firm push to her back side to accomplish this.
You must be 100% reliable on commands and behavior BEFORE you add external stresses and triggers. Meaning she must be reliable BEFORE you take her out into the world and proof her with distractions. This dog is not ready to follow your directions when faced with something more exciting - she does not have focus or engagement with you. This is a training issue, genetics issues, and some of it is because she is a pup. It is up to you to boost the training and increase practice. Multiple short 5 min sessions throughout the day. Once she is reliable in your home, add distractions, slowly build you - a good trainer used to large working breeds will help.
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:13 AM   #3 (permalink)
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she sees a trigger (dog), you increase leash pressure, restrain her, build her drive and anticipation, she goes even more nuts, and the drive to act out increases.
This pretty much sums it up. When we had our first encounter with the Chihuahua She-my GSD-was literally clawing at the sidewalk trying to get to the little dog. I am certain one chomp and a really bad day so I didn't want to let her "say hello" to it.

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What type of training are you doing? Do you have a trainer? Have you attended classes? How many times a week are you training? What does your training consist of? What method do you use? How has this been working?
At this point she has learned about every trick I can really think to teach her for mental stimulation. Right now I am working hard on teaching her control when we are out the front door. So she must sit on the front step until I allow her to come down the stairs with me; where I am standing. I want her disciplined and to do nothing unless I tell her. I stop several times during a walk and expect her to sit. This practice has been performed at least 200x without any productive response. No trainer. I used to take her everywhere with me in the car, but she needs more than that now. No classes, she would have to have one-on-one that is just not affordable.



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What is her exercise regimen? Whatever she does, double it. Walks are not enough for most dogs. Try hiking, swimming, dog sports for mental outlets, two ball, biking with her alongside. A tired dog is more compliant. Add more obedience and mental tasks to her day - sometimes it is not an issue of physical exercise, but the brain needs to be worn out.
Exercise now is 1 and sometimes 2 walk per day. Last summer I would hook her leash to the bike and she would pull me like a wild stallion then go swimming. When we would run into other trail riders she would go ballistic. That seemed to make things worse for her. I literally had to hold her down while the other riders passed us. Then we could continue. Recalling this reminds me of how infuriating her behavior was to me.


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Sorry to say this after the fact, but I would have left the second I saw the mother behaving like that. What else do you know about this breeding pair? What was the male like? What health and temperament tests were performed on the breeding dogs? What support and advice has this breeder given you? Do you have contact with any littermates - what are they like?
My instinct was to walk, but I wanted the German imported pups. Father was Schuzund [SIC] 1 with a kk1a (? recommended breeding). Mother had no credentials. Both were German imports and this was their second litter. Dad was very well mannered when the gate was open. I asked the breeder if he trusted the dog around the child and he said yes, then took Dad out threw a ball and the dog got it brought it back then walked back in his pen. No idea about tests, but I think hips were A rated. We have not spoken with the breeder since I we got her. They did appear reputable....they would absolutely not release the puppy until 8 weeks which I admired.


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You must be 100% reliable on commands and behavior BEFORE you add external stresses and triggers.
I hope we can get this as fast as she got all of her cute tricks, for some reason I just don't think this is the case. No treat=no trick.
Thanks so much for giving me alot to think about.

Last edited by winger; 12-13-2012 at 02:16 AM.
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:56 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Is it too late to start crating her? That and maybe demanding her attention and eye contact when we train? Maybe this would help me gain control of her. She accepts me as her leader and does trust me very well from what I sense, so we have that to progress with.

Last edited by winger; 12-13-2012 at 02:58 AM.
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:03 AM   #5 (permalink)
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It is never too late for a dog to learn about crating - but it will be a lot tougher at her age. Search the forums for crate training threads. Make sure that you have a good crate to begin with.


BTW, it sounds to me that a lot of her issues are training related - Genetics certainly play a large role but you can do a lot with the corret training approach.

But no one can give you any really specific detailed things to do w/o seeing your dog in person. Hence the recom. to get in touch with a competent pro trainer with experience in DA.
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Old 12-13-2012, 04:30 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I might be old but have you ever seen that movie "who's the boss" ? I did not read everything but from I gather it sounded like dominance at first, and that can get really ugly.
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:07 AM   #7 (permalink)
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find a trainer/behaviourist.
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