8 month Aggression Issues - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-09-2014, 11:14 PM Thread Starter
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8 month Aggression Issues

Hunter is 8 months now and had been showing serious aggression at home. He's fine with his food and toys, but if he has something he's not supposed to, he gets very territorial and possessive. He will hide under a table or something similar and growl when I start to reach for it. He has bitten me a few times when I did not pull away fast enough. I called in a trainer to deal with this and she suggested a bargaining technique. This works with things sometimes, but others I cannot get home to give it up. Does anyone have any suggestions for what to do in these situations?

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 12:09 AM
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I dont. As bargaining has always worked for me and up to now I can take things away. Im curious to see what others have to say for future reference
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 12:44 AM
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He's 8 months old. If you are becoming afraid of him, he is only going to get bigger and stronger.

One problem I see is that you are drawing away to avoid getting bitten. This is rewarding your dog's aggression toward you. He is successful, with that behavior.

Generally it is better to take the dog away from the thing, rather than the thing away from the dog. For example, if there is a broken plate of grapes on the kitchen floor. Don't try to pick up the plate and grapes, put a lead on the dog, and lead him away and crate him, then take care of the mess.

Well, sometimes he will have it in his mouth. You can teach him with hot dogs the command, DROP IT! Make it a game. At first, give him the treat every time he drops the object -- start with something not too exciting, a squeak toy, or a rope toy. Good Drop! praise and treat. Make it a game, make it fun. make it lucrative for the dog.

Now, make it harder. Start using different objects -- nothing better than the hot dog, not yet. But a variety of different things. And start phasing the treats so that he gets one every other time or every third time, and eventually, only when he drops it quickest. And have him drop it, and then walk to you to get his treat.

Now you have trained him to leave the object and come to you for his treat. you can snag his collar and give him a tid-bit, and then crate him so that you can deal with whatever he has dropped for you.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 03:22 AM Thread Starter
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He knows the drop it and leave it commands, but even if I have a treat he won't listen. It's like the paper towel from the trash is the most important. And it's nearly impossible to put a leash on him when he grabs something because he pulls away or bites when I reach for his collar or he will just run from me.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 03:43 AM
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It's about building trust and habit through repetition. Here's a good video on the training steps. I know you say the dog knows drop, but if he won't comply, you have some work to do.


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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 02:31 PM
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I'm sorry to hear this!
My dog tried this when he was little, less than 10 weeks old, and I always left a leash on him(made it easier to move him around with picking him up!).
He liked to steal food from my 5 year old when he wasn't looking and sneak off(or run, if he got caught! lol) and hide under my bed. Since he was leashed, we simple ignored or a even toned "AH-AH.", and he got drug out from under the bed and the item was taken away with no negotiating.
Later we taught him the "Off" command, which helped alot with unwanted behaviors.
Teach him Off if he doesn't know it(try youtube), and keep hiding places like under the bed off limits if you can, my dog is 1 now and I still like to keep him in the same room as me- unless he's in his crate.

edit: I missed that you said he knows 'drop it', if thats the phrase he knows I would set him up so you can practice it. Get a leash on, put a plate of food near him(i would first hold it above his face level, and tell him drop it/off when he tries to investigate), and reward him with a high value treat when he listens.

hope this helps, we trained 'off' this way, but this was when he was a little guy, good luck!

Last edited by gsdPerseus; 02-10-2014 at 02:38 PM.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 02:34 PM
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Selzer and davids responses are pretty much spot on. I like
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