4 month puppy - Aggression or Protectiveness??? - German Shepherd Dog Forums

Increase font size: 0, 10, 25, 50%

GermanShepherds.com is the premier German Shepherd Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 07-14-2014, 01:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
New Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 7
Default 4 month puppy - Aggression or Protectiveness???

Back Story:

My husband and I have a German Shepherd puppy who is 4 months old. We've had him since he was 8 weeks old. His name is Riley. About 3 weeks into us having Riley I got very sick and had to go to the hospital for a couple weeks. When I was discharged we went home and I wanted to walk him. Not 5 minutes of us into our walk Riley was run down by another dog and attacked. The dog had an underbite and thankfully was not able to do any damage, however, it created a fear in Riley. Before the attack he was very friendly and not fearful of any dog or anyone, he tried to play with anyone or anything. After the attack it seemed as though everything "safe" was flipped on it's head. (excluding my husband, myself, and our daughter)

Since then we have been working with him diligently on it. We go to the dog park now and he's fine with all animals. At first he was quite timid and any dog moving in the direction of him (even from a great distance) would have him crying and running back and he would hide. We have worked through this, taking him to places/people/other animals (cats and dogs, etc.) that are friendly to teach him it's okay and not all dogs (most at that matter) will not attack you.

Flash foward to present. Riley is doing AWESOME. We go to the dog park several times a week and there is no dog aggression. He tries to play with the largest of dogs, and the smallest. Sometimes he has a timid moment but it's rare now a days. It seems he is back to his old self, and you can see him really coming out of that shell. Now we don't live in the best part of town, but not the worst. We do currently live in an apartment until Novemberish, and I am home all day so we are out and about quite a bit.

He is AWESOME with *almost all* people. It's seriously only 3-5 people he is that he is not okay with. For most people he is friendly and tries to go up to them, even on leash, and just wants to say hi get pettings, give licks and kisses. For these other people? He see's them coming and he stands at a posture of alertivness. He watches them intently and NEVER lunges but if they get close he lets out either a "huff" or a bark. I have only seen him growl at a man before. We were walking off leash in a field near by with my daughter (she's 4). The stranger was walking on the trail up to the apartments and when Riley saw him he came in closer to us. He put himself in between us and the guy and huffed. As the guy got closer to us on the trail, Riley would get closer to us. I told him it was okay and fine (not in a babying voice, but a normal voice). When the man got closer to where he was across from us he tried baby voicing Riley to him. Riley looked like, "Yep, that's not going to work" on his face. I walked towards the guy and tried introducing Riley to him. He was timid, didn't want to go near him. Finally he did but very slowly. He let the guy pet him like 2 times then he ran back to me and did that attentive stance. He watched the guy go on his way and didn't bark until the guy was about to turn a corner. The guy turned around and looked at us and Riley ran a little forwards (a couple feet in front of us) huffed, barked, and growled a little. When the man turned around and left Riley was fine.

It is to only a select few that he does it to. It doesn't matter how many times he's met them, if he sees them he does this stance and watches them intently. He never pulls the leash to go towards them or anything but will bark sometimes. My husband comes home at 1 A.M. and will walk Riley. There were some people out there in the dark and Riley didn't see them. On their walk they came out from under a pine tree and I am told Riley flipped. Riley was barking and showing teeth from the noises in the dark. He didn't pull the leash, no lunging, but intesive growling, fur up, showing up teeth and barking. The other thing is when another dog is close to us and starts barking - but not in a playing manner, he will bark back. Or if our window is open and a dog outside starts barking (not from another apartment but something is going on with the dog) he will get up and bark. He's done it once really late at night when he heard someone outside our door.

He doesn't play bite much anymore. We have curbed that. He is pretty good about it now. We say, "Gentle" and he softens up or completely let's go. He's been doing the latter as of late and not doing it at all. No issues really there.

My question/and sort of a summary but leaves out some of it from above:

To me, I think it's part defensive either to himself or us, and/or protectiveness. However, he is our first German Shepherd Dog. I do not want to mistake these things as protectiveness instead of possibly being aggression. If it is aggression I want to get ontop of it ASAP. As I said earlier his barking at other people, it's only to a handful (3-5 people at most) around here. He doesn't bark unless he hears the dog outside our apartment (but it's not all dogs, and not dogs barking from their apartments). He also only barks if another dog starts barking in an non-playing manner. The barking at other dogs isn't really the issue. I just am mentioning it so that it's all on the table so it can all be assessed, so to speak. My concern is with these other people. I'm of the opinion that if your dog doesn't trust or like someone it's for good reason (usually). I am wondering if there is a smell, or something about them he doesn't like and he doesn't want them to come near? or if it's for some reason aggression? Can you give me tips, advice, or suggestions please?

Thank you very much everyone!
Cerece is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 07-14-2014, 01:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
Knighted Member
 
qbchottu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 3,043
Default

He's too young to be truly protective and he is not showing true defense. Sounds like an insecure young pup that was startled and barked out of fear/surprise.

Be sure to socialize a puppy like this. Meet lots of people, different situations, etc - you don't want his reactivity to continue.
qbchottu is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-14-2014, 01:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
Knighted Member
 
qbchottu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 3,043
Default

Watch the dog park as he gets older. GSDs in general are not good dog park dogs
qbchottu is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-14-2014, 01:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
New Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 7
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by qbchottu View Post
He's too young to be truly protective and he is not showing true defense. Sounds like an insecure young pup that was startled and barked out of fear/surprise.

Be sure to socialize a puppy like this. Meet lots of people, different situations, etc - you don't want his reactivity to continue.
In your opinion, with the select few people that he doesn't seem to like - why do you think that is? It's really namely one person that he reacts to (the man I spoke of on the trail), and couple other who he's just not sure of.
Cerece is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-14-2014, 01:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
Knighted Member
 
qbchottu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 3,043
Default

Have them give him treats. Just keep some treats on you, as soon as he barks at someone, ask the person if he could help you train your puppy, have the stranger get on the ground next to the puppy and feed him treats, praise the puppy when he is cordial and accepting of the stranger - continue doing this and he will learn not to be so reactive when he gets spooked

Who knows why he doesn't like them. As long as they aren't overtly hostile, violent, or something - your pup needs to know a stranger is nothing to be afraid of
qbchottu is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-14-2014, 02:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
New Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 7
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by qbchottu View Post
Have them give him treats. Just keep some treats on you, as soon as he barks at someone, ask the person if he could help you train your puppy, have the stranger get on the ground next to the puppy and feed him treats, praise the puppy when he is cordial and accepting of the stranger - continue doing this and he will learn not to be so reactive when he gets spooked

Who knows why he doesn't like them. As long as they aren't overtly hostile, violent, or something - your pup needs to know a stranger is nothing to be afraid of
I'll keep this in mind! Thank you for replying and for your suggestions.
Cerece is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-14-2014, 02:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
Knighted Member
 
qbchottu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 3,043
Default

With spooky puppies, a lot of different things can set them off. A zipper flapping in the wind, shoes making a weird noise, the perfume or cologne, a hat or sunglasses, a weird gait or hobble, wheelchairs, casts, etc etc.

So that's why it's a good idea to teach him early on that these new things are nothing to be afraid of. From your description, he seems a bit insecure and timid - getting him socialized will boost his confidence and will do him loads of good for when he gets older
qbchottu is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-17-2014, 07:56 PM   #8 (permalink)
New Member
 
Peeodee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: South Florida
Posts: 6
Default

My 15 week old female does this as well but to everyone outside. I got her 2 weeks ago from Germany. She gets her last round of shots Aug 2nd. My Vet said Parvo is bad this year down here in South Florida and to be safe and wait to take her out of my home area. But yeah, she's just scared and not confident enough. She will stop, stare at any human or dog and if they get to close she will growl and then get close to me. If they continue to approach me with a calm dog I act like I know this person and tell them she's shy and I walk towards them and stop around 10 feet from them. Within 30 seconds she lays down relaxed and doesn't seem to care about them anymore as I interact with the person. If she sees something she doesn't like I walk towards it as if it's nothing. She follows cautiously and by the time I get to the object she's already all over it sniffing and confident. This seems to work because she won't take treats if she's nervous about something. Only my forward confidence towards her fear seems to work. I can't wait to get her socialized. Good luck
Peeodee is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-17-2014, 08:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
Crowned Member
 
zyppi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Back home to Louisiana!
Posts: 5,528
Default

propably just a fear response...

But, if you don't know the folks, I wouldn't push him.

Sometimes pups read things in a person that you can't.
__________________
Anne

Nothing is as simple as it seems or as complicated as we make it~

Attitude is everything -- Pick a good one!
Sofie AKA Ussina vom Haus Brezel
Jack von Jagenstadt
Tatty - Burmese bad cat

zyppi is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the German Shepherd Dog Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:43 AM.



Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
SEO by vBSEO 3.3.2
PetGuide.com
Basset.net DobermanTalk.com GoldenRetrieverForum.com OurBeagleWorld.com
BoxerForums.com DogForums.com GoPitbull.com PoodleForum.com
BulldogBreeds.com FishForums.com HavaneseForum.com SpoiledMaltese.com
CatForum.com GermanShepherds.com Labradoodle-dogs.net YorkieForum.com
Chihuahua-People.com RetrieverBreeds.com