Fear Aggression.. Do you believe you can totally change or is it mainly management? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
View Poll Results: Fear Aggression in dogs: Management, complete rehab, both, should be PTS (Too risky)
Do you believe you can completely rehab a dog from fear aggression? 2 7.69%
Do you believe you can improve the fear aggression but still need management? 19 73.08%
Do you believe it is almost entirely just management, but some improvement might happen? 4 15.38%
Do you believe a fear aggressive dog should be PTS? 1 3.85%
Voters: 26. You may not vote on this poll

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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-04-2014, 09:42 PM Thread Starter
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Fear Aggression.. Do you believe you can totally change or is it mainly management?

I realize there are many variables and degree's of fear aggression, but in general, what would you choose?

Fear Aggression in dogs..

Made this poll because of recent comments. But I will keep it vague, i am just wondering what a lot of people's opinions on here are..

Also if there is not an option that is even close to what you believe, please comment your opinion!

Thanks guys!

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-04-2014, 09:52 PM
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Very interesting selection of choices. I went with the second from the top, would have wanted to vote for the first -but imo, I don't think it is realistic -hope I am wrong

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-04-2014, 10:03 PM
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Not voting, because so much plays into a fear aggressive dogs behavior.
I have a female that was aggressive beginning around 6 mos old. She needs management daily because she acts like a bully. If she were with a family that didn't want to deal with her temperament, she may have been dumped or PTS because certain people won't step up and take charge when necessary.
I do believe her aggression is fear based, though she really does love to be dominant to others, whether it is a dog, or human. So we keep her managed. Sometimes it is as simple as a ball in her mouth so she won't bite the other dogs. She knows that and grabs one when they head out to run and play.
Maturity helps as well as exercises to improve confidence. I do believe FA can be overcome or managed but the dog is still what it is genetically.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-04-2014, 10:04 PM
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depends on how fearful the dog is but imo no you cant fix it, you can only manage it. a dog should be your best friend that you can take everywhere and enjoy your time with. not something you need to constantly worry about. a pet should be therapeutic and not a source of stress.

you can try really hard with a dog and train constantly but sometimes its more humane to put a dog to sleep than have them sleeping with one eye open and nervous and fearful for 10+ years of their life.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-04-2014, 10:15 PM
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I would have chosen all three of the lower ones. And I do not know about the first one. But I chose the second as the answer I think in most cases to be true.

I think that weak nerves is a continuum. A dog with very weak nerves, many symptoms, with bites, maybe the best thing for such a dog is to put it out of its pain.

I think most dogs do not fall into that extreme. And for those dogs, it is dependent on how weak their nerves are, what symptoms are showing, as to whether it will be mostly management with some improvement, or definite improvement, but of course management.

I think the dog is what it is. But by managing the environment, carefully socializing to new situations and people, building the confidence level of the dog and of the dog/owner team through training, the dog can be brought much farther than if the dog was put on a chain in the back yard and neither socialized or trained, and possibly allowing some negative experiences where the dog is as well. If you take that same dog and push it beyond its threshold and give it harsh corrections for any type of aggression, you can make a dog into a ticking time bomb.

I think the amount of improvement possible under ideal conditions is dependent on the dogs genes.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-04-2014, 10:24 PM
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In my experience (which is admittedly just with one dog), it's largely just management. I've seen very minor improvement with positive reinforcement and a small diet change, but he is never going to be a dog I can safely have around other people.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-04-2014, 10:29 PM
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I rehabbed Basu to a point where he was _almost_ normal but he still needed management. It took many years and a lot of daily training and exercise but people really couldn't believe he was the same dog I adopted.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-05-2014, 08:05 AM
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I didn't vote either, it depends on the dog in my book.

I had a fear biter, he wasn't over the top, with management 24/7 , he was ok , lived a pretty normal life, but it was manage manage manage..

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-05-2014, 10:28 AM
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I agree that this is a case-by-case issue, so it's hard to vote on it. I also think there should be a 1.5, where at first when you're working with the dog then you need to manage the environment very closely, but after a few years when the dog is more mature and after having enough neutral experiences with whatever it fears, then the dog will adapt and accept it. IME, anyway.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-05-2014, 09:41 PM
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I also agree this is a case by case basis, but chose the second answer because I would like to think that's the most comon result. I say this as somebody who had to put an aggressive dog down after years and many thousands of dollars on treatment to try and 'fix' her, so in the end, all four choices are probably POSSIBLE, but not likely. The second and third are likely the most common by far though, and I'm not sure I'd ever totally trust a dog that had had fear aggression in the past with strangers and no management.

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