What you think is protective behaviour may well be fearful behaviour. - Page 2 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-24-2015, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
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Mayzie, about the little dog that bit you: this dog has learned that when he acts this way, the 'threat' goes away. The problem with a fearful dog is that EVERYTHING is a threat to them. So if everything is a threat, where is the inner self-confidence?

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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-24-2015, 01:28 PM
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Mayzie, about the little dog that bit you: this dog has learned that when he acts this way, the 'threat' goes away. The problem with a fearful dog is that EVERYTHING is a threat to them. So if everything is a threat, where is the inner self-confidence?
Nasty and unstable yes - I just wasn't seeing fear (if anything he seemed fearless as he flung himself at me) but this makes sense.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-24-2015, 01:29 PM
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Mayzie, about the little dog that bit you: this dog has learned that when he acts this way, the 'threat' goes away. The problem with a fearful dog is that EVERYTHING is a threat to them. So if everything is a threat, where is the inner self-confidence?
Exactly. And the reaction escalates over time because the other dogs/people reaction gives them confidence in their own reaction. Jax has learned that is she snarls and bites, the other dogs go away. And that has escalated to being the aggressor in situations, thus the running at the other dog. She's had success with this. She chased a dog down the road one day. The other dog ran. It taught her that A behavior = B result. It's a nasty circle of behavior to break.

It also earned her a long line and restricted outside access. Just thought I'd add that before the peanut gallery jumped in.




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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-24-2015, 02:35 PM
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It is fearful because it sees non-threats as threats and reacts on that. It would be like if a person stabbed anybody that walked by their house because they thought they were a burglar, even if it was just a girlscout.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-24-2015, 02:42 PM Thread Starter
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It is fearful because it sees non-threats as threats and reacts on that. It would be like if a person stabbed anybody that walked by their house because they thought they were a burglar, even if it was just a girlscout.
Exactly!

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post #16 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-24-2015, 02:44 PM
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Great article! I'm fully aware that Lyka is fear aggressive, and like Jax, I restrict her to prevent any bites.

However, she displays protection mannerisms around men. She immediately puts herself between me and the male. Her tone changes, she growls and curls her lip back, where with females she just barks and hides behind me. So my trainer is going to bring in a male to evaluate at our next session. I think it's just an increase in fear of men due to something negative associated with them in her past, but the trainer believes it may be protective as well. Which is why I'm loving having a trainer help me, I can't honestly tell exactly what's going on, I just know it's more extreme and frightening around males.
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post #17 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-19-2018, 06:20 PM
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HióIím afraid I wasnít clear. I donít think either of these dogs is protecting me. The puppy is being a puppy (aka pest) and Liam, the Havanese, is resource guarding. And after I wrote all this, I realized of course how itís my fault because I have permitted Sparkle, the pup, annoy him. Since the. Iíve interrupted her. Ainít easy, thatís for sure. Takes up to five minutes to get her to turn away and do something else. Trouble is, if I distract her with a toy, Liam wants it and we are off to the races.
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