Selective aggression. - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 12:46 AM Thread Starter
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Selective aggression.

So my dog is showing sometimes strange behavior. He is an 11 months old happy dog. However many times when smaller dogs are aggressive to him he just see's it as fun and play's with them. He is a dream around kids, gives them a sniff and goes on with his business.

But there are 3 male dogs in our residency he just instantly launches at, mind you they are older males. Two of the other dogs show aggression, on is an old passive male dog in his late years. There used to be a fourth (3 year old male, he was 9 months old), he used to be ok with as a puppy but suddenly they had a fight. Punctured the other dog's neck, forced him into submission. The other dog walked off and now when they meet the dog follows him and listens to him. I might add that the owner let's his dog walk freely outside and let him do his thing. It's a common thing people do in this country. Talked with the owner to make sure he wasn't wounded badly and if i could pay the med bills. But the owner shrugged and said boys will be boys and it will heal by itself.

I'm just worried as at around 5 pm we generally come together at the park in our residency and let our dogs play freely. But sometimes these people walk also around the area and all dogs start barking at them but mine is the one who will actually go at the dog. Mind you there are around 30-40 dogs in this residency and it's only those 3 dogs he is aggressive at.

Is this normal behavior, is there anything i can do to prevent this? He is literally the most loving dog and all the kids cuddle with him and pet him. He is good with all dogs. But like i said with those 3 dogs as soon as he smells them he changes instantly.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 01:11 AM
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I don't know if normal, but it's normal for my dog. He does not get along with certain dogs and will growl. (Here all dogs are onleash, so it does not get past growling). In all cases, the other dogs are Male and Large. In all cases, I have noticed challenging body language (they stand eye to eye, both with heads up).

For my dog, I concluded that he tends to be a dominant male. When he encounters other males who do not 'submit', then he challenges them by growling. This was confirmed by the Rescue, who said "gets along with females and submissive males" and they told me that he used to push the other dogs out of the way and get on the couch.

I hate it when owners say "boys will be boys"!! In our early days, I took my dog to a dog park and another dog kept trying to hump him. My dog turned around and growled at him several times. I took his leash out of my pocket and got ready to leave, but the other owner said, "Boys will be boys. Let them work out who's boss." There was no way I was going to risk a dogfight or vet bills! I grabbed my dog and left, feeling pretty annoyed that the other owner didn't train his dog to have some manners.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 01:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GSDchoice View Post
(Here all dogs are onleash, so it does not get past growling)
that's how it's supposed to be in civilized communities,




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Originally Posted by GSDchoice View Post
I hate it when owners say "boys will be boys"!! In our early days, I took my dog to a dog park and another dog kept trying to hump him. My dog turned around and growled at him several times. I took his leash out of my pocket and got ready to leave, but the other owner said, "Boys will be boys. Let them work out who's boss." There was no way I was going to risk a dogfight or vet bills! I grabbed my dog and left, feeling pretty annoyed that the other owner didn't train his dog to have some manners
but then again, you have these types of people that truly only think about themselves. thinking only about the enjoyment of THEIR dog, but not the hundreds of other potentially negative outcomes as a result of leaving their dogs to their own devices. there are "triggers" that simply escape their training, no matter how good of a trainer you think you are, and all of a sudden the dog's lunging, barking, biting at a innocent random bystander, or another dog. see this on the internet literally everyday. but no, it's all about letting THEIR dog enjoy "freedom", and about showing off how cool your dog is to the world. because obviously you "matter".

sorry off topic.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Cees_n_Yulia View Post
Is this normal behavior, is there anything i can do to prevent this? He is literally the most loving dog and all the kids cuddle with him and pet him. He is good with all dogs. But like i said with those 3 dogs as soon as he smells them he changes instantly.
Now would be a good time to start correcting your dog. Look for the signs that he's challenged by the other dog. As soon as you see that sign, correct and make him sit or down or both.

And if the other dude is fine with his dog getting beat up, then that's on him. Not your problem anymore.

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Originally Posted by GSDchoice View Post
I hate it when owners say "boys will be boys"!! In our early days, I took my dog to a dog park and another dog kept trying to hump him. My dog turned around and growled at him several times. I took his leash out of my pocket and got ready to leave, but the other owner said, "Boys will be boys. Let them work out who's boss." There was no way I was going to risk a dogfight or vet bills! I grabbed my dog and left, feeling pretty annoyed that the other owner didn't train his dog to have some manners.
Jack also growls at other males that challenge him, and if left to his own devices, would prepare for fisticuffs if the other dog made good on that challenge (actually started something). So, on the leash or off the leash, we avoid other males that challenge. Not worth fisticuffs, especially on a leash. He's normally glad to take the high road anyway.

Regarding the dog park thing, the humping is incredibly annoying and hard for an owner to stop. It's like once they start, they're set on continuing to hump. Only thing you can do is remove them or move them further away.

But I have seen it where two dogs (usually males) will growl and scuffle for a few seconds, then the matter is settled. This happened to Jack. A smaller dog at the dog park kept nipping at him and pestering him. Jack decided he'd had enough, growled at the other dog and when it didn't comply, he pinned it to the ground. From that moment on for the rest of the visit, the smaller dog left Jack mostly alone and when they did interact, it offered appeasement behaviors instead of rudeness. Jack, in return, completely ignored the bully dog. All was well.

Could it have gone sideways? Yes. Like most social animals, dogs that have developed a good "vocabulary" rarely actually fight. It's the ones that never learned how to speak dog or are mentally unstable that cause severe problems.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 03:35 PM
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Getting your dog to sit or down when another dog is challenging him is both difficult and potentially dangerous for your dog IMHO.

I taught my dog a leave it command and a come away command for this kind of situation. I use leave it if she's thinking about persuing another dog, and come away if another dog is challenging her. Dogs, like people, just don't like everyone they come acrossed, but your dog can learn to just avoid the dogs it doesn't get along with provided the other dogs do the same. If the other dogs are just out of control, the only real option is to avoid them...
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It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog. Mark Twain

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