Challenging / Charging others - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 44 (permalink) Old 08-13-2019, 07:26 PM Thread Starter
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Challenging / Charging others

Hi Guys,

Is my dog a bully?

It's been a while since I've brought my dog to the dog park, but this time he challenged/ charged each dog he met. Upon seeing another dog, he waited until approx 5ft distance, and then charged head first, hackles raised, at the dogs face. if the dog showed nervousness or fled, he chased them. If the other dog stood it's ground, my GSD would move on and ignore the other dog. In our 20 minute visit, he chased one doberman who cried and looked scared. He was about to pin her, but recalled at my command. The next time we saw this dog, the same thing happend The other dogs (including a very old, small female) didn't react to his "challenge", so he stayed beside me and ignored the other dog afterwards.

The only thing I can relate it to is "bro culture" that you see in movies, where a guy jumps forward saying "come at me" and sees how the other reacted.

Am I over thinking this, or is he showing signs of aggression/ being a bully?

As some back story: Sitka is a 2.5 year old, male, neutered, 75lb GSD. He has always been very nervous of other dogs; when I used to take him to the park he would approach dogs, but as soon as they looked at him, he'd run away with his tail between his legs. Every trainer I have worked with says he needs to boost his confidence, but I'm afraid this is a boost too far.

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Last edited by SitkatheGSD; 08-13-2019 at 08:01 PM. Reason: clarity - precision
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post #2 of 44 (permalink) Old 08-13-2019, 09:09 PM
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I would think no more visits to the dog park. This could turn ugly quickly, and either your dog, the other or both can be seriously hurt. Best of luck.
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post #3 of 44 (permalink) Old 08-13-2019, 09:20 PM
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Great looking dog! Sounds like heís a bully, nervous and reactive. Dog parks arenít a good place to take dogs that arenít chill. Hikes with another dog(s) started out on leash usually keep them out of trouble as long as you keep moving.
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post #4 of 44 (permalink) Old 08-13-2019, 09:21 PM
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If he's not comfortable meeting other dogs but he's often put in circumstances where he has to,he may feel he needs to drive them away.It may be best to find a different place to exercise him where he could enjoy his outing and not feel anxious.
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post #5 of 44 (permalink) Old 08-13-2019, 09:22 PM
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A confident dog walks quietly among the chaos. They have no need to roar and posture, they know they are in control.
The dogs that charge and bark are the fearful, insecure ones. They bluff and posture because that's all they have.

Your dog sounds very typical of a neutered male. When we take away the hormones we remove a part of their identity. They no longer fit in with the plan.
Stop with the dog parks and up the training.
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post #6 of 44 (permalink) Old 08-13-2019, 09:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabis mom View Post
A confident dog walks quietly among the chaos. They have no need to roar and posture, they know they are in control.
The dogs that charge and bark are the fearful, insecure ones. They bluff and posture because that's all they have.

Your dog sounds very typical of a neutered male. When we take away the hormones we remove a part of their identity. They no longer fit in with the plan.
Stop with the dog parks and up the training.
This ^
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post #7 of 44 (permalink) Old 08-13-2019, 09:53 PM
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If he was always nervous with dogs he may be always uncomfortable around dogs. I would not put him in a dog park it is not where he would grow confidence. His confidence may grow as he excels in a skill and matures but will not be a dog park dog where dogs are often loose and all energized up.
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Last edited by Jenny720; 08-13-2019 at 09:56 PM.
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post #8 of 44 (permalink) Old 08-14-2019, 12:07 AM
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... duplicate post

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post #9 of 44 (permalink) Old 08-14-2019, 12:19 AM
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Sitka has matured into a very handsome boy!

Go back and reread your thread about Sitka being bullied at the dog park (2017)! The majority on this forum then said to keep your dog away from these situations, and you listened. It was wrong then and it's wrong now! Unless of course your goal is to have a dog that needs to be "managed" the rest of his life!

Because you listened to them back then though, if you want your dog to be okay around other dogs, it'll take some work. He's matured and gained some confidence, but is still fearful of other dogs. Precisely because you chose not to let him work through it then, when he was younger. The absolute only way to get him over that now is to have him around other dogs, and guide him as to what is and is not appropriate behavior.

If he's bullying other dogs, buy him a muzzle! I saw this work well recently with a 3 yr old GSD male who was a bit of a bully, running up and biting other dogs in the hind quarters.

The idea is simple, expose him enough to having strange dogs around that it becomes a non-event. Might seem counter intuitive to you (and many others), but it works, I've seen it work miracles countless times!

Or go yet again with the, and majority, conventional wisdom that got you here in the first place...

If you do go back and reread your thread, pay particular attention to the behavior "predictions" of the people advising you to avoid other dogs, or allowing them to be pressured too much.

My dog has a CGC certificate, which she passed easily first try and without any classes. She's absolutely fine with any strange dog we meet anywhere, provided they are, and we go off-leash all the time at the river, the beach, and recently in dog parks all over in five states (so far, we're still on the road!)! And she's gone almost daily to a dog park since she was 6 months old, so there's that...

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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post #10 of 44 (permalink) Old 08-14-2019, 07:05 AM
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Your dog is uncomfortable at the dog park. He feels threatened and is putting on a show to protect himself.

I'm sure it's not a fun experience for you either as you have to be constantly on guard, waiting for bad things to happen.

Why go to the dog park?

Go do something that is fun and rewarding for both of you.
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