Over protective and aggressive to other dogs - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Unread 09-15-2019, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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Over protective and aggressive to other dogs

I got my GSD when she was 9 months old and she is now 15 months old, She has a total bond with me and i'm with her 24/7. I am a disabled veteran so i have all the time in the world for her, my problem is i am worried that she may take it up a notch and bite. She only does this at home, when we are out in public she tolerates people but wants to attack other dogs if they approach us, She totally disregards my commands and wants to take the lead in both situations.

Tomorrow i am taking her to the same trainer i used for all our one on one training for her obedience training. The difference this time is they will be training her without me there and said they should have her trained in 2 weeks, i know the trainer and they dont use shock collars or nothing like that, she is very good trainer/handler.

To me its going to be so hard leaving her there and i keep telling myself it is for her own good to fix it now before she hurts a person or another dog, she is family to me and is all i have. I dont skimp on her care and training. My question to all of you with more experience then i have is will her trust and bond be broken in 2 weeks without me and am i doing the right thing letting a professional do this?

Thanks for any and all advice
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Unread 09-15-2019, 04:37 PM
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Tomorrow i am taking her to the same trainer i used for all our one on one training for her obedience training. The difference this time is they will be training her without me there and said they should have her trained in 2 weeks, i know the trainer and they dont use shock collars or nothing like that, she is very good trainer/handler.

To me its going to be so hard leaving her there and i keep telling myself it is for her own good to fix it now before she hurts a person or another dog, she is family to me and is all i have. I dont skimp on her care and training. My question to all of you with more experience then i have is will her trust and bond be broken in 2 weeks without me and am i doing the right thing letting a professional do this?
I would never do this to one of my dogs. God only knows what they will do to her when you're not there to see it. There are so many horror stories about what happened to dogs who are left with a trainer. You need to find a trainer who will work with her when you are present.

And, yes, she will likely find it very distressing if you do this. From her point of view, you will have dumped her as she has no way of knowing whether you will come back. She will be left alone in a kennel at night, and if she is so stressed that she bloats, they will find her dead in her kennel in the morning. This happened to a friend's dog when they boarded her against my advice.

Last edited by JonRob; 09-15-2019 at 04:47 PM.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Unread 09-15-2019, 05:49 PM
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The problem with most board and train facilities is that they only train the dogs. So the dog will come back better behaved, but after a few hours or days, when they realize you don’t have the firm control on them that they had at the trainers, they do revert back to the same behaviors you sent her/him away for.

I would never personally send my dogs to a board and train. I want someone there with me to show me what I’m doing wrong, and how to correct my behaviors with the dog that is allowing the bad dog behaviors to continue. Training the owner is as important as training the dog. Every dog and every owner is different. So what may work for the trainer may not work for you, and you’re back to square 1.

E-collars are a great tool when used correctly. I wouldn’t push aside a trainer just because they used e-collars. What you need is a trainer that comes to you, shows you the appropriate response to the behaviors, and balances both praise/positive behaviors, and corrections when needed.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Unread 09-15-2019, 05:54 PM
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Also, if the trainer who originally trained her thought she was solid on obedience when she was blowing through your commands, at home or in public, I would find another trainer altogether. It wasn’t very clear in your post if she came to you trained at 9 months, or if she came to you untrained and you hired a trainer to work with you after the fact. It’s also not clear if all negative behaviors stopped with the one on one training, or if there were still negative behaviors, and the trainer deemed the dog as trained and stopped coming.

So I’m just throwing out suggestions based on assumptions. My apologies if I misread.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Unread 09-15-2019, 06:05 PM
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Also, if she really is dangerous when you take her out in public, she needs to wear a comfortable muzzle when she is out in public. A lot of times this helps reduce the problem. The owner relaxes because his muzzled dog can't hurt anyone, so the dog relaxes too.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Unread 09-15-2019, 06:36 PM Thread Starter
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Also, if the trainer who originally trained her thought she was solid on obedience when she was blowing through your commands, at home or in public, I would find another trainer altogether. It wasnít very clear in your post if she came to you trained at 9 months, or if she came to you untrained and you hired a trainer to work with you after the fact. Itís also not clear if all negative behaviors stopped with the one on one training, or if there were still negative behaviors, and the trainer deemed the dog as trained and stopped coming.

So Iím just throwing out suggestions based on assumptions. My apologies if I misread.
Sorry about that, when i got her at 9 months old she had no training at all, she wasn't protective of me or the house but she had the aggressive behaviour to other dogs, btw she likes cats which is weird, her and the house cat play and even eat together. As she bonded with me is when she got over protective of me and the house, she listens to all the other commands except when it comes to someone coming in the house or seeing other dogs in public, it makes it really hard to hold her but so far i have managed i have a spinal injury that is why she needs to listen. She is fine on all other situations.

I will ask if there is a progam that i can stay with her thru the day and bring her home at night. I just dont want anything bad to happen to her if she ever bite anything or anyone.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Unread 09-15-2019, 07:26 PM
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I will ask if there is a progam that i can stay with her thru the day and bring her home at night. I just dont want anything bad to happen to her if she ever bite anything or anyone.
You do not need a program like that. You need a good trainer who will work with you and her as often as needed in public places and at your home with visitors. This is especially important given your spinal injury. A good trainer will find ways to work with your disability so you can control her.

Again, it really sounds like you also need a muzzle for her if you are that worried. Here are some good muzzle options:

JAFCO Plastic Forehead / 3 Strap Muzzle

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Unread 09-15-2019, 09:24 PM
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I have a spinal injury as well, and am still recovering from surgery. Your concerns are legitimate concerns. I do not take my two adult dogs out at all, my DH walks them. The two pups are much easier, they do not pull and are perfectly okay with me walking them in my chair.

A muzzle is never a bad thing if introduced properly. It will allow you some peace of mind, which will in turn relax you, and allow your dog to feel that relaxation.

Do you struggle to keep hold of the leash? I know with me, the spinal injury caused some pretty serious nerve damage that makes it to where I cannot feel my hands and feet, which in turn means I cannot feel the amount of pressure I am applying to the leash.

Before my injury, I had a 4yr old rescue who was reactive on leash and tried to go after other dogs. I worked one on one on and off over a year to nip this problem. She now lives with 3 other dogs with no issues, and she also loves cats! Our GSD/Husky doesn’t, and wants to put them in his belly, so for the sake of the cats, they were rehomed to my niece.

I personally think you’re heading in the right direction with working on these behaviors with a professional. Search a thread called “this may be an odd request.” I was assisting a retired veteran with his Shiloh Shepherd because he was too weak to walk him, and @David Winners posted some great links for assistance programs for dogs and vets that may be able to assist long term.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Unread 09-15-2019, 09:25 PM
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As someone who had the same scenario and put our dog through that kinda program: PLEASE DON’T!

While some issues got better, the majority of them got worse. Her aggressive and protective nature stemmed from anxiety/nerves/fear and the board/train only made those worse. It’s been a year and 3 months since the program & I regret it every day.

Please follow the advice of others and find a professional that will work with YOU AND your dog and work around your disability as well, because ultimately you need to build a bond and learn how to guide your dog in situations (or before situations). I wish we had put in the more grueling time/patience it took to help shape her behavior away from anxiety/fear/reactivity, because it cost us big time that we took the more convenient option. If it’s not possible, I really do hope the program works out in your favor and helps your dog.
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Last edited by desinif; 09-15-2019 at 09:29 PM.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Unread 09-15-2019, 09:27 PM
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Where are you located?

I am a trainer that does board and train. It's not particularly popular with some people, and I understand that. There are B&T programs that will train the dog and not the owner, and that's kind of useless IMO.

What a good trainer will try and do, in your situation, is to desensitize your dog to other dogs. This can be done without your presence or intervention. They will also establish a basic set of commands that the dog understands. Then they will show you how to maintain those behaviors and how to deal with behavior issues that pop up. There should be several training sessions including you that take place before you head home with the dog. They should also check in from time to time to be sure things are going well.

Without references, it's hard you know what you are getting yourself and your dog into.
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