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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-13-2009, 12:04 PM Thread Starter
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Anger towards other dogs.

Hey everybody. I recently got my GSD (on Friday), so he's still quite new (9 weeks old). In our many, many attempts at socialization with other dogs, all he has done is bark and nip the other dog (or try to) in the face. I've been speaking with a bunch of my friends, and their dogs were really quite easy to socialize at young ages, as they'd let other dogs smell him, play, etc.

Dexter (my pup) won't have any of it.

I was just wondering if it's normal to be this afraid of dogs at this age? In the meantime, I'm going to continue with my efforts, and hope for the best.

Any advice? What has worked for you guys?

Thanks!

Dexter - Sable GSD: Born August 7th, 2009
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-13-2009, 12:13 PM
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Re: Anger towards other dogs.

My advice is to find an older, stable dog who will act as a teacher. Normally, the mother handles this type of education. Finding a substitute teacher is my best advice.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-13-2009, 12:19 PM
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Re: Anger towards other dogs.

It all depends on the types of dogs he is being socialized with and also how it is approached. Much larger dogs can intimidate a tiny pup as can SEVERAL larger dogs meeting him at once. I am luck in that I have older dogs that are WONDERFUL with pups and other dogs in general and they are excellent at teach proper social skills and instilling the same skills with new dogs and pups.

I would recommend working with him with ONE CALM dog in a CALM quite situation to help build his confidence. Then another dog- again one on one. Same scenario, a calm dog in a calm environment (preferably a different place than the last dog and on neutral turf for both dogs). By using calm dogs in calm environments it will relieve a lot of the pups stress. Eventually you will work up to a calm dog in a more hectic area, more than one dog etc. Go at your dogs pace and do not allow any bad experiences or allow him to become overwhelmed. Also work early and hard at calling him back from playing with other dogs and giving him extra tasty treats (like real meat/cheese etc) - helps to form a solid recall while at the same time building focus on you.


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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-13-2009, 12:36 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Anger towards other dogs.

Thanks guys.

It's a bit overwhelming, as there seems to be 20 approaches and different methodologies to one problem. I was given advice such as: "let him figure it out. bite and be bitten, he'll learn", which i decided not to trust too much hehe.

Do you think my house would be a good place to introduce him to other dogs? or will he get territorial?

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-13-2009, 12:43 PM
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Re: Anger towards other dogs.

I wouldn't go by the "let him figure it out" or bite and be bitten,,
believe me THAT approach can really backfire on you, (been there still working on that!)

I agree with finding a calm dog,ONE dog, that can be a type of mentor ,,dogs/puppies will gain confidence from a confident dog)

Your place would be fine, at 9 weeks, your puppy will not be territorial, right now he is afraid, so take things slow, don't coddle him, but don't force him into situations that will scare the heck out of him either..

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-13-2009, 01:07 PM
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Re: Anger towards other dogs.

Bonding with your pup also helps with socializing in a week or two. I am different but for the first two - to maybe three weeks I don't take my puppy any place. We play at home and explore things around there. I want a good bond established before I start introducing to other dogs or more stressful situations. Dogs or puppies that I rushed the socializing over bonding has bit me in the butt every time so to speak.

I am a believer in bonding first, socializing second, and socializing doesn't mean that you pup has to go nose to nose with other dogs. It can be just seeing other dogs at a distance and maintaining control, no barking, hackling, hiding, etc.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-13-2009, 03:41 PM
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Re: Anger towards other dogs.

At 9 weeks, I'd tend to think it just that your puppy hasn't learned 'doggie manners' yet.

Was he removed from litter or from the dam early for any reason?

At this point, I'd go with bonding first and introduction to calm older dog second.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-13-2009, 07:31 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Anger towards other dogs.

No he wasn't. He was with all the other pups and mother until I picked him up.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-13-2009, 07:46 PM
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Re: Anger towards other dogs.

Between 7 and 12 weeks is a huge growing, imprinting stage. I would do as suggested above. Building confidence, safe exposure and taking things slow is the best route. If your pup is showing signs of timidness, take him away from whatever is causing it and don't make a big deal of it. And right now at your pups age, safety from getting sick(vax aren't enough yet) should be the #1 goal.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-14-2009, 07:50 PM
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Re: Anger towards other dogs.

i would wait until he's of a safe age usually 12-15 weeks and has had all his shots. In the meantime i would go observe puppy classes, talk with the trainers tell them about your pups personality etc. then when you feel you have found the right class/trainer take him and let them help you with his pup socialization. they can observe how he's behaving and work on things. its not abnormal for a pup that age to be fearful, but at the same time it could develop into a fear aggression issue which you don't want. once you get him into the right class, i would keep going and have him involved with some type of class with other dogs for the first year or two. you can also maybe make play dates with stable, or mild tempered dogs, friends, people you know, or even people you might meet in class. you can take him walking with another dog on a regular basis, etc. he doesn't have to play with the other dog walking with you just hang out and walk until he's confortable. once he learns how to appropriately act with other dogs, he can play. once he starts going up to dogs and is curious enough to smell, that would be your first indication he's learning appropriate dog interaction. its a long process, but worth it vs not doing it and having a fearful aggressive dog, which would be a liability as well.
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