Erratic behavior with other dogs - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 05-24-2010, 01:03 AM Thread Starter
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Erratic behavior with other dogs

Hey there, first post on the forum! I'm glad I found a place like this dedicated to GSD owners.

Some background: I adopted Emma at 8 weeks, my little white german shepherd angel and she's been a doll and everything I expected/wanted from a puppy. She's picked up simple commands like "sit" and "speak" (the breeder recommended teaching her speak early because she's a talker and it's helped ENORMOUSLY with how much she barks and howls and whines). I haven't had much of any problems with her and this isn't so much a problem as a concern.

She's 12 weeks now and I've been doing my best to socialize her. I live in a very dog-heavy neighborhood (I think there's a dog in more than half of the houses around here) and I take her for 1-3 walks a day (she gets 1 when it rains because she hates the rain) and I often run into other people walking their dogs or dogs behind fences. On the weekends and once or twice a week, I've been taking her to the park where there are ALWAYS a half dozen people with various dogs out and about. The question I have about her behavior is this: sometimes she reacts really well with other dogs, immediately becoming "friends" and playing around; sometimes she just cowers and runs behind me; sometimes she gets aggressive and barks (this got curtailed really quickly, but I can still tell when she wants to leap around and bark and being the talker that she is, I've noticed her different barks and her friendly/playful bark is much different than her aggressive bark). I've done my best (I'm an engineer so I try to analyze everything) to figure out what it is about the dogs that sets her off, but I can't find a pattern. It doesn't matter what breed, what gender, what size, what age or anything else I can think of - either from the dog or the owner! Case in point: my neighbor has 4 Dobermanns, and she gets along great with the most dominant of the pack, who's historically the least friendly, but the omega of the pack (she's the smallest, least violent, etc.) and her hate each other. Is it something she senses about the other dog temperaments or is there something else I should be aware of?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 05-24-2010, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by EdwardDrapkin View Post
...........The question I have about her behavior is this: sometimes she reacts really well with other dogs, immediately becoming "friends" and playing around; sometimes she just cowers and runs behind me; sometimes she gets aggressive and barks (this got curtailed really quickly, but I can still tell when she wants to leap around and bark and being the talker that she is, I've noticed her different barks and her friendly/playful bark is much different than her aggressive bark).
Thanks!
to the site.

She's a normal puppy trying to figure out the world. And her judgement SHOULD 'suck' for being able to determine 'bad from good' which is why you aren't able to figure out what her reactions will be BTW, her 'aggression' is fear based at this age, not protection based.

Our jobs with puppies is to be the leader, in control, and to take charge in SHOWING our puppies the world is a happy wonderful place with happy wonderful people/dogs/whatever. That way our pups learn to look to us, cue from us, behave according to how WE are behaving. So it's a huge stress reliever to know that THEY don't have to deal with a scary/unsure new thing. Their human is in charge and will deal with it (cause that's our job as the all knowing Grownup in these situations).

I always bring tons of treats on my outings with puppies. I always put on my 'happy voice' (oh look at that new dog/human coming they look wonderful and friendly and maybe will say hi isn't this a beautiful day in a happy rosie world....). I always put the puppy on the far side of me from the 'whatever' if my puppy seems unsure. Letting the puppy greet the scary ahead of me, puts the puppy in a leadership role they are in NO WAY prepared for so they will react improperly if they aren't sure it's ok.

PUPPY CLASSES! Meeting friends/family with dogs you know are great with your puppy. Your attitude in these situations BEFORE your puppy gets unsure and over reacts. So having a plan to prevent the situation is much much much better than whatever you do in reaction too late when your puppy is scared.




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