I need help with socializing - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-12-2012, 10:12 PM Thread Starter
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I need help with socializing

Hi, I just stumbled upon this site and thought I would join to get some insight. I have a 9 month old boy, Ranger, and he is precious indoors with people (except he pees when he gets excited) but outside he is a little terror. He is great off leash so we have him and my lab run free in the back yard, but if someone or a dog comes by he goes crazy! He barks and runs up to them like he will attack but never does. I just don't want things to escalate into something worse. His other issue is he is a little food aggressive with my other dogs. He has never attacked or growled, but if we have out bones that they can chew on he will start to gather them and show his teeth when one of my other dogs comes up to him. I have three chihuahuas, so I am always afraid he may hurt one. Anyway, I don't know much about shephards and I only have him because a family member bought him and then with work ended up not having time for him. He was caged 2/3 of the day, so to keep him out of a shelter I just added him to my pack I have a lab mix and three chihuahuas- all from rescues but all super sweet and well behaved. I just want to make sure that I'm raising Ranger properly. When we're in I can hold him like a baby or take food from him if I need to, but outside he gets a little crazy. Any advice would be super great!! Also if anyone is near the Gettysburg, PA area I would love to set up play dates! He is great with my dogs, but I want to expose him to other dogs because he is scared of them for some reason. Thanks again!
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-12-2012, 10:35 PM
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You have a GSD, a lab and 3 chihuahuas? That is a pretty good start at socialization. For the resource(food) guarding it looks like he is borderline and you can work with him. Have you considered a trainer or behaviorist? Also, research, google, read as much as you can on resource guarding.
At 9 months, being a little crazy outside is normal for GSDs. Try to find an obedience class so that you can form a stronger bond with him.
Welcome to the forum and good luck.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-13-2012, 07:10 AM
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Have you thought about taking him to obedience classes? Not so much for training but for the socialization aspect. That's also a great way to meet other local dog owners.

Leah
Niko: American Showline GSD 5 years old
Rosa: American Muppet Dog (GSD/Border Collie mix) 5 years old
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-13-2012, 11:54 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all of the advice! I have been looking into either an obedience class or a possibly a trainer coming to my home to work with me. Where would you recommend classes? I saw petsmart had them, but wasn't sure if they are good or not. And yes, I have three chihuahuas and a cat!! Haha Ranger is great with them all- but he is a big baby outside of the house still. To me it seems weird- for example- he LOVES to play fetch with my lab, but at the dog park he doesn't want anything to do with any other dog and if my lab is playing with another dog (because he is so social) Ranger will jump on him and bite him like he is jealous maybe? It's very weird behavior for me- I've never had a dog like this. Thanks again in advance!
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-14-2012, 01:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amy Lynn View Post
Thanks for all of the advice! I have been looking into either an obedience class or a possibly a trainer coming to my home to work with me. Where would you recommend classes? I saw petsmart had them, but wasn't sure if they are good or not. And yes, I have three chihuahuas and a cat!! Haha Ranger is great with them all- but he is a big baby outside of the house still. To me it seems weird- for example- he LOVES to play fetch with my lab, but at the dog park he doesn't want anything to do with any other dog and if my lab is playing with another dog (because he is so social) Ranger will jump on him and bite him like he is jealous maybe? It's very weird behavior for me- I've never had a dog like this. Thanks again in advance!
Petsmart is very hit or miss; you can find some really great trainers working there, and also some that are dumber than a box of hair. For a typical very easy dog, their classes are probably enough. You might want to look a bit further though. Lessee you're in York Springs... Here are a couple places to check out:
OTCH Home Page
ycdtc home

If you'd prefer to have somebody come to your home, this one looks okay to me: KeystoneDogTraining

There are probably others here who can give you better advice, as I haven't actually been to these places myself. I think I'd lean towards OTCHPA personally.

My Dog: Krissie ~ Beagle Mix Extraordinaire 09/09
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-14-2012, 11:07 AM
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I think the best way to pick an obedience class is to go without your dog and just observe a class to see how it is run. If you like the way the instructor handles the class (both the dogs and the people) then give it a shot.

For my GSD, he has absolutely zero interest in meeting other dogs, in fact he'd vastly prefer they stay far away from him (but he loves playing with my other dog!). Part of that has to do with his history (bad experiences with strange dogs), but I also think some dogs just don't feel the need to expand their social circle. And I would not be shocked if your GSD preferred that your lab kept things less friendly too. This is just a guess on my part, I don't have much multiple dog play experience. Pretty much all of the playing I have observed has been between two dogs.

Leah
Niko: American Showline GSD 5 years old
Rosa: American Muppet Dog (GSD/Border Collie mix) 5 years old
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