Personality change - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 01:55 PM Thread Starter
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Personality change

(haven't posted in at least 12 years!) Rio is almost two, long hair GSD, still intact. Until quite recently he never met a dog he didn't like. I walk him 1 1/2 hours a day to local college campus, on prong collar. He's great with crowds. When meeting dogs, he's friendly, tail wagging, then suddenly gets growly and obnoxious. Or he'll get like this after we've walked on. He used to like little dogs especially.

He takes agility and herding classes. This week I've been concentrating on obedience commands, which we let slide. My husband says he doesn't do this when he walks him.

Think it could be related to recent two week stay at a play all day in house "kennel"? He's stayed there before. I sure would like to reverse this new trend.

Sally
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 07:25 PM Thread Starter
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One thing I remembered since- about two months ago we walked up to a woman with two small terrier type dogs. Out of nowhere one of them bit Rio quite hard on his nose, bright red blood, still has a scar. He didn't fight back at the time. Maybe related?

Sally
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 10:54 PM
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Any incidents during his stay with the kennel? It will be tough to know what's going on for sure over a forum with what's been said so far. He's maturing, been attacked, reacts differently depending on who's walking him and some reactions occur after the encounter. I would get with a trainer and have them evaluate him.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-26-2019, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Nigel. I wrote a well known trainer about it today. She's also a friend but no longer lives nearby. Will see what she says.

Sally
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-26-2019, 05:53 PM
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since this is a new negative behavior and he is in agility and herding classes, I would eliminate any chances of unknown dogs bothering him or allowing him to bother other dogs. i.e. Meet and greet. The reason for it, you need him to stay stable towards other dogs while in close proximity of other dogs in those classes, you don't need him to be friendly to every dog while out and about. He probably loves the classes and probably has changed his attitude while walking about around campus. That bite could have triggered it but the change may have come on its own due to maturity.

"If you can't see his soul when you look in his eyes, then you need a seeing-eye dog"
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
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We met with a trainer who'd worked with him as a puppy, practiced some obedience things, especially doing touch where you back up and he comes to face you and sits for a touch and treat. It's worked REALLY well. He was easier to handle at agility, great at herding, and hasn't had any incidents on street. I did take a detour when I saw a barking white and fluffy approaching. The touch thing even worked with a squirrel chattering! Treating with pieces of cheese dogs. Happy to report progress.
Clare, Nigel and dogma13 like this.

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