Surprising event that happened when Sonny and I left - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-26-2011, 01:03 PM Thread Starter
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Surprising event that happened when Sonny and I left

So after I said bye to all of you this morning, I packed up Sonny's supplies, put my laptop in its case, and we headed out to go down the outside stairs.
I had the lead in my left hand, and Sonny on my left as well. I remembered from when Duchess had been a pup that the instructor told us to make sure to wrap the lead's loop around the thumb, then a couple of loops around the inner hand. So, I was doing that.
As we headed down the steps, I noticed about 6 Mexicans all in their 20's/30's standing on the sidewalk about 20 feet past the last step.
We were not going to have to go past them as we had to turn to the right of the landing to head to where I was parked.
I wrapped up his lead a little tighter so he didn't have too much reign as I really don't know him that well yet with other people.
As we were walking to the truck, there was another young Mexican walking towards me from the right with a very purposeful gait. If I had been in the streets of Chicago or NY, I would have gotten a bit afraid thinking he was about to mug me by his walk.

Then out of NOWHERE Sonny LUNGED across the front of me towards the guy barking, growling and showing his teeth. I am telling you now..his display made Nick's growl/aggression at me seem like a pussycat's purring!
My computer went flying out of my right hand at some point, as I lost part of my balance and yanking him back, which was harder due to him being in front and right of me.
Now, I could be wrong, but I think that guy was actually running away from Sonny in mid-air.
Sonny did not bite him and I think ONLY because I had him on a tighter reign.
Truthfully, me and that guy were probably equally terrified at how he had without warning went to attack.
Let me clear this now. I am NOT afraid of Sonny at ALL! It scared me what almost happened to a bystander/walker.
He was great the entire trip home. I had turned on my CD player in the car to listen to some golden oldies and OMG..he sat up so fast, his head was whipping from the left and right trying to see who the heck was making that noise. Then he started staring at the radio, so I just turned it off. Sigh..today of all days I really needed something to listen to while driving in a snowstorm and having not a whole lot of sleep the past 2 nights.
We made it home and the snow is coming down like crazy! Supposed to get anywhere up to maybe a foot today/tonight.
Yes, and to let everyone know here.
WE HAVE POO!
and also a goofy dog who was refusing to come in, wanting me to play with him out in the snow. He was giving me little playful barks, bending down sticking his butt up in the air with the tail going 240. So, we played fetch (well really THROW, since he wants me to chase him to get the toy back)for about 15 minutes and then I pulled a treat out of my coat pocket so he would stop yanking me back towards the yard to play so we could go inside... What a goof!
I love this guy.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-26-2011, 01:11 PM
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Well other then the the issue with the bystander it sounds like a good trip. Did the shelter say that Sonny is afraid/fear aggressive against men like Nick? It was a man that abused him so he may have a "special" affinity for going after men. You will of course need to get an trainer/behavioralist pronto for him.

And as horrible as this is, I did have to laugh at your description of the man running away.

And just food for thought. I doubt this is it but you never know, dogs are MUCH better judges of character than we are and he may have sensed something about the guy that he really didn't like and was intent on keeping him away at all costs.

Debbi-
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-Tessa- 11yo GSD- Waiting at the Bridge. RIP sweet girl.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-26-2011, 01:12 PM
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What a morning! So glad you are home safe and sound.

In case it hasn't already been said on your other threads, you are going to see changes in Sonny over the next few months. I always tell people that when I foster: the dog I see in the shelter is different than the dog I have 2 days later, 2 weeks later, 2 months later. As he starts settling in you are going to see different parts of his personality coming out. Foster dogs don't get too many freedoms in my house until they have earned it and I get to know them better.

Have you read about NILIF? Nothing in Life is Free It would be a good program to start with Sonny to set the foundation work. I would also still get that trainer or get into classes with Sonny to help build your bond together and your leadership.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-26-2011, 01:13 PM
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Maybe Sonny was sensing bad vibes from that dude and he was protecting his new mommy. That guy may have thought he needed that lap top more than you, and if he was approaching at a fast pace like you said Sonny may have taken that as a threat.

karen, mom to:
ace-gsd (bi-color) 6/14/2010
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dixie-shep/lab 2/21/2013

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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-26-2011, 01:22 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DharmasMom View Post
Well other then the the issue with the bystander it sounds like a good trip. Did the shelter say that Sonny is afraid/fear aggressive against men like Nick? It was a man that abused him so he may have a "special" affinity for going after men. You will of course need to get an trainer/behavioralist pronto for him.

And as horrible as this is, I did have to laugh at your description of the man running away.

And just food for thought. I doubt this is it but you never know, dogs are MUCH better judges of character than we are and he may have sensed something about the guy that he really didn't like and was intent on keeping him away at all costs.
No shows of aggression from Sonny at all at the shelter. Heck, he was even sweet with the pizza delivery guy last night. Well wait..that guy had good smelling food..never mind.
Sonny is laying now about 3 feet away from me sleeping. If I get up however to go to the bathroom, or whatever, I have a shadow.

WAIT maybe that is what I should name him! LOL..just kidding.

Also, no bathing until roads are okay. I am not going anywhere today.
I do not have anything here to bathe him with, so once he is clean,. I will vaccuum and mop.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-26-2011, 01:30 PM
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He may have been reacting to how the man was approaching. I agree, dogs have a great "sense" about stuff like that. It didn't say in your first post, but it didn't appear he reacted to the first group of guys standing on the sidewalk. It's hard to read a dog you just met so it's hard to say. He may have been trying to protect you or reacting to the approach.
Did he disengage or lose interest after the man moved away, or did he continue to lunge like he wanted to go after him?

I'm glad no one got bit and I hope you didn't get hurt.
It does sound like you have a new friend.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-26-2011, 01:46 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by CassandGunnar View Post
He may have been reacting to how the man was approaching. I agree, dogs have a great "sense" about stuff like that. It didn't say in your first post, but it didn't appear he reacted to the first group of guys standing on the sidewalk. It's hard to read a dog you just met so it's hard to say. He may have been trying to protect you or reacting to the approach.
Did he disengage or lose interest after the man moved away, or did he continue to lunge like he wanted to go after him?

I'm glad no one got bit and I hope you didn't get hurt.
It does sound like you have a new friend.
The moment after the guy had crapped his pants and ran, Sonny was absolutely calm. I was shaking like a leaf, but he was just dandy. The guy I believe was walking fast to get to the other group of guys. It almost seemed like the group was waiting on a ride or something. he may have been running late so that is why he was walking fast towards me.
My son Matt left our plant to meet me at the house since it is snowing like mad. I was with Sonny hoping he would finally poop, and he did. When Matt approached, Sonny moved closer to my side, so I told Matt to talk nice and softly to him as I didn't know how he'd be after this morning. Within seconds, Sonny's tail was wagging, and once we were all inside, he followed Matt for a bit and gave him a couple of licks. Matt made a point of sitting on the floor to talk to him giving him a treat.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-26-2011, 02:03 PM
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That should put you at ease somewhat.
You want to keep on top of his meetings, but you already know that. It's a fair sign that he moved closer to you when your son came home. (You'll want to watch for resource guarding, with you as the resource, but your trainer/behavior person can help you with that)
Of course, you could just have yourself a "good ol' fashion momma's dog."

As you guys get to know each other, you'll get more in tune with his cues. That's when things can get fun, in terms of training.

I've said it in other posts, I cannot count the number of times my K9 partners at work tipped me off to something funny going on. I always learned to trust them. I've been on traffic stops in the middle of the night and been dealing with 4 or 5 people. It's hard to watch that many people at one time when it's dark outside, but just how the dog would come more erect or how an ear would move tipped me off to someone moving or doing something. (like throwing a baggie of weed in a ditch....boy was that kid pissed......lol)

Cassie, who has only been with us for 8 months has become "my" dog. If we're out walking and another dog approaches, she always puts herself between me and whatever is bugging her.

You guys sound like you're starting to bond a little bit and that's great. I look forward to hearing how things are going.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-26-2011, 02:17 PM
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Yeah, if he has been good with other men, then he may very well have sensed something about this guy that he didn't like. Add that to the fact that the guy was moving quickly toward you, I vote he was trying to protect you even if they guy meant you no ill will. You have no idea what kind of background that guy could have but dogs have a great sense of who is good and who is not. They are a great judge of character. I would definitely continue with the trainer plans though, you do need to be able to restrain and call him off.

But it is good that Sonny has bonded so quickly with you, he obviously realizes he has been saved and has found a momma who loves him and has a good home now.

And like the other poster said, be careful to watch for resource guarding where you are the resource. My foster does this but only with other dogs. She had a terrible life before coming to me. Used for breeding in a puppy mill, byb type situation, never socialized ( she spent her whole life in a kennel- she has callouses on he elbow and rump from the concrete) and when they were done they dumped her. She starved for god knows how long, then someone found her and tied her up behind a gas station and starved her some more. She has no front teeth and her canines are completely worn down from eating rocks and trash, she has horrible arthritis in both hip and her spine so she drags her right leg when she walks and when they found her she was so flea infested that she had lost most of the hair on her backside from the infestation. AC there were actually nests residing in her skin. But she is so happy and loving and bonded to me immediately because she knew she was safe and loved. But she guards me from other dogs with quite a bit of jealously. She is fine with people though, loves them to death. So we are working on those issues slowly. But my point is just keep an eye out for it.

Debbi-
Mom to:
-Dharma Van Fluffy Pants GSD
-Pippa Von Neurotic Butt- GSD
-Tessa- 11yo GSD- Waiting at the Bridge. RIP sweet girl.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-26-2011, 02:19 PM
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I am also willing to bet he picked up something from you as well. Lets face it, if some strange guy is walking fast at most any of us we are gonna be concerned. You might not even realized your feelings about him and the situation until after Sonny took charge.

Valerie

Shewana's Maximum Velocity (aka Max)
Shewana's Hot-Spice (aka Callan)

Kaycee 11/97-5/10
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Handle every stressful situation like a dog. If you can't eat it or play with it, pee on it and walk away.
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