disturbing behavior - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-25-2011, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
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disturbing behavior

Loki is my service dog. He has been working for the last 3.5 years. About 6 months ago I lost my retired service dog Zeus. I also had to stop working due to health conditions. My son and his girlfriend and his dog have come to stay for a few weeks. Loki barked and even snarled at the new dog. I have NEVER seen him act like this. It is almost like an alert but he pulled up his lip. This is really upsetting me. I crated Loki and he has calmed down. The new dog will be here for at least a few weeks. What should I do. I am upset at him and he has never done this. I can't have him acting like this and if he dose this with Elvis I am afraid it will happen again.
How should I address this. He is also barking randomly at him.
I am now concerned as I have other friends that have service dogs that come over. I just can't have him acting like this. He was not "on duty" when Elivis came in, but that should not matter. Does anyone have any idea why this is going on?Please help Thank you.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-25-2011, 12:20 PM
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Did you have Elvis just walk right into the home with Loki there? Has Loki ever reacted to dogs like this outside the home?

Dogs should always be introduced on neutral territory to eliminiate any territorial issues. Is it possible to take Elvis out of the house and reintroduce him to Loki somewhere neutral? This should obviously be done careful with an eye on Loki to make sure neither dog is injured.

When I bring home new foster dogs, they are introduced to Raven first outside the shelter. Then we get back to my house and take a walk together around the block. When we walk, the dogs are separated by a fair amount of distance and slowly brought closer together as they calm down and just walk. We then move to the back yard with the new dog entering first so Raven doesn't get territorial and then bring Raven in. We keep them on leash and let them sniff around the yard together for a while before heading in the house (again with the new dog going in first). They both drag leashes for a few hours in case I need to grab someone quick and the foster will drag leash for a few days to help with housebreaking and setting up proper behaviors.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-25-2011, 05:56 PM
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In this situation with a SD it has to be broken down into two areas, inside the SDs home and everywhere else.

Let's take *everywhere else* first. A SD should never react to another dog in an agressive manner ever. They must be able to perform their job and ignore other dogs.

Now in the home. This is their area and they should be cut a little slack here. For those dogs that will be there for more than a short visit I think the step by step explained in the previous post may just work for you.

I would also recommend if you plan on having visitors with their SDs that you work on another situation. Everytime you have a get together or meeting in your home you don't want to have to go through an involved get to know each other with the dogs. I can't give advice on how to work this out as each dog is going to be slightly different and you may need to have a local trainer come to your home and work up a plan for you. If this was a typical pet in the home we could say to crate your dog in another room if they are not safe with visiting animals in the home. But being a SD they are on call 24/7 and need to be able to do their job if and when needed.

TJ aka Theresa A. Jennings
Pyro vom Wildhaus aka Kaleb ~S.T.A.R.~
Family Companion, Non-Profit Mascot, In-Home Service Dog

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-25-2011, 05:59 PM
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Maybe your dog feels like it's like a trespassing kinda thing going on.

Mykie Fusaro (MikeyMerciless)

Benny (shepherd) ~ 14 years... RIP
Crystal (shepherd) ~ 11 years
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-26-2011, 04:11 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you. Loki has never even looked at another dog sideways when on duty, out side the home. We often have other people with their service dogs come over and he hasn't shown any sign of aggression. The only time he has growled was when a friend had brought over their tiny dog and he tried to get between Loki and myself (I was sitting in my chair). I am not sure which dog growled first as my friends dogs are not very well trained so I dismissed the time as a fluke.

All last night Loki was crated. This is very unusual and I can't remember the last time we did this. However keep in mind when the crate is open he will just wander in and lay down in it (like he is doing right now without being told to get in it). During the day both dogs met in the hallway and they where civil to each other. Elvis even walked by loki as he was laying at my feet and he ignored him. I am starting to think he is very protective of me when I am in my chair. That is the time when he gets the most defensive. I am going to look around to see if I can find a trainer (and see if I can afford it). I really appreciate the advice. I know I expect a lot out of Loki. I guess it takes me by surprise when he is not perfect.
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