Is my dog showing signs of aggression? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-23-2012, 11:52 AM Thread Starter
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Is my dog showing signs of aggression?

Ok. Since I'm working on breaking focus when she's fixated on her shadow chasing, she's getting much better at it btw, how would I break focus on prey drive? She's 15 months.

Here's what I'm doing so far, I've been doing the "look" command and working on her name. Unfortunately, I wasn't home yesterday (2nd shift rotation) and my wife took Abby for a walk around the apartment complex. As they're walking, my wife hears a *jingling* sound... The sound of dog tags. She turns around and it's a small weiner dog off leash with no owner in sight. My wife tells Abby to be a good girl and the weiner comes up and they do a Sniff exchange. Everything was calm until the owner showed up running towards them. I understand that his dog is off leash, I'd be running too but it triggered Abby to have a high level of excitement and she was pulling hard while the owner picked up his dog. Abby barked twice (from the way DW describes it, it was a whiney bark, as if she wanted to play). From that point, how do I break that focus? How would you correct your dog? I've never used a prong on my girl because she walks just fine with a flat or harness.

The owner apologizes then talks to his dog, "Are you looking to get eatin boy?" What my wife did was she grabbed Abby by the collar and pulled up while pressing the body down. Abby went to a sit position and my wife put her arms around Abby to keep her from pulling again.

Another incident, we were walking at night and in the distance, a young woman was walking her 2 small dogs. She pulled them to the side so we can walk pass them. I told Abby to be a good girl and we were just passing by them. All of a sudden, the small dogs bark and Abby turns around and pulls to the point where she's almost in a standing position (upper torso in the air). My girl doesn't bark much but she pulls when excited. Through all that, I had a high value treat in my hand and trying to get her attention but in the end, I just pulled her and we walked away telling her to "leave it". Just from my point of view, it didn't look like aggression to me but then again, this is my first dog. Honestly, she was poorly socialized with other dogs and I regret it so much but she doesn't bark or show teeth to other dogs. Would you say this whole incident was aggression or what's your opinion and what can I do to better everything? She's never been to OB classes and everything she knows is from everything I learned from this forum. Do you think it's time I got a trainer or is it still manageable by me?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-23-2012, 12:00 PM
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Is she good with "leave it"? How did you teach that "leave-it" command?

If she understands the Leave-It command pretty well, I would give that command to her when she sees another dog or a situation that will make her act like that. That way you stop a reaction before it happens. If she starts pulling like that, I would turn around and walk in the opposite direction until you regain control. Letting her stay in that area while trying to regain control of her, can be frustrating for her and she will probably drown out any verbals you give her. Once she's far enough away, put her into a sit and regain her focus, start walking again.
If you haven't worked enough on foundation behaviors before you need them and she is in a reactive mode, you will not be able to regain focus from her in the heat of the moment.

I think the right kind of trainer can take the bits and pieces that you've worked on and bring them together as a package.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-23-2012, 12:05 PM
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Does it sound similar to this?

https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum...-my-fault.html


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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-23-2012, 12:17 PM
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Doesn't sound like aggression to me. Sounds like OB out the window bc of higher excitement. No point in correcting what you haven't taught. Worse even, it's unfair. If the OB is excellent with less excitement then start asking for OB under slightly more excitement. You can't go from zero (alone in the house) to 60 (off leash dog approaching) and expect the OB to remain. You need to go at 10mph (ask for OB the second she noticies a distant dog, and end the exercise positively before the OB is lost.. Don't approach or be approached by the other dog)

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-23-2012, 12:45 PM
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There's no aggression there, but I do question the fact that you don't use a training collar of some sort. Clearly when she's excited she pulls, and on a regular walk, a bark from another dog is pretty likely. If your wife has to reach down and hug your dog to prevent her from pulling, it means she's not trained enough to leave whatever she wants alone and continue walking with you.

I'm not saying this as a bad thing, just an observation, my dog would do this, and sometimes still does this. It's the reason why my GF still walks him on a prong and I use a chain choker. I think that just because she can walk in heel without pulling it doesn't mean she doesn't pull ever (as your story states). My dog knows leave it, and I can tell him to leave most things, but then there are the few dog friends he has that I can't do anything about yet.

You need something to prevent her from going into that mode, if you can do LAT the whole time as you pass dogs that would work, but I've noticed for my boy, a good correction usually gets him back on track. I will add though that he's not aggressive or reactive in any way and I just have to correct him from wanting to play all the time.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-23-2012, 12:46 PM
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Sounds like you've done really well with Abby. Perhaps now is the time to take her to training school, in order get her used to working up close and personnel to other dogs.

Just check out the schools first to ensure they do the type of training that suits you and Abby.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-23-2012, 12:56 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chance&Reno View Post
Is she good with "leave it"? How did you teach that "leave-it" command?

If she understands the Leave-It command pretty well, I would give that command to her when she sees another dog or a situation that will make her act like that. That way you stop a reaction before it happens. If she starts pulling like that, I would turn around and walk in the opposite direction until you regain control. Letting her stay in that area while trying to regain control of her, can be frustrating for her and she will probably drown out any verbals you give her. Once she's far enough away, put her into a sit and regain her focus, start walking again.
If you haven't worked enough on foundation behaviors before you need them and she is in a reactive mode, you will not be able to regain focus from her in the heat of the moment.

I think the right kind of trainer can take the bits and pieces that you've worked on and bring them together as a package.
i taught my girl leave with treats and toys. When we see squirrels or rabbits, I would work the leave it command as well with her sitting. It takes a while before she listens but she eventually does. I definitely have to build on a better foundation and make it a solid command. I just don't know how.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-23-2012, 01:05 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Emoore View Post
No. My girl rarely barks or growls. I've never witnessed her bark at another dog or growl. The only times I've heard her do it was stories from my wife when she took her for walks. When I walk her with my wife, she just takes a quick look at the dogs and then casually trotts along with me. We take Abby 2 or 3 times to pets mart so she would get used to other dogs and a store environment. Sometimes she would pull but I would have her in a sit or down position.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-23-2012, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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So it sounds like I just need to enroll in some classes to make these basic commands solid.

I've been looking for a training place near me. What do you think about these people?
Charlotte Dog Training, Ballantyne Dog Training, Matthews NC Dog Training
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