Help with dog-any animal agression - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-07-2012, 11:13 PM Thread Starter
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Help with dog-any animal agression

My 8 yr old german shepherd just gets worse. He chases anything, cats, squirels, (which is fine) but even other dogs- Today he got away from me and went after my neighbors dog. He didnt respond to me at all.

Im honestly dissapointed and tired of him doing this. I have since then reached out to a few area training schools.

How can an otherwise such a perfect family dog, that never shows aggression to us or my 5 yo daughter be so terribly agressive with other non threatning dogs?

Im so dissapointed. He bit the other dog, which is fine but the owners understandibly so are taking their dog late at night to get her checked out for one little bite mark.
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-08-2012, 07:31 AM
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Really?! He bit the dog, which is fine?!!!!! It was just one little bite?! He's 8 years old and you are dissapointed and tired of him doing this?! What about the first 8 years? What did you do about this before now? You let him get away from you knowing he has this problem?!

He's not the perfect family dog: he's a vicious dangerous dog.

I know where the problem lies and it's not the dog. Nothing will get better with this dog until you get him into a training class to learn how to handle him and you change your attitude.

Elaine and the herd
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-08-2012, 08:53 AM
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I don't think we have enough information to label him a vicious, dangerous dog. You have a dog with a prey drive, no recall that is DA. That can be worked on and managed.

First, get a good trainer. You need to work on prey drive and dog aggression. It is NOT fine that he bit another dog. You need to work on recall and behavior modification.

Second, it is your responsibility to make sure your dog does not get loose and have the opportunity to attack another dog. You need to check the dangerous dog laws in your state. They vary and one bite may be all you get.

Third, is the aggression new? If so, have you had him tested for thyroid? Did something happen to make him think he needs to fight? My girl is DA due to bad experience with a foster and hers is based in fear. Was your dog attacked recently or has this been building over time?




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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-08-2012, 07:48 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elaine View Post
Really?! He bit the dog, which is fine?!!!!! It was just one little bite?! He's 8 years old and you are dissapointed and tired of him doing this?! What about the first 8 years? What did you do about this before now? You let him get away from you knowing he has this problem?!

He's not the perfect family dog: he's a vicious dangerous dog.

I know where the problem lies and it's not the dog. Nothing will get better with this dog until you get him into a training class to learn how to handle him and you change your attitude.

He is absolutely an excellent dog- with one major issue- Dog-Dog aggression. The past years have not been an issue as Ive always had him on a leash, and never had any incidents-

He was socialized and had basic obedience as a puppy. Im reaching out to some trainers now for treating his dog dog aggression.

What I meant by "fine" is if you ever see two dogs fight, its great to see them come away gernally unscathed and no major injury which I was glad for.

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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-08-2012, 08:08 PM
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Welcome to the board. Please stick around, there is great information here if you weed through the attitudes.

Your dog is dog-aggressive and is eight years old. I think you can spend a LOT of time and energy, and even money trying to rehabilitate your otherwise good dog, and STILL have to be vigilent with him.

Dog-aggression does NOT equal people aggression at all.

I think that there is no harm in taking him regularly to classes and doing a lot more exercise with him, but I probably wouldn't do much more to try and change his nature. I would work hard in classes and walks to improve his obedience, and improve my attentiveness to the surroundings and his body language, increase the bond. And I would be a bit more careful when it comes to managing him.

How exactly did you lose hold of him? Did he pull you into the other dog? Did you drop the leash? Were you pulled off your feet? Was he off-leash? Did he slip his collar? Were you using a Flexi? Knowing exactly how this happened, we can help you to put in place a more secure method of walking your dog. If he will pull you into another dog, you need an edge and that might be a prong collar. If he slipped his collar then you probably should walk him on a martingale. If you dropped the leash, you might consider using a hands-free leash, I say this because I have carpul tunnel and I do drop things. I have considered a hands-free approach, but haven't gone there yet as I train mine to come back to me when I drop the lead.

Your dog looks great, and don't worry about him with your family or kids, unless he is getting grumpier all around. And if that is the case, a senior boy like this is probably ready for a full health check up with bloodwork, specifically checking thyroid, b-vitamin levels, and anywhere he may be masking pain.

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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-08-2012, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
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He is ok otherwise. The dog aggression has been there since day 1. Honestly I stopped taking him to dog parks because we couldnt enjoy him to just run around and be social with the other dogs.

I had total control of the situation, and its my fault. I saw their dog off leash hanging out on the street infront of the neigbors house. I literally walked my dog to the front of my porch, and "trusted him" by dropping his leash while i opened the door. The second I did this, he darted to the dog. I screamed repeatedly "no". He knows commands, he knows not to take anything before i say ok. He is trained, but never had dog aggression corrected.

Im stressed out. Im waiting to hear from the neigbors dr visit results. Im just really dissapointed I saw the situation and had control, and just for a second I gave him the benefit of the doubt and let this happen.

I spoke to a dog trainer in the lehigh valley PA area that specializes in GSD and in dog-dog aggression. She said for $695 she will come over personally and train him and us for 3 hours, after that there are weekend working sessions. She would have 2 other dogs hat would be used to train him.

Im debating on the training or re install my electric fence, which worked fantastic until a thunderstorm ruined it. I just never replaced it because honestly I didnt have any issues but now im concerned.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-08-2012, 08:48 PM
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Frankly, I would save the money. I would not wait for the neighbor to call and let you know what the damage is, I would call them and ask how the dog is. Ask about the bill and offer to pay it all. Reinstall your electric fence, but that won't stop your neighbor's dog from coming into your yard to get bitten, and if your dog has already bitten theirs, I don't know what will happen in a court of law if this happens again.

I think that what I would do is hang onto the leash. If necessary, leave the dog in the car, until you have the door unlocked. It will be easier to tell the dog to SIT, and STAY, and unlock the door with the leash still in your hand. That will keep him from moving around. He is smart. He knows if the leash is connected to you or not.

Your dog is NOT a bad dog. He just doesn't like other dogs. At this point in his life, you have lived for 8 years without an incident. If his aggressiveness is increasing beyond what was normal for the past 6 years, I probably would do a check up. But, if this is just the way it has been, you had a lapse in your security.

If you do go with the training, keep us updated. I can be all wet about this, and she may be able to improve him considerably with dogs in general.

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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-08-2012, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
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I went over the house, left some dog treats and my cell phone.

She called and told me Miley, had to get 10 stitches on her chest. It was a deep gash. They used anesthesia to put her under for the stitches. With everything including medications total damage was $460.

I walked over, apologized again, and gave them a check without trying to negotiate or anything like that. They didnt get her back until 1230 am last night.

If anyone here is a trainer or know of a trainer, I appreciate any advice or help. Im so nervous now and never want to feel so helpless again after that.

Im wondering if a remote control shock collar would be better. Hercules below with my little girl. He is gentile, protective. If someone comes near anyone in my family and looks threatening he shows aggression. I never trained him to be a personal protection dog, so his natural qualities as a protector is really amazing. Its just he is so animal agressive- anything, squirrels, cats, if they are out there hes is gone.


Last edited by Heracles; 10-08-2012 at 09:15 PM.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-08-2012, 09:18 PM
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Leash him at all times. Follow selzer's advice and thank your lucky stars that the neighbors dog is not dead.
She could be next time.
Your job is to make sure there is not a next time, however you have to do it.

Quote:
one little bite mark.
10 stitches for one little bite mark...sounds like it wasn't such a "little bite mark"
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-08-2012, 09:34 PM
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It sounds like he has a strong prey drive and is dog-aggressive. If your dog is in full-chase, full fight mode, you are not going to be able to call him off. If you would have continued with obedience and training, especially around other dogs, and with distractions from the time he was under two, well maybe you would have a strong enough bond and training that you would be able to call the dog off.

With other dogs, dog-fighting, you need to be aware and react before your dog does. With critters, like squirrels and such, it is possible that an e-collar can give your dog a warning and snap him out of it when he is fixated on the wild critter. Might work, might not. But you will still need to train him with the collar. There really are no short cuts. It is possible that an e-collar could increase the dog's aggressive episode when fighting with another dog.

With dog aggressiveness, and he has already attacked another dog, so this is not simple, I'm afraid of you so stay away type aggression. This is I DON'T WANT YOU HERE aggression. Which means that I don't think getting him used to other dogs from a distance is going to do much good. That will help with dogs who are afraid and barking and lunging to get the other dog to go away. You can work at a distance until he is more comfortable, and then get closer until he gets more comfortable.

I think you will need to correct the aggressive behavior the moment it happens. Which means you need to be hyper-vigilent and watch your dog, and the moment he starts to agress toward another dog, he will need a strong correction. There may be a way to deal with dog-aggression more positively, I don't know.

I manage the situation. I train myself to be aware of my surroundings. Before the dog starts to aggress, I say LEAVE IT! and keep on walking. I do not give the dog the opportunity to decide whether or not to listen and comply. Another thing you can do is use a muzzle. Get him used to the muzzle, and when you take him out put the muzzle on him. Then if you drop the leash, he might chase, but he won't be able to bite.

I would not allow my dogs to go after squirrels or other wildlife, ever.

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