11 month old male barks at other dogs when I pet them - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-19-2012, 11:18 PM Thread Starter
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11 month old male barks at other dogs when I pet them

I suppose you could say my dog Goli gets a little jealous Whenever I give attention to another dog in his presence, he barks aggressively and has been known to get into fights because of this. He doesn't do this with every dog, but I'd say theres's a 50/50 chance. So unfortunately, I don't get to pet other dogs very much!

Tomorrow we're going to an event where will be many other dogs. What training methods should I try out? What can I do when he starts getting possessive of me?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-19-2012, 11:37 PM
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i would try the "don't pet other dog method".

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Originally Posted by braaad View Post
I suppose you could say my dog Goli gets a little jealous Whenever I give attention to another dog in his presence, he barks aggressively and has been known to get into fights because of this. He doesn't do this with every dog, but I'd say theres's a 50/50 chance. So unfortunately, I don't get to pet other dogs very much!

Tomorrow we're going to an event where will be many other dogs.

>>>> What training methods should I try out? <<<<

What can I do when he starts getting possessive of me?
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-19-2012, 11:41 PM Thread Starter
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i would try the "don't pet other dog method".
Ha ha- that's kind of like that old gag where the dude says: "doc it hurts when I do this," and the doctor replies "Ok, then stop doing that!"
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-19-2012, 11:53 PM
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Hi Braaad - First, Goli doesn't get to decide who you are allowed to pet and who your are not allowed to pet. The behaviour Goli is exhibiting is resource guarding - he sees you as his resource, a possession like toys, a dog bed, his food. How old is Goli?

Usually, when dogs resource guard their owners, and try to put controls on what the owner is allowed to do and what they are not allowed to do (like pay attention to other dogs), it is a sign of pack structure breaking down, or always having been unclear to the dog about who the pack leader is. In instances of uncertainty, dogs always assume that there is not clear cut leader, and will step into that role, and start making rules for others.

So basically, you need to step up and be clear that YOU are the leader, NOT a resource (like a provider of non-ending supply of play, pets and food), and you will NOT accept him treating you as one, because that is disrespectful to the leader position.

Being a leader in the house is a matter of a lot of little things that one does and expects from the dog throughout the day. Often such subtle moves and behaviours from our own part and from the dog is the dance of who is boss, that many people completely miss the signs that they have been demoted and their dog has taken over. One of the best ways to regain leadership is by learning about Nothing In Life Is Free (NILIF - or sometimes NILF - lots of info on the web), and implementing this way of being into everyday life. It is not a big change of life-style for you, just a lot of little things that show the dog that you are in charge, and sets up your dog to live up to those expectations - asking for something whenever a resource is about to apear: focus and sit before being fed, sit and wait before being leashed for a walk, calm before being released for play, moving out of the way for you, respecting your space.

Here are a few posts and threads about people having had excellent results once NILIF came into their lives:

https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum...ml#post2591565

https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum...ml#post2573357


https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum...ml#post2607448

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-20-2012, 12:00 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Castlemaid! I think you hit the nail on the head because while I'm certain Goli knows I'm the alpha, he had a screwed up situation with his first owners who never ever established ownership. He was sort of co-owned (co-neglected?) by a bunch of doofuses for the first six months of his life. He's 11 months old now, and has only been with me as the sole owner for only one month.

I'm going to read up on those links you included now. Thanks!
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-20-2012, 12:13 AM
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Poor dog - so young and no real stability and direction until he came to you. No wonder he is confused - you will see, as described in the links from other people's experience - that once Goli understands that there is a solid leader who is consistent and reliable, he will relax and feel safe. Especially for an 11 month old, feeling that the leadership role has fallen on him by default is a heavy psychological burden to carry at that age, with no life experience or maturity to help him make decisions as to what is okay and what isn't. Young dogs like Goli who feel leaderless tend to be unsure about knowing what is a threat and what isn't, and just to be on the safe side will over-react to everything, turning into a fearful, reactive dog. But with a strong leader stepping in to relieve him of this big responsibility, he will be able to just relax and be a puppy again.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-20-2012, 12:44 AM
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If I were in your position, I'd either not go to the event tomorrow or leave the dog home, or muzzle him. With a 50/50 chance, there's a pretty good chance that a dog will get 'too close' to you and start a tiff. You knowing already that you have this issue puts you at more liability. I've been working on this with my Pug. It's hard, because she's got NOTHING going on upstairs. My shepherd is now bonded to me, and when he's having his time with me, he doesn't appreciate that being interrupted. So I've got to nip both of them in the bud now. The behavior seems to be catching! No fights yet, just a lot of griping. I end up putting my Pug in a bedroom now to have alone time with Grim. He doesn't care about our old mutt, it's just the Pug. So I think it's a learned behavior.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-20-2012, 02:39 AM
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Poor dog - so young and no real stability and direction until he came to you. No wonder he is confused - you will see, as described in the links from other people's experience - that once Goli understands that there is a solid leader who is consistent and reliable, he will relax and feel safe. Especially for an 11 month old, feeling that the leadership role has fallen on him by default is a heavy psychological burden to carry at that age, with no life experience or maturity to help him make decisions as to what is okay and what isn't. Young dogs like Goli who feel leaderless tend to be unsure about knowing what is a threat and what isn't, and just to be on the safe side will over-react to everything, turning into a fearful, reactive dog. But with a strong leader stepping in to relieve him of this big responsibility, he will be able to just relax and be a puppy again.

A lot of behavior like is mentioned here is also due to weak nerves (genetic) of the dog, in addition to the poor environment. That is a key reason why some dogs adjust beautifully to a good pack leader (alpha!) and others will never be stable.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-20-2012, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Jag View Post
If I were in your position, I'd either not go to the event tomorrow or leave the dog home, or muzzle him. With a 50/50 chance, there's a pretty good chance that a dog will get 'too close' to you and start a tiff. You knowing already that you have this issue puts you at more liability. I've been working on this with my Pug. It's hard, because she's got NOTHING going on upstairs. My shepherd is now bonded to me, and when he's having his time with me, he doesn't appreciate that being interrupted. So I've got to nip both of them in the bud now. The behavior seems to be catching! No fights yet, just a lot of griping. I end up putting my Pug in a bedroom now to have alone time with Grim. He doesn't care about our old mutt, it's just the Pug. So I think it's a learned behavior.
I agree and and I would do the same. You've only had the dog a month and have a lot of training to do with the NILF program.


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