My 9 m-o is the PERFECT DOG. EXCEPT WHEN.... - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-22-2018, 05:34 AM Thread Starter
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My 9 m-o is the PERFECT DOG. EXCEPT WHEN....

Hi everyone, I am new to this forum and the reason why I joined is because I find the discussions quite helpful.

I have a 9 month-old male. Ever since I've had him (7 1/2 weeks) he has never shown any dominant behaviour, he's been highly obedient. That is perfect because as a person I am very dominant, so there is no problem establishing myself as his alpha. He listens to me, respects me, looks for me for protection, doesn't nip or jump on me even after leaving him for more than 5 hours at home. Always sensible and respectful to ME.

However, he is TERRIBLE with people. He's not aggressive for sure, but is WAY EXCITED. People can't pet him no more! He always nips like crazy at people's hand! Even after I tell him to sit, the person will approach slowly then start nipping hard! And he randomly jumps at people when we're walking and people pass by.

The other day at the dog park, he nipped at a man's leg for no reason. He also chased down a kid and made him cry. (Not fully my dog's fault, but still). And the worst happened yesterday, where he jumped on an old person, and nipped his FACE. He bleeded beneath his lip. He was very angry I said sorry and I told him my dog has had all vaccination and left the park.

HOW do I stop him from contantly NIPPING, JUMPING or worse, BITING people?

ALL answers/discussion will be highly appreciated. Thanks.
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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-22-2018, 05:36 AM Thread Starter
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Is it becayse HE KNOWS he can NEVER be dominant with me, so he takes it out on other people/dogs when he gets the chance???
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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-22-2018, 05:52 AM
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It doesn't have to do with him wanting to be dominant, but you'll want to find a trainer local to you to meet him in person who uses balanced training methods.

It sounds like he either has fear-reactivity and anxiety issues around other people, or he's seeing other people as prey to bite, but it's not easy to tell from a written post. Especially for an issue that involves a dog already nipping/biting strangers, you'll want to work with a trainer in person.
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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-22-2018, 10:26 AM
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I'm not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm going to pitch an idea anyway. Is this common herding behavior? If so, maybe the answer lies in activities that let your dog express those herding instincts in a controlled way. Obviously, nipping is a problem that no one wants to deal with. Anyway, food for thought.
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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-22-2018, 10:45 AM
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Sounds like an over exuberant adolescent dog.Stay out of the dog park for now before he gets in serious trouble.When you are walking him on a leash and going to pass by someone just keep his focus on you BEFORE he begins to lunge.A 'watch me' command,treats or a toy to focus on instead of the fun time he's having jumping and nipping.
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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-22-2018, 10:59 AM
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you may not appreciate this - however it needs to be said

get rid of the "alpha" nonsense - throw it in to the compost heap

suppression is not training. You have no training .

do you not know how serious this is? "he nipped at a man's leg for no reason. He also chased down a kid and made him cry. (Not fully my dog's fault, but still). And the worst happened yesterday, where he jumped on an old person, and nipped his FACE. He bleeded beneath his lip. He was very angry I said sorry and I told him my dog has had all vaccination and left the park."

your exit from the park -- leaving a senior with a bleeding lip from a dog bite - telling him the dog is vaccinated -- is arrogant

chasing down a kid is simple prey drive . -- it is NOT herding drive . The GSD doesn't "herd" this
way anyway . Many of the HIC videos don't show GSD herding - they are prey drive in action.

Dogs chase moving things -- prey drive -- and it is your fault because you have to train the dog --

the senior had every right to be angry ---

when you are out in public you create an image of the GSD that every one , every responsible owner will be impacted by

keep going this way and sooner or later you will have some one suing you for dog bites - and the dog will pay the penalty.

don't go home and take it out on the dog who is only being a natural , young , DOG .

join a training class . Teach the dog .

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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-22-2018, 11:24 AM
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And he randomly jumps at people when we're walking and people pass by. The other day at the dog park, he nipped at a man's leg for no reason.

This behaviour is inexcusable! Your dog is NOT TRAINED, and you are going to get into serious trouble if this continues!

You need to learn how to train your dog. Any half-way competent dog person can 'read' their dog, so they can prevent it from jumping up on someone BEFORE it happens! And if my dog ever nipped someone on the leg or face while I was walking it, believe me, it's the LAST TIME that behaviour would ever happen! There would be a serious 'come to Jesus' moment, and the dog would immediately understand that behaviour was never going to be repeated!

Let me make it plain: I believe in training that it should be kept as positive as possible, but there are some things that have to be corrected IMMEDIATELY, and with a strong enough correction that there is no doubt in the dog's mind that it messed up.

The best example I can think of was when I was trying to rehab a dog that was seriously dog aggressive and she lunged at another dog. She was wearing a prong collar, and I gave her such an immediate hard correction that she yelped. She never tried that move again, at least not while I was holding her leash. Why was I so hard on her? Because she had a bite like a bulldog. Once she got her teeth on another dog, she wouldn't let go. A bite from her could have cost a small dog its life, and at the very least, resulted in major vet bills, and a muzzle order from Animal Control.

Think about the consequences next time your dog goes to nip or jump up on someone. And get yourself a trainer before something worse happens!
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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-22-2018, 11:51 AM
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I'm remembering a story here of a Yorkie...yes, a YORKSHIRE TERRIER that wound up being slapped with a muzzle order because it supposedly nipped someone in the elevator of the building where it lived.

The owner said there was no mark on the person's hand and no blood was drawn, and, according to them, the nip never happened. But still, the dog wound up with a muzzle order and 'dangerous dog' designation.

You are leaving yourself wide open for something similar to happen to you and your dog.

It is not uncommon for a dog to be 'perfectly trained' when at home, but totally lose it when distractions are added to the picture. Getting a dog to behave when distractions are around is a very important part of its training. Find a trainer who can teach you how to do this, ASAP!
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Last edited by Sunsilver; 03-22-2018 at 11:55 AM.
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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-22-2018, 12:02 PM
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I'm not sure where people get the idea that "establishing yourself as alpha" with a dog or puppy is good idea, or desirable. But I can tell you that that information did not come from someone who knows anything about dogs! Your relationship with your puppy should be viewed more like a team. It's very much a cooperative thing, and you're not even the coach, you are a member of the team. As such, you persuade and teach using good communication skills, not dominance!

Find a good GSD-experienced trainer to help you adjust your leadership style and teach this dog some manners! Don't just try to dominate the behavior out of him, as it's very likely that it will get worse in the future without proper training! And yes, definitely stay away from the dog park and all strangers until the trainer can help you control this dangerous behavior.
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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-22-2018, 12:07 PM
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OP, thank you for asking advice because you need it. I am being respectfully honest with you to save the dog, you from legal trouble and poeple in your area from being bitten: if you were truly in charge, you wouldn't have these problems so you are not in control of his behavior. Please hire a trainer for private sessions in the real world. Time to quit this nonsense. He is being aggressive because he has bitten people and you make excuses for the dog (not fully my dog's fault"), by minimizing the seriousness of his behavior by labeling 'biting' as 'nipping'. You have a potential 'dangerous dog' at your hands. He will get this label once Animal Control gets involved. I am surprised nobody has reported you yet.
How is it possible that he had the chance to 'chase down' a kid? Why was he off leash?
Basically he is a good dog in a bratty stage of his life where he was able to get away with "murder' (at least not yet literally). Like Carmen said, forget the Alpha nonsense; it is old school and it is suppressing behavior but will not cure it. Please follow up the advice you have been given and keep us posted because we do care.
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