shutzhund increase aggression? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-08-2011, 04:01 AM Thread Starter
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shutzhund increase aggression?

Hello, apologies-long post. Today my 4 year old F GSD lunged and nipped a person away from me. I was and am in shock. Her background: She has been temperment tested twice and passed with flying colors. In fact, one trainer tried to buy her on the spot due to breeding and temperment. She has the temperment to do Shutzhund or be a police dog but also is exceptionally calm and sweet. Which is how we accidently got her; breeder misranked her and sold as family pet. Offered trade later...but we were attached. Anyways, we did a bit of Shutzhund training her first year and she had been taken as a pup to watch but we discontinued for fear it might bring out agression. Since then she has never put a paw wrong...until the last 3 months. I went from being home full time to gone two days and two nights a week and her exercise half of usual. She began anxiety panting, digging and showing signs of terrortorialness about house/car. Talked with vet about anxiety seperation and he suggested car/crate or bring her with. Today I started at new job and they let me bring her and I was sitting in a dark back room sorting files and she was laying behind me when my supervisor came around the corner and reached out towards me. My GSD was up quickly and lunged nippingat her until she moved away (not any bites more like bonked and nipped to herd her away...still scary) and I got up and got her coller. She immediately settled down into a sitz completely calm. I was shocked. And appalled that she took matters into her own "paws". Of course i know I was probably exuding anxiety a my first day, etc...My question is that I have been told I should commit to the shutzhund training or someday my GSDmight make her own decision of what is a threat and I have been told the opposite- shutzhund will make her more agressive. What is the general concensus from those with GSD shutzhund experience? Will also post this under agression forum.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-08-2011, 07:54 AM
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It is very difficult to diagnose a dog over the internet. Just too many variables. I will say this, Sch could be the best thing that can happen to the dog if you put the emphasis on the obedience component moreso than protection work until you are comfortable with the dog in terms of complete control. I would not have taken the dog to work and allowed the dog to have this kind of access with the UNCERTAINY that you possess at this time. Many people think of Sch dogs in terms of protection,(usually the uniformed sideliners), but the strength of Sch is the obedience foundation on and off leash that is put into the dog to give you a great bond and control. If a dog has poor temperament, Sch won't help and the dog shouldn't be doing Sch anyway(or any protection work). But if the dog is sound as you are representing and others are indicating to you like the breeder, then obedience foundation is a must and would certainly give you assurances. And though your dog may know sit and down and stay from a pet perspective, that is nothing compared to a dog that is completely reliable off leash in heel,sit,down,stay,and come. Once a sound dog has that instilled I think you are ahead of the game.JMO
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-08-2011, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by genevieverose View Post
Today I started at new job
I think this was your mistake. Since you are probably feeling somewhat insecure, being in a new place and all, your dog probably picked up on it and was being more vigilant. Think about it from the dog's perspective: New place, you're feeling anxious, alone in a dark room, a stranger sneaks up behind and reaches for you...

To be honest, I'd say you have a pretty good dog!

But of course, you can't have that kind of behavior in the workplace. Leave her at home until you are comfortable in your new position, and if they let her come back, make sure that she is able to meet your boss and understand that he isn't a threat.

To answer your question: I don't know that SchH training will make a dog MORE aggressive. I'd bet she would have done the same thing if she hadn't had the training. The key with bitework is control, and the dog understanding what a call-off means. I wouldn't quit training at this point, but I'd focus more on obedience and control.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-08-2011, 11:34 AM
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misread something
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-08-2011, 12:09 PM
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I would say your error was bringing a dog your first day on the job when you are not 100% focused on her or what you should be doing.

J, mom to:
- Elsa - "Da Pookins"
- Medo - "The Beast From The East"
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-08-2011, 10:10 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you contacting shutzhund club

I completely agree with all of you and take full responsibility. Upon reflection I see how I accidently set her up and her reaction made sense. I am so used to her being so "easy" and "good" I forgot to be more mindful of the situation and what type of dog she is. She has been temperment tested twice. Passed both with flying colors.Will contact Shutzhund club 1.5 hour away which is run by her breeder and concenrate on the tracking/obedience as the local trainers are not GSD type experienced or refer them out. she deserves a trainer who understands GSD and to educate me. Thank you for the chastisement and words. Never contacted forum before...just read alot. Thank you.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-09-2011, 07:27 AM
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The Sch club doesn't need to be German Shepherd just needs to have good dog trainers in leadership and training director roles. This breed is not so fragile as to need anything special, actually a good GS should thrive in a decent training environment.
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