German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Long story short, my 1 yr old intact gsd mix has had some concerning behavioural changes lately. He has always been nervous, but instead of trying to retreat when he's overwhelmed, he now growls and snaps. This happens particularly when 2+ dogs approach him at once, and can sometimes happen when it's a single dog (rarer, he's 80lbs and tall, and he knows it). Whats weird is that he'll see the dogs from far off and whine and pull towards them (we are working on leash training) like he wants to go see them, so what I've done in the past is make him sit, wait and make eye contact with me, then release him to go play. Except now he'll see the dogs approaching, freeze and when they get close to sniff he growls and snaps. Needless to say we no longer frequent the areas where people walk their dogs without a leash (I live in a pretty rural area). This behaviour also coincides with him becoming much more dominant in his interactions with other dogs, he will be aggressive and lunge at young unneutered males, and try to hump females and submissive neutered males, and he does the putting his head over the back of other males necks thing as well,, which has caused a few scuffles, so now, I no longer allow him to interact with unknown dogs, as prevention is the only way I know how to stop this behaviour. I'm not sure how else to address these issues, so any advice on how to train him how to a) play nicer and b) become more confident in his interactions with unknown dogs would be much appreciated!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,077 Posts
The ideal situation would be if you could hike along with your dog off leash.If he has a reliable recall,none of the neighboring dogs are bullies,and traffic isn't an issue.We live in a rural area also and have zero issues with other dogs unless humans intervene.If you can give them some space and a few moments to figure each other out,they will turn away from each other,sniff around,pee,go their separate ways.
If the owners are too close often there is resource guarding,if there's loud voices or grabbing of collars it many times instantly morphs into a confrontational situation.It's really difficult to keep your dog's focus and for you both to remain calm and ignore when you are being periodically rushed.I'm guessing you both feel rather helpless,frustrated,and victimized being closely attached together and 'walking the gauntlet'?
If you must keep him leashed another idea is a walking stick to block the other dogs from getting near or an led flashlight set on strobe(yes it works day/night!)to startle and temporarily disorient them.You need to make rushing at you two as unrewarding as possible.Just a few thoughts that may help:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,599 Posts
Dogma offered good advice. One year of age is about average for a GSD to enter adolescence. You will begin to see a lot of changes. Don't let your dog practice bad behaviors. Now is the time to up his obedience. Practice the basics stressing duration and distance under ever increasing distractions. Make sure to work your dog under threshold slowly decreasing distance to the distractions.

There are various methods of walking past dogs, such as walking him in a curve around the other dog, or simply you changing directions before your dog reacts. The less he practices, the easier it will be for you to redirect him to the desired behaviors.
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Top