German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,515 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Sierra has started showing some dog aggression. It's not really
bad but I thought I'd get some input on dealing with it. With
most dogs, she is fine (this is on our morning walks) and I will
make her sit/stay while they walk by, and she is good and minds.
But on occasion, if the dogs are unruly and strain at their leashes
she will growl/bark back. When I correct her, she will stop, but
she looks at me like "But Mom, HE started it" and I understand,
but I would like her to just ignore even those dogs, too. One
youngish lab she did this with (they were coming around a corner
and we didn't see them in time to avoid) we have seen since, I
crossed the street and made her sit/stay. She just watched
them, and didn't make any noise.

The other thing is she's pretty reactive to the doorbell. I have
tried de-sensitizing her to it by ringing it all the time (go out to
get the mail or the paper or water... ring the doorbell) and she's
better, one or two barks instead of ten but she's still hackling
until she figures out it's mom there. I don't really have anyone
else to ring it for me, hubs can do it on weekends or something,
but I thought I'd throw it out there for other ideas.

Thanks gang.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,415 Posts
You did not mention the type of GSD Sierra is. Mine is a European Breed GSD, and will be protective among strangers.

As for the walks, if you can control the dog fine.

Remember, Sierra is a GSD, loyal and protective toward you, first. Not a lab, who puts swimming and hunting first, not a golden retriever, who is so friendly, and not one of the small dogs, who are so fearful, they become aggressive.

Sounds to me like you and Sierra are doing fine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,138 Posts
Start working the Watch Me and leave it commands. I don't want to collar correct for a dog reacting to another dog, I want to give an OB command and IF they don't OB the Watch me or Leave it that is what a collar correction is for. Some times if you correct for your dog reacing to a dog that "started it" or is being aggressive to your dog, you can escalate the problem.

Added: the thing with the door bell, teach "Enough", "I got it", or "thanks for letting me know". Then tell her quiet or enough. I like to let my dog know it was OK to bark at the doorbell, so I tell them thanks or Good, I have it now. Puts you in charge and not them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,515 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Timber, she is American showlines, thanks for the kind words!

Val, I should have explained more fully. She will obey commands
(or take treats or look at the squeaker toy, whatever I'm trying
that day LOL) UNLESS the other dog is aggressive. Then it
seems nothing I have works. I've tried standing in front of her
and the little dickens looks out around me. On the other hand,
she now will sit stay in the face of joggers, roller bladers,
skate boarders, baby strollers... and one morning, when a lady
opened up a huge colorful parasol right in front of us. So that is
progress 'cause when I first got her, she lunged at skateboarders
a couple of times. She now walks on VERY loose lead and I get
lots of compliments on her behavior. Just this one thing I can't
seem to nail down, but I will try to leave off the corrections and
see if more time will handle it.

I think the doorbell thing is partly me being used to Tamsen, who
would bark a couple of times and get a Thank you from me, but she
never did any hackling. Sierra doesn't seem confident enough,
the hackles still go up and I worry. We sure don't get very much
"traffic" here to test her out and keep her on lead or something.

Thanks for your help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,138 Posts
valb, some times it takes these little bitches more time to understand what WE want. Hang in there, keep working. If she is ramped up because another dog is being too aggressive towards her, it is difficult to get her attention, I understand, but keep working on it. Some times it can be a phase, but only correct for not listening to your command, not her being reactive.

Raya got into a reactive stag even her at home, I called her Radioactive Raya for a while. If she saw one of my other dogs outside she was running the fence barking and hackling. So I just worked on distracting her, we played ball, we did some OB, no corrections just getting her focus off the other dogs. Now if the other dogs are out, she might bark at them a few times, but will sit and watch them.

When I had Raya in agility they suggested I get her really interested in a favorite toy that she could carry around or I could bring out when she was getting too interested in other dogs. I would just move her away from the other dogs and get her playing with her toy. Some times it was me playing keep away or us playing tugs to get her mind off the other dogs.

Instead of trying to get her to sit calm, try something else, try moving away and getting her to engage in play.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top