German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Registered
Annie, 5 m/o German Shepherd born 11/06/20
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
We are getting increasingly worried about our female German Shepherd puppies aggression towards strangers on her walks. We have taken her to puppy training classes where she has been okay. She will sometimes bark at the other dogs there but settles very quickly, even if they are barking at her.
She is very clever - we bought her home at 6 weeks old. By the time she was 9 weeks, she was fully toilet trained, and knew paw, sit, lie down, and come here. We know that she understands the she shouldn’t be barking at people on her walks, but she does it anyway.
Some days, she isn’t too bad, and will walk having only barked at 2 or 3 people, sometimes even none at all. However, there are times where she will bark and growl very aggressively at every singe person we pass. She pulls at the lead and is very persistent. It’s very embarrassing, especially when she is barking at young children or mothers with prams and babies.
She lives at home in a large family (my parents, my three siblings and I). The breeder we got her from was heavily pregnant when Annie was born, and admitted that she didn’t have the pups in the house much, around other people. I often wonder if this could be a contributor to the problem?
For anyone wondering what we do to try to control her on walks - we use her favourite treats to ‘distract’ her, and then if they walk past and she doesn’t bark or growl, she gets the treat. We also sometimes sit her down as people are approaching and make her wait whilst they walk past.
We are at our wits end, please help!! Any advice is greatly appreciated. :)
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,118 Posts
it is part of her age. She is learning new things and trying things out. Right now distance is your friend, especially since we aren't supposed to get close to each other anyhow. Watch your pup and redirect her BEFORE she starts barking. Find folks and practice passing. Keep her close and expect good behavior. If she passes quietly keeping close to you she gets rewarded. If she barks keep moving and then set up for another pass. Importantly, get a trainer or mentor to watch. Body posture, how you breath, tightening up the leash, changing your pace, when you correct and when you reward: all these things tell you pup things. Someone else, who knows GSDs, can be very helpful.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32,342 Posts
I'd say that's pretty normal for that age. Teach her obedience, teach her how to walk nicely on a leash, and what is appropriate behavior because obviously she does NOT understand that she isn't supposed to bark at strangers. I like the Leave It command for this. She's still a baby. Keep teaching her. You can't correct a behavior if they don't know what hte appropriate behavior should be. And you can't correct a reaction if you haven't given your dog a command.

I often do exactly as you do, put them in a sit while others pass. And I reward heavily for maintaining the sit and not reacting.

I teach Leave It with food on the floor. I place a piece floor and when they go to get it, I put my foot over it. When they look at me, I reward from my hand. Once they start getting that the reward comes from me, I add the command to leave it when they look at the food on the floor. Leave It easily transfers to anythign and everything because they look at the food, I say Leave It, and they look back at me for the reward so when a person walks by, I can say Leave It before they react and they look back at me for a reward. It's just counter conditioning.
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Top