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Gus is 6 months old now and for the past 2-3 weeks, his aggression has come out. He has not actually tried to bite anyone as of yet, but when someone gets too close to me, he growls and lunges toward them. He did it with a good friend of mine and he never bit, just growled and sniffed.
Talking to a vet tonight, and he told me that Gus sees himself as Alpha Male pack leader. I need to establish myself and family as the leader but I still want him to be protective when it is necessary. Or is this one of those you cant have it both ways? I would like for him to not growl, bark, (or bite) when someone come up to us, but still be protective if someone were breaking into the house. He has made it through puppy kindergarden and knows the basic comands (sit, down, stay until daddy turns his back, speak) but where should I start with teaching him I am the leader and not to growl and bark at people just because they get too close to me. Any help would be appreciated.
WT
 

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At six months, he's too young to even comprehend what protection is. However, I'm not sure how I could help you out, but have you heard of NILIF? That sounds like it could be beneficial. Someone more helpful should come along soon.
 

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At 6 months, your pup might be just going through a fear period. It most likely has nothing to do with protecting you, but is probably just trying to protect himself of something he's unsure of.

Join a good basic obedience class in your area (not petsmart or petco unless you really have no other choice). It's good for training and it's especially good for socialization. Do you have any good training facilities in your area?
 

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How much time/effort do you put into socialization with your pup? At his age you should be getting him used to as many people and as many different experiences as possible. That will help a great deal with him being properly protective and recognizing a true threat in the future when he gets older. let him realize that most people are friendly and that most new experiences are good.
 

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sounds more like a fear stage being only 6 months old. dogs dont usually develope protective instincts until at the very least a year old if they ever develope at all. I agree with codmaster.
 

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what doggie dad said ^^^^^

At this age, I agree, it's not protectiveness, it's fear based. Because he isn't showing 'fearfulness', doesn't mean it's not.

Possessiveness, maybe. Continue your classes, and continue socializing, I would not allow anyone to pet him, stare at him, touch him, (when he's acting like this), if he's food motivated, have people TOSS him treats, no interaction unless he initiates it and he's FRIENDLY about it.
 

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I agree with everyone else, do NOT confuse this with protection or 'Alpha' behavior. This is a puppy who should be happy and enjoying everyone still. If he's not, it sounds like a fear stage you need to work thru or you will be in BIG trouble down the line with an unreliable fear agressive dog.

DOG CLASSES. Socialization. Good normal happy meeting with treats and fun for all.

You need the dog classes so your pup learns to look to you and listen to you and get guidance from you cause YOU have a handle on any situation like a calm leader is supposed to. But we all need to get that leadership role in a way our dogs understand so off to dog class we go to learn. Right now your pup is misguided and thinking they have to deal wtih a stressful situation they are NOT up for, so they are acting completely inappropriately to keep the 'scary' away.

But if they instead learn that YOU are in control and will either deal with the 'scary' or show them it's not scary at all. Then the puppy can again step back to calm down and take thing as they come in a calmer more normal manner.
 
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