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Hi there,
Five months ago I rescued an eight month old german sheapherd, and boy has it been a lot of work. We have dealt with on-leash aggression, as well as being incredibly shy and timid for a GSD due to previous abuse in his last household. Tucker is the sweet best boy, and my boyfriend and I have fallen completely in love with him. He has gotten so much better since we have adopted him, until today.

Unfortunetly I have to stay with my mom for two weeks until I can move into my new apartment, I don't have anywhere else to go. My mom has two dogs-both don't get along very well with Tucker but most of the time I have brought Tucker over for visits with very few problems. Today as soon as I put out his toys and food he started going CRAZY when one of the dogs would go near his food or anything that belonged to him (including his bed). He showed his teeth, his hair was sticking up, he didn't bite but I was sure he was going too. I mean I have NEVER seen him act this way before. I moved everything of his up into the guest bedroom and when he is downstairs everything is pretty much fine, but if one of the dogs comes upstairs, Tucker will start attacking again, even if they don't even come in the room. He even went off on one of the cats! I don't know what to do other than keep Tucker locked away in the guest room for the full two weeks, which I don't want to do. My parents are already pissed and they want Tucker gone, but I don't have anywhere else to go!

Tucker has had such a hard life and I know that he's stressed out right now...PLEASE if there is any advice you can give or anything you can suggest to help you would be a lifesaver!!!
 

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Maybe you and your mom could walk the dogs together and get some energies out. Walk at a fast pace, focus on the walk and not interaction of the dogs. Then end the walk with positive praise and treats. Tucker probably feels threatened. So food and toys in Tuckers mind are his alone. Does he have a crate that he feels safe in? Feed him in his crate without the other dogs around, and I would make everything around the other dogs feel like he is in control, even though you are the one controlling things. Food comes from you, toys, are from you at your choosing. Practice NILIF.
Do you clicker train w/him?
Don't reprimand him when he hackles, gets worked up, just re-direct his attention back to you. Keep it happy and upbeat around the other dogs. Watch your body language, leash tightening and just general negativity may ramp up the aggression level. There are good books out there "Control Unleashed" by Leslie McDevitt for reactive dogs, "click to calm" by Emma Parsons for fear aggressive or anxiousness. Because you are there temporarily, maybe he can go w/ your boyfriend? It is something though, that you will have to manage with all dogs in the future, not just your moms pack.
Good luck, and thank you for rescuing Tucker!!
When we have a dog with a challenging personality, it forces us to learn more about their psyche!
 

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Too late to edit, but when you get settled after moving, a good training class is priceless. I would find a control unleashed one if you can find it. It is great for reactive dogs w/ other dogs. You can put your general location here and find out who/where is a good place to go, or ask the rescue for a recommendation.
welcome to this great site, by the way!
 

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thanks for the advice...

I'm from Ann Arbor Michigan so if anyone knows of a good class in the area I'd be thrilled. Tucker had a trainer for a few months to help with his on leash aggression but I had a hard time finding anyone that would work with him in the area for whatever reason...I would of course be open to anyone who could help and is in the area.

As for the walking, we actually walk with both of the dogs and they are completely fine...not one altercation. Tucker has been over at my mom's three or four times and each time we walk all the dogs together and they all have been fine. Also this type of aggression never happened before, only when I brought his things into the house. I'm sure he feels threatened I guess I just don't know what to do to calm him down and make him feel safe. We don't have a crate for him but I'm not sure if he would like one since he has never had one before.

And unfortunetly Tucker can't stay with my boyfriend because he is staying here as well! So I literally have nowhere to go and am very frustrated!

Thanks so much for replying!
 

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Tucker wouldn't be the first dog to take exception to sharing his bed, his toys or his food bowl.
My advice would be to keep all toys up off the floor and only give access when the dogs are separate (his toys and the toys that belong to your Mom's dogs). I would feed separately as well, with closed doors between dogs. I wouldn't leave empty food bowls laying out, either.
If he is seriously guarding his bed, you might want to invest in a crate (as was mentioned in a previous post).
Even if Tucker is not thrilled with being crated, doing so might save the expense and stress of a major dog fight.
Good luck! Having an end date in sight for your current living arrangements is a big plus!
Sheilah
 

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Trainers near Ann Arbor Michigan ?

Sounds like your pups is still in the insecure and unsure place we all try to keep our dogs out of. And though he did have a hard previous life, we have to be careful not to feel sorry and use that as and excuse for poor behavior.

Instead, it's nice to hear you are trying to figure out a better way. Being proactive and having tons of plans in place are key. Specially while looking for a good set of classes it's clear that is needed for the dog AND for you.

Being a good strong leader to your dog, will only help in these situations so he'll look to you BEFORE he reacts. He knows that the toys/food/treats etc are actually yours and not his. So this helps with alot of the over-the-top aggression and possesion stuff when he starts to realize when he misbehaves NO ONE gets the toys/treats but you (hey mom!!!). The fact toys and all shouldn't be left out, period, right now. And you have control of taking them out and then putting them away will help.

Have you read The Dog Listener by Jan Fennell? Tons of good DOG based behavioral stuff from THE DOGS point of view. Coming at it like we naturally do to fix things as a human frequently just causes alot of frustration.

Management and control while you are in your mom's house will have to be your primary goal. And if you can spend WAY more time on car rides, socialization, and exercising your dog off leash then it will help alot to bring a tired dog back home.
 
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