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Korra is a beautiful 2 year old long haired GSD, we got her when she was 4 mos old from a local breeder. They had kept the litter too long and ended up selling them (a litter of 8) at 4 months rather than 2 months. I only mention this as this might be some parts of her bizarre behaviour. She is a very sweet, mellow girl with some fire and sass behind her. She is an only dog, she is spoiled and very loved and I realize this may be part of it but I am not sure we can change that. She is not fixed yet because of the growth thing as now recommended by those that know the breed best.
I have two questions about some bizarre behavior I haven't ever seen out of any dog I've shared my home with before. I have a bunch of questions but I didn't want to overwhelm..lol

She loves my son, he is 18 and in college and he works so he is in and out all the time. She greets him with joy and kisses etc. He doesn't do much but love on her, he is not involved in any of the day to day stuff at all, I think she views him as the same status as she is in the pack. But here is the weird behavior, (mostly in the morning) she hears him zipping up his backpack or coat and she barks and growls and runs/rushes at him, she has never bitten him but the noise gets louder and madder until he leaves, she does the same thing but in a very much milder sense if he leaves during the day. It happens everyday, unless he isn't going anywhere then she will go in his room and get up on the bed and kiss him and cuddle with him, it's the only time he lets her in there really. Nothing we have done has changed this to any degree. Any ideas on even why or what this is?


I think that leaving her litter was hard on her, (our vet also thinks this might be part of it), she does have pretty severe separation anxiety but I think we have made this worse because we work from home and have no reason to leave her most times, she goes with us everywhere, loves the car and the park and places where she can got into, if we have to go somewhere we usually plan it when one of us can be at home because she freaks out, so stressed that it takes her hours to calm down if we are gone for even 15 mins and she almost immediately has the runs.

I have discussed this with the vet and she gave me drugs to help her (like for my son's HS graduation) this worked okay but it's not something I want to do everytime we need to go somewhere. I have tried crating, not crating, the dog pheromones, calming treats, the music, the walking/playing until she is ready to collapse before we go, working up to longer times each day....everything, with the same effect. I know this is a breed issue and we dealt with it to a lesser degree with my Standard Poodle (may he rest in peace) but we had two dogs then and it was a little different. I am not sure how she would be with another dog, since turning two she has become dog reactive and people reactive too but my husband seems to think getting another dog would help with all or most of this, maybe a pup? She was bitten by a little dog on a walk a while back and she has some fear of little dogs, she reacts to big dogs if they bark at her but otherwise she is interested but quiet and responsive to us. The GSD is a wary breed and we don't let people rush up to her but some people she will accept with no problem, others she doesn't want anything to do with them and she will let them know. We've just stopped letting people approach her and she ignores most people when we do that. She does have a couple of GSD's she knows in the neighborhood and one she plays with sometimes, I am not totally convinced she enjoys that. Just wanted to see if anyone had any ideas, thanks in advance.
 

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I realize this was kind of a lot for a first post, sorry. I watched and listened to her this morning as she grumbled and growled at him and I put her in her crate still pissing and moaning until he shuts the back door and locks it, I honestly think she is just mad he is leaving. It's just something I have not ever seen and cannot find anything about behavior like this. She is some sort of weird dog!
 

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You have a lot going on that's for sure..

1. You MUST start figuring out a way to leave her alone .... small steps on this one. tiring her out before is always good.. then crate maybe

With your son. she has bonded with him and displays her disapproval that he is leaving. this has to be stopped before it starts. Maybe he can get ready but DO NOT ZIP theban. Actually grab a treat walk to the door call your dog and give a treat for being calm and have somebody bring you the bag that causes the problem. Plenty of ideas on this topic. problem solve.

As far as obedience and training. hence your naughty dog towards other dogs.... I do not see age of your girl to really respond, except socialize train socialize.
 

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...said with helpful intentions....

Who's the leader in your household? Sounds like the dog is controlling the whole household. I would firmly correct

ANY show of growling or barking at any person. She's simply not allowed to do this. Be prepared 2 or 3 days in a

row before your son leaves and be prepared to scold her when she starts. Whatever your scolding word is...NO or

ACK or BEHAVE or whatever, use it with a firm voice after every peep from her. She WILL get the message. If you must, put

a leash on her to make her BEHAVE.

My last female GSD calmed down a lot after she was spayed and after I took her off high carb commercial food and

put her on RAW. Hormones could be making her separation anxiety worse also.
 

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I agree...it sounds like she is trying to NOT let him leave. She is trying to tell him that he is “not allowed” to leave, in doggy language. The zipping of jacket/backpack has become a trigger that alerts her. And it’s probably worse in the morning because the morning departure means he is gone for longer. So I think the “why” seems clear - but how to train her out of it, is less clear. You will have to test a bit to see what training/activity can “‘break the spell’, because it sounds like she gets really wound up!

With the separation...that is tough! Will she let you get the mail, take out the trash? That is how I first began with leaving Rumo alone. Then it became quick runs to grocery store around the corner (15-20 min) and gradually increasing time from there.

If it’s really crazy impossible to leave her, maybe you coukd develop a relationship with a dog sitter...drop her off there and you all can go out for a few hours...and you could book the dogsitter if you have big events, too! Dog sitters usually have a dog or two of their own, so some socializing might help her to learn to relax around other dogs?
 

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The fussing at the son needs to stop. I don't mind a growl. It means something is bothering the dog and must be taken into consideration. It is a warning sign. If you gal is barking and growling all the time, though, that is different. I agree that a correction is warranted. BUT it should be followed up with a behavior you do want if you can. The better behavior is praised. At least the dog should firmly but calmly be led away from your son as soon as she starts her nonsense. You might want to consider having her drag a leash and collar in the house for awhile like Orphan Heidi suggested. It makes it easier to take her away if she starts trying to make leaving hard for your son.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone. :)

The separation anxiety possibly stems from being in a litter on a big farm with her siblings and parents and humans one day and magically being transported to a home with no other dogs and some weird humans that she never met until that day. My vet said they did her no favors by keeping the litter that long and the breeder said she was the most mellow and sweetest of the 8, she was also the smallest I think. We have worked on it off and on for a year and half and I can take the trash out and be outside for a few mins without issue, if she can see me and it's longer than that she becomes stressed. She does better in her crate (smaller space that's her own) but only for a few mins at a time right now. It is also me (mostly because it stresses her out so much) so we both have some work to do. The dog sitter might be a great idea, thanks for the suggestion.

She turned two and decided she hated everything and everyone except us, even dogs and people she tolerated before. I have tried to be consistent with her in helping her through this and it's helping for sure, if my husband has her leash I think he gets nervous that she might do something to a person or a dog, I have tried to explain this translates down the leash and she feels that he is nervous but so far he listens as good as most husbands do..lol. I think spaying her would probably help immensely and now she is two I can do that safely. I feed her half kibble (Zignature) and half (cooked) meat and veggies to top it, I am pretty sure that raw will not be happening, she is picky but we resolved her tummy issues by doing this, she is a good weight at 63lbs.

I am the leader in the house, I train with her daily, using the NILIF, she works for almost everything, she has a schedule, she gets two walks (longer in the morning about 2 sometimes 3 miles, shorter one at night for potty) and lots of small playtimes during the day. She is a stickler for the schedule, if it's time for something she will remind us. She is a little bossy but if she wants something I make her work for it. My husband is her favorite, the sun raises and sets on him, he makes everything a big deal and he is the best. My son does nothing but love on her and kiss her and cuddle her, all of which she sucks up like a sponge, a part of her must be touching one of us most of the time. I need to find a good trainer and am having a hard time finding someone that I feel would help but I have watched a zillion videos and have a bunch of books and toys etc. She listens to me better than either of them but I enforce the rules, they just let her do whatever, no amount of pleading helps me, neither listen to me so I pick up the slack.

I was thinking the same thing, she doesn't like it when my son leaves, it isn't a I'm going to rip you to pieces growl and bark but more just pissy and complaining, she is very vocal (as they all are) and she does a lot of talking. The weirdest part of all of it, is my husband gets up M-F at 4am to go to work, she doesn't make a single peep, most of the time she can't be bothered to get up. Maybe it's because there is no set times for my son? Everyday is different depending on his class or work. At this time she gets scolded everytime, if it's super early and I am not up until the rukas starts or if a little later I can head it off some, she does end up in her crate because she chases him back and forth and then he just gets irritated.

She is pretty obedient, she listens almost all of the time, she really is such a lovely girl, very sweet, these are the sum of her issues. She has her oddball things, some of them strange but nothing mean or terrifying, she is mostly happy just to be close and on schedule.
Thanks for the input, this board is invaluable for the knowledge you all have.
 

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I just read your post from yesterday. And in it, you described your Korra as, Wonderful,
laid back and sweet.
You also posted a picture. She is a beautiful GSD.

In regard to her bizarre behavior, I agree with Orphan Heidi.
Korra needs to be corrected. She asserts herself in your home ie your son leaving the house causes her to react in a way that is unacceptable and outside the home she is dog reactive and people reactive which is anti social.

I know that your issue is complicated because Your dog has the added burden of anxiety which explains a lot of what’s going on. She is a fearful dog.
She needs you to be a good leader. She will feel safer after you learn how to teach her right From wrong.

My advice would be for you to find an experienced trainer. One who has worked with GSDs.
Sign up for a basic obedience class.
Likely that trainer will fit Korra with a prong collar and s/he will teach you how to make leash correction. She’ll get the message. And she will learn that she doesn’t make the rules you do.
You stepping up and taking charge will make her feel safer.
She will respect you as her leader.

Good luck.
 

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You could have your son do his routine then sit down and do nothing. Once the dog relaxes he puts the items away and goes on about the day. Repeat as often as possible. The dog knows the routine and its sending her over her threshold. How well does the dog relax? Do you do any nosework games? You could start a new routine for her at the same time that is something she would find enriching.
 

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Interesting, I know you are correct on the correction and we do correct her, she usually ends up in her crate, locked up because it's annoying. We have a small home and her crate is in the middle of it. My son's back and forth (idiot kid that has to make 40 trips instead of one) I think might make it worse. But she sleeps, mostly, in our bedroom on her bed (not ours, she is not allowed on our bed) in there, but has free reign over the house unless there is a need to put her in her crate. This morning we made sure the bedroom door was shut all the way and she got up barking when my son got up at 4am for work but when I told her to go lay down she did so with a fair bit of grumbling but she didn't get back up.
I looked up fearful dogs, she truly shows no signs of being fearful unless you count the barking and barking is what GSD's do. The only time she is fearful is if we happen to walk past the house where the little dog bit her nose and a tiny bit if we walk up this breezeway through the neighborhood in the dark but otherwise none of the markers are there.
But maybe there is something else that points to being fearful?
My standard poodle was fearful and Korra is not the same. I agree we ALL need to take a leadership role with her, she is over spoiled, over loved and this affects how she perceives us too (this is probably what the issue is). I am just 100% sure that I will never get either my husband or son to follow through with it past a few weeks although I haven't stopped trying yet.
Thanks again.
 

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You could have your son do his routine then sit down and do nothing. Once the dog relaxes he puts the items away and goes on about the day. Repeat as often as possible. The dog knows the routine and its sending her over her threshold. How well does the dog relax? Do you do any nosework games? You could start a new routine for her at the same time that is something she would find enriching.
This is actually a great idea that may have some impact. She relaxes very well actually, she doesn't seem to care if he (my son) is home but if my husband or I are gone she will wait by the window in her chair until we get home, as long as we are home she's good to be legs up and fast asleep. We play hide and seek outside and I hide treats in her puzzle games and under rugs and blankets but that's the extent of her nose work, there is a place we take her to walk with foresty area's and we let her have at it (on leash as it's still a park) to sniff and track but to get her some training would be fun for her. I have not taken her to any trainer, after my last GSD and the few trainers I experienced with him I am not confident in anyone at all in this area, I am looking but no one feels right.
 

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reads like you are on the right track. I bet it is a combination of her age, young and sassy, some boredom, some hormones, etc. If you find time and a good trainer to get her into some sports that would be grand. Or start trainer her for trick titles. Or dog parkour. There are a couple of groups out there that offer titles. Just something to help the family all get out and active and on the same page. It helps if there is a common goal.
 

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2 more thoughts- Does she have any place nearby that's safe for her to have FREE RUNNING and playing?

My 2 yr. old rescue is doing much better with her initial wildness since I let her run off leash around my fenced

acreage. The first few weeks, it was like she had NEVER experienced free running. Now she still loves it but is much more controlled and stops and rests and sometimes just sits and watches wild sand hill cranes and squirrels.

She even chases them sometimes but she's not fast enough to catch them but to her it's play. I wonder if Korra

wouldn't love to run and play free off leash.

2. I already forgot what the second thing was. But it'll come back to me. lol.

It's hard when other family members aren't following up on 'your' training consistently. My adult son comes to visit

every week and undoes my calmness training and lets Heidi be a wild child. And if she's on a leash with him, she pulls

him all over creation. No discipline from him. I'm the disciplinarian.

See if you have any dog clubs, humane society, or any dog obedience groups that you could join w/ Korra. My

past dogs all loved dog obedience groups. Check w/ any MeetUp groups in your area.
 

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I currently have an "angry leaver" .......she never exhibits the behavior when it's me, my wife and two others she bonded with as a pup....after that everyone else is just something to be herded or monitored.


It used to be.....everybody else who gets up from the "herd" will be escorted and "prompted" to return to the gathering so the dog can have all in sight...... I guess the dog was just being true to her nature.


Adherence to commanded obedience solved the problem.....but here's the rub......someone has to place the dog in commanded obedience.......therefore it is my responsibility to assess all situations and act accordingly.....if I can't accomplish this commitment....then the dog comes with me.




SuperG
 

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SuperG, this is exactly it. She does it with my son's girl friend or even my brother and his wife (but not his little kids, she didn't care about them at all). Angry Leaver is a perfect name, LOL. We have moved her crate into the bedroom again and have been putting her in there if she gets super herdy but the other choice has been the leash, tethering works great even though she spends the rest of the day pissed off at me. :)
 

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I do not know of a place here that is enclosed that I could let her be free, her recall is about 90% with no distractions, with them I am not sure it's even 25% so I don't trust her quite yet even in the places we let our others off to run, I do have a 50ft leash that I can do this with to try though. I agree that this might be a great thing to be "free" for a few mins to be crazy. My husband is stepping up, trying to be consistent and is doing much better. Day by day, right?

There is a training place here but they only operate in the spring and summer, I believe they are done for the year now. She would be great at tracking.
 

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I do not know of a place here that is enclosed that I could let her be free, her recall is about 90% with no distractions, with them I am not sure it's even 25% so I don't trust her quite yet even in the places we let our others off to run, I do have a 50ft leash that I can do this with to try though. I agree that this might be a great thing to be "free" for a few mins to be crazy. My husband is stepping up, trying to be consistent and is doing much better. Day by day, right?

There is a training place here but they only operate in the spring and summer, I believe they are done for the year now. She would be great at tracking.

Look at softball or baseball fields. Often (at least near here) they are fenced and have gates. Out of courtesy, make sure you clean up any messes and don't let her destroy or dig the property. By the way she's beautiful, I have 2 long coat girls. :)
 
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SuperG, this is exactly it. She does it with my son's girl friend or even my brother and his wife (but not his little kids, she didn't care about them at all). Angry Leaver is a perfect name, LOL. We have moved her crate into the bedroom again and have been putting her in there if she gets super herdy but the other choice has been the leash, tethering works great even though she spends the rest of the day pissed off at me. :)

I used to tether my dog to my belt loop when company would come over.....**** I'd tether my dog to me when nobody would be over.......sometimes for many hours....life is easier when a dog looks to you and moves with you......problem is......you're not always there ...so one has to ensure the overall safety in your absence.



I've noticed my dogs over the years are more than happy to run the show when I'm not present ......or a suitable replacement isn't on the scene.....if not...I can't allow that to happen....so I make do and the dog is quarantined in one form or another.


Don't know if that makes any sense....but bottom line...you should be able to obtain certain results if you are present and have quality command of your dog.......they actually rather enjoy it ...especially when they sense it pleases you.




SuperG
 

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When max was a pup he would get excited when the kids left to go to the bus in the morning. We live at a narrow dead end street and lucky the bus stop is at the corner right near our house. Max always knew what the bus was here as heard the beeping sound of the bus backing up and could see if you looked at the window. One time he got out of the house the door was not shut right and wind blew the door open and max looked like he thought he was the character “bolt “ and tried to charge the bus head on as the bus was moving but the bus did not even see him and just happened to stop in time. His face was centimeters even less from the front of the bus. Really scary.

The kids left the house any other time with no issue even in a rushed manner-it was just only in the morning going to school and if they said “the bus was here” words said in a rushed excited way that seem to set max off. max would get amped up and jump on them in a obnoxious kind of playful kind of way- trying to keep kids from leaving and getting on the bus -of course the kids were not happy at all and would swat him with their book bag and he would just would want to jump on them more and max would get more amped up. I would Leash him so I can correct him or crate him or he would be in my room. once we got the place or spot command down i would practice that. Once the kids left max would be over it.

Present day -Max will be four in a few days -if the words - “the bus is here” are shouted out -max’s response still embedded in his brain- can still set him off and he wants to jump on them like a freaky fool to stop kids from leaving the house when he knows they get on the demon bus and no other time even if it’s a rushed exit. Max just listens better and not have to be leashed and will go to his spot when I tell him - most of the time he is just in my room still asleep on the bed and door is shut when they leave in morning for school.
 
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