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Discussion Starter #1
i was walking simba around the neighborhood. he was calmly walking by my side. a middle school kid comes walking in our direction asking to pet simba. i said sure and put simba into a sit. the kid walks up and pets simba on the head and behind his ears while telling me about his dog and cat. simba then sniffs the boys crotch area and the boy steps directly over simba and starts petting his head some more (simba is still in a sit, he never moves. he boy is standing with his legs over simbas head) all of a sudden simba lets out a huge roar and im guessing tries to bite the boys hand and lunges. the boy gets scared and steps away while i pull simba one step in the other direction. i yell sit and he immediately sits and just looks at the boy like nothing happened. body language was fine. he was calm and not tense at all.

was this aggression or did it bother simba that the boy stood directly over his head? no growl or anything. just a super quick one second and it was over. afterwards the boy immediately walked away and simba just sat there waiting for me to release him from the sit and continue our walk.

kinda freaked me out but im not sure if it was aggression?
 

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I am trying to picture this. Was the kid straddling your dog?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
lol yeah that was a bad description. yes he was straddling him but in the opposite direction. they werent facing the same direction. and the kid was just petting him on his head while talking to me. he's had 5 kids pet him all over his head and face with no problems. his ears even go back like when im petting him. it was just so sudden and he sounded pretty mean but not sure if he really wanted to bite. he couldve just taken a chunk out of the kids thighs that were right next to his face if he wanted?
 

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Stranger straddling over an unknown dog while petting... I'm pretty sure the dog gave off calming signals before he growled and lunged.
 

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i think a stranger should be able to straddle or step
over a dog.

Stranger straddling over an unknown dog while petting... I'm pretty sure the dog gave off calming signals before he growled and lunged.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
so was it aggression? i know i shouldnt have let any stranger straddle my dog in the first place. it just happened so fast and simba seemed so calm before and after. he didnt growl before. he just immediately tried to bite and the boy stepped off and simba lunged once and i snapped his collar and told him to sit and it was over. if it was because of the straddle then thats fine. but if its aggression then i have a bigger problem
 

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So the boy was facing towards Simba's tail? Are you sure nothing got stepped on? Without a warning growl that would be my first thought. Boy might've moved his food and stepped on Simba's tail or foot.

And no...a stranger should not be able to straddle your dog for more than a second. Step over when the dog is in a down, sure...but I'd never expect my dog to sit there while someone puts their crotch over his head.
 

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why not? i trained my dog to let people step over him
by having people step over him. i trained to to let people
straddle him by having people straddle him. i also had people
approach him form the rear, pet his tail, pet his head,
pet his stomach, etc. how did you come up with a stranger
shouldn't be able to straddle a dog for more than a second?
how many seconds should a stranger be able to step over
a dog? lol. stepping over, straddling, approaching from the rear,
touching their head, lifting their tail, reaching under them, etc. is
a standard part of training for me. my dog knows "go through my legs".
i spread my legs and say "go through my legs" and he'll go back and forth
between my legs. he'll do that for a stranger also.

So the boy was facing towards Simba's tail? Are you sure nothing got stepped on? Without a warning growl that would be my first thought. Boy might've moved his food and stepped on Simba's tail or foot.

>>>>> And no...a stranger should not be able to straddle your dog for more than a second.<<<<<

Step over when the dog is in a down, sure...but I'd never expect my dog to sit there while someone puts their crotch over his head.
 

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I'm guessing something was stepped on, but I don't know about anyone else, but I wouldn't let some random person straddle my dog. Only person(s) who have the authority to stand over my dog like that are the members of my household, no one else. Any pressure on the back or head forcing it downward could possibly be taken as trying to force the dog into a submissive position (head/body low to the ground) and the dog might not react in a way we want them to.

The only other person I can think of who ever straddled Finn was the head SAR trainer, but he was playing with the dog and Finn was enjoying himself and had run between his legs, then sat down to get his head and ears rubbed...but I would not have allowed a random person to straddle my dog.

People can step over and step around Finn all they want and he will most likely roll over for you to give him a belly rub once you are over him or he most likely won't even move.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
yeah now that i think of it, it is very very likely that the boy stepped on one of simbas front feet. also this boy was probably in middle school so he wasnt very tall. his balls were basically sitting on top of simbas head. so simba was in a very confined space which also may have triggered it. if simba was laying down the boy could have walked over simba all he wanted. but basically sitting on his head and then reaching down with his hands to rub on his head some more may have been too much. either way i just hope its not aggression. i want to be able to trust my dog around strangers.
 

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yeah now that i think of it, it is very very likely that the boy stepped on one of simbas front feet. also this boy was probably in middle school so he wasnt very tall. his balls were basically sitting on top of simbas head. so simba was in a very confined space which also may have triggered it. if simba was laying down the boy could have walked over simba all he wanted. but basically sitting on his head and then reaching down with his hands to rub on his head some more may have been too much. either way i just hope its not aggression. i want to be able to trust my dog around strangers.
Frankly, your dog needs to trust YOU with him around strangers just as much.
 

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I think that was a lot to subject Simba to, especially if he's not used to kids glomming all over him like that. Many dogs wouldn't be comfortable with it. He probably sent out warning signals prior to the snap, but they were subtle and you missed them. Rarely does a dog go from 100% calm, relaxed and happy to a snap - that's usually the last resort, after earlier warnings are not heeded.
 

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Yes, this was aggression. Plain and simple. What you need to figure out is if it was an appropriate response to the situation. If not, then you have something to work on.

We can make excuses and give reasons why he did it all day long. But the answer to your question is yes. Your dog roared and lunged at a child. Granted, said child was being inappropriate. But your dog showed aggression.


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What kept Simba from biting the boy? Probably not you, because of the closeness you described. Simba could have taken a bite in less than a second. Simba was just giving a warning.


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Not aggression. This was a warning. If Simba wanted to he could have neutered the boy before you could pull the leash back. Could it be that as the guy got close to Simba, he also got closer to you and Simba wasn't comfortable with that? My dogs block people from getting close to me (no barking, just put themselves between me and the other person) but if the person gets closer, like close enough my dog is going to back into me, then they'll do a nasty bark.
 

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when i said "why not" i was asking Martemchik why shouldn't
a person be able to straddle a dog. now i'm asking you. why
shouldn't a person be able to straddle or step over adog?
part of my dog's training/socializing was having people step
over him, straddle him, lift his tail, pet his head, approach
him from the rear, touch his mouth, pet his stomach, etc.

why not?

Is this a serious question?




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when i said "why not" i was asking Martemchik why shouldn't
a person be able to straddle a dog. now i'm asking you. why
shouldn't a person be able to straddle or step over adog?
part of my dog's training/socializing was having people step
over him, straddle him, lift his tail, pet his head, approach
him from the rear, touch his mouth, pet his stomach, etc.
Conversely, why should YOU let someone sit on your dogs' head?
 

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part of my dog's training/socializing was having people step
over him, straddle him, lift his tail, pet his head, approach
him from the rear, touch his mouth, pet his stomach, etc.
But what about dogs who did not have that as part of their training/socialization? Would you expect them to accept it as well as your dog does?
 

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And once again, reasons are given that makes it okay for a GSD to "roar" lunge etc at a child. Typical reason:it is the childs fault. Child did this, child did that. If the dog had wanted to bite, he would have bitten him.
Just read another post where dog bit child while petting his head. Many gave reasons why the dog did it and of course the child was partially blamed. Guarding a bbq, guarding food, etc.
I guess my question is: why do people get all upset when they read about GSD being considered bad dogs, mean dogs, bad with kids, etc ?This forum makes them all sound like a bunch of vicious dogs and everytime they have a reason why. For heavens sake, I read where the dog bites a MEMBER of the family it lives with and again, reasons are given why its okay for the dog to have bitten. Heck according to alot of folks on this forum, its never the dogs fault that he bites, almost bites, lunges, "nips" etc. Its always the fault of the person/child: walked funny, wearing dark coat, moved to quick, was too close to the food, car,yard, fence, person walking dog, etc.
I'm sorry, someday folks need to realize GSD or any dog doesn't NEED to bite, doesn't HAVE to bite, and instead of blaming whomever is at the end of the teeth, they need to be honest and realize THEIR dog has issues and face reality.
As I have been told before I guess I should not have a GSD, I should have gotten a Golden retriever or something because my GSD Holly ACTUALLY likes people of all sizes and colors, big and small, fat and skinny, walking normal, walking bent over, little kids, big kids. She loves to be petted, be given treats for shaking hands, playing dead, catching the treat. She goes to the vet, the stores, the parks, the malls and has a great time because she thinks everyone there is wanting to be her friend. She accepts treats, she accepts petting, she follows commands from others. She loves to play with other dogs. I guess, according to lots on this forum, she is a bad GSD because she actually enjoys people, places and life in general.
Is she perfect? Nope, she chews up stuff she finds in the yard that I don't think to put away. She shreds her toys, she digs holes in the yard. She can be a pain in my behind when cleaning the yard. She barks at the squirrels that tease her on the fence.
All in all, I LOVE having a calm, friendly safe GSD. I don't have to worry about lawsuits or her biting. Oh yea, she is 2 1/2 years old, spayed and in great shape.
 
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