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Simon was always very submissive but once he hit 8mths he started trying to be dominant. I grew up with GSDs and know it's normal for them to try to be leader of the pack, but now that I'm raising my own GSD I'm not sure how to handle this.

Not to brag, but he is usually pretty good with me and I haven't really felt him test my authority yet, but he doesn't really listen to my husband and will sometimes do a little snarl at him. He also likes to put his mouth around my husband's arm, not biting him though.

For my sister it is the worst, she recently moved in with us. Simon chases her around and nips at her heels.

I do not think my dog is a bad dog but this sudden behavior is really starting to worry all of us.
 

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I don't think this is true dominance.

You have a dog that's entering puberty. Even if he's neutered, he's going to go through pretty much the same thing kids go through as teenagers-- talking back, testing their limits, sneaking out after curfew, sneaking Jack Daniels from the liquor cabinet. . . . oh wait, that's not the dog! :blush: It's no coincidence that this is the age where they tend to get dumped in shelters and rescue.

The mouthing and nipping is also extremely common at this age.

Is your dog currently enrolled in a good obedience class?
 

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I don't think this is true dominance.

You have a dog that's entering puberty. Even if he's neutered, he's going to go through pretty much the same thing kids go through as teenagers-- talking back, testing their limits, sneaking out after curfew, sneaking Jack Daniels from the liquor cabinet. . . . oh wait, that's not the dog! :blush: It's no coincidence that this is the age where they tend to get dumped in shelters and rescue.

The mouthing and nipping is also extremely common at this age.

Is your dog currently enrolled in a good obedience class?
:spittingcoffee:
 

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He starts obedience training at Petsmart after the holidays, a little Christmas present to ourselves!
Thank you very much. It's good to know that our little monster is coming by this naturally.
 

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Yeah, this is the age where your sweet angel puppy turns into devil teenager. Getting into an obedience class will help a lot. I would also strongly encourage your husband to work with him as well. The reason he doesn't listen to your husband isn't because he's challenging your husband to be pack alpha (thank you Cesar Millan) but because your husband doesn't work with him as consistently as you do.

If he's chasing and nipping your sister, I'd keep him on a leash and correct that behavior asap.
 

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........... The reason he doesn't listen to your husband isn't because he's challenging your husband to be pack alpha (thank you Cesar Millan) but because your husband doesn't work with him as consistently as you do.................
Not sure about the reason your dog won't listen to your husband - it is not just because he doesn't work with him much though. As an example, my class instructor rarely if ever works with my dog (3 yo male GSD) and yet he listens to her quite well. Could be that he sees her as calm and assertive, I think; and thus knows that he has to obey.

Does your husband expect your dog to obey?
 

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Good point Codmaster. I have also seen dogs obey people who don't work with them at all. Some people have gravitas and some don't. However, for people who don't I think that the best way to develop it is to work with the dog in question.

I've had several people call me a month or two after adopting one of my fosters, complaining that the dog listens to one and not the other. It's gotten to the point that I can usually peg it during the home visit as to which spouse the dog won't listen to a month down the road. In those situations I recommend that the spouse the dog ignores, take the dog to training classes. It's not so much that the dog needs to learn to sit and stay; it's more that the person needs to learn how to deal with the dog. So far it's always worked.
 

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Good point Codmaster. I have also seen dogs obey people who don't work with them at all. Some people have gravitas and some don't. However, for people who don't I think that the best way to develop it is to work with the dog in question.

I've had several people call me a month or two after adopting one of my fosters, complaining that the dog listens to one and not the other. It's gotten to the point that I can usually peg it during the home visit as to which spouse the dog won't listen to a month down the road. In those situations I recommend that the spouse the dog ignores, take the dog to training classes. It's not so much that the dog needs to learn to sit and stay; it's more that the person needs to learn how to deal with the dog. So far it's always worked.
Absolutely!
 
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