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Hi all,

My just over 1 year old German Shepherd has always been pretty full on and struggles with attention span, anxiety, over-active etc. She can be quite aggressive when people approach me or our home but recently she bit a small dog at a doggy day care. She has also lunged at another female shepherd and had to be pulled off. We contacted another dog sitter and explained what had happened so he met her, tried her with his dogs and all seemed okay - she has been going 3 days a week for over a month but today she attacked his dog (female again), vet had to be called and she also bit and flipped him over when he tried to break it up. There were never toys or food involved and I usually take her to off-leash parks with no issues and have never been present when she attacks but it seems as if she just snaps and can't be controlled.

I'm at a bit of a loss as to what to do and wondering if anyone has experienced similiar or has any advice?

Thanks in advance.
 

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Stop all doggy day care. All interaction with other dogs. Your dog does not have any need to socialize with other dogs, nor does she want to!

Get a trainer. A very good trainer that is balanced with corrections and rewards that will teach behavior modifications . She does not need to like other dogs. She only has to respect their right to breathe.

Same goes for people. Nobody approaches. Obedience to you. And don't be afraid to be rude. People are oblivious and pushy when it comes to dogs. She is not public property and you can tell peop,e to back off.

Your goal is 100% obedience and control. Been there, done that. I could have saved us both a lot of grief by not thinking she needed to play with other dogs.
 

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Many of us don't do dog day care or dog parks. At one years old your GSD is pretty much a head strong teenager. You will need to make sure she gets plenty of exercise and mental work. Routine will be important and clear fair consequences for throwing her weight around when she shouldn't. It is hard for a doggy day care worker to catch the nuances of a young GSD who is thinking poorly and correcting that thinking before it causes trouble. They just have too many dogs to watch. You might be better served with crate training your gal. If you have to leave the house for work or long hours you might consider hiring a good dog walker for a mid day break. But you have to make sure you hire someone who understands strong breeds, not just fluffy couch potatoes. When you get home, even though you will feel like kicking your shoes off and relaxing, after taking a short break for yourself do a 15 minute workout with your dog. She'll be so happy you are home and you'll have her attention. It might be a good time to teach skills like heeling, placing, searching, etc.

And I'd not go off leash at a park if you aren't 100% sure of her recall. One bite and your dog could be put on a bad dog list which can cause you to have to muzzle her in public, leashed at all times, or worse, be put down.
 

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I'm glad you found this forum and came here looking for advice. You got two outstanding responses from Jax08 & car2ner. I think it's a hard one for most people to hear, that their dogs don't need doggie friends. GSD's especially are not social butterflies in these type of free for all settings.


Your girl does not like these situations she's being put in and has basically resigned herself to tell everyone to F off but her way is going to make matters worse and get both of you into trouble. It also doesn't sound like she's earned the freedom of off leash running right now. She needs to be glued to you, taking a cue from you, because you're in control and will protect her.


Perhaps if you list your area, you can get some recommendations of a good trainer in your area.


Good luck
 

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I'm not sure why you continued to allow your girl around other dogs after she attacked them multiple times? Clearly she is not a dog that should be around other dogs. It is irresponsible to allow it to continue happening. As others have said, she doesn't need dog friends. All she needs is you.

Maybe you would be better off hiring a dog walker to come spend time with her during the day instead of sending her somewhere else. You would of course have to very slowly introduce the dog walker so your dog would be comfortable. A trainer would be a great resource for you, and the trainer may have some other ideas or suggestions after he/she sees your dog in person.

Good luck. It sounds like a very stressful situation.
 

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I don't see a huge need to socialize working dog breeds, to the extent of doggy day care and such. They're not meant to be in a group of dogs they don't know. No reason to put her in that sort of environment if she doesn't do well in it. My dog enjoys the attention so I bring him to the dog park. Most other working dogs that I've met, not so much. They like to be left alone. Both of my dogs are under going some minor protection dog training, not professionally just what I can do on my own. I don't see them as dogs that need to be pet in public, or around other dogs. Their job is to protect me and my property, and that's instinctually what they'll do as well as your own dog. Like others said, work on obedience and don't force her into these situations. The other day at Petsmart a kid asked to pet my dogs, so I let him, then my rottie mix jumped backwards, so we walked away. He wasn't comfortable so I didn't force him to be in that situation.
 

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Hi all,

My just over 1 year old German Shepherd has always been pretty full on and struggles with attention span, anxiety, over-active etc. She can be quite aggressive when people approach me or our home but recently she bit a small dog at a doggy day care. She has also lunged at another female shepherd and had to be pulled off. We contacted another dog sitter and explained what had happened so he met her, tried her with his dogs and all seemed okay - she has been going 3 days a week for over a month but today she attacked his dog (female again), vet had to be called and she also bit and flipped him over when he tried to break it up. There were never toys or food involved and I usually take her to off-leash parks with no issues and have never been present when she attacks but it seems as if she just snaps and can't be controlled.

I'm at a bit of a loss as to what to do and wondering if anyone has experienced similiar or has any advice?

Thanks in advance.
what to do ?

stop catering to the dog . Stop the chaos of doggy day ,

do recognize that you have a dog who over loads, over stimulates , easily. She lacks focus

All of this coupled with a less than confident , anxious genetic type , requires you to
help her be the best that her genetics allow and that means that you have to train her - give her an environment and a reason to focus - with a reward for ramping down (not up).

You need to give the dog a "reflective" rest . You can change some of that anxiety creating chemistry with fish oil -- omega 3 , probiotics for the mind-gut connection. Anxiety is a partner to digestive problems and vice versa.

You need to work with her to build a connection to you .

Training . Good resource book is Fired Up, Frantic, and Freaked Out: Training the Crazy Dog from Over the Top to Under Control
 

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This seems pretty open and shut. I am going to assume that there is other pressure on you preventing you from thinking clearly.
I have a dog that does not cope well with pressure and is not good with other dogs. I have ensured that she has a safe yard to play in, we use her crate to settle her when she gets over wrought and we walk early in the morning, late at night or in the rain when others are unlikely to be out. I keep her to a fairly strict schedule so that she knows what is going on and when and she has not been off leash on purpose since she was about 4 months old. I built a 25' rope that I can fasten around my waist for when we are in unpopulated areas, and I sometimes let her drag it around when we go hiking IF she is behaving. I do obedience drills daily to keep it fixed in her little brain and if I know it will be a busy day at home with guests or service people she is in her crate with the door to her room closed. If we must walk in populated areas she is muzzled. This not only prevents biting but makes normal people mind their business and keep their hands off her. It also removes ANY possibility of her being blamed for a bite.

This is not a breed that wants to be social with random dogs and it is the only breed I know of that warns of females being notably more prone to dog aggression then males.
 

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No more uncontrolled meeting with dogs + muzzle training + finding a trainer + working on obedience + making sure he has enough exercise + maybe trying anxiety medication + maybe considering neutering. Good luck!
 

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Sabis mom;9085153 This is not a breed that wants to be social with random dogs and it is the only breed I know of that warns of females being notably more prone to dog aggression then males.[/QUOTE said:
True, some times they don't suffer fools very well.
 

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"vet had to be called and she also bit and flipped him over when he tried to break it up." Do you mean she has bitten and knocked down a person?
 

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No reputable doggie care puts large, powerful breeds together with little ones. That's a recipe for disaster. Little ones are supposed to be with others their size so that they don't become objects of prey drive. Any facility that doesn't practice that basic common sense is going to have a dog die eventually. I feel badly for the small dogs that are put in this dangerous position.
 

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"vet had to be called and she also bit and flipped him over when he tried to break it up." Do you mean she has bitten and knocked down a person?
- the answer to this is yes.

Thank you all for your responses. After reading through your responses and a lot of information last night regarding Shepherd's I am obviously out of my depth with the requirements of a GSD and now need to do whatever I can to provide Shadow with the training and discipline she should have been receiving when we first got her (my partner has had GSD's before and she was living with him for the first 10 months we had her but he has now moved in with me due to external circumstances and as my yard is small, I thought doggy day care was the best option for her to ensure she was stimulated and received attention as she was constantly ripping up my place).

Obviously the above is not the correct answer and thinking that because she is so good with certain dogs and beautiful natured with myself, doesn't mean she won't repeat past behaviours.

I appreciate the non-judgement that you have all responded with in trying to help me (who much sound like a amateur in regards to animal training) and I have now arranged for her to meet with a behavioural specialist for private sessions to enable me to learn best how to disciple Shadow and ways to ensure she is stimulated at home during the day without having to be in a social environment.

If anyone has any additional tips for providing stimulation in a small space while at work during the day I'd appreciate any help!

Thanks again,

Ella
 

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It sounds like this only happens at doggy day care. Not at the dog park or in public.

Simple solution is to stop Doggy Day Care.

She has lunged at dogs in parks and struggles to re-call and will be extremely aggressive towards people randomly on leash in public or anyone who approaches myself or our home but she has not attacked at an off-leash park (yet) however obviously now not going to take my chances.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
GSD Biting Response

Hi all,

I have attempted to respond a couple of times but for some reason they keep being deleted by admin (I assume!?)

Thank you for all your responses - Firstly in regards to the question of the attach, yes, she did bite the carer and then ended up putting him to the ground.

I am aware that I do sound like a bit of a ******** for continuing with socialising and day care after she had already had negative encounters but I do not have a history of owning GSD's (my partner has owned them previously) and was unfortunately had too much faith in the way she acts around my parents dogs and believed that she was always provoked so in the right care, it wouldn't be an issue. My partner had her living with him the first 11ish months of her life and I obviously visited/walked her on regular occasions but was not with her for extended periods of time and was not aware of the minimal training/discipline she had received in comparison to the amount she requires which I have begun to realise after doing some research on the breed and reading through these forums.

She now lives with me full-time as he does also with minimal space for her so I had been taking her off-leash to exhaust her as much as possible and to date, we haven't had a negative encounter at the dog park but after the most recent issue at day care and all your advice I will return to leash walking. I have contacted a behavioural specialist to provide myself with the mentoring I require to provide her with the training and discipline required - unfortunately I should have realised a lot earlier that she required more than what she was getting from my partner but hindsight is wonderful!

I am sure from reading this many of you are shaking your heads at my lack of education and initiative to research into the breed before owning her and I agree with you but I love her dearly and am not willing to give her up just because she wasn't trained correctly (I have owned Shih-Tzu's, Border Collies and Cocker Spaniels where the training required was much less for success I just assumed our GSD was a bit NQR with her lack of ability to pick up training habits quickly). Luckily she is still young and I am now able to use this forum to assist her in being a calmer, happier pup.

Obviously if any of you have any additional training tips and tricks you would recommend please feel free to msg me.

Thanks,

Ella
 

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I am so glad you asked for advice. Although we can all add our 2 cents having an expert watch your dog in action is very valuable. Just remember that there are no black and white insta-answers and sometimes training requires trying all the tools in the tool box. The best tool to start with is your confidence that things are going to get under control. If you get anxious or frustrated it will mess with teaching your dog anything. Always remember to relax, breath and know things will get better.
 

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I just love it when people ask for advice with open minds.

If it was my dog my number one thing would be crate training and number two would be muzzle.

I found that with Shadow I was much more relaxed with her muzzled and that translated to her being more relaxed. A relaxed dog is much more open to learning then one that is tensed for an attack.
I am happy that you are looking for a trainer and if you post your general area I am sure someone can make a recommendation.
 

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You sound wonderful, she’s a lucky girl.

I won’t presume to offer training advice, I’m also a bit of a novice. I will caution you to find a trainer/behaviorist who knows and loves the breed. Hard to believe, but not all of them do...

Good luck to you!
 

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Lets see what the behaviorist comes up with for you, but you figured out the important piece that was probably leading to problems. She's not a Shi-tzu or Cocker and even though there may be some broad similarities with Border Collies, both being herding breeds, she's not going to react in the majority of situations the same way.
 
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