German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Zeus is 4, neutered at 2 1/2 years. He has been socialized.
He has gotten a lot better the last year...BUT he HATES me sister-in-law! She is an avid animal activist, vegetarian, adores animals and nature. (she admits dogs aren't her thing).
When Zeus sees her either at our home or at hers, he goes nuts.
HE turns into a attack dog. HE growls, lunges and tries to bite her.
IF tied up or not.
He LOVES kids, even strange kids. He plays very well with my grandkids and has never showed any aggression towards them.
HE is very protective in the home. IF we go out to the Pet Store, he is fine with strangers. (a little cautious), but no growling or anything. He even begs the cashier for a treat.
HELP! My sister-in-law lives 30 miles away, so she won't be dropping by often, but we visit her more as she has a few acres to roam on. Went there yesterday and Zeus had to be tied up because he tried to attack her as soon as he saw her.
Thanks for any ideas,
Sandy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,280 Posts
Obviously there is something she is putting out that he doesn't like.
I wish I could be of some help.
hopefully someone knows a little more to help
Good luck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,314 Posts
How does she act around him? What's her body language like? Does she act fearfull? She maybe exhibiting an emotion that is setting him off and she might not realize it. Then again, if she was an animal activist, I would think she would know this type of thing..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
426 Posts
I'm only jumping in because, based strictly on how you've described it, I've definitely seen this extreme behavior before and trying to figure it out can make you nuts. I'm very curious about - What transpired the very first time SIL and Zeus saw each other/met? Have you ever observed your SIL with another GSD or large breed dog? Is your SIL under an excessive amount of personal stress? Has Zeus been with you since puppyhood/does he have a rescue history?

Without knowing any other details-
1- Your SIL may be understating just how much dogs are not her "thing" and may be successfully covering a true fear.
2- Zeus has a history unknown to you and SIL is unwitting trigger.
3- Zeus and SIL had some type of early-on interaction that set this behavior in motion.

I know a dog that had virtually never shown aggression turn into full attack mode on a first encounter with a person who owned and loved dogs. It turns out said person was going through the mother of all long-term sustained stress (think being on the battlefield every day without a war). This, in turn, changes our chemical/hormonal balance dramatically for the worse. Women, in particular, have been shown to "wear" this chemical footprint of stress in terms of cortisol, testosterone, progesterone, etc. - all step up and increase when we experience sustained stress. As her stress level/situation slowly decreased, she and the dog went on to have a "normal" social relationship. In simplest terms, her whole persona was in "fight" mode constantly. Yes, there are lots of people walking around super-stressed, but your SIL is someone brought directly into Zeus' comfort zone and he to hers. Phobia/fear reactions also cause a major physiologic response.

These are just thoughts based on stuff I've been encountered. I think personally I'd start by asking SIL to spill on just how not her thing dogs really are. (sorry such long post).
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top