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Discussion Starter #1
I swear every couple weeks it's something new with my big, handsome dope....and, NO I 'm not talking about my husband! We have never had an agression problem with our Bear, who will be 1 year old soon, but lately he has been barking and nipping at people as they enter the house....not me or my husband or ANY of our 4 kids, but FRIENDS of the children who come into the house. The only time he has NOT gotten up to meet someone at the door agressively, is when my husband (who Bear considers "the boss") is there. What do I do when the boss isnt home to curb this most recent negative behavior, I am afraid he will hurt someone.
 

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I'd like to hear more about this as well, when I'm not at home my wife often reports schatzi as being much more anxious and generally very over-protective. She hasn't nipped at anyone yet but I'm worred about her having company when I'm gone. She usually won't let anyone in if I'm not there(unless she knows them pretty well) and has to be put in her crate. She hasn't been given the opportunity to bite but she holds her ground in the entry and wont let them by while constantly barking.

I can't decide whether this is a behavior I want to correct or not. I want her protective but I don't want anyone to get hurt.
 

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is he onlead/tethered inside? i would make sure you have control of him, physically, especially if he's being aggressive.

you might want to consider leaving him in the crate when people come over until he's calm, and then letting him out.

another possibility is having him sit or down when someone comes in.
 

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OP you need to control the dog and Kelsey
your wife needs to control the dog. If that means having a drag leash or line on so they can grab that when they need then that is what needs to happen. I think people don't realize that a dog can have multiple leaders, usually the other spouce doesn't have time, doesn't take and interest in the training of the dog, then when things like that happen they get a wake up call.

First is your mindset, it is YOUR house not the dog's house, you decide who is welcome and who can come and go. In order to do that you have to be in control of the dog.
 

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On the contrary, I am very interested in Bear being well-behaved, for I have 2 Chihuahuas in the house, as well as children who I am responsible for. I realize that taking on a GSD calls for the highest of responsibility for the GSD as well as the household members. However, these occurences happens when me and my husband are still at work. He possibly is thinking he's protecting the children. This will be rectified by my kids escorting their friends into the house (Gone are the days of them just walking in the house) maybe thats more of a positive thing than I think. I only asked this question because I was unaware that a socialized puppy like Bear could actually turn out to be protective-agressive.
 

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who is controlling the dog while you and your husband are at work?

i wouldn't necessarily assume your dog is 'protecting'. especially as it doesn't occur when certain family members are there. it could be a territorial issue or a leadership issue. others may have other thoughts.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Originally Posted By: jarnwho is controlling the dog while you and your husband are at work?

i wouldn't necessarily assume your dog is 'protecting'. especially as it doesn't occur when certain family members are there. it could be a territorial issue or a leadership issue. others may have other thoughts.
The 17yr. old watches the 9 year old until we get home, so it's their friends who are experiencing this.
 

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At this age, it could also be a transitional fear period. What you do now could either exascerbate or extinguish the behavior. I would look at Patricia McConnell's pamphlet "The Cautious Canine" for some tips. Your 17 year old (particularly if she's going to be the responsible party while you're gone) should get into some training classes with Bear so she learns how to communicated effectively with him and he learns to have some respect for her.

Also, since you're not home, are you sure that the teenagers aren't doing something to taunt or encourage this behavior? Some of them think it's "funny" to do stupid things like make faces through the window until the dog reacts, etc. Remember your teenager's friends and Bear are emotionally about the same age.... stupid, reactive, hormonal and generally not in their right minds. (I know whereof I speak ... my youngest just turned 19)
 

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Do you kids do NILIF (Nothing in Life is Free) with your dog? I'd say that your dog perceives that when you are gone, he has to be the leader. Why don't have your kids start feeding (and ask for a sit or down and then release before he gets to eat) and treating the dog? This will help him understand that they have the situation under control when you are gone. More training in general with the entire family will help this. Use recall and other games outside that involve everyone--your dogs does what's asked and then gets the toy or whatever.

And please be VERY careful. Until you've got him reliable around other kids when you're not home I would keep him leashed to your 17 yo or crated.
 
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