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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We rescued a Shepherd mix when he was 4 months old. We've always socialized him, we worked with him on training, he has really become an amazing dog. However, I found out I was pregnant in December and subsequently, was very sick for about 3 months. We haven't been taking him to the park as often, however we've still been taking him and working with his training.

Since he's turned a year old it's been like a light switch went on and he does not play well with other dogs at the park. Today, he went after a dog much smaller than him (don't understand why the small dog was in the large dog area) and also a dog attempted to dominate him and he seemed fine, but as soon as the owner pulled her dog off, he went nuts. (The dog was quite a bit larger than he was and he managed to pin it to the ground in 2 seconds and was being very aggressive) He's left puncture wounds on another dog, and it happened in a matter of seconds. I don't want to stop socializing him, but I don't know what to do. Can someone help?


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he is maturing and doesnt like rude strange dogs.. stop bringing him to the dog park period.. he doesnt need to go there anymore. take him for leash walks when you take the baby in the stroller .....

keep the regular training up. your dog is normal - most dogs dont like rude dogs and some big dogs see little dogs as prey due to the small size..
 

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some dogs especially males wont tolerate rude snotty dogs .. some dogs just grow up to not like other dogs, whether big or small, some dogs only like calm dogs.. some dogs like all dogs.. it just depends on the dog itself... i have one dog who loves all dogs, and one dog who when he turned 6 years old decided he didnt like rude snotty inyourface dogs.... he also doesnt like small dogs that run like squirrels lol...he will gladly throw down and fight if given the chance

dog parks have rude snotty dogs there who have owners who dont pay attention to their dogs... if you tried humping me i would slap the **** out of you for being rude.... some dogs dont like being humped, its a rude behavior that 99% of the time results in a dog fight (unless its my 2 who hump out of excitement when playing and they take turns humping each other)

now that you found out your male doesnt like other dogs in his face or small furry ones its time to just leash walk him, keep working on obedience skills , and schedule play dates with dogs he KNOWS and LIKE to play with..

also, he didnt just flip a switch, the signs were there probably for the past few months but no one noticed them. dogs dont just flip a switch, the signs are always there, its just figuring out what the signs are lol
 

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I do agree with most of the posts responding to your thread. My young female gsd needs alot of work. We socialized her etc., but what came of it was she loves, and is submissive, to all the dogs she met as a pup. Any new dog is a target, and she lunges and barks (until one of them is brave enough to come up to her and she becomes submissive). I take Mika to the dog park, and because she loves the ball, that is what we do. Throw the ball, and she doesn't care about the other dogs.

Don't limit yourself. Try everything! I was advised to take my girl into town and sit for 1/2 hour and let her see everyone/every thing/read a book. Just realize, it isn't our dogs, it's us that have the problem. We need to tap into how DOGs work, and not humanize their behavior. That's a lot tougher for us. I guess "relax" is the first step.

Just a note (work in progress because I am still not confident): When I take the tension off the leash in a stressfull situation, Mika stops pulling most of the time. If I hold tight and let her take the leash...I am toast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Leash walking really isn't a big deal, he's beautiful on the leash because I worked him every day on it. But it's hard to relax at the park when I'm afraid he's gonna go from friendly play to vicious killer in a split second. I have a Golden who absolutely loves everyone and every dog, so we can just take him to the park and leash walk, and play with the ball with the GSD at home for the safety of the other dogs.


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I was so scared to take Mika to the dog park. I thought she would really start a pack fight. I was wrong. She was scared, not aggressive. You know your dog better than anyone, and I'm not trying to convince you to do what I do.

My only advice, and I am no expert, is that being calm is key!!! If you freak out...guess what...your dog is going to respond in a manner to protect you and himself. If you start there, I bet you will get to know your dog better, and able to deal with new situations.

I keep my girl on a dropped 15' lead (light cotton) at the dog park so I can calmly control her if need be. Yah...the others there are critical.."you don't let her loose?...why don't you let her off leash?" I do this because she does not have total recall. Today I let her go, and she was great. The more time I spend trying new challenges, the better things get. Man, it is scarey and draining...but worth it.

Good luck to you. Would love to hear your ideas for the leash walk. Mika is getting better, but she still pulls. Any advice is SO welcome.
 

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Congrats on your pregnancy and your teenage German Shepherd boy. Amp up the training or shortly after the baby arrives he will be looking for a new home. He can NOT show aggression nor dominance now EVER!!! Train the crap out of him, go to classes, maybe try agility or tracking or herding, something that puts his brain to work. I promise you will be glad to get strict control for that time when you are tired and dealing with a new born...He is showing his macho dominance at the dog park, he is the problem, not the other dogs, he thinks he is grown that is why he waited til the bigger dog was held by the owner..
Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Leash walking is all about consistency. I don't give him an inch. I use a choke collar with a 3' lead and keep it up tight around his ears for easy control. And every time he gets just a few inches ahead of me, I stop and say heel...start going again until he does it again. Someone also advised keeping a treat in your lead hand right in front of their face to where they can lick it, but not take it totally. Either way...consistency is key and don't let them drag you all over town. I only use a leash with my Golden because its the law. Lol.

I will try the 15' lead and maybe try going to the park with alot of people and sitting for awhile. (Away from people) Goliath went after a dog that he has always played with and we have no idea why...and ended up leaving 2 puncture wounds. So that's why I'm so nervous.


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I've heard that GSDs are frequently less tolerant of rude dogs than maybe some other breeds. But I seem to think that most dogs, regardless of breed, will eventually "throw down" if another dog is being rude or dominant. Dog parks are filled with lots of different energies, and often its the people there that mess things up for the dogs. I have met so many careless, or anxious or just dumb dog owners at dog parks. The only time we go anymore, is during a time when we know there are dogs there we already like and get along with. Even still, I'm cautious. Huter is 4.5 months old, and he's starting to give little nips to dogs that are being rude. I think its normal. I would however, correct overly aggressive behavior. Warnings and corrections are acceptable for a dog to give to another. But all out biting and shaking type behavior can get you and the dog in trouble.
 

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I don't think it's fair to take a dog to a park and let him hurt other dogs...do you? You say he seriously bit another dog. Don't take him back and let him do that again. If he is out of control, he doesn't go to a park. In addition to the moral obligation, you are going to end up with some nasty vet bills to put somebodies pet back together.
 

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why take the chance? stop taking him to the dog park period.. he doesnt like it, and its not fair for you to ignore him telling you he doesnt like dog parks.. he doesnt need to go , just work on your obedience and try something new like agility, rally, stuff that you and him can do. not every dog likes other dogs, and its not fair to your dog to keep pushing other dogs on him
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
He's not "out of control" the dog he bit was what I would consider a "small" dog (in the large dog area.) He is very well trained, it's sad that I can't take my dog to the park because people feel like their small dog, intact dog, and rude dog should get to go. He's been going to the park since he was 4 months old without a single problem. And also, I'm slightly smarter then to just rush him back to the DOG park during busy times. I was referring to a regular park, keeping him on a leash and just exposing him to people and other dogs more. Then try the DOG park during less busy times of day and see if we can work back up to being fully social again.


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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Also, I've been doing lots of other research and the best advice I've gotten on here (according to research) is that people over humanize their dogs behavior. He loves the park, he loves playing ball and he loves playing with other dogs. He doesn't just mope around the whole time and rip other dogs apart. Aggression is unacceptable behavior and I will be attempting to put a stop to it. He needs to know when I expect him to be aggressive (at home in regards to someone coming in who's not welcome) and when I expect him to be nice.


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You are in denial. If your dog bit any dog, small, big, dead or alive, your dog is out of control. You personally are being unfair to every other dog and owner at the park. If it would have been my small dog your dog bit, we would be in court right now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Did you read the part where I said I wasn't rushing him back to the DOG park any time soon?! Or would you rather just argue. This forum was supposed to be helpful, not judgmental. Thank you.


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He's not "out of control" the dog he bit was what I would consider a "small" dog (in the large dog area.) He is very well trained, it's sad that I can't take my dog to the park because people feel like their small dog, intact dog, and rude dog should get to go. He's been going to the park since he was 4 months old without a single problem. And also, I'm slightly smarter then to just rush him back to the DOG park during busy times. I was referring to a regular park, keeping him on a leash and just exposing him to people and other dogs more. Then try the DOG park during less busy times of day and see if we can work back up to being fully social again.

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No, guess I didn't see the part about you not going to the park anymore. Where is that part? I just read the part about the rude small dog who didn't bite any other dogs but should not be allowed in the dog park. Most of the people on the forum are fair. They don't want to see somebody elses dog bitten anymore than they want to see something bad happen to your dog. GSDs are big and can cause a lot of damage. Nobody wants to see that happen to any dog.
 

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if he already attacked another dog why take the chance again? you are setting your dog up to fail by taking him back eventually.. that isnt fair to him. i never said he was out of control, all i said was why take the chance, he doesnt like it there .. why take the chance? he might do well socializing with other dogs at regular parks on leash. all it takes is ONE dog to piss him off when he goes back to the dog park eventually ... ONE dog can make all the hard work you did go backwards 5 steps...
owners who are responsible dont take chances when something happens and some dont let an incident happen at all... i would be stupid to take my pitx to a dog park, he doesnt like other dogs so that would be irresponsible of me to take him. if i had a dog that bit another dog at a dog park i would not take my dog back again- why set up the dog to fail a second time? or even a first time? dog parks are for lazy owners mostly who dont want to exercise their dogs the right way. not all owners are lazy, but most of them are...
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I know you didn't say he's out of control, but you're not the only one participating in the conversation. I disagree with your opinion of dog parks, I think they're perfect for people who don't have an acre of land for their dogs to run on. BUT I did say *in a sarcastic tone none the less* that I would not be rushing him back to the park any time soon. "I'm smarter than to just rush him back to the DOG park any time soon." But let me be more specific for those who are more concerned with my dogs behavior than with helping me. I will not be taking him to the park until we can seek the help of a trainer and we know with 100% certainty that we have better control over his actions. (I don't need to hear "you cant predict his behavior he's out of control!" So please keep it to yourself) Because essentially, that's the problem, he's not trained well enough to respond to commands that would prevent a problem. He doesn't just viciously attack every dog he sees, something must be triggering it and I plan on figuring out how to control it rather than just saying he doesn't "like" other dogs (he gets along with our other dog just fine.) But again...thank you so much for those who gave me help.


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