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Help - our 2 y.o. lab is scared to death of the GSD

985 Views 9 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  BowWowMeow
We are a family of five (mom,dad, three young boys) and have a 1.5 y.o. yellow lab that we got as a puppy. Just a few days ago, my wife's mother moved in with us from Utah and brought her 8 y.o. GSD to move in as well. The GSD is very sweet and for the most part calm and passive, however after one day in our home she started getting very territorial as she is *VERY* protective of my mother-in-law. In the past three days, Ellie has been attacked three times, and it seems to happen when the GSD is escorting my mother-in-law to a different part of the house. Our lab is now scared to go around the GSD for fear of her life, as two of the attacks drew blood (although minor). This is definitely *NOT* play, the GSD is trying to eliminate the lab. Any suggestions to help a frustrated family?

Thank you.
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personally, either muzzle the dog or someone needs to move out if they cant play nice. ESPECIALLY since YOUR dog was there first. I have a no tolerance policy when a dog comes into my home and starts behaving badly toward my dogs. I dont care if they are family. My house, my rules. Work on training first. If that doesnt work, i would make it clear that the troublemaker wasnt welcome and needs to go or be confined. The house belonged to your lab first. I love GSDs but that would NOT fly.
I agree, It is the responsibility of you and your mother to find a way to prevent the GSD from ever going after your lab. If this means that both dogs are kept seperate via, gates,crates, or doors, than so be it. No animal deserves to live in constant fear for her life. Sounds like the GSD needs more structure. I would look up NILIF and practice that with both dogs. If that doesn;t work you might have to come to terms with the fact that some dogs just don't get along and need to be kept separate 90% of the time.
Keep them separated at all times. It's not fair for your lab to have a dog come into his home and try to kill him. You need to know where both dogs are at all times so they are NEVER together off leash.

I really don't blame your lab for being scared. How would you feel if someone walked into your home and started to attack you out of nowhere? It's really the same idea - I'd be scared for my life too and is not a way anyone or any dog should have to live.

This is now your responsibility to keep these dogs apart at all times. Set up barriers between rooms and crate when they can't be supervised. If that doesn't work and your lab continues to be attacked, it's time to start thinking about rehoming the GSD (or the mother in law).

The way things are now is being completely unfair to your lab and i really feel bad for him. Something that is not his fault at all either.
I agree with KZoppa.

Your lab was there first. It's not fair for her to have to be afraid in her own home.
I agree with the posters, but are you able to have a trainer come to the home and see if they can assist?
Muzzle. I have a few in the house just in case.
Another one for muzzle. It's understandable your MIL's GSD is in a new place and probably scared too, but biting is not okay. Have your MIL hire a behaviorist for her GSD and monitor the two dogs at all times. Crate the GSD for periods so your lab can have some freedom in it's house as well.
I agree with the above posters. It is your house and the Lab's house. The GSD is a new member of the family and needs to learn that everyone plays nice. It's not right to have to crate your dog or lock your dog up in order to allow your MIL's dog free roam. Good luck and keep us posted!
Is your lab also a female? How much socialization with other dogs has the gsd had? How did you introduce the dogs? Is the gsd crate trained?

You may be able to work on this situation but it could take a long time to fix it. You absolutely must keep the dogs separate for now, for your dog's safety. The attacks could escalate, especially because it sounds like your MIL does not know how to handle her dog.

I would crate and rotate or keep them in separate rooms and rotate. If your MIL must pass by with her dog the dog should be under full leash control and muzzled.

And I agree that you need to get an experienced behaviorist/trainer in there to help you figure out how to manage the situation...although they may advise you to keep them separate permanently.

Good luck!
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