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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hubby and I had to go out of town last weekend, and we couldn't take the dogs. This was the first time I've left Hondo at home when we've been gone over night. He just turned a year old. However, he knows my neighbors (who come over at least twice a week) and they love him. They were in charge of feeding him and the rest of the critters.

The game plan: Friday, Hubby and I had to leave the house at 6:00 a.m. for an appointment at MD Anderson (another clean check up! yea!) and then we were leaving from there to be gone till late Saturday night. The neighbors had games with their kids till late in the after noon. So we decided I'd leave the dogs out, and before they go to their games (around 9 am) they'd come and crate till after the games.

Well, Hondo decided that wasn't in the game plan. For what ever reason ( I suppose because we weren't home.) Hondo acted too aggressively for them to handle him and put him in his crate. He would have nothing to do with them. I asked if he was backing up and barking, and they said no. He was lunging at the fence...with the hot wire....and even after he was stung, he'd do it again.

They had to leave him out, and when they fed him they had to pour his kibble on the ground because they didn't want to go into the back yard with his bowl. Even when they were out at the barn, Hondo continued to bark and lunge at the fence.

They've been our neighbors for over 17 years. Good people.

Now, not only do I have to rethink my entire "emergancy" plan, I have to figure out how to keep Hondo to at least a tolerable social level when we aren't home. I'd hate to see what he'd do to complete strangers.

I'm not exactly sure how to socialize a dog when you aren't home.
 

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oh wow. good luck! I just wish my dogs werent as social!
 

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When you are home, how many people has he met with you? Inside and outside of the home? Should be hundreds by a year old. Is he picking and chosing who he likes (and are you allowing him?).

How well does he do when you stay with him in a hotel? When you visit family members overnight and take him, how well does he do?

How are the group dog training classes going? What does your trainer suggest based on their knowledge of you and your dog from classes over the past year?

What does the breeder say? How do his littermates react at the same age?

oh wow. good luck! I just wish my dogs werent as social!
Not sure what that means.......... :confused:

Have you been hitting the Dog Events in your area? Spring and Fall are the seasons where these happen all over my area...

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Interesting, I haven't thought to ask the breeder how his litter mates behave. They all just turned a year old and she sent us the different pictures of everyone. Good idea, I'll have to ask her.

Hondo has never been the overly friendly type of dog. He'll greet, allow to be petted and then he'll go about his business. Normally he'll lay down in the middle of everyone. He doesn't react to people moving around (he might look at them) but he doesn't get up or startle. If they throw his ball, he'll bring it back to them. But he isn't overly excited about it like he is when Hubby or I play with him.

We do a lot of sitting outside with Hondo. Because we're outside, neighbors will always drop by and 'set a spell'. When I see them coming down the drive, I always call Hondo to me and make him stay till they get out of their car and come up on the porch and settle down. And then when they leave, I'll bring Hondo back to me, and make him stay. I don't want him to get hit (by their car).

In the house he'll come and greet and then he'll lay down under the ceiling fan in the house. It is his space and he is happy to just watch everyone from there.

When Hondo is with us in an out of town situation, he is quiet and calm. Again, he never goes to greet people (he is on a leash) but allows them to greet him. I crate him at night when he is away from home as well. If he hears someone in the hall, or in the parking lot at a hotel he might "woof", but he normally doesn't even get up.

I haven't spoken to my trainer yet. Hondo is normally indifferent towards people. If the meter reader comes to read our meter he'll bark until he leaves. All the dogs do. And if someone drives up (and the dogs are in the house) he'll bark. But not a threatening bark, more like an excited bark. When he is in the back yard and someone comes up - he does act a bit more bold and has a different bark. I can tell him "Enough!" and he is quiet.

The neighbors that fed are at our house a lot. They've been in the house, outside the house and they've even walked out to the barn (when we're out there) past the back yard when Hondo has been in the yard.

It's just really unexpected of him.
 

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Maybe the key will be to take him somewhere rather than leave him alone on his own turf?

It sounds like he was "protecting" his property while Mom and Dad were gone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Maybe the key will be to take him somewhere rather than leave him alone on his own turf?

It sounds like he was "protecting" his property while Mom and Dad were gone.
Come to think of it, we never have anyone go into the back yard. I wonder if he has decided that the back yard is 'his' space. The only people who've been in the back yard since he's we've had him have been contractors - and he is always crated when we had contractors over.

Interesting thought......
 

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We had the mail man tell us he didn't like to come to our door when we weren't home because of our one boxer. So Scott stopped the truck up the road so she wouldn't hear it and knocked on our door. He had to scream her name several times to get her to realize it was him. She was going nuts, hackles raised, and beating on the door. Luckily, her littermate jumped thru the glass years before just because he could so the "window" is now plexiglass.

Try doing something like that and see how he is reacting, both in and out of the house.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'll have to give it a try. I sure don't like the idea of him being unapproachable when we aren't home. I could understand a complete stranger. But not to someone he knows.

Now...to find the perfect friend who'll help me.......
 

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I just had to comment here.... that is a LOT of visitors:)!!!
Or do you mean outside the home as in off-the-premises?
I didn't post as clearly as I could have. 100's of visitors in the home would be alot....

I meant in the home as well as out and about.

One of the reasons I use treats to have my YOUNG dogs meet and greet people the first year. When out and about I bring a ziplock. And when in my house I hand treats to my friends/family/visitors is because I know there will be times others have to take care of my dogs.

And I want to KNOW the humans aren't afraid of my dogs. My dogs aren't going to be scared/afraid/ INAPPROPRIATELY guarding (from people they know????) so they don't get the care they need.

My friends/family can let my dogs out if they have to. My friends family can take my dogs to their homes for a few days if needed. The dogs are fine. The people are fine.

It's NOT protection, or at least protection that I want, when my dog is so confused about friend or foe they don't let my neighbors in to feed them. They should recognize that it's someone I like, I've let in the house, I've said ok, so they are.
 

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Maybe they can video tape him? It could be fear rather than aggression. It really is tough when you can't have anyone go into your home because of a dog. There has been several times I would have been ever so thankful to have my neighbor grab something for my son, like the time he left all his soccer gear at home when he had a game, but couldn't because of Banshee. Or have a friend grab Jax to meet me for a training session. But it is something you learn to make arrangements around.
 

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My dogs won't let anyone in the house. I had my friend come over a few times when I was home. Then one day I left and she came over. I made her wear heavy clothes just in case and I had her go in thru the backyard. The dogs were in the house, she was letting them out. I was afraid if they charged the door they would get out. She said they were fine fine, she also had lots of cookies, they are pretty much all bark, maybe a little butt nip, but they aren't savage killers. I will be training someone soon, I hope that will go good, otherwise hubby will be going skiing alone.
 

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What a bummer. Have you thought about a house sitter. Maybe someone who could come a day early while you are there. A similar thing happened to our neighbor when she went away. The dog refused to come inside, and just barked at them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
What a bummer. Have you thought about a house sitter. Maybe someone who could come a day early while you are there. A similar thing happened to our neighbor when she went away. The dog refused to come inside, and just barked at them.
Actually, I almost asked my niece to come over and stay with the animals. We also have horses to tend to, and she is experianced with them. However, she has two small dogs (yorkie & maltese) and I was concerned with the rough play that a GSD is so well known for. But if I can't get to the bottom of Hondo's issue, then that would be my next best option.

I spoke to my sister and volunteered her hubby to come over and I can experiment with him. My sister comes over all the time, but my BIL comes a lot less then my neighbors.

I'm curious if I told the neighbors or whomever, the 'off' command for Hondo if he'll stop his behavior. Even for a moment or two.
 

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What about haveing Hondo spend a night at their house, so he can get some one on one with them the night before.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
What about haveing Hondo spend a night at their house, so he can get some one on one with them the night before.

That is an option as well. I just hate the thought of him (or any other of my animals) away from home with out me. I even thought about having the care giver walk him on a leash around the yard and/or pasture for a couple of days before we go somewhere.

Have to ponder this one.....we'll get it fixed, just have to make sure Hondo thinks it's his idea.

We rarely have to leave him at home, so this isn't something that has to be fixed over night. But there is always that emergancy where you just can't take your dog. And I'd truly hate to think that whom ever feeds him has to sling shot it from across the street.
 

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@ MaggieRoseLee...actually means my dogs would let friend and foe in and we would be robbed blind. They're TOO friendly. Shasta is the only one at 5 months old that shows ANY signs of being aloof and like she may be protective when the situation calls for it. Beyond that, Riley is all bark and no bite tail wagging like a **** fool like some lab, Shelby is the chicken of the bunch and will run and hide with no barking or anything, Zena was my protector. She wouldnt let ANYONE in the yard or house without us present, even if she knew them. Zena is my typical shepherd personality. Well technically she's my inlaws now but she's still my girl.
 

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@ MaggieRoseLee...actually means my dogs would let friend and foe in and we would be robbed blind. They're TOO friendly. Shasta is the only one at 5 months old that shows ANY signs of being aloof and like she may be protective when the situation calls for it. Beyond that, Riley is all bark and no bite tail wagging like a **** fool like some lab, Shelby is the chicken of the bunch and will run and hide with no barking or anything, Zena was my protector. She wouldnt let ANYONE in the yard or house without us present, even if she knew them. Zena is my typical shepherd personality. Well technically she's my inlaws now but she's still my girl.
Since the number of times I've had to have people come into my house, or take care of my dogs, or have my dogs go over to there house have been more than I could EVER count......

and the number of times, owning the same dogs who will readily allow friends and family in the home, I have NEVER been robbed/murdered/attacked is well......exactly zero.

I think my method is working best for me and my dogs (and my happy friends and neighbors).

And to me, my GSD's (and now I've raised/trained 3 of them) are 'typical'. If any of them had shown any signs of 'protection' at 5 months that would have just shown me they have a bit weaker nerves and I have to work harder on socializing and giving them the confidence they need as adults.
 

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I have also had a similar "problem' with our now 2 3/4 yo male GSD.

When I was layed up for a while with my knee replacement surgery, our obedience trainer who we have been taking classes and lessons with since baron was about 3 months old volunteered to come over and take baron for a walk once a day. Now this is a person that he literally loves and goes crazy to be petted by her whenever we would go to class.

Anyway, she comes over to the house and baron is in his run in the fenced back yard. She goes into the yard with me in the house, and opens the run gate and all is well so far. no aggression or anything BUT Baron decides that he doesn't want to have his collar put on by the trainer/walker. So he gives her a hard time with jumping and mouthing etc. She tries for a while and then comes back into the house and admits to me that she can't get his collar on to take him for a walk. The only reason that she could get him back into the kennel was that Baron is very well trained to run into his run whenever we hold up a dog buscuit!

Now this is a pro trainer who actually advertises that she can train your aggressive dog and also one who baron would work obedience much better for her than for me!

I was very surprised that she couldn't get him to listen and also that she gave up so quick! I actually thought then and still do that he actually scared her with his very exuberant antics - and this was almost a year ago when he was less than 1 1/2 yo.

Of course when he tried to pull the same thing with an animal behaviorist who had also come to the house to examine and analyze him, she didin't put up with his antics and soon had him collared and behaving nicely on a leash. Different approach I guess.
 

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Basu was super aggressive with people coming into the yard so I did not leave him out there ever when I wasn't home. I suspect if you left Hondo in his kennel inside the house it would have been a different story. Basu was fine when neighbors would come in the house to let him out to pee. When we went out of town, however, we always had someone stay at the house with the dogs.

And I would be worried about him getting shocked like that. I have read of many incidents where dogs learn to associate the shock with what's on the other side of the fence. In some cases this has resulted in a bite. So he could get a very negative association with your neighbors and potentially become more aggressive with them.
 
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