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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My 7 month German Shepard (Finn) is attacking my 3 year old Labrador Mix while on walks.

This problem has been happening since the day he was allowed to go out on walks . He would get so excited and frustrated while on leash he would redirect all this energy toward my adult dog.

I've gone to the only dog "behaviourist" purely positive and the have been far from helpful . They are not interested in the problem and insited he goes into puppy day care / puppy classes. So he went for months. Each time I talked to a different trainer they all told me they weren't qualified to deal with this issue. The owner needed to contact me , not spoken to this person (still waiting after about 4 months). So all I would get is not qualified/don't worry your puppy is our best puppy in the class , you've doing a great job. Dispute telling them my puppy wanted to sometimes kill my adult dog!!!

As far as I'm concerned this isn't helpful/hasn't been helpful at all.

The thing is Finn is impeccably behaved on his own. He's calm , confident , relaxed , good with people / other dogs. I'm often stopped in the street and completed how well trained Finn is and how perfect he is. It's like jekyll and hide!!!!

As a result and the only advice I've been given to walk them separately and if we do walk them together and if Finn looses his mind and is trying to kill my older dog , best thing to do is feed him some chicken!!!

I quickly lost faith in this trainer.

What I have been doing is walking them separately. I've spent a lot of time on Finn and got him really good on his own but this really hasn't solved anything.

I do one practice walk together every day with my girlfriend as a helper. It's usually pretty uneventful but it has to be so carefully managed. I usually use a ball to redirect his energy and he's fine.

This is a massive crutch. He's like a ticking time bomb while our with my other dog . Anything could set him off .

In the house they are great together.

I'm writing this because I know my efforts are not really working . I stupidly tried to work on the problem alone today .
They are in the house really chilled out together all day. So I thought take them outside on the front garden and into the street outside my house .

Practicing obedience, sits, heel, together. All going fine, out if nowhere Finn jumps up and play bites my older dog. My older dog jumps back and tries to get away from him (she's starting to fear him). This triggers Finn and now he goes into attack mode.

Manage to get both dogs in the house . Finn still going crazy, charges at older dog to attack , I have to block him with my knee , grab him, lost my temper and pinned him down to stop him attacking.

Just like that , a switch turned off and he instantly calmed dog. Dogs instantly chilled.

The thing is I never do things like this. I was just trying to protect my other dog from attack.

For it to get to this point it's frightening!!! I really need advise from someone experienced .
 

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Can your trainer walk these dogs together? Can they control your pup?

Where are you located?

A) don't walk the dogs together. Don't work on this on your own. Management is key here. Do not allow him to practice this behavior. Period.

B) you need a trainer that can control your dog. One that can work him themselves and then explain to you what's going on. No prong. No e-collar for this training. That's important.

C) this dog needs exercise before training. Tongue hanging out, ready for a break, then work on this. If you have a training appointment scheduled, take an hour before and go out and wear him out. 2 ball, flirt pole, off leash running, tug, whatever. Don't take him out all excited and then work on being calm.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
All the trainers tell me they're not quilfied to deal with this. I'm always directed to speak to the owner / head trainer, she's told me she will help a few times (just as you suggested) but nothing comes of it.

As I understand she's the only one that will attempt to deal with it and to be honest she's super busy. So getting time with her is near impossible.

He's got his first class tonight after lockdown where I can actually be there (although they keep on canceling) so I'll try again to speak to them and suggest my other dog comming.

As for the trainer being able to manage him, yes. As long as there are two people and Finn is carefully managed and he has your full attention , you're able to walk just fine.

Also if he's carrying a ball/toy in his mouth while walking the problem completely disappears. This is a crutch.

I've tried as you've suggested, have him walk when he's exusted and it made little difference to be honest.

Also my concern with that is as he's so young I need to be very careful about running ball games , flirt poles e.t.c. So as a result he doesn't do high impact stuff, just usually walks/training sessions where I'm mindful of protecting is developing body. It's possible it could be adding to the situation but protecting is developing body is also a factor that needs to be considered.


I have a LOT of time to address the issue.So I can really dedicate myself to this.

My game plan so far is to separate walks (individual training walks) , if I can't get the trainer to help , I'll keep up with taking the two out together when I have my girlfriend with me , it is manageable and we get about 95% incedent free walks (not fun relaxing walks as we are always carefully managing but it is what it is ).

I think I need to really step it up around the house. Really get advanced obedience and really control everything. Which won't be that hard as he hangs on my every word. It's just when he loses his mind he becomes the devil.

I don't use e collars or prongs . Just wondering why are you against them in this situation ?

Although I will correct I'm never harsh . I'm a pretty gentle owner but do have a lot of rules.

I'm not sure how I feel about this but I do believe Finn does think their is no real consiquence for his actions/losing his mind .

Maybe a slight fear of consequence for disobeying would help him. I'm not talking about hitting or anything like there, just making it very clear to him when he messes up.

As a developing puppy i haven't wanted to give him lots corrections as I want to build him up. Mabye it's time?

I really need to research it and seek out really good trainer's regarding this. I've never had to do this with previous dogs .

But I think Finn really needs structure and be given clarify on what's acceptable and unacceptable.
 

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I haven't read your entire posts but if your pup is well behaved when he is not around your other dog, then you need to begin to slowly generalize his training around your other dog in baby steps. Start at a minimum and work your way up. He needs to be taught obedience in the presence of your other dog. It is a process. You should look up Stonnie Dennis videos. They would greatly benefit you. One of his strong points is working dogs under the distraction of other dogs.
 

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I'm not sure how I feel about this but I do believe Finn does think their is no real consequence for his actions/losing his mind .
IT sounds like he is putting both YOU and the other dog at risk of serious injury when he does this, so why SHOULDN' there be consequences?? You want to wait until you or the other dog gets seriously bitten??

The all-positive mindset REALLY makes me shake my head sometimes! If this were my dog, he'd be left with NO doubt in his mind whatsoever that he messed up BIG TIME!

There HAVE to be consequences sometimes. Look at it this way: someone's kid is about to hit your kid over the head with a stick. You don't just offer them some candy! You take the stick away, and tell them off!
 

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Have you tried walking them together but with a friend handling the older dog? Walk them 20 feet apart in the same direction, walk them 20 feet apart passing each other in the opposite direction. Walk them past each other 20 feet apart while the other sits. Make sure younger dog is focused on you through all this, anticipate the bad reactions and correct PRIOR. Don't be tense throughout this; relax, fun, praise.

It sounds like the issue is only when walking together? Incremental steps then.
 

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IT sounds like he is putting both YOU and the other dog at risk of serious injury when he does this, so why SHOULDN' there be consequences?? You want to wait until you or the other dog gets seriously bitten??

The all-positive mindset REALLY makes me shake my head sometimes! If this were my dog, he'd be left with NO doubt in his mind whatsoever that he messed up BIG TIME!

There HAVE to be consequences sometimes. Look at it this way: someone's kid is about to hit your kid over the head with a stick. You don't just offer them some candy! You take the stick away, and tell them off!
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Discussion Starter #8
IT sounds like he is putting both YOU and the other dog at risk of serious injury when he does this, so why SHOULDN' there be consequences?? You want to wait until you or the other dog gets seriously bitten??

The all-positive mindset REALLY makes me shake my head sometimes! If this were my dog, he'd be left with NO doubt in his mind whatsoever that he messed up BIG TIME!

There HAVE to be consequences sometimes. Look at it this way: someone's kid is about to hit your kid over the head with a stick. You don't just offer them some candy! You take the stick away, and tell them off!

I understand what you're saying and I agree with you.

My only issue so far regarding corrections is his age.

When he was really young I wanted to build him up with positivity. It was about building a bond and making sure he didn't become a fearful dog.

So he's had little corrections but nothing to stop him in his tracks and think, oh crap, I've messed up big time.

It's very possible I've been too gentle with him and should have stepped up a while ago.
 

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You are humanizing your dog. A mother dog corrects her puppies by nipping them or pinning them down with her paw. They do not hate her for it.

I once adopted a dog-aggressive rescue, a full grown female GSD. The rescue said she was all right with some dogs, and got along fine with a male GSD she was housed with.

The first time she was introduced to my male GSD, she latched onto his hind leg and would not let go. Both I and the person helping me got bitten before we were able to separate the two dogs.

The next time she went after another dog, she got corrected so hard she yelped... Yes, I was harsh with her. But SHE DIDN'T TRY IT AGAIN!

And there were no vet bills or trips to the hospital.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited by Moderator)
You are humanizing your dog. A mother dog corrects her puppies by nipping them or pinning them down with her paw. They do not hate her for it.
I don't feel like I'm humanizing, but it's possible I've not delbt with the issue with the wrong approach by not being harsh enough.

Thing is these are my first two dogs. So I don't have mountains of experience. It's hard to find the correct approach while you're litrally bombarded with conflicting information.

It's why I'm here. From my local dog behaviourist is all purely positive, all sites purely positive, even on forums you mention the word correction and you're labeled a dog abuser.

I kinda want to see through all the REMOVED BY MODERATOR and find out what really is best for my dog.

NO SWEARING PLEASE
 

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My rule of thumb is - if the dog doesn't learn from the correction, it wasn't harsh enough. Gear the correction to the dog, and the severity of the offence. Save your maximum correction for something that's potentially life-threatening. The dog I was speaking about above could have potentially killed another dog, if she had latched onto another dog's throat, and refused to let go - that's why I was so harsh.

For lesser offences, I'd start with a verbal correction (if the dog understands what it's done wrong - e.g. - dog has been trained to sit, and refuses to.) If that doesn't work, a gentle leash correction, or cueing the behaviour by touching the dog, or luring with a treat. If that didn't work, (for a refusal to sit) I'd push on the dog's rear, while holding a treat above its nose, to encourage a sit. Then, of course, treat and praise for doing it.

It's interesting how the all-positive people have absolutely NO CLUE how to deal with dog aggression! Their only solution seems to be to put the animal to sleep if all-positive methods fail! :mad:

As for corrections ruining dogs, there are few animals quite as forgiving as the dog. I removed a dog from an abusive situation, and for the first week or so after I brought him home, he would 'light up' and pull towards the road every time a pickup truck resembling the one his former owner drove went past... 😢

Praise and rewards should definitely outnumber corrections. Train your dog that way, and he will do just fine! And rewards do not have to be food - a play session with a ball or tug is just as rewarding, and won't make the dog fat! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
My rule of thumb is - if the dog doesn't learn from the correction, it wasn't harsh enough. Gear the correction to the dog, and the severity of the offence. Save your maximum correction for something that's potentially life-threatening. The dog I was speaking about above could have potentially killed another dog, if she had latched onto another dog's throat, and refused to let go - that's why I was so harsh.

For lesser offences, I'd start with a verbal correction (if the dog understands what it's done wrong - e.g. - dog has been trained to sit, and refuses to.) If that doesn't work, a gentle leash correction, or cueing the behaviour by touching the dog, or luring with a treat. If that didn't work, (for a refusal to sit) I'd push on the dog's rear, while holding a treat above its nose, to encourage a sit. Then, of course, treat and praise for doing it.
How would you correct in my situation?

Dogs are calmly walking together. 7 month dog suddenly jumps on back of older dog playfully and it escalates in seconds.

He gets in such an excited state he's litrally out if his mind.
 

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This sounds like the same kind of excitement and door frustration mine gets at the door to go outside. If I let my older dog go out first, he grabs her neck. He doesn’t hurt her but he is clearly not comfortable with the situation. It may be a form of leash frustration but it sounds like he can’t control himself, and he think the other dog is causing his frustration. I stopped the door fights by making them sit quietly and letting them go out one at a time until he learned to calm himself at the door.

I agree with Sunsilver’s method because it’s quick and it works, but I’m not sure how you can correct one dog when you are holding two leashes. if you are holding one leash and someone else has the other, does he still attack your other dog? I also like the suggestion to watch Stonnie videos. The puppies in his videos are always tired when he starts working with them.

I was having a problem with my dog but my trainer could not duplicate it. He ended up having to set up a situation where the behavior would occur and he corrected it. Then he asked me to try but my dog knew he could not get away with it when the trainder was nearby, so he didn’t repeat it there.
 

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It is very difficult for me to say, without seeing the body language involved. I am not sure if it is truly aggression, or if he just wants to play. Has either dog been bitten hard enough to draw blood when this happens?

One of the keys to successful leash walking is being able to read the dog's body language well enough that you are able to stop something like this BEFORE it happens. A dog will focus intently on another dog, or a distraction before it lunges at it. The correction needs to happen as soon as the dog's eyes focus on the target. If you do that, a very mild correction - even a verbal correction - is often enough, as opposed to the full-scale fight you are going to have on your hands once the young dog has jumped on the older one.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
This sounds like the same kind of excitement and door frustration mine gets at the door to go outside. If I let my older dog go out first, he grabs her neck. He doesn’t hurt her but he is clearly not comfortable with the situation. It may be a form of leash frustration but it sounds like he can’t control himself, and he think the other dog is causing his frustration. I stopped the door fights by making them sit quietly and letting them go out one at a time until he learned to calm himself at the door.

I agree with Sunsilver’s method because it’s quick and it works, but I’m not sure how you can correct one dog when you are holding two leashes. if you are holding one leash and someone else has the other, does he still attack your other dog? I also like the suggestion to watch Stonnie videos. The puppies in his videos are always tired when he starts working with them.

I was having a problem with my dog but my trainer could not duplicate it. He ended up having to set up a situation where the behavior would occur and he corrected it. Then he asked me to try but my dog knew he could not get away with it when the trainder was nearby, so he didn’t repeat it there.
It will happen on leash, off leash, doesn't matter if one person is holding the leash or two people have each dog.

The only common factor is it's outside on a walk . You can managed by distraction so it doesn't happen.

But it's like he's a loaded waiting for the trigger to he pulled. You can feel it bubbling under the surface my
 

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Discussion Starter #16
It is very difficult for me to say, without seeing the body language involved. I am not sure if it is truly aggression, or if he just wants to play. Has either dog been bitten hard enough to draw blood when this happens?

It's definitely not true aggression, but it's completely inappropriate. I definitely think it could easily escalate to real aggression

If on leash he will bark / scream/ lunge to get to her. If he can get to her he will slam and have to be pulled off of her.

He completely loses his mind, it's as if he will let nothing stop him. He has zero concern for his own walfare when he's in this state, honestly I think I would willingly charge into fire just to get to her.

You can snap him out of it, by redirecting his attention to a ball and a switch is flipped and he's fine again.

Off leash same type of thing, but if he gets to her it doesn't escalate. Mabye slam into her roughly and it stops there.
 

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Can you tell when it's about to happen? Like I said above, he should be focusing on the other dog before he jumps. When I see that, right away, I would correct him - whatever sort of correction it took to stop him.

Like David said above, he's been allowed to practice this behaviour, and it's become a habit. It HAS to be stopped, and if that takes a really strong, physical correction, I'd not hesitate to do it. But the key is to catch him BEFORE he 'loses his mind', and do the correction then.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Can you tell when it's about to happen? Like I said above, he should be focusing on the other dog before he jumps. When I see that, right away, I would correct him - whatever sort of correction it took to stop him.
It's hard to predict. I think that's the problem. It takes a second for him to suddenly decide to playfully attack her and then the switch is flipped.

He goes from calm to nutcase in a second. I think the only correction that would stop him when he's in that state would pretty much be considered dog abuse.

You're right though . It's about correcting it before it happens.
 

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Maybe you are missing the body language, because these are your first dogs?
Yes, some dogs only give you a split-second warning, but those are rare. (My dog-aggressive female was one of those.)

What do you do when he lunges? (I take it you don't offer him a treat... :sneaky: )
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Maybe you are missing the body language, because these are your first dogs?
Yes, some dogs only give you a split-second warning, but those are rare. (My dog-aggressive female was one of those.)
It's possible you're correct. I'm always 100% focused on him but mabye I'm missing something.

I'll really take on board what you've have said and be really vigilant and quick to correct.
 
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