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Hi all!

I have a 1 year old male GSD that I would now consider to have dog aggression. He lives with my other male GSD that is 3 and they are fine together. He is also fine with any dogs that he "grew up" with in terms of my families dogs and such.

However, my in laws got a new female GSD puppy and we tried to introduce them. I went to a new place, beat them out by throwing toys, leashed them and had someone else hold the leash while I held the puppy a few feet away just so he could see her but not get to her. Anyways, the person holding the leash did not pay attention at the moment and my 1 yr old lunged at her and nipped her. She's fine, but I'm mortified and emotionally a wreck because of this. He did not lift his lip, growl, or anything so I could not see it coming.

What i'm worried about is that we want to have children in the near future, is there a link between dog aggression and people? for what I've seen my dogs LOVE people and they've been around kids 4 years old and up. I understand that you never leave a dog alone with a child, but now I'm wondering if I would actually have to completely separate my home.
 

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I'm not a trainer or or an expert, but I don't think that a dog who is aggressive towards unfamiliar dogs will necessarily be aggressive towards children.

I have two male GSDs who don't get along with each other and are kept seperate in our house (though they are not aggressive around other leashed dogs out in public). We have had two children (now 1 and 3 years old), and the GSDs are wonderful with the babies.

Of course, as you stated, never leave a newborn, infant, or young child unsupervised with a large dog! Baby gates and fences are good investments. If your dog enjoys children, you probably won't have to keep them completely seperate, but you may find it occasionally helpful to keep them apart.

If you have any doubts at all about your dog's behavior around the new baby (when the time comes), have an experienced GSD trainer come out to help you in person. In fact, if you are serious about expanding your family in the near future, now is the perfect time to enroll in some obedience classes and work with your young dog. The better trained your dog is, the better. And after the baby comes, you won't have as much free time to work on training. It's great that you're thinking of these things now and not after the fact!
 

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Thank you for your insight! It helps a lot. I do have both my boys very well trained in terms of obedience and I work with a K9 police officer, perhaps I will look into having someone help me out with the introduction of the baby into the home when that time comes :)
 

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No. There is not.

I would also add that I would not have introduced them the way you did. The puppy is on my lap in a calm environment when introduced. I would have to see that nip before I called him dog aggressive.
 

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I would not allow my dog to leash greet another dog. Tension on the leash can cause issues. But in general, dog aggression as every one has said so far, does not correlate with human/child aggression. I would definitely watch the dog for discomfort around children. They make quick movements and are loud. Katsu was a little uncomfortable when she met my friends 3 and 5 year old (noisy, noisy, noisy), but now she loves to lick their faces.
 
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The best way I've found to introduce a new or visiting puppy or child is to keep them totally separate behind a baby gate or fence.The dog can get acclimated to the newcomer's smell,sounds,and different types of locomotion.Never rush the process.Dogs will learn 99% of what they need to know about the new human or animal by scent and observation from a reasonable distance.When they are allowed time and space they almost always will relax and have no issues.
 
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My Newlie was sometimes dog aggressive, but loved people of all ages. Even when he was dying of cancer, and I had to help him up the stairs or help lift him in the car, he never even snapped at me, although I am sure it was painful.
 

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I think you really have to pull apart what's going on with the dog. If the "dog aggression" is over-the-top prey drive, and small kids zip around (especially on bikes)...maybe. If the "dog aggression" is misunderstood herding drive, and the kids are viewed as herding objects, maybe (but that's likely to generate little nips not bites). If the dog just flat-out doesn't like other dogs, then no -- humans aren't dogs, and it's not all that uncommon for dogs who love people to not like other dogs.


So I guess the answer to your post is...it's unclear, as I really don't have a clue what's going on with your dog. You'd be well served by having someone who really knows the breed do a consultation and evaluation.


It's also pretty common for dogs to test boundaries and become buttheads during adolescence. Some of them eventually stop being buttheads, when they get some good obedience training, with proper leadership and clear expectations. A few of them need a "come to Jesus" meeting during obedience training. However, I've seen quite a few dogs start out lunging at other dogs end up ignoring them and behaving with nice manners by the end of the 6-week novice course.
 

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There's a difference between excitement vs aggression, you have to learn to rule out both so you know how to act accordingly. 'Nipping' a puppy does not necessarily mean aggression. It could be he doesn't know yet how to say hi, etc. I would not have both dogs on leash, I will wait till they're both calm, and then let them meet. And no, dog aggressive dogs (IF yours was indeed a dog aggressive dog) does not have corelation with being aggressive towards human kids.
 
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