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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have been trying to figure out Regen's behavior with other dogs, especially as we are considering fostering and/or adopting another dog.
She loves going to doggie daycare and the "counselors" there have never reported any issues with aggression or overly rough play. She loves going to her "home daycare" with Miikka, and after a couple of weeks of sorting out the pecking order, I think the two of them get along well and like to play (Miikka's mom would have the complete story though!).

The strange thing is how Regen reacts to other dogs when WE (my husband and I) are around. It seems to have changed as she has become more comfortable and bonded to us. She used to love going to the dog park with me, but in the past 2 months, if we try to go, she will spend about half the time hackling and barking at other dogs who try to come too close to wherever I am.

When we are hiking, her recall is great except in one instance where someone else had his 2 dogs off leash and she decided it was her job to "hold" them off and stood in between us and barked at them.

She does this on leash, which we have treated as reactivity and has improved with "watch me" and "look at that" as well as avoiding situations (because nobody wants to have their walk ruined by a lungeing, hackling, barking GSD!).

She never used to do this off leash with other dogs, though. When we went to meet a potential foster dog, she was barking her head off (though not hackled).

In the past month, she has started running out the door to the backyard and barking/hackling at the fence to our neighbor's yard (they have dogs, too). She never did this before, and now she does it every time we let her out.

I am trying to figure out what is causing this behavior, and wondering how to work with it.

Things we are already doing: NILIF (sits/waits before eating, going out or in a door, getting into car, getting collar leash put on, has to do a down or something we ask before getting pets), working on "watch me" and "look at that" from a distance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
maybe she needs more socializing
and training.
Can you be more specific?

She has done a basic obedience class and is now doing a beginner agility class.

Not sure about socializing at this point, as we try to avoid letting her get to her threshold where she reacts on leash. She is with other dogs in her class and at doggie daycare. She goes almost everywhere with us.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Personally, I see a couple of different situations going on here and they may or may not all be related. The biggest thing is she is maturing mentally (according to your signature she's around 1.5?) and is starting to feel comfortable in your home. Has she been socialized with the dogs next door? What type of fence do you? Can she through it? If she can, you might consider making it solid so that hopefully lessen the fence fighting because it will just build up frustration.

In my experience with Raven, she did alot of the same things you are mentioning when she turned 1.5 -2 years old. She stopped getting along with every dog at the dog park. She had matured and no longer liked playing with strange dogs all day long. It may be time to stop the dog park and day care. A lot of adult GSDs just don't enjoy being thrown into play with strange dogs even if they did when they were younger.

She hasn't met the dogs next door because they are completely out of control and some of them are yappy little dogs that I know she doesn't do well with. The fence is a 5.5 foot wood panel/concrete block fence, so she can't see them, just hear them.

She definitely doesn't seem to enjoy the dog park anymore, so we did stop doing that with her after a couple of the hackle/bark encounters. It does seem like she likes doggie daycare, but for limited time. She does 1/2 day a week at the daycare and when I spy on her on the camera, she is usually playing with the other 2 GSDs there.
She is kind of stuck doing some kind of daycare until she is over her separation anxiety, unfortunately.

She did meet the foster dogs at the foster person's house. In retrospect, probably not the best setup for a meet, but the foster mom seemed to think it would be better than meeting in a park.

It sounds like she is resource guarding us- she does the hackle/bark any time we are out with her and another dog approaches. I just am not sure how to communicate to her that we make the decisions about that, not her.

She is *better* with dogs who have good doggie manners (dogs that approach in an arc and not head-on), but that usually means a delay before she'll hackle/bark.

I definitely don't have any need for her to want to play with other dogs, I just want her to learn that she doesn't need to act like Kujo every time we meet one!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
^Yeah, I think I have that one memorized! :p It's helped. She's getting better, she's just on the slow learner curve.

I haven't read Feisty Fido, we'll try it. We've been using Control Unleashed. We'll definitely stop letting her run toward the fence when we release her to go through the door...silly pup. Good thing she is so darn cute!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
FYI, we have followed up with this after reading Feisty Fido...I think it's definitely resource guarding (us).

The trainer is going to give us some tips about this when we see her to introduce Regen and our new dog next week...I'll be sure to share anything helpful.

She has stopped barking at the fence now that we go out with her and ask her to leave it, and most of the time she will even go out on her own and be okay.
 
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