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*sighs* I'm tired of everyone thinking Chance is a bad boy. Just because he's a big dog/GSD.

When we went to animal control to adopt a dog, I went in for a 10+ year old blind/deaf Chihuahua. Mom and I had talked about a big dog but when I saw the Chi online I knew I had to have him. When we got there he'd been PTS already. So mom let me take my pick at a different dog. Thats when I found Chance. I asked mom and at first she said she didn't want a German Shepherd because "they're aggressive and thats why they're used as police dogs". I of course jumped to correct her and explain how thats not true. She finally gave in and he was mine.

Now my mom likes Chance. She says he's a good dog and I've found more and more lately she tells others how good of a dog he is. (Though she never thought he was a bad dog, she just enjoys him a lot more than she's ever enjoyed a big dog especially one who lives indoors)

Problem is, other people aren't so sure about him. My grandma wasn't sure about him at first because he "fought" back when her littler dog went after him. NOBODY let me introduce them they just let them at each other (I was in the other room and didn't even know she was here yet) and Chance being a hyper-active puppy (He just turned 1) went right over with his puppy hellos and tried to play with him. Bandit didn't like this and so they got into it. Nobody was hurt and it wasn't a FIGHT, just a "back off", 5 second thing. No big. I still don't think she fully trust Chance but she hasn't said anything else about it.

My ex-boyfriend thinks he's mean and going to kill everything thats smaller than him. It's one thing I WONT miss about him when he finally moves back to CA. When we were together and talked about plans to move in with each other, he said that Chance wouldn't be allowed near his cat because he didn't want him to eat SOB. (Son O' Banshee just to get that out of the way XD) My cat "ran away" (Hid in the woods and came home during the middle of the night to eat then left) for 2-3 months and we finally found him 2 days ago. The reason for this is because Jellybean (Cat) had never been properly introduced to big dogs I don't think and he came face to face with Chance and ran off because Chance being even younger than he is now, chased what moved because he thought it was a game. Jellybean was fine with my 3 little dogs but wasn't sure about Chance at ALL. Jellybean was picked up by SOB's breeder in CA when he was only a few days old. She raised him and then gave him to my ex since she was his "mentor" or whatever and they agreed to take him. When we met for the first time IRL (Internet relationship for a while then he moved here) he gave me Jellybean. Only big dog Jellybean has ever been around and I don't know how much he was around him, was June's (SOB's breeder) Doberman, from what my ex tells me.

Keep in mind, I got Chance at 6 months old and don't believe he's ever seen a cat until Jellybean.

So I decided to start introducing them in a positive way so that Chance wouldn't chase him and Jellybean wouldn't run. The WHOLE introduction even when the stupid cat was in the carrier, my ex was flipping out because Chance was SNIFFING HIM. Yeah, he pawed him but he did the same thing to my little dogs. He's not sure about it and wants to know what it is. Believe me, in that 15ish minute session, had he wanted to hurt Jellybean. He could have killed him because I did take him out of the crate at one point and they came face to face. Chance has been around my RAT for Gods sake. He's NEVER killed another animal or attempted to. But my ex see's his natural curiousity as wanting to eat them because Chance sniffs, paws and has even licked them.


And then theres 2 people in the neighborhood who've never even met Chance and think he's some vicious, wild animal.

Why can't they see the big baby that I see? The dork who gets bossed around by my Chihuahuas. ****, my male Chi has actually made Chance BLEED because he bit him in the face when Chance got on his nerves. Chance backed up and looked at him like "WHATJUSTHAPPENED?!". Didn't go after him or anything...Talk about vicious.

Now he's even more convinced he's bad because my grandmas dog Lexus, went after him because he kept sniffing her face while she was laying down. Chance did with her what he did with Bandit and so before he left he said I need to "watch him with her". >_> She's old and a grumpy and doesn't want some "kid" messing with her.

Now keep in mind, Chance is only 50ish lb. Bandit is 20ish lb and Lexus is around 40lb. They aren't tiny.

Yeah, I guess it's my fault for letting them sniff but these are the ONLY dogs he's ever done that with and nobody was hurt nor did either dog ATTEMPT to hurt the other. It's more of a quick "leave me alone" than "I'm going to kill you" thing. Way more. And believe me, he's met a LOT of dogs. More than I can count because I want him used to every one and every thing. He's a PUPPY, he's learning, he's testing, he's growing.

This is my child. Chance is my everything. It's like having a kid who your neighbors thinks is a bad kid because of the way they dress when they know nothing about him/her. It breaks my heart when people see him as a bad dog.
Especially when their dogs don't have HALF the obedience he does.

Sorry that was so long (And thank you to anyone who reads it all lol) but gah. Just really needed that off my chest. I'm hurt as a "mom" that people think he's not a good boy because I know he is. People just don't want to give him a chance. He was actually NAMED Chance because my mom gave him a chance. She gave both of us the chance to prove GSD's aren't bad dogs, there are only bad owners. She also gave him the chance at life. The day we brought him home he was diagnosed with late stage Parvo and at only 6 months old I was asked if I wanted to euthanize him. We gave him a chance and now he's a happy, healthy boy. And I want the world to give him a chance as well to see he's not a bad dog. =/
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I should also mention that the other two went at Chance first. Because skimming back over it, it sounded like Chance went after THEM. I walked into the room right before Bandit went after Chance and Lexus was right beside me when she went after him.
 

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Trust me, I really know how it hurts to have someone say such things, it's out of their own ignorance of the GSD. I'm really sorry you're going through all that. As for your EX, forget him, he obviously knows nothing about dogs, they sniff and sniff and sniff some more when introduced to another animal or person, that's normal behavior, that's how they ID & remember something/someone. As long as YOU love and take care of Chance, I would care less of THEIR opinion's. I do wish you the best of luck!
 

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There is a definite positive side to people avoiding this breed due to misunderstanding. Chance may be a sweet, gentle, easygoing loveydog, but look at all the posts from people on this board who's GSDs are not. Take a peek in the aggression section. Some of these GSDs have bad temperaments, weak nerves, are fear biters-- but others have GSDs that are stable and sweet yet also much more serious characters who can and would bite if someone teased them. The GSD may not be an aggressive breed, but they are an assertive breed. Chance may be a happy-go-lucky sort-- great! My last GSD was that way, too! But, lots of GSDs take themselves pretty seriously. People giving them a wide berth, as opposed to teasing, is in some ways a good thing.
 

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Train him, socialize him and then do your best to use him as an ambassador for the breed. Proof is in the puddin'. Show them all wrong. I love the respect that the breed gets. I love even more how it seems the very people that I would want to be wary of my dogs (uneducated, thuggish, etc.) are scared to death of "police dogs". Stay scared... and stay away from my home and my family.

For the last few years or so I have been on a pretty good run of open minded people. The only time I get people running for cover is when I train (Schutzhund obedience). I'm in the suburbs of Chicago, and open fields in the spring, summer and fall are non existent. Every field is full of kids playing baseball or soccer and adults playing softball, so I found an open industrial lot that gets mowed. The fun part is it's right across the street from a pet friendly apartment complex and many of the renters take their dogs there too. They think my dogs and I are nuts. When I pull up in my truck people with little dogs scatter like cockroaches when the light turns on. I keep telling them that my dogs will not even acknowledge them or their dogs while I have a ball or tug, but all they see is my little female coming in for a long bite on a recall and they get a little worried!
 

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I get it all the time too! My mom is a "foo-foo" dog lover and is petrified of large dogs, GSD's especially. She is of the uneducated, those dogs are big, mean and nasty. When i first got Mya (4 years ago) she thought she was a cute pup, but was afraid of what she would become as a full grown dog. I socialized the heck out of her, taking her everywhere with me, and finally years later, my mom is her biggest fan. She's always telling all of her friends and coworkers how great of a dog she is, and how cool it is that she just seems to understand me when i simply ask her to "step aside" im comimg through, or her calmness around wild kids, or big groups of people. Time will change everything, just keep up the great work with Chance, it willl pay off in the long run!
 

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You know, you will eventually get used to this. I hardly notice now when people cross the street when they see us. I would rather have them have a healthy respect for my GSD than having people rush over to him like he was some Labrador or something.

I may have it a little easier though since Ozzy is a long hair and people equate fuzziness with non-threatening.

But, take him out and let him show what a great ambassador of the breed he can be. I bet he would be a great therapy dog! Have you thought about that?

ps. Glad you dumped the boyfriend!
 

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You have my sympathy - but I'm just glad Chance has such a good mom and advocate!

I thought I was over being bothered by that kind of stuff (it happens so much
) but earlier this week I got pissed off all over again - I was walking my dogs on the ONE trail in this whole town where dogs are allowed (they aren't allowed in any public parks or the state park) and Grace and Leo were behaving beautifully. We passed this mom and her little girl and the girl starts screaming "I DON'T LIKE THEM! I DON'T LIKE THEM!!!" and her mom goes "oh, she's just terrified of dogs." I said "they're not paying any attention to you" smiled and walked on. And they weren't. They couldn't have been less interested. They knew their boy was up jogging somewhere ahead and that was all they were thinking about. I don't know why it even bothered me but I admit I had a bit of a rant in my own head to the tune of "if you don't like dogs, why don't you go hang out in any of the zillion places around here where they're not allowed? Why do you come to the one dog oasis and scream at us?" So I do feel your pain, I really do.


We foster a lot of small dogs and you'll see me on the board defending small dogs but I agree with you that in big dog-small dog fights, GSDs are rarely the instigators and often put up with a crapload of abuse from the little ones before it ever gets to that point.

I don't know what the answer is besides smiling and proving those people wrong. That and I try to remind myself of the positives of breed bias as I'm walking down the street at 10pm and the thugs cross the street to avoid me!
 

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Chance sounds like a really small German Shepherd dog.

But, and you mentioned it, as a rule the GSD is assertive, and also protective.

Yet at the same time they can be fine in crowds, and in my case also nursing homes. Yet, every now and then, someone comes over who my GSD does not like. When I figure out why the dog acts like that I will be a behavior genius.
 
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