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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This has happened on a few occasions already at the dog park where, Sam, my 12 month old male GSD (not fixed), aggressively attacked another younger male dogs and/ or puppies. They would just sniff each other at first and then suddenly Sam's hackles stand up, he growls and then lunges himself at the younger pup. He gets taken to the dog park on a regular basis, like almost everyday, and he does fine with other dogs big and small, so I don't know why he only targets younger dogs/ pups. Does anyone know why he is doing this or know how to correct his behavior? I am getting him neutered soon hoping he'll stop his aggressive ways afterward.
 

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This has happened on a few occasions already at the dog park where, Sam, my 12 month old male GSD (not fixed), aggressively attacked another younger male dogs and/ or puppies. They would just sniff each other at first and then suddenly Sam's hackles stand up, he growls and then lunges himself at the younger pup. He gets taken to the dog park on a regular basis, like almost everyday, and he does fine with other dogs big and small, so I don't know why he only targets younger dogs/ pups. Does anyone know why he is doing this or know how to correct his behavior? I am getting him neutered soon hoping he'll stop his aggressive ways afterward.
I would be very interested to fond a solution for that issue too!

We've been told that some dog just don't appreciate puppies...

Phenix do exactly the same things as Sam....
 

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I think it's almost impossible to say without seeing the dog, what exactly is going on. I know you say he's fine with the older dogs...but is he really? There are so many subtle things that happen in dog communication that can create trouble or set our dogs at ease. You have to watch closely for triggers. You have everything ranging from a dog who doesn't care for rude puppies, to a dog that sees dogs younger than itself as an opportunity to put himself higher.

And it's true some dogs don't care for puppies. We had a dog that HATED to be licked in the mouth (a common submissive thing for puppies to do). Some pups will bulldoze and jump on dogs which is rude and some dogs will over-correct this behavior.

Another possibility is that he's actually uncomfortable at the dog park, and that the younger dogs are easy targets to vent that onto that won't fight back. He doesn't bother the adult dogs because their body language and canine communication says "I'm an adult, and I wouldn't stand for it. You respect me."

Like I said. Hard to say without actually seeing it. You might want to contact a behaviorist. I'm not sure neutering will do anything to fix it- although it might stop it from escalating to the adult dogs.
 

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I see a lot of young males that are just entering maturity showing the behavior you describe. Personally, I think they are feeling out their dominance. They seem frustrated because they aren't sure enough about themselves to behave that way with a full grown dog, so a puppy makes an easy target. I think you need to work with him more on leash to stay focused on you and not the other dogs/pups. Treat the puppies as just another distraction that you should be training him through anyway.
 

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my friends dog does that and he is huge it must be scary for the pups, its what happend to shilo when she was a pup
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I think it's almost impossible to say without seeing the dog, what exactly is going on. I know you say he's fine with the older dogs...but is he really? There are so many subtle things that happen in dog communication that can create trouble or set our dogs at ease. You have to watch closely for triggers. You have everything ranging from a dog who doesn't care for rude puppies, to a dog that sees dogs younger than itself as an opportunity to put himself higher.

And it's true some dogs don't care for puppies. We had a dog that HATED to be licked in the mouth (a common submissive thing for puppies to do). Some pups will bulldoze and jump on dogs which is rude and some dogs will over-correct this behavior.

Another possibility is that he's actually uncomfortable at the dog park, and that the younger dogs are easy targets to vent that onto that won't fight back. He doesn't bother the adult dogs because their body language and canine communication says "I'm an adult, and I wouldn't stand for it. You respect me."

Like I said. Hard to say without actually seeing it. You might want to contact a behaviorist. I'm not sure neutering will do anything to fix it- although it might stop it from escalating to the adult dogs.

He goes wild at the dog park, its like his favorite thing in the world. He's been going ever since he was about 4-5 months old. I think it's an act of dominance if anything. So far, all his victims have been younger dogs/ puppies and never older ones.
 

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I'd keep him more with the older bigger dogs he's comfortable with at the moment ESPECIALLY at a dog park..

I don't do the dog park thing, however, if your dog did that to my puppy, I'd be mighty upset (at a dog park)..

I would be rightthere, when he's near smaller dogs/puppies to diffuse the behavior prior to it happening..What if he really hurts a smaller dog/puppy your going to be liable for that...
 

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WHY he does it isn't as important as how to resolve it. I mean, knowing the dog's motivations IS helpful, but we can work around not knowing pretty easily.

This DVD offers a great solution for reactivity/aggression. You'll want to work with a trainer who understands and utilizes positive reinforcement training (corrections don't work with this approach). Have the trainer watch the DVD with you. If s/he has any questions/issues that arise, there is a yahoo group for trainers to address questions. Also, there are seminars s/he can attend. So it's a supported program. But of all, it does work. :)

Grisha Stewart/Behavioral Adjustment Training DVD:
Welcome to Dogwise.com

There are lots of books out there you can pick up: Click to Calm and Control Unleashed are good ones and would be helpful for you to read as well. But a dog that is reactive toward puppies can (and might) generalize that to others, like toddlers, for example. So getting this nipped in the bud is a good idea.

Diane's suggestion that we manage this right now is important. Management is always the first step in training. Control the environment until we can institute training. But I think that you may find that DVD useful. Using it with a trainer will be most useful of all.
 

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I know i'd be pretty pissed off if someones dog attacked or pounced on my puppy at the dog park, but for reasons like this and dogs like yours, that's why i don't go to dog parks anymore. They're way too much of a liability for everyone involved.

I hope you do something to fix this problem before someones dog gets seriously hurt. I think if you really want to get to the root of the problem, i'd hope you'd at least speak to a behaviorist.

No way someone is going to be able to fix this problem through an online message board without actually seeing the dog interact with other dogs. My guess is neutering your dog is not going to solve this problem.
 

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I have just started to have the same issue with my not-neutered-yet 11 mo. old GS/malamute mix. He was the most shy pup but has now gotten big and become quite confident. I know within wolf packs there is a pecking order and the younger males will duke it out to see who becomes the alpha. So, I think the behavior is pretty natural. Younger male dogs and puppies are low risk. Then they work their way up!

But what to do about it? I came here trying to figure that out! On the one hand I think it doesn’t take too much to settle things. Sometimes you just let them do get out and then they settle it quickly. Of course you can’t do that with other people’s dogs!!

I’m trying to use the same commands with him that I use with him regarding my cats - who he knows are completely off limits. I use the words Gentle and Back Off. Back Off is the more serious one where I grab him by the scruff and pull him back if he doesn’t listen.

I mean if they can train police dogs to stop attacking somebody, people’s GS pets can learn to back off from the younger dogs too.

I am definitely still working on this with my pup tgough!





I see a lot of young males that are just entering maturity showing the behavior you describe. Personally, I think they are feeling out their dominance. They seem frustrated because they aren't sure enough about themselves to behave that way with a full grown dog, so a puppy makes an easy target. I think you need to work with him more on leash to stay focused on you and not the other dogs/pups. Treat the puppies as just another distraction that you should be training him through anyway.
 

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12 year old thread.
But as a general comment, GSD often don't make good dog park dogs.
And young pups shouldn't be in dog parks period.
The newer dog parks around here are 1 for smaller dogs and 1 for larger dogs
 
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