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Hi everyone,

Long time lurker, first time poster. I have a 7 month old fixed GSD puppy. I adopted him at 8 weeks and I don't know anything about his lineage. I also have a 10 month old Lab puppy with a great temperament.

The two dogs get along great for the most part.. they're totally partners in crime. The lab, being the older of the two, would push the GSD around from time to time, but it was nothing serious.

As of about two days ago, I noticed a very alarming trend. Whenever a human or any other dog goes to play with the lab, the GSD will outright attack the lab to the point where the lab squeals. It's a especially bad when there is another dog involved. If I leave the GSD alone with another dog, he's completely ambivalent. At best, he might chase the other dog, or let the other dog chase and tackle him. But if the lab starts to play with another dog, our GSD will fixate on the lab and attack her.

This is absolutely unacceptable for me. I've put the GSD through two rounds of obedience training and he's done well. I've also treated him very well, and I know his foster him raised him well. I'm not sure what's gotten into him, but this behavior needs to stop.

Last night I played tug of war with the lab while the GSD made numerous attempts to lunge at her. I kept him at bay using my loose hand a very stern tone, then rewarded him when he'd lay off. I can continue to do this when it's just the three of us, but I clearly can't do this in an open environment (e.g. dog park) with dogs running around all over us. I also don't want to segregate the GSD while the lab plays with other dogs because I think it's important for both of our dogs to be socialized.

Any theories as to why my guy got so crazy all of a sudden? Prior to this, he was a complete pushover. Now he's turned into a complete psycho. Ugh.
 

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jealousy?

Cody gets jealous when i pet mandi, he'll run up and jam his head in the mix to steal the pets or he'll start to playfully nip at mandi's leg or something. i usually tell him no and gently push him away so I can pet my other dog lol. Cody is not making her squeal or being mean, just a jealous little brat.

it could be the same case with your GSD, but he may be more aggressive with is jealousy

just an thought from an amature :)
 

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jealousy?

Cody gets jealous when i pet mandi, he'll run up and jam his head in the mix to steal the pets or he'll start to playfully nip at mandi's leg or something. i usually tell him no and gently push him away so I can pet my other dog lol. Cody is not making her squeal or being mean, just a jealous little brat.

it could be the same case with your GSD, but he may be more aggressive with is jealousy

just an thought from an amature :)

Sinister does the exact same thing. :rolleyes:
 

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If he is 7 months old he might just be going through the butthead, adolescent stage. But I have a 2 y/o female Chihuahua who does this sometimes. She will try to jump on and bite our male Pom when he gets excited. I can stop her with verbal corrections, and it sounds like that's working for you at home.

For an open environment/dog park, when he does these things you can leash him or separate him from the fun for "time-out". This worked for me in doggie daycare. When a dog would get too rough or misbehave, I would give a verbal correction, and if that didn't work, leash that dog and make them sit by me away from the fun. After a couple times of that, they learned to stop when I gave the verbal correction, or else "time-out" was to follow.

If you are open to it, a shock/vibration collar would give you long-range control. But I would give verbal correction before shocking him, so you can begin to phase out the actual shock. We used these on certain dogs (with permission for the owners) in doggie daycare too. I didn't have to shock a dog more than twice before they got the message. Then they would just wear the collar, and I wouldn't even need to carry the remote.

Just giving examples of what has worked for me :) . Consistency, and control, is the key to whatever method you choose.
 

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I would not use an ecollar on a dog who is in an 'aggressive' state of mind. The pain from the collar could make it double bad.

Your GSD is telling the Lab that he is above him on the pack structure. How old is the lab in question? Sometimes you have to listen to the dogs. If the GSD is telling him he is above him, and the lab doesn't argue it, then fine. Feed, pet, play, etc the GSD first and the Lab second. Reinforce the heirarchy as if you think that is true. But now you have to keep the GSD in line, strict NILF, etc.

Your other option is to essentially fight the GSD head-on on this issue. He gets fed last. He gets played with, pet with last. This could have some negative repurcussions however, as he may fight the lab over it. So I would go with the first one.

Your other option is what I would do. Both fed at the same time in separate corners or rooms if possible. I would get the GSD on NILF, and tell him to go away when playing with the lab, petting the lab, etc. GSD gets affection and exercise-on my terms. When he fights back, I fight back harder. When you enter the house, first say hi to the lab, then send him away and say hi to the gsd which you've already sent away so you can greet the lab. The next day switch it. Instead of having a me, GSD, lab, or me, lab, gsd pack structure I would strive for a me and you both. Doesn't always work, but you can try.

If your lab is old, I would get his health checked. Full physical.
 

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I would not use an ecollar on a dog who is in an 'aggressive' state of mind. The pain from the collar could make it double bad.

I guess I should have given more detail with my advice, because I agree with you there.

And really, a 7 month old pup is a little young for a shock collar for me.

The behaviors I used the shock collar really weren't "aggression" is my mind (of course, everyone's opion is different). And I didn't let it turn into full blown attacks, and then try to shock the dog. I would anticipate, and when I saw the dog start to fixate on another dog, and start to move forward, I would give him a buzz then.
But no, I wouldn't recommend buzzing him when he is in full-blown attack mode either.

Another disclaimer: If you decide to use a shock collar (and I would wait until he is older), have someone you know who uses them, and uses one effectively, show you the right timing for giving the shock. I don't recommend just buying one and zapping him whenever you think it's right. I had the trainer at our facility show me the right way to use one, I would recommend that also.
 

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How will feeding the one first help with the GSD attacking the Lab while the Lab is playing with someone else or another dog. I"m not really following the logic completely

I do think the GSD is trying to either establish dominance or he may think the Lab is out of control and trying to be the fun police. or...it could be redirect aggression. We have that situation here with Sierra. If someone is making noise, in a good way, or the dogs are playing she will quite often turn on the dog closest to her. I wouldn't use an e-collar on him yet, especially if you don't know how to use it.

There is another thread about one dog mounting another and one of the suggestions is to throw a choke chain at the dog. it's possible this would work in addition to rewarding when he is not reacting to the Lab getting attention.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the responses so far.

The lab is also a puppy (female, fixed) and 10 months old.

I currently feed the dogs separately because a few times the Lab has chased off the GSD to take his food. If I feed them together, I stand between them to keep things in order.

I'm not big on corporal punishment, so while I appreciate the advise, I won't be doing the shock collar. The most physical correction I've done thus far is to bop the GSD on his snout while yelling NEIN! or PHUEY! when he gets out of line during play.

Deathmetal, please explain this sentence to me: "Instead of having a me, GSD, lab, or me, lab, gsd pack structure I would strive for a me and you both. Doesn't always work, but you can try."

My end goal is to have just what you've described.. a pack whose hierarchy is me as the alpha and the two dogs are equals. How do I get there?

here's a picture of the crazies for reference. although she's a few months older, the lab is way smaller than the GSD.

 

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Just an FYI...an e-collar when used appropriately is not corporate punishment. At the setting that a foster doberman needed, I couldn't even feel when I put it on my arm. I"m willing to bet it's not nearly as traumatic as having you bop him on the nose.

NILIF is how you start to make the dogs aware that you are the one in charge.
 

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i think what deathmetal was saying is try to have them view each other as equal rank in the pack...
 

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i think what deathmetal was saying is try to have them view each other as equal rank in the pack...
noted. now how do i make that happen? :crazy:

i can pet them, feed them, and walk them at the same time. the only thing i can't do is play with them together because Dexter ruins playtime with his crazy antics.
 

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I don't know how you would handle it at a dog park except not to go, because you can't control other dogs, but at home you can try training them to take turns when you play. Do they understand "wait" or "stay"?
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
I don't know how you would handle it at a dog park except not to go, because you can't control other dogs, but at home you can try training them to take turns when you play. Do they understand "wait" or "stay"?
Yep, they both know wait and stay. Roxy (Lab) knows her commands in English and Dexter (GSD) in German. I have full control of both dogs during these training sessions, most likely because treats are involved. It's during active playtime (tug of war, fetch, etc.) that things start to go south. Dexter has no interest what-so-ever in any of these activities. For instance when I throw the ball, he watches Roxy run after it, grab it, and bring it back. As she's on her way back, he pounces on her. Someone said it earlier, he's almost like the fun police.

Are you suggesting I put one dog into a stay while I play with the other dog? For instance I could use a treat to place Dexter into a stay while I throw the ball for Roxy to fetch.
 

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How about putting one of them in the crate when you are just playing with the other?
Yeah, but that's treating the symptom not the problem. And I don't want to have to segregate Dexter when other dogs are around. Our neighbor used to bring his Lab over to our yard and all three dogs would run around and have a good time, I would like for something along those lines to resume as opposed to having Dexter crated during playtime.
 

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infinite loop Dexter has no interest what-so-ever in any of these activities. For instance when I throw the ball, he watches Roxy run after it, grab it, and bring it back. As she's on her way back, he pounces on her. Someone said it earlier, he's almost like the fun police.
Why should Dex have to run, grab the ball, and bring it back when Roxy will. See the mindset?

Jax-How will feeding the one first help with the GSD attacking the Lab while the Lab is playing with someone else or another dog. I"m not really following the logic completely

The logic is that once you have the pack organized in the manner you see fit the GSD will not attack the lab because either a)you have shown him he does not control the resources (food, playtime, your affection) and therefore has no right to attempt to do so b)you have told him he is higher in the pack than the lab or c)you have told him that he is on the same level as the lab and there is no argueing it.

The behaviors I used the shock collar really weren't "aggression" is my mind (of course, everyone's opion is different). And I didn't let it turn into full blown attacks, and then try to shock the dog. I would anticipate, and when I saw the dog start to fixate on another dog, and start to move forward, I would give him a buzz then.
But no, I wouldn't recommend buzzing him when he is in full-blown attack mode either.

I completely agree with you. In this fashion you can use the shock collar. But a far greater emphasis needs to be placed on accuracy and timing of the correction, as well as the strength of the correction. If you are using it to disrupt the 'thought' process it can be very helpful.


Instead of having a me, GSD, lab, or me, lab, gsd pack structure I would strive for a me and you both. Doesn't always work, but you can try."

My end goal is to have just what you've described.. a pack whose hierarchy is me as the alpha and the two dogs are equals. How do I get there?

Exactly, the point was that you are alpha and the two dogs are equals. I'm not saying you always have to do things with each dog. Walking them together, playing together, etc is not always feasible and it may come to the time where Dexter cannot visit the Dog Park. My point is that no matter what, you are in charge. You want to take Roxy to the dog park? Leave. Want to walk Dexter and work on training without Roxy?
Do it. But the two dogs are never to 'disipline' each other. Take things from eachother. You essentially become a drill sargeant. I know it doesn't sound nice. But if you want control over Dex it has to be this way.


I gotta head home but I'll try to answer any unanswered questions when I get home-and I may not be able to get to the computer. Shenzi's having bowel issues. Hope the pumpkin worked! *crosses fingers*
 

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Yeah, but that's treating the symptom not the problem. And I don't want to have to segregate Dexter when other dogs are around. Our neighbor used to bring his Lab over to our yard and all three dogs would run around and have a good time, I would like for something along those lines to resume as opposed to having Dexter crated during playtime.
I didn't mean to not still work with them but to crate the one when you are JUST playing. There isn't any reason why you can't crate one, go play, crate the other, go play, and then let both of them out to work with them.
 
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