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I've recently gotten a 4-month-old german shepherd (on Friday the 24th) he is good to me but once we are out walking and other dogs or even other people without dogs walk by he goes into an aggressive barking mode and lunging towards them. Nothing I do gets his attention back to me and away from scaring people and dogs away. It is embarrassing to not be able to stop this behavior but I'm also afraid of what he might do if they were to get too close to him. He is supposed to start an obedience course on Sept 1st but I'm afraid with him already showing signs of being aggression near other dogs and people they may not let us come back. And he clearly hasn't been socialized very well as a young puppy so if we aren't allowed back to training how can I socialize him now that he's 4 months?

On two occasions of him going to the vet he was totally fine around other dogs and people, no barking at all, just interested behavior. So what has changed over the course of two days?
 

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I've recently gotten a 4-month-old german shepherd (on Friday the 24th) he is good to me but once we are out walking and other dogs or even other people without dogs walk by he goes into an aggressive barking mode and lunging towards them. Nothing I do gets his attention back to me and away from scaring people and dogs away. It is embarrassing to not be able to stop this behavior but I'm also afraid of what he might do if they were to get too close to him. He is supposed to start an obedience course on Sept 1st but I'm afraid with him already showing signs of being aggression near other dogs and people they may not let us come back. And he clearly hasn't been socialized very well as a young puppy so if we aren't allowed back to training how can I socialize him now that he's 4 months?

On two occasions of him going to the vet he was totally fine around other dogs and people, no barking at all, just interested behavior. So what has changed over the course of two days?
You may need to contact an independent professional trainer who has experience with this kind of behavior, not a puppy obedience class with other dogs in my opinion. This behavior will get worse unless corrected now. He needs to be redirected and learn that the behavior is unacceptable. He needs corrections every time he reacts that way. He my have had something that triggered him or he may just be maturing. I would contact a professional with experience in this area if you cannot correct it on your own. I would possible suggest an E collar but you need to know how to use one first. Good luck!
 

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I would possible suggest an E collar but you need to know how to use one first. Good luck!
NEVER an E-collar for this behavior! mmaggs, where did you get that idea? Petco? I know they sell them at the check out there (grrrr).
This behavior is based on fear and an E-collar will only make him more afraid of dogs as your pup will make the association 'dogs make me hurt' and you are creating a dangerous dog. Avoid the regular puppy or obedience group classes. Your pup needs individual training in situations that are under control. I hope you have access to a variety of trainers. Interview them before exposing your dog to their techniques. At this age you can correct (not physical!) behavior but he is at a tipping point so it has to work. Again, no E-collar!
 

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NEVER an E-collar for this behavior! mmaggs, where did you get that idea? Petco? I know they sell them at the check out there (grrrr).
This behavior is based on fear and an E-collar will only make him more afraid of dogs as your pup will make the association 'dogs make me hurt' and you are creating a dangerous dog. Avoid the regular puppy or obedience group classes. Your pup needs individual training in situations that are under control. I hope you have access to a variety of trainers. Interview them before exposing your dog to their techniques. At this age you can correct (not physical!) behavior but he is at a tipping point so it has to work. Again, no E-collar!
I dont even go to petco, so no..... Also E collars have varied settings. A slight "beep" is one of them. Is a noise going to hurt? Probably not. By the way, not all E collars are shock collars which it sounds like you are referring to. Yes they can be used to help this issue. Dont make so many assumptions.
 

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The Sportdog collars have both the tone and the vibrate mod and are effective to 500 yards. These are signalling devices. But I agree, e collar corrections are ONLY for when a dog KNOWS the command, you are sure he knows it, has been proofed in the command ( Taken to increasingly distracting environments where he also obeys the command ). Only when the dog knows the command and decides to blow you off and not do it, wants to do something else- this is when the lowest level of stimulation correction that is effective for that situation is used. You don't just put these things on dogs and start mashing buttons, and especially not on young pups. That is what wolfy meant.
 
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I think an obedience class would be worthless to you right now. You do need private sessions from a good trainer. NOT a petsmart trainer. Personally, I would never use an ecollar for this behavior. You should not use the stim for reactivity without behavior modification and if you can't break his attention with your voice, the tone on an ecollar probably won't work. I would use a nylon choke. It's effective and only takes a couple of times.

If you would like to know more, send me a PM. Need to go train my dog before I lose daylight.
 

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He hasn’t learned polite manners around other dogs. Since you sound inexperienced with this type of behavior, please get a private trainer. That is a behavior you can easily stop if you know how but will get worse if it’s reinforced. What is the dog’s history? Who had it the first 4 months? If the dog had no early dog interaction, was not with littermates, and did not have a typical first 8 weeks, you have a different problem. Nothing we can tell you will help much if it is due to early isolation.
 

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This is a 4-month old puppy. You absolutely do not need an e-collar of any kind to teach leash manners to/manage sudden new reactivity in a 4 month old puppy. Find an experienced trainer who knows the breed and who understands that puppies are not adult dogs.

Where do you live? Maybe some forum members could recommend trainers in your area.
 

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I dont even go to petco, so no..... Also E collars have varied settings. A slight "beep" is one of them. Is a noise going to hurt? Probably not. By the way, not all E collars are shock collars which it sounds like you are referring to. Yes they can be used to help this issue. Dont make so many assumptions.
Show me through a video or tell me proof how this has worked for you with a fearful dog. Forget the word "assumptions" if you 'assume' :grin2: me not knowing the difference between an E collar and shock collar.
 

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I would possible suggest an E collar but you need to know how to use one first. Good luck!
NEVER an E-collar for this behavior! mmaggs, where did you get that idea? Petco? I know they sell them at the check out there (grrrr).
This behavior is based on fear and an E-collar will only make him more afraid of dogs as your pup will make the association 'dogs make me hurt' and you are creating a dangerous dog. Avoid the regular puppy or obedience group classes. Your pup needs individual training in situations that are under control. I hope you have access to a variety of trainers. Interview them before exposing your dog to their techniques. At this age you can correct (not physical!) behavior but he is at a tipping point so it has to work. Again, no E-collar!
This isn’t true at all. This pup is way too young for an e collar, but for an adult dog an e collar would work fine for this (used properly)
 

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Oh my goodness. This is common behavior for a baby dog. You do need a trainer if you are not experienced in this behavior.

When my pup did this, we turn around and go the other direction until they calm down. Then we turn back, the second they act out, rinse repeat. They learn that that behavior gets them nothing.

I am also real good at ignoring. I just keep on walking. I don't get freaked out. I don't try to correct. I just keep on moving. Pups learn real quick what gets our goat. They feed off of our energy. So it's up to you to remain calm and make them move on.

No ecollar. Not yet. This is normal/common baby GSD behavior. Adding a negative to a scary experience will only make it worse.
 

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I was talking about extreme deprivation. My friend found an abandoned puppy that was about 4 weeks old. The dog never had interaction with littermates, and by 3-4 months was already unable to tolerate other dogs. He never could. They had him for 12 years. We don’t know this dog’s history. Although that dog was the breed we can’t name.
 

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Here's what I would do --- I would start walking the dog away from the triggers.



I'm thinking about one of my dogs (a really great dog BTW) who, as a pup, had "issues" with cars passing us. I started walking her at a time of day (well, night really) when there were few cars. I could see them coming well in advance. The pup was given a command for another behavior as we moved a bit away from the road (say a few feet into someone's driveway.) and rewarded with treats. After several weeks of this, she was very nonchalant about cars, trucks and even fire engines with their bells and whistles blazing. So basically what I am recommending is that you work well under threshold and gradually move closer.
 

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This puppy is 4 months old and he's been with you for only 3 days?! Take a step back, breathe, and relax! Give him time to acclimate himself to you and the new surroundings! Learn his personality and mannerisms, and give him time to learn yours and the new house rules! Raising a puppy to be the well mannered dog you want is a marathon, not a race!

Just because your puppy is leash reactive when out on walks, you shouldn't jump to the conclusion that he had no socialization! But either way, socialization is really about giving your dog new experiences, not interacting with new dogs and people. It won't be possible in any event if he's being overwhelmed, so take it slow and introduce him to new places and surfaces and locations and things to climb on and over. With my puppy I did a lot of that in a park with lots of space. So she could explore and have fun in the vicinity of people walking their dogs or riding bikes, but far enough away that she wasn't overwhelmed by them. Take long breaks, just sit quietly with your dog and let him take in the sights, sounds, and smells. As time goes on and your dog is able to calmly see other dogs and people at that distance, you can start incrementally moving closer. Just don't rush it, pay attention to the dog and move closer when he's ready. If my dog started to growl or fixate on another dog or person, I would gently dissuade her. If gentle persuasion didn't work I'd move a little farther away until she was able to control herself again. It takes time and patience, but it works.

Once your puppy acts this way, most people become tense when they see another dog coming, and that works against you! Strive to remain calm and in control, but don't tighten the leash, or pull the puppy over to you when you see someone coming. If you can't avoid this situation while working with your puppy on his reactivity, just exit the sidewalk and have your puppy sit while they go by.

Teach your dog impulse control by having him wait for release before going through doorways. I also liked to place treats on the floor in front her and make her wait for release to eat them, and to NEVER exit the car until released. These things are hard for puppies, but the self control they learn to master doing these tasks spills over into other areas, and your puppy will be calmer and more able to control themselves in other situations.

Again, it takes time and patience. Before you know it you'll see incremental improvement. I absolutely agree with others that a group class is not what your puppy needs right now. Work one-on-one with a private trainer, or on your own, to help your dog gain some control first, then maybe later he'd get more out of a group setting. Good Luck! And congratulations on your new puppy!
 

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My training facility used water bottles with vinegar in them for bark happy dogs. I'm not 100% sure what the requirement for that type of correction was, but the idea was to spray it from a relaxed position by the dog's mouth so they aren't aware it's coming from you. (Mind you, this would require you to carry a bottle all the time so they wouldn't associate the bottle with the correction.)


They also had this thing where they would have the owner of the "excited" dog drop food on the floor to have the dog break eye contact with their trigger. We had 2 GSD puppies in Katsu's class that went through this. I'm not sure how you reinforce the "quiet" behavior like this, but it worked.


Your puppy could be just excited...GSDs talk A LOT. It wouldn't surprise me if he was just excited.


I do the walk away from trigger method. It works for Katsu. We went to a Lure Coursing event and she got all wound up from the other dogs barking, then seeing the lure fly around the grass and started barking too. I'd say "Oops/Nuh-uh" and turn away from the course and walk her until she's no longer focused on the exciting white thing speeding around. We'd slowly make our way back, but if she starts up again, we would repeat the "Oops/Nuh-uh" and walk away.
 

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Almost my entire post of advice was for them to get an experienced individual trainer to work on this. I added the e-collar at the very end but stated if you dont know how to use it then thats not the way to go. There are so many types of E-collars. Wolfy said the dog would associate it with "dogs make me hurt". The hurt made it clear that it was being assumed I was talking about a shock collar which I was not. Noise settings can be paired with positive reinforcement to redirect into the desired behavior. Maybe not needed for a dog this young but they can certainly be used for this issue. I lost track a bit on the age of the dog self admittedly.
 

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This puppy is 4 months old and he's been with you for only 3 days?! Take a step back, breathe, and relax! Give him time to acclimate himself to you and the new surroundings! Learn his personality and mannerisms, and give him time to learn yours and the new house rules! Raising a puppy to be the well mannered dog you want is a marathon, not a race!

Just because your puppy is leash reactive when out on walks, you shouldn't jump to the conclusion that he had no socialization! But either way, socialization is really about giving your dog new experiences, not interacting with new dogs and people. It won't be possible in any event if he's being overwhelmed, so take it slow and introduce him to new places and surfaces and locations and things to climb on and over. With my puppy I did a lot of that in a park with lots of space. So she could explore and have fun in the vicinity of people walking their dogs or riding bikes, but far enough away that she wasn't overwhelmed by them. Take long breaks, just sit quietly with your dog and let him take in the sights, sounds, and smells. As time goes on and your dog is able to calmly see other dogs and people at that distance, you can start incrementally moving closer. Just don't rush it, pay attention to the dog and move closer when he's ready. If my dog started to growl or fixate on another dog or person, I would gently dissuade her. If gentle persuasion didn't work I'd move a little farther away until she was able to control herself again. It takes time and patience, but it works.

Once your puppy acts this way, most people become tense when they see another dog coming, and that works against you! Strive to remain calm and in control, but don't tighten the leash, or pull the puppy over to you when you see someone coming. If you can't avoid this situation while working with your puppy on his reactivity, just exit the sidewalk and have your puppy sit while they go by.

Teach your dog impulse control by having him wait for release before going through doorways. I also liked to place treats on the floor in front her and make her wait for release to eat them, and to NEVER exit the car until released. These things are hard for puppies, but the self control they learn to master doing these tasks spills over into other areas, and your puppy will be calmer and more able to control themselves in other situations.

Again, it takes time and patience. Before you know it you'll see incremental improvement. I absolutely agree with others that a group class is not what your puppy needs right now. Work one-on-one with a private trainer, or on your own, to help your dog gain some control first, then maybe later he'd get more out of a group setting. Good Luck! And congratulations on your new puppy!

I missed the only had for 3 days part!!!


OP - IGNORE EVERY POST, INCLUDING MINE, EXCEPT TIM'S POST ABOVE. You have no relationship with this puppy. There is no background obedience. Obviously nothing has been taught to him. Start with Tim's advice. A correction in your situation, at this point in your relationship, would be unfair. You have to start with the basics, with commands that are counter intuitive to the action he wants to do, and with trust in you as a handler.
 

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Almost my entire post of advice was for them to get an experienced individual trainer to work on this. I added the e-collar at the very end but stated if you dont know how to use it then thats not the way to go. There are so many types of E-collars. Wolfy said the dog would associate it with "dogs make me hurt". The hurt made it clear that it was being assumed I was talking about a shock collar which I was not. Noise settings can be paired with positive reinforcement to redirect into the desired behavior. Maybe not needed for a dog this young but they can certainly be used for this issue. I lost track a bit on the age of the dog self admittedly.
A good quality e collar is not a shock collar. It does not shock the dog. It is like a tens unit and it makes the muscle twitch. Mini educator has worked wonders for my (fear) reactive cattle dog. She gets excited when I bring out the collar...she certainly doesn’t feel hurt by other dogs when it is used lol, but she was conditioned to it and it is used properly.
 

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A good quality e collar is not a shock collar. It does not shock the dog. It is like a tens unit and it makes the muscle twitch. Mini educator has worked wonders for my (fear) reactive cattle dog. She gets excited when I bring out the collar...she certainly doesn’t feel hurt by other dogs when it is used lol, but she was conditioned to it and it is used properly.
haha same here, I dont shock at all. I only like the stimulation and beep. I like the Sport Dog collars because of their range and the fact that I can still use them if they get wet (my dogs love swimming). I can feel the quality difference also.
 
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