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Well I took alex camping again this weekend for the 4th and since she started obedience training she has been tons better. She still snaps at other dogs but wont lunge at them or pull me towards them like she used to, she will just let them get about 10-15 feet away up first meeting them and growl and maybe snap, and turn away and growl. Like she knows she is doing bad, but still wants to. I'll snatch her leash and she's fine(im using a prong collar). But with other people she is fine until they either make eye contact or try to come up to her and pet her. But if im just out walking her she will not pay other people any attention. If i walk her around someone and make her sit next to me, next to them and let them pet her while i pet her she is fine and has never snapped at someone. But when she does snap at someone i feel its not aggressive it starts out as a growl and then she will jump back and just start to bark at them. But whats so funny her behavior isnt consistant. Like when we first got at the lake there was another couple with a 8yr old GSD and i asked if alex could come near.... THey let me and well the 8 yr old was the one that was not acting well adn alex was just an angel. She sit next to me the whole time and didnt pay the other dog attention but the other dog was not really barking but yapping at her. Alex would just look, turn her head then focus on other random things. But like when we are at the campsite and someone new walks up, she just barks growls, i snatch her leash and tell her no then she is fine but i still have to keep my eye on her.

But last night we were all sitting around and someone she is very familiar with just came up and started to pet her and she snapped at them... Granted i had been playing with her all day and she was laying down and i shrugged it off as being tired so i went and put her up. She quickly layed on her bed and didnt even try to come back outside to join me, so im willing to bet she was tired.

I dont know if its because she is spoiled, or what. Honestly i wouldnt call her spoiled myself, she earns everything she gets as far as food adn what not so i dont know. Its just very very frustrating sometimes when i think im makin progress and she goes about her old ways.

Another thing that pisses me off is its all funny when a small dog does it, but when mine does it everyone freaks out and scatters and it is starting to make me mad. People see smaller dogs doing it, and they just laugh and brush it off but when my dog even growls at someone it gets labeled as a "**** aggressive dog".
 

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First smaller dogs cannot do the damage the larger dogs can do so it is much easier to shrug off.

Have you had a medical evaluation done? Something as easy and inexpensive to fix as low thyroid can cause personality problems.

Do not make excuses for her. Being tired is far from a reason, especially at her young age.

Do not feel discourge. Progress is often several small steps forward acompanied by a step back.

Do a better job of keeping her in situations of sucsess. The less bad encounters the faster she will improve.
 

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Originally Posted By: mjb03First smaller dogs cannot do the damage the larger dogs can do so it is much easier to shrug off.

Have you had a medical evaluation done? Something as easy and inexpensive to fix as low thyroid can cause personality problems.

Do not make excuses for her. Being tired is far from a reason, especially at her young age.

Do not feel discourge. Progress is often several small steps forward acompanied by a step back.

Do a better job of keeping her in situations of sucsess. The less bad encounters the faster she will improve.
As far as damage goes my other dog has a 1" scar from a jack russell, hah.

Believe me, i dont make excuses for her but i dont want to be unfair to her. More so giving the benefit of the doubt.

But you speak of situations of success i try to do that and praise her everytime someone comes up and she shows good behavior.

I just hate being labeled as a bad owner because my dog barks and i have done nothing but show this dog love, and take up every moment with her when im not at work by playing and training...

But i have thought about medically evaluating her after reading one of the stickies. If it doesnt get better once she reaches over a year old maybe 2 i will have it done and see what the vet says. Right now i just think she needs "guidance"... heh
 

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Do you practice NILIF? (Nothing In Life Is Free) If you don't, then I suggest you do this right away. How often, and how much does she get exercised? How much was she socialized? Sometimes when she is acting like an angel and the other dog is set off it can be because the "angel's" body language is aggressive or dominant. Little dogs do it all the time.
 

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Originally Posted By: GSDOwner2008Do you practice NILIF? (Nothing In Life Is Free) If you don't, then I suggest you do this right away. How often, and how much does she get exercised? How much was she socialized? Sometimes when she is acting like an angel and the other dog is set off it can be because the "angel's" body language is aggressive or dominant. Little dogs do it all the time.
She gets exercised everyday, atleast 1 hour but for the most part 2 hours and then she follows me everywhere as far as working on my car and just piddling around the house. Where i go she goes. I socialized her at a very young age i think i used to drag her to pet smart every weekend, and to the park when she was old enough to walk w/o falling down. But i bet what hurt her was i got put on TDY orders for 1 1/2 months and she did nothing but stay at my parents and was put in puppy day care at the vet during the day. So im willing to bet that didnt do her any good.

And i do practice the NILF was best i can by making her sit and wait for food, waits for me to go out the door, gets out of my way in the hallway, doesnt go past me at any place or any time that sort of thing.
 

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I may have missed it, but is she in a structured training class? That would be my first step. Not just ob with you and your dog.
She may be going thru a fear stage, sometimes at around 10-15 mos they are hormonally charged. What is the age of alex? When people approach her or other dogs interfere with her "space" it can make her feel threatened, so she is reactive. Onyx went thru this and now is ok except when she feeling is overwhelmed. I have learned to read her body language and take her away from situations that are causing her stress. Yawning, laying down unexpectedly, and eye dialation is something to keep your eye on. Have her focus on you during these times and treat, reward her for all positive behavior, ignore and do not coddle her or reprimand for the other. If she growls, remove her from the environment, don't correct it, as she is giving a warning and if she gives no warning the next thing she will do is bite. By growling, she is trying to give signals that she is overwhelmed
Get her out of a situation where she feels anxious or shows aggression( which could be fear-based). Set her up for sucess. Good luck
 

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For the most part Alex sounds like the typical German Shepherd. Your post raises so many issues Iwish I could respond with more knowledge. But my GSD, Timber, behaves about the same way, and trying to establish why, and if the reaction is consistent, we have struggled.

Spoiled, lord knows without meeting the dog. Growling when a stranger walks up, petting her at night, excepting you, typical GSD reactions.

On balance, your dog sounds like the typical GSD.
 

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Originally Posted By: Timber1For the most part Alex sounds like the typical German Shepherd. Your post raises so many issues Iwish I could respond with more knowledge. But my GSD, Timber, behaves about the same way, and trying to establish why, and if the reaction is consistent, we have struggled.

Spoiled, lord knows without meeting the dog. Growling when a stranger walks up, petting her at night, excepting you, typical GSD reactions.

On balance, your dog sounds like the typical GSD.
Then mine is atypical.
She is the same age- 8 months. She does not snap at anyone, she greets strangers as though they are friends (we went to a river this weekend and she met about 15 new people of all sizes and colors and she was friendly to all) clearly taking cues from me. She is not fearful in most situations and when she is she recovers very quickly without showing aggression or shrinking away from whatever it is that scared her.......
So I think that genetics are at work here- I can absolutely promise you it is not my handling that has made her this way

I am glad you are working hard with Alex to help him overcome these issues because I have a sense that you can take him far with your level of commitment
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yea alex is all puppy most of the time. Always wanting to play and never wants to "work". When its training time she does a superb job, but when its play time its like she forgets all of what i taught her, mainly "HERE!". I'll throw the ball and she thinks its time to play keep away from daddy. Or when we go out she thinks its time to work and protect me....

Yes i have her in a structured training class atm, Its 1v1. I didnt do that petsmart BS or anything of the sort. I went to a trainer who only specializes in working breed dogs, IE gsd's. But he does train rotties, labs, and all breeds but he is most familiar with gsds. He has helped me get through to this thick skulled dog, but it is tough.

Honestly, if i could take her out in public and not worry about a pitch fork mafia coming to hang me and my dog if she snaps/barks/ or what have you i will be doing fine. But im so afraid some dumb kid is going to come along and mess with her and bite the kid and ill have to have her put down. Ive heard so many horror stories and thats what i want to try to avoid. I dont want to be "that guy" on teh channel 6 news.
 

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You know, muzzles are not all bad...it may be worth getting her adjusted to one in case you need it. Carry one with you and if the situation arises, then you can put it on her, no big deal.
 

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Originally Posted By: Lucina
Originally Posted By: Timber1For the most part Alex sounds like the typical German Shepherd. Your post raises so many issues Iwish I could respond with more knowledge. But my GSD, Timber, behaves about the same way, and trying to establish why, and if the reaction is consistent, we have struggled.

Spoiled, lord knows without meeting the dog. Growling when a stranger walks up, petting her at night, excepting you, typical GSD reactions.

On balance, your dog sounds like the typical GSD.
Then mine is atypical.
She is the same age- 8 months. She does not snap at anyone, she greets strangers as though they are friends (we went to a river this weekend and she met about 15 new people of all sizes and colors and she was friendly to all) clearly taking cues from me. She is not fearful in most situations and when she is she recovers very quickly without showing aggression or shrinking away from whatever it is that scared her.......
So I think that genetics are at work here-
I agree with Lucina, Alex is not showing typical GSD behavior. This is behavior indicative of a weak nerved, under-confident dog that is going to need training and some work to build her up. I am not saying this to be nasty, Ozy was very similar, and I adored him in many ways and I miss him dearly. Perhaps it is genetics, perhaps early socialization (first weeks before you even brought her home). Either way it is important to work with these dogs as much as you can, especially when they are young, and to get really good at recognizing what it is that they are responding to so you can be proactive. It also could not hurt to get a med-work up and rule out/in they thyroid issue. In any case, don't despair, you and Alex can mostly likely work through most of her problems, and along the way you can learn alot from a dog like this!
 

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Actually, I cannot disagree with your comments, aside to say that Timber became a bit more protective as he grew.

An earlier post, but Timber was so nice as a pup I thought he was a Golden Retriever.
 

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To me it sounds like a lot of things are going wrong for the dog. Collar corrections often only exacerbate what sounds like leash agression. A 1 on 1 training session isn't a class, doesn't expose the dog to other dogs. The OP needs to learn to both read his dog better and remove her from a situation before it escalates to the snapping. You build up to situations gradually by desensitising the dog. If you don't, you just reenforce the behavior.
 
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