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Hi all, I've lurked for a while but finally decided to register to seek some help from everyone here. A little background before I get into my problem.

I have a 4 year old male lab and a 2 year old female GSD. When we first brought the GSD home we also had a friend's maltese mix living with us who was just plain nasty. The dog would just attack my GSD for pretty much no reason when she was a puppy but was gone within a month.

After she left there were really no problems until about 6-8 months ago she began becoming aggressive toward other dogs to the point she can barely go on a walk. Even more recently she began to attack my lab which has left him very fearful. My lab was such a happy dog, always had his tail wagging, ears up and smiling, but now he runs with his head down, tail between his legs and looks just miserable.

Also she is not aggressive toward me or my wife, but sometimes growls at my 2 year old. Never once bit or even attempted to bite us, I guess just doesn't like when my daughter tries to play with her.

My question to you is this behavior correctable? Would paying a professional trainer be the way to go in this instance as she is a little older? I love both dogs and don't want to give her up, but it has gotten to the point that I have been seriously considering it.
 

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Have you had your GSD examined by a vet just to rule out any physical problems? Is she in pain? Or is it part of the challenging adolescent stage?
I'm hoping a trainer can help you. They can come into your home, watch you walk, maybe see something you are missing and watch your dog's body language.

It seems your dog was brought up with your daughter (same age) , I thought she may be more tolerant of her. Hope someone else here can add more suggestions.
Good Luck!
 

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Everything is correctable provided you have enough of patience. I believe, it is the way your dog drives your attention unless she wants to be alpha dog herself. For her it is better to receive your negative attention than none. She grows older and wants to feel important, she watches you petting your kid or your lab and wants to be in their place. At her age dogs need to find their place in the hierarchic pack, they want to be as close to the leader as they can, and they bully other members of the pack just for the sake of reassuring themselves. Normally dogs feel this way stronger if they are poorly exercised. What you can do - give her something she needs, do long walks together with your child, also walk to the playing ground alone with her and exercise her excessively with the ball, train her new commands, make her busy, talk to her, make her feeling important.
Every time you see her attacking your lab - take her into another room and ask her "Down" and "Stay", but leave the door open. Call her out and suggest place next to you. If she growls at lab again - back into that room.
 

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I think you do need the help of a qualified behaviorist. It could be that she has some fear issues with other dogs, or she could just be a bully who is throwing her weight around. But don't wait to reach out to a professional. Do it now. Right now.

I would have her closely supervised at this point. I would not let her bull the lab and I would be very careful about how she is managed around your child. Until you can get some control over her behavior, I would have her on leash.

Don't wait. Find a good behaviorist now.
Sheilah
 

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Every time you see her attacking your lab - take her into another room and ask her "Down" and "Stay", but leave the door open. Call her out and suggest place next to you. If she growls at lab again - back into that room.
No. No. No. This dog should not be given access to the Lab until her behavior is more controlled. Interceding in a fight, after she is "attacking your Lab", is a great way to get bitten. Please don't follow this advice.

The poor Lab should just put up with the dog attacking, in between breaks when she is in the other room? Ridiculous.
Sheilah
 

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I agree with what David wrote about doing walks alone with your GSD and your GSD and your daughter, and making her feel important, if her physical condition is sound.
 

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+1 to what Sheilah said.

Get a vet exam to try and rule out any physical causes, then find an accredited behaviorist (CAAB or Find a Board Certified Veterinary Behaviorist ACVB or similar). Lots of people call themselves "behaviorists" without any actual credentials, and many of them are likely to do more harm than good. If you can, find someone who has certifications or, if that's not possible -- because actual veterinary behaviorists are rare and can be hard to find outside major metropolitan areas -- ask them to refer you to someone who can give you real help.
 
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