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Hi;
I know there are similar threads to what I'm going to ask, but nothing I can find that is exact. My turning 6 month old girl has started showing signs of I'm not sure if protection or fear. She is great when we are home. She does bark when someone knocks and most times when I tell her enough she stops. Only one time did she not stop when I gave her the command and well when the guy walks in the door he was acting like he was casing the place out the way he was looking around he made me really nervous, I also know this guy has been accused of some things that have been unproven. (He was coming to pick his son up that had stayed all night with us.)

Now, the problem is in public. I want her to be used to being around people. I took her to my son's baseball game where kids were around. We have had her out in public since we got her at 7 weeks old. Mostly then she would submissive pee of all places in my lap as she would climb in my lap. This I knew was fear. The last time about a month ago, kids younger than mine come up and she would I call it fuss, not really a bark or a growl. It's hard to describe. But she did let them pet her with encouragement. (She has never really been around little kids before my kids are teens.) But members of the team come up to her and she was fine, but they were the same age as my kids. Certain adults she would bark at and some she wouldn't. We take her to TSC and the first person she sees she usually has to bark at, after that she doesn't say a word. The vets office she never says a word. PetsMart that is a different story. The first time we went in she didn't meet a stranger she went up to every dog and person she saw. The second to the last time she was great until we were checking out and she started barking at everyone. The last time, oh boy that was a complete disaster. Two Great Danes went in right in front of us, (she seems to not like big dogs we have other dogs but they are little dogs she is great with little dogs)when she saw those dogs she went nuts. We turned a corner and there were two little kids she got almost vicous with them. I jerked her chock chain and gave a firm no, nothing I grabbed her muzzle shut and gave another firm no and went the other direction. She done the fuss thing again while I was looking for something. Now here is the test, I gave her to my husband to see what she would do. He took her while she watched me intently she didn't say a word. The same dogs and kids actually brushed up against her and she didn't say a word.

I have noticed that if I'm at the end of the lead she usually doesn't say a word, but if we are close she will bark and most anyone. I don't want her to be that way, but do want her to be protective. (Now, it has came to my attention when I ask about protection that I've been told I'm crazy. I've also talked to some trainers way off and my view on protection and others are not exactly the same. I don't want the trained attack dog protection. I want her like my Bouvier that just passed was. He could tell the difference between good and bad intent. There were only three people that he threatened. One was my ex-stepfather who is a really really bad guy and he came to the house and this dog almost went crazy to get to him. My husband was also there with gun in hand as well. Another this guy came up during the day for my husband to work on his car or something my dog was great with him during the day no problem. That night about midnight the same guy came to the door he ran out of gas or something in front of our house. My Bouv was crazy barking and growling at him. The next day same guy came up with a gift for us helping him and the dog was fine with him. The only other time and only time on leash outside of the house I was walking him and my uncle came up to me walking in a crab like fashion, very odd and scary. My Bouv sat between me and my uncle showed his teeth and growled. I have no idea what my uncle's intent was that day, but it was not normal. That is what I'm talking about as far as protection. I don't want her to bite anyone, but at the same time if the growling and barking (which most likely would stop someone) doesn't work I do want her to do what she has to. Her big old paws would be enough she has a killer right cross I'm telling you. But at the same time I don't want her barking at everyone. My Bouv. when we had him out you would not suspect him of being anything but a goofy dog that never barks or does anything like that. But just try something and you will see a different dog.

That is how I want Sugar, but first I need to get the current under control. Any suggestions? The last time we went to TSC she was great didn't bark or anything at anyone even when the little kid came around. For me she should never ever bark at kids. But I also know that sometimes these people that seem friendly can be coming to her in a way she does not see as friendly. Or maybe she is reading me a little to much. We are also going to take a trip here in a few weeks, she is going to have to go with and there will be lots of people and kids where we are going. She was going to stay with my mother and sister, they have a big dog. The unfortunate thing with that is, that while I had been taking her over to get used to everyone, her and my sister's dog was getting along great and all of a sudden he attacked my dog. My sister will be working most of the day we will be gone, my mom will be home, but she is not in good health and she made the comment when he attacks their little dog that she has a hard time getting him off the little dog. So, if these two big powerful dogs get into a fight, I'm afraid either my mother will get hurt and/or worse the dogs will kill each other and we will be out of town.

We do have a plan that my husband will be doing most of the handling of her since she doesn't seem to act up with him. But I want her to be calm with me as well. I'm open for suggestions. I'm wanting to take her to another baseball game because that is the biggest place we go with kids, but it has just been so hot and there are only two games left in the season.

I've contacted a few trainers and got differnet advice. One said that she is just to nervous and needs to be put to sleep. Which I honestly think it is because she hasn't been exposed to kids and other dogs. The baseball games was the only place where she saw kids younger than my son,I didn't take her to games before, but to practice where there were mainly adults and kids my sons age. We took her to PetsMart since a younger age and our luck when we went there was never anyone there. I do not anyone with smaller kids or larger dogs to get her used to gradually. She was getting along with my sister's dog great until he attacked her for what ever reason we don't know, but they said he does that with their little dog as well. In fact all dogs were in my mom's house and we ate lunch. While my mother like my dog being in her house it seemed. If she keeps Sugar I'm not sure where she expects to keep her. A lot of things there that are red flags for her staying with my mother. As far as kennels go, not a one of them here has a good reputation, they have had a lot of dogs get injured or run over because they weren't watching them well enough. We did board one time years and years ago, and when we picked them up their feet were raw and blistered from the kennel they stayed in.

Not only this trip, but I want to get her out more and take her places with me where she can go. And she loves to go.

Sorry this is so long, I'm trying to get as much information as I can think of as I know everything makes the whole picture. I don't know if she is reading me, the reason she is like this, or if it is fear or protective. I just want to get it under control or as I say toned down. We only see this behavior out in public places which is odd because everything I have found about this is based in the home, she isn't like this at home. Or rather she listens at home when she doesn't out in public, and I'm able to be more firm in public than at home.

Thanks.
llamattude
 

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Since Sugar is fine at home, from your post, I have the impression that she is under too much stress outside. She is still very young and can get easily overexcited. The encounters are too long, too much, and so she acts up. Also she is sensing your tension - that is coming thru the leash when you tighten up - you may not even be aware you are doing it. Also to discipline her by jerking the collar and holding her muzzle when she was frightened of the dogs in petsmart is making her more afraid and so she acts up . For the protection training, she is not ready for that. She needs to have basic obedience classes where she can get used to being with other dogs and people. For the visit with your relatives - because of their dogs - I would board Sugar out and not take her there. If you board her out, maybe then can do some socializing and training with her.
 

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That is long alright but probably full of the info you would need to access the situation.

I'd need to print it to read it properly. Any ways, I wouldn't give a dog with issues to anybody with no experience. The fact that the dog attacked the pup with you guys watching shows that you don't know the warning signs and were putting the pup in danger it shouldn't be exposed to. Once a pup gets attacked a few times it will resort to aggression to avoid the attack. That is terrible socialization and setting your self up for problems in the future.

I would get a crate and use that with the pup and limit her freedom a little and it'll make it easier to travel for holidays. Also start researching dog training and behavior. You need to know the body language so you can read more what dogs intentions are.
 

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Thanks all. The problem with my sisters dog is that he give no warning signs. He will be happy go lucky and then all of a sudden attack. I unforntuately was not right there when it happened. I had let my guard down and thought my sister had her dog under control. And I was in the next room.

Again boarding facilities here are not good at all. There are two. One has a track record for letting their dogs out of the pens and getting in the road and getting run over, or in my cousins case they beat the dog so bad that it busted blood vessels in her eyes and almost caused her to go blind. The other has these way to small off the ground kennels that has wire bottoms they never let the dogs out. When we boarded my Greyhound there we did not know it was our vet (the vets here you would think would be better at boarding and they are the ones that run the kennels both). My Grey was large he was hunkered down in the kennel for the two days we boarded as it was more for a little dog, never came out of the kennel at all, his feet were really tore up from the wire at the bottom of the kennel. It was horrible and we knew then boarding in our area was not a good thing. Our own vet does not recommend boarding in this area because the track record is so bad. That is why we are choosing to take her with us. I also think maybe she is reading some tention from me that I may not realize I have.

I do want to get her out and about more. Like I said the last time we took her out to TSC she was great no problems.

I have been told like I said from one trainer that I need to have her put down because she barks at others. Another told me to keep her in the house and never let her out because she barks. I don't think either is a good thing for her. I wish I knew more people to get her used to things more gradually, but to be honest I don't know anyone that has kids younger than mine or large dogs. We have tried to talk with a Shepherd trainer in the area the only one and they like most people here will not call back and you can never catch them on the phone to make an appointment. The only other place I have found that will help is 5 hours away which is actually to far for us to go to a trainer.

I also agree she needs more obedience and I'm working with that, but trying to find a trainer is like most things around here.

Thanks so much for your time.
 

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Anyone telling you to put a 6 month old puppy to sleep is crazy. If you can be proactive and continue to work on this you can probably see a huge difference. The fact you see submissive urination is showing you that what likely is occuring is from a fearful pup. So anything you can do to get a confident and brave puppy by showing that YOU are the leader, YOU are taking charge so the pup can calm down and let you get on with it is going to be a huge help.

CLICKER TRAINING would be absolutely perfect for you to try and use with her.

http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/general-puppy-stuff/150660-intro-clicker-training-perfect-puppies.html

How many dozens of tricks does she know?

http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/general-puppy-stuff/187976-teaching-trick-least-important-part-teaching-tricks.html

Once you have the clicker training down then you can just start adding this new 'trick' to help when you see other dogs/people?


If you can go up to your User CP and add your GENERAL location it will show up with every post (like my Poconos stuff) under your Avatar. That way you may get more specific help for your area. Like https://www.facebook.com/search/results.php?type=web&q=nj%20reactive%20dogs&form=FBKBFA&sid=0.05744224920444296&source=ta&wssk=FR0AS0&wssp=1&wspq=nj%20reactive%20dogs&wssrc=1&wssc=1-16&wsbp=1-1&fref=ts#!/SussexCountyDogWalking?fref=ts
 
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