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Discussion Starter #1
It has been a while since I have been here so I will recap.

My husband brought home a GSD puppy a few months ago (she is about 6 months old now). She was free and for a while we weren't sure if she was a GSD. The vet thought she was about 5 weeks when we got her, contrary to what the previous owner told us. She is very small compared to other GSD's I have owned/seen.
I have tried to do everything to socialize her... with other puppies, adult dogs, people, places... She still has play dates with other puppies, a Blue Heeler and a Doberman. They all get walked daily, and we have our one on one time as well as them all lounging around the house.
She is a perfect dog except for one thing. We live on a highway and we get some pretty strange people that come around asking for things, so we took the gate out of the backyard so if my son was outside I didn't have to worry about him going out of the yard, or letting the dogs out, or someone else coming in. So if you want to go in that yard you have to go through the house.
When someone pulls in the driveway she goes nuts, barking and showing every tooth in her head. I want her to 1) keep people out of that yard and 2) alert me when someone is here, but I think she is taking it a little extreme. If anyone gets near the fence she is doing everything in her power to get to them (including me and my husband). You can call her name and it doesn't stop her for one second. BUT if you come through the house she is fine... she loves everyone, doesn't mind if they are in the yard with her at all... She will try to eat someone while they are in the driveway but the minute they walk in the house she runs straight to them and starts loving on them.
I was in the front yard yesterday and when I work in that yard I have one of the dogs with me, I trade them off so they all get their turn and since their is no fence in that yard I know I can control one at a time if something happened... Anyway, we were out there and my husband pulls up, he just got off work. (She is supposed to be his dog) He walked in the yard and said "Hey Prairie" as he was walking to the door. She took off straight towards him and bit him, I called her and she ran back to me and sat down. I would have never thought she was going to bite him or I wouldn't have let her get that far. I guess she thinks that is what she was supposed to do... and I haven't been encouraging her behavior by any means. I'm just not sure what to do that won't deter her from wanting to protect, because I want her to do that, but I don't want an aggressive dog. There is NO reason for her to bite anyone that lives in this house either, we all spend time with her and she is perfect... until we are on the other side of the fence or someone walks in the front yard. If they are already outside when she goes out she is fine, it is just when she is there first.

Ok so a couple of questions...

How do I get her to let me make the decisions of whether someone should come in the yard or not?
How do I get her to chill about the whole fence thing?
 

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When someone pulls in the driveway she goes nuts, barking and showing every tooth in her head. I want her to 1) keep people out of that yard and 2) alert me when someone is here, but I think she is taking it a little extreme. If anyone gets near the fence she is doing everything in her power to get to them (including me and my husband). You can call her name and it doesn't stop her for one second.
For a start, I'd STOP this behavior entirely. It allows her to go into a frenzy of aggession/protection where no THOUGHT is occuring at all. She's not going to listen to anyone, for some reason she thinks it's her job to be crazy and bite and she's doing it extremely well!

Management is key here. Don't set her up to fail to allow any of this fence guarding over protection reaction. Only let her in the yard on the leash if you have to, so you have IMMEDIATE control to show her the person is ok and you are in charge.

In fact, I have to say at this point I wouldn't want her barking at all. She has zero real protection skills right now. With no judgement on friend or foe, and no looking to you for guidance, I wouldn't leave ANY decision up to her.

Frankly, I've had as many people be leery and cross the street when my GSD's are quietly staring at them and in control as when they bark. Just the fact they ARE GSD's is enough of a determent. So I encourage the 'quiet' and control and LOOK AT ME from my dogs. So later when they bark cause I missed something, I go to look and if it's ok, then it IS period. My dogs have to quiet.

How is the general training socialization OUTSIDE the home? Dog classes? New places/sights/sounds/people/dogs so you dog is learning to listen/learn/rely on you for feedback and direction?

Have to add, since our young pups (all of them) have no real protection skills, what you may be seeing is a fear aggressive reaction which is a HUGE issue for us if we don't nip it in the bud. When we accidentally put the responsiblity of 'protection' on a puppy that is WAY too young for it, they are actually very frightened and have the flight or FIGHT thing going on. With zero real skill or abilities to in any way tell a 'good' from a 'bad' person they will just heap everyone into the scary 'bad' person pile which ONLY WILL GET WORSE UNLESS FIXED.

Check out these articles and the age they are saying this usually crops up, sound familiar?

https://www.msu.edu/~silvar/fear.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog_aggression

http://www.livingwithadog.com/blog/news/deal-with-fear-aggression-in-dogs-by-using-these-six-dog-behavior-modification-steps/109/
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for your reply,
I am horrible with words so bare with me, I didn't mean that I wanted her to be protective right now, I just meant that I didn't want to do anything that would keep her from doing it later. I know that isn't what it sounded like and I didn't realize it came out that way until you quoted it.

As for socialization outside the home.. we take her to parks, friends houses, family's houses and Petsmart. She has never acted like she does here, she loves on everyone and acts like a normal puppy. She gets along fine with dogs, adults and puppies. I do have to add that when we had the gate in the yard she was fine with people coming in and out, but as soon as we took it out it is like it triggered something. I don't know why, but that is when the change happened.
I understand right now she needs to be a puppy, which is why I was so confused at her behavior at this age. She is the first of any of my dogs to show this behavior so I didn't know what to do... and that is why I came here. I realize that it isn't something I want but I wanted to correct it the right way.
I am not TRYING to make her protective at all, I have a Boxer and a Doberman who do their job quite well so there is NO pressure for her to grow up to fast. The other two rarely bark and never hit the fence like she does, so I know she isn't following them.

Thank your for the links and your input!
 
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