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Drogo (~10yrs), Rescue GSD Retriever mix ; Kratos (4.5mo), West German working line GSD 🖤
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 4.5 month old pup who is, in my opinion, protective…For example, when we were burning a brush pile, I had told him to ‘back up’ and that he could be hurt… fast forward to my son coming out and sitting down next to the fire, Kratos immediately goes and gently ‘bites’ his elbow ( grabbed his elbow) and starts to pull my son away from the fire. He did the same to me when I was stroking the fire when it had started to go out. To me, I see him as being protective of us.. he just tends to feel the need to protect me from my husband 😂 I would not classify his behavior as aggressive, he typically will just become very vocal. For instance, if we are talking and my husband’s volume raises or his tone shifts, Kratos will immediately move between us and start barking non stop while gradually backing him out of the room or away from me. It’s not an aggressive bark or growl, but more of an alert bark. He isn’t reactive like this with anyone else and isn’t like this towards my husband unless he thinks I’m in danger or hurt. I don’t really see an issue with his behavior, but it pisses off my husband & his reaction only makes the barking debacle continue. I do not ‘physically’ correct behavior or approach training or corrective behavior with aggression/anger/frustration, and have been very adamant that no one else in our household do this, as I feel it would lead to worse issues/behavior from my pup. I do not want a fearful or reactive dog, and in my opinion, that is what typically happens when you attempt to control a dog by making them fearful of you. I simply make sure that he is aware that I am the one in charge, always. Am I wrong in thinking this? How can I get my husband to realize that his behavior and reactions only add fuel to the fire. Kratos has been socialized since I brought him home, and he really has been a such an easy pup to raise and train thus far. I just worry that if I don’t get a handle on the situation now, I’m going to end up with a really bad situation and that is not something that I want to ever have to be concerned about.
Hair Dog Smile Leg Dog breed

Dog Vertebrate Dog breed Carnivore Mammal
 

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Hmmm....I would say your puppy is to young to be protective but that is interesting instinctual behavior. There might be a bit of resource guarding going on with you.

"my husband’s volume raises or his tone shifts " "How can I get my husband to realize that his behavior and reactions only add fuel to the fire. "

Unless your husband is being aggressive towards you, and he's just having a normal conversation where his tone goes up and down, I"m on side of the fence where the puppy needs to understand there is no threat and nothing to worry about. You can't allow your puppy to be in control of the situation because eventually he will be 80 lbs. You are in control.

At this stage, I would have him sit. He can't sit and bark at the same time. As your husband is talking, as he normally would, have you husband feed him treats. He MUST SIT quietly to be rewarded. If he barks then it's a No and Sit.

This from experience - my male does not like anyone in my space and has, as an adult, been a little to forward letting my husband know that. Once they are an adult, it's a pretty hard, personal, correction to them. So desensitise it now as a puppy.
 

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Jazmine Auf Der Marquis, Reacher Auf Der Marquis
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The fire is interesting, pup seems a little young to be applying house rules to others using herding. When your son is near the fire do you get nervous, concerned, or worried? Either way you should not let it develop the habit of using teeth on skin.

I'm a male retired from a job that involved public speaking. I can be loud, project and have a deep voice. This does not cause our dogs to react this way.

You may be subtly encouraging or reinforcing this behavior with your husband. If you are trying to calm the pup with pets, baby talk or any soothing action, you are reinforcing.

You, not your husband need to correct the unwanted behavior, show and teach the wanted behavior and reward correct behavior.

We had a dog that after several years started growling at my wife if she came into the "man cave" while I was watching a movie. Turns out the dog was picking up on my irritation at being interrupted. Once I started focusing on not being irritated, staying happy and calm the growling stopped.

Point is they are masters at reading emotions and reacting to them, you need always be calm, relaxed and consistent.
 

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Just a note - my trainer had me correct my dog for that behavior. But he was already an adult and it could be because he's MY sport dog, not a family pet. I'm not really sure the correction absolutely must come from your husband but the reward for the correct behavior certainly should so your puppy sees that good things come from him. If you initially have to get him to sit and correct for the behavior, do what works for you. If it works better for your husband to do it, do that. But I also would suggest that your husband take a more active role with the puppy in general as in feeding, walking, whatever because it's obvious the engagement is not with you but with you.
 

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I do not ‘physically’ correct behavior or approach training or corrective behavior with aggression/anger/frustration, and have been very adamant that no one else in our household do this, as I feel it would lead to worse issues/behavior from my pup. I do not want a fearful or reactive dog, and in my opinion, that is what typically happens when you attempt to control a dog by making them fearful of you.
This is nonsense perpetuated by force free idealogues. However, I will say that using physical corrections without proper timing and knowledge can cause problems.

All I'm suggesting is that you start learning about physical corrections and how to properly apply them, from someone experienced, because at some point it may be necessary.
 

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I simply make sure that he is aware that I am the one in charge, always. Am I wrong in thinking this?
If your puppy "knows" you're in charge, why do you think he's trying to handle the situation? How are you showing him that you've got things under control?...
 

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Kratos will immediately move between us and start barking non stop while gradually backing him out of the room or away from me.
I simply make sure that he is aware that I am the one in charge, always.
1. your husband backing up is reinforcing the behavior. Kratos is winning.
2. by allowing Kratos to get between, bark, and successfully back your husband out of the room….you aren’t controlling the situation, he is.
 

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Please explain how you "simply make sure that he is aware that I am the one in charge, always because it appears your little puppy believes the opposite. If you're OK with a puppy barking non-stop and backing your husband out of the room, keep doing what you doing. I would never let my dog determine the right course of action in dealing with my wife or daughters.

Reward the actions you want and correct the ones you don't. I would hope these are actions that you don't .....
 

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Your husband needs to wait until the pup is barking and acting protective , Once pup is engaged in behavior the husband needs to alpha roll YOU in front of the pup. Then once you have fully submitted turn and alpha roll the pup. This will solidify that he is the one in charge. HAHAHA just kidding. But he does need to correct the pup when it acts this way. That whole no physical correction is nonsense. Get control of this pup now while you're able to. once it reaches 75 lbs it'll be too late for you guys.
 

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Your husband needs to wait until the pup is barking and acting protective , Once pup is engaged in behavior the husband needs to alpha roll YOU in front of the pup. Then once you have fully submitted turn and alpha roll the pup. This will solidify that he is the one in charge. HAHAHA just kidding. But he does need to correct the pup when it acts this way. That whole no physical correction is nonsense. Get control of this pup now while you're able to. once it reaches 75 lbs it'll be too late for you guys.
I dunno...that seems like a pretty solid plan to me. :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO:
 

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You need a leash and a collar on that dog. And a sharp NO witha collar pop when he starts that crap. NO! Sit! Reward for sitting and obeying. He breaks it to bark? Correction. NO! collar pop. Sit! Let your husband reward him for sitting quietly.

You need to do this now, not later. I bet he stops this nonsense after the 2nd correction.
 

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Drogo (~10yrs), Rescue GSD Retriever mix ; Kratos (4.5mo), West German working line GSD 🖤
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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
I can say Kratos, enough. Sit. and he will stop and that’s the end of it. However, once my husband begins to angrily vent his frustration about the barking and starts a ‘show him who’s boss’ attempt at correcting the unwanted behavior that I have already taken control of- it will start again. Outside of these instances, Kratos doesn’t bark unless it’s at a tiller or vacuum cleaner😂 I will say that any & all ‘training‘ has been done by myself, or my children when I‘ve taught them to use commands. My husband doesn’t have any desire to actually work with him, outside of his attempts to scold and/or physically correct him after Kratos barks at home. And as far as the fire situation, I wasn‘t nervous about my son getting too close, but I had been worried that Kratos would get too close or step on an ember, which is why I had been telling him ”Kratos—back’. When my son came outside he had no shirt on so Kratos couldn‘t take ahold of his sleeve (or pants leg) like he normally does when he tries to ‘move’ one of us. (i came home and had to use the bathroom before taking him outside one time and he tried to pull me off the toilet by my belt loop). It seems like he has been ’herding’ since I brought him home as a pup. I have a Houdini pig who likes to escape and go for walks 🤦🏻‍♀️ And the fastest way to get him back to his pen is to take Kratos with me and give him the command to “get him home” and off he goes and nips at the pig’s back leg and the pig makes off like a rocket back to his fence. He does this with my older Gsd/retriever mix too. If I tell them to get inside and Drogo is slow to move towards the stairs (hip dysplasia), Kratos will nip at his rear leg to get him moving, and then he will bring up the rear.
 

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I can say Kratos, enough. Sit. and he will stop and that’s the end of it. However, once my husband begins to angrily vent his frustration about the barking and starts a ‘show him who’s boss’ attempt at correcting the unwanted behavior that I have already taken control of- it will start again. .... My husband doesn’t have any desire to actually work with him, outside of his attempts to scold snd physically correct him after Kratos ...
ok. so there is the problem. Your husband is purposely creating conflict with a puppy. And that's stupid. Sorry. But that's the truth. He's a baby. He literally knows nothing. Honestly - if you can't get it thru his head that he's the issue, not the puppy, then I would rehome the dog because that's what is best for the puppy. And that really sucks because it sounds like this is a nice puppy with nice instinctual behavior.
 

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Drogo (~10yrs), Rescue GSD Retriever mix ; Kratos (4.5mo), West German working line GSD 🖤
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
That‘s what I am trying get him to realize. He didn‘t grow up having pets, and so he hasn’t had any experiences to learn from. I work with Kratos daily, and we will have a couple ‘sessions’ that we set aside time to work solely on commands and then one that is to work, albei more relaxed, on some agility (bar jumps, hoop jump, tunnel, etc). And our training continues outside of those times, because if I’m not consistent with it, it will not matter the hours that we worked solely on commands etc, because that training equates to nothing if it doesn’t continue when we are no longer in a training session. So I view it as we are always training. It‘s not much different than raising a child. When he displays an unwanted behavior, I use the same tactic with him as I used with my boys when they were toddlers and would throw tantrums- I give the command once and immediately stop rewarding him with interaction/reaction from me until he is able to understand he will not get anything from me whilst acting like that. Which this far has been a very effective tactic for us, but I think J sees it as letting him ‘get by’ with his behavior if it isn’t coupled with a stern reprimand. We discussed this again today, when it was not proceeding unwanted pup behavior, and I think he understands what I’ve been trying to explain. *life tip: don’t take action/make decisions if you aren’t calm and levelheaded first. Disciplining while angry is when lines are crossed and discipline can quickly turn into abuse

(Oh! & I’d definitely rehome J before I rehomed Kratos. He doesn’t get on my nerves like J has for the last 14 years 😂)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hmmm....I would say your puppy is to young to be protective but that is interesting instinctual behavior. There might be a bit of resource guarding going on with you.

"my husband’s volume raises or his tone shifts " "How can I get my husband to realize that his behavior and reactions only add fuel to the fire. "

Unless your husband is being aggressive towards you, and he's just having a normal conversation where his tone goes up and down, I"m on side of the fence where the puppy needs to understand there is no threat and nothing to worry about. You can't allow your puppy to be in control of the situation because eventually he will be 80 lbs. You are in control.

At this stage, I would have him sit. He can't sit and bark at the same time. As your husband is talking, as he normally would, have you husband feed him treats. He MUST SIT quietly to be rewarded. If he barks then it's a No and Sit.

This from experience - my male does not like anyone in my space and has, as an adult, been a little to forward letting my husband know that. Once they are an adult, it's a pretty hard, personal, correction to them. So desensitise it now as a puppy.
(When I said ‘conversation’, I should have probably used the term ‘arguing’ or having a disagreement. lol i didn’t want it to sound like my husband and I were constantly fighting/arguing, but ended up making it sound like my dog was reacting like a basket case over people talking loudly. 😂🤦🏻‍♀️ in actuality neither, the arguing or barking, is a regularly occurring thing, it had just happened again, for the 2nd or 3rd time ever prior to making this post. I was tired and wanted to know how to remedy the current tension/animosity, so I could go to sleep 🙄
 

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I'm a big believer in all family member being on board, on the same page and actively training the dogs even if it's only 10% them. Dogs need to learn their place in the household clearly.
 

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I can say Kratos, enough. Sit. and he will stop and that’s the end of it. However, once my husband begins to angrily vent his frustration about the barking and starts a ‘show him who’s boss’ attempt at correcting the unwanted behavior that I have already taken control of- it will start again. Outside of these instances, Kratos doesn’t bark unless it’s at a tiller or vacuum cleaner😂 I will say that any & all ‘training‘ has been done by myself, or my children when I‘ve taught them to use commands. My husband doesn’t have any desire to actually work with him, outside of his attempts to scold and/or physically correct him after Kratos barks at home. And as far as the fire situation, I wasn‘t nervous about my son getting too close, but I had been worried that Kratos would get too close or step on an ember, which is why I had been telling him ”Kratos—back’. When my son came outside he had no shirt on so Kratos couldn‘t take ahold of his sleeve (or pants leg) like he normally does when he tries to ‘move’ one of us. (i came home and had to use the bathroom before taking him outside one time and he tried to pull me off the toilet by my belt loop). It seems like he has been ’herding’ since I brought him home as a pup. I have a Houdini pig who likes to escape and go for walks 🤦🏻‍♀️ And the fastest way to get him back to his pen is to take Kratos with me and give him the command to “get him home” and off he goes and nips at the pig’s back leg and the pig makes off like a rocket back to his fence. He does this with my older Gsd/retriever mix too. If I tell them to get inside and Drogo is slow to move towards the stairs (hip dysplasia), Kratos will nip at his rear leg to get him moving, and then he will bring up the rear.
You should be putting an end to the barking at your husband as soon as it starts. It’s “your dog” and it’s you that it needs to come from IMO. Your husband shouldn’t be puffing his chest and showing the dog who’s boss. He’s creating conflict and making the issue. As for the herding, I would focus it more on where I wanted it and less in where I didn’t.
 

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You should be putting an end to the barking at your husband as soon as it starts. It’s “your dog” and it’s you that it needs to come from IMO. Your husband shouldn’t be puffing his chest and showing the dog who’s boss. He’s creating conflict and making the issue. As for the herding, I would focus it more on where I wanted it and less in where I didn’t.
Unless your activity involved in a herding class or actually working it, how do you redirect the herding instinct? I don’t mean correct it I mean finding a positive outlet for that instinct?
 
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