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I posted about this a while back and didn't get much feedback. Cash is now 4 months old and a great pup in all ways except one. He loves people of all shapes and sizes. He get socialized every day through walks in different areas, going to soccer games and practices, etc. He is currently in a puppy class also. About 3 weeks ago he started to bark at other dogs. His hackles would go up a little bit. He goes nuts barking when we walk into puppy class but after about ten minutes he calms down and pays attention to me.

Today (my fault) but still disturbing.....I went into the garage (garage door open) and Cash snuck by me. The neighbors black lab was in their front yard. Cash saw her, immediately puffed up, sprinted across the street, into the neighbors yard and squared off with the lab. He kept his distance at about 8 feet but was definitely puffed up. Well, the lab didn't like his show and gave a pretty good warning bark back. Cash turned and yelped like he was bit (he wasn't), tucked tail and sprinted back towards me.

When we are on walks, he is definitely vocal towards other dogs. We have a boston terrier in the house and he doesn't mind him at all. They are pretty good buds.

My first question is what is this behavior? Is it fear, aggressiveness, his way of saying lets play?

My second question is how do I stop it? This dog does/will go a lot of places with us in the future and I can't have this behavior. Is this something he will grow out of?

He is very food driven with a little prey drive also. He comes from working lines. Overall he isn't a high drive puppy. He is calm in the house and pretty much follows me around where ever I am.

Sorry for the lengthy post but today's event has me a little worried.:(

Thanks,
 

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You're lucky Cash if food driven. I suggest you Cash for a walk on his leash around the neighborhood where there other dogs like the lab. When you see another dog - turn quickly - when Cash follows you reward him. Then go to the park - again - reward him for following you - also have him sit - it helps to work on the quiet command - when he barks when he sees another dog - stand in front of him - hold the treat - when he is quiet reward him.
 

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I am a noob, learning as I go from my training director and other trainers, so hopefully the more experienced guys will give their opinion. However, my take on it is below.

I posted about this a while back and didn't get much feedback. Cash is now 4 months old and a great pup in all ways except one. He loves people of all shapes and sizes. He get socialized every day through walks in different areas, going to soccer games and practices, etc. He is currently in a puppy class also. About 3 weeks ago he started to bark at other dogs. His hackles would go up a little bit. He goes nuts barking when we walk into puppy class but after about ten minutes he calms down and pays attention to me.

Today (my fault) but still disturbing.....I went into the garage (garage door open) and Cash snuck by me. The neighbors black lab was in their front yard. Cash saw her, immediately puffed up, sprinted across the street, into the neighbors yard and squared off with the lab. He kept his distance at about 8 feet but was definitely puffed up. Well, the lab didn't like his show and gave a pretty good warning bark back. Cash turned and yelped like he was bit (he wasn't), tucked tail and sprinted back towards me.

When we are on walks, he is definitely vocal towards other dogs. We have a boston terrier in the house and he doesn't mind him at all. They are pretty good buds.

My first question is what is this behavior? Is it fear, aggressiveness, his way of saying lets play?

I would guess mostly fear, but from immaturity. Your guy is pretty young still. My GSD would puff up a little bit and bark sometimes when he was your dogs age. I just showed him I was in charge/would take care of him, removed him from the situation, and continued working on building his confidence in himself and me. I did this (and always continue it) via focus exercises, obedience, never putting him in a situation he can fail, and waited for maturity to come. My GSD is 9 months old now, never barks at other dogs anymore, and is getting pretty confident in me and himself.

My second question is how do I stop it? This dog does/will go a lot of places with us in the future and I can't have this behavior. Is this something he will grow out of?

Keep working your obedience, your socializing sounds great. It's just enough that you remain in control, but he is still being exposed to many things. The most well behaved, dog-neutral, dogs I have met were never exposed to dog parks, huge groups of dogs, or off-leash stuff. The only dogs they met were neutral, older dogs. I really think he will grow out of it, continue what you're doing. All dogs are unique with unique personalities, they will have moments they slip up, need correction, understand the black/white rule, and move on. Assuming, of course, the genetics are there. Good luck with everything. Hope more weigh in for you. :)

He is very food driven with a little prey drive also. He comes from working lines. Overall he isn't a high drive puppy. He is calm in the house and pretty much follows me around where ever I am.

Sorry for the lengthy post but today's event has me a little worried.:(

Thanks,
EDIT: You're vs Your....duh lol
 

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I posted a similar thread recently too and someone told me that it's mainly a phase they go through but can be worked out.

Mine does the same thing, minus the barking at the start of puppy class, she's usually pretty quiet and it's just on walks or outside.

I can't say about your pup but mine is mainly wanting to play and leash frustration, sometimes with a little fear mixed in if she's in that mood.

What we have been doing and having mild success with this week when she's a little fearful/too excited (this seems SLOW because mine isn't so food driven when she's in dog mode) is when I spot a dog on walks I get REALLY excited, I act like its the best thing in the world, and as soon as she spots the other dog too I say "good girl!" and I pull her a foot away to pump her with treats. If the other dog gets too close and she's barking, I lose. You have to catch them before they actually begin to bark and then praise and praise for being calm and paying attention to you. Very slowly we are seeing dogs on our walks now and when I start doing my happy dance she is beginning to look at me for food. I guess the object of this game is: glimpse at other dog, distract them before they get a chance to bark, food food food. Literally her face sometmies is "wait but that dog is---treats? what?". If its fear you want a positive association but the positives come from you.

when she's too excited and just totally wants to play I do penalty yards and reward by steps closer. If shes quiet, I let her go one step closer, but if she barks, its 10 steps back. Some random people are very patient with puppies and will wait there with their dog while mine is wiggling and bouncing and wanting to say hi but eventually we can make it to the other dog quietly.

Every time I hear dogs barking in the neighborhood I yell "yay I hear dogs!!!" and give treats to my puppy.
 

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Thanks for your replies. I am lucky he is food driven. I have been working in the area of other dogs and Cash does do a good job of focusing on me when I have treats. He is learning to "look at me" when I ask so I think he will get over it. Last night was just a little concerning since he made a point to sprint 100 yards off of our property, puff up, and face the neighbor dog on her territory.
 

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Thanks for your replies. I am lucky he is food driven. I have been working in the area of other dogs and Cash does do a good job of focusing on me when I have treats. He is learning to "look at me" when I ask so I think he will get over it. Last night was just a little concerning since he made a point to sprint 100 yards off of our property, puff up, and face the neighbor dog on her territory.
Yes, I agree you were right to be concerned. If I were you, I would nip that right in the bud - because it isn't going to go away by aging - he will just get worse and more sneaky on his escapes to confront other dogs, and aggression can then become fear aggression once his puppy license expires and the other dog takes him on. For a puppy to do that, yes, it is unusual but he sounds like he is a high drive pup with a high prey drive. He does need an outlet for that prey drive, so I highly recommend fetch/tug, be sure he ends up winning that boosts his confidence so he doesn't become fearful.
 

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A trainer taught me this in one of our obedience classes, and it has worked for me with Samson to teach him not to bark inappropriately at other dogs. You first stay very calm (this is key!!). Then grasp the dog's face on either side and slip your fingers through the collar. Make the dog looks at you. You lean over a little and look them in the eye. Wait for the dog to calm down and say "good settle." Warning - the first time I did this Samson really fought me. Just hang on, stay very calm, and don't give in. Wait until the dog truly settles and isn't squirming.

All of the other trainers I talked to told me to give Samson food to teach him to focus on you rather than the other dog. This has worked for me with my other dog, but Samson focuses so strongly on the dog he is barking at that he won't take food (even lebanon bologna - his favorite). This method has really helped me. Now, I can normally just say "settle" and he either quits or does little wuffs under his breath.
 

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A trainer taught me this in one of our obedience classes, and it has worked for me with Samson to teach him not to bark inappropriately at other dogs. You first stay very calm (this is key!!). Then grasp the dog's face on either side and slip your fingers through the collar. Make the dog looks at you. You lean over a little and look them in the eye. Wait for the dog to calm down and say "good settle." Warning - the first time I did this Samson really fought me. Just hang on, stay very calm, and don't give in. Wait until the dog truly settles and isn't squirming.

All of the other trainers I talked to told me to give Samson food to teach him to focus on you rather than the other dog. This has worked for me with my other dog, but Samson focuses so strongly on the dog he is barking at that he won't take food (even lebanon bologna - his favorite). This method has really helped me. Now, I can normally just say "settle" and he either quits or does little wuffs under his breath.
This is interesting and good to know. Not all dogs respond to treats enough to overcome these types of behaviors. Glad you found something that works, and I'll def keep this in my bag of tricks if I ever have a dog with drive for something that overcomes food drive :).
 

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Then grasp the dog's face on either side and slip your fingers through the collar. Make the dog looks at you. You lean over a little and look them in the eye.
I disagree with this advice. I'm not saying that it didn't work for you, pdk, but you had the benefit of a trainer to observe your dog. Another person might not get away with this technique and the dog will redirect and bite them in the face! Don't do this, please.

When my pup was that age, and acting similarly, I carried a tug with me and I interrupted his behavior with an impromptu game. This worked well for us.
 
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