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Discussion Starter #1
It seems that I often read here that a GSD was a total sweetheart for years and then all of a sudden they bit someone or bit another dog. This scares the you-know-what out of me. Ranger is going to be 11 months in a few days and I am so scared he will do something bad at some point. He has never attacked a person or dog, but I think he is kind of dominant. He walks around a lot with his tail curled up. He used to hump our older dog all the time before he was nuetered. And he just basically seems a little bossy with our older dog. Although my older dog does occassionally tackle Ranger and flip him over so his belly is exposed. Ranger never reacts negatively to this.

One odd thing is that when Ranger meets a new small dog on a walk he lays down flat on the ground and then wants to pounce on the dog. Although he never growls or shows teeth it makes me very nervous because he could hurt a small dog if I ever lost control of him. The owners of the small dogs always think the bahavior is adorable so they often don't leash their dogs or otherwise restrain their dog. I don't know what kind of behavior this is, but I am trying to get ranger to sit instead when he greets a new dog.

Please tell me what sorts of behaviors should be setting off alarms. I want to be on the look out.
 

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when you encounter other dogs use that time for training.
set up training time around other dogs, cats, horses, etc.
i don't think laying down to meet other dogs is aggression.
train and socialize often and if you can do it more than often
that's even better.

i think some of that biting and being aggressive when they're older
is behavior that was progressing but unnoticed by the owner.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I don't think it is exactly a play bow because his entire body is flat on the ground - no butt in the air. His tail is always wagging though so he clearly is anticipating something fun. I am just so afraid he will be too rough.

But seriously, I am still curious about what I should be worried about. He has barked at a couple of dogs - one bark from a distance. But he never barks at a dog that is close to him. (A little on the wimpy side, eh? LOL.) i tell him "NO!" when he does this. It is a very rare occurence, and so far he has never tried to go after a dog that he barked at. But I worry that he could at some point.

He did do a low growl with no teeth at a person for the first time a couple of weeks ago. I was walking him early and it was still dark. A high school kid was waiting for the school bus across the street. Ranger kept looking and looking and just seemed to not understand why a 6 foot tall person was just standing there. Finally he just gave out a low growl. This scared me, but I really think that if we had gone across the street and I had said hello to the kid, Ranger would have been a wiggle butt. But maybe I am wrong and this is a bad sign and I should be careful.
 

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Doggiedad, how should he meet a new dog? He goes to training and the trainer really discourages the dogs socializing with each other. She says that your dog should not be approaching other dogs on a leash. Still all the dogs in the class love to socialize and it is almost impossible to prevent them from greeting each other. But my question is, if they are not supposed to approach each other on leash how are they supposed to meet new dogs?
 

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My biggest piece of advice to you is to CALM DOWN and quit looking for signs of aggression in your dog. Your nervousness and belief that possible aggression is just around the corner, is going to travel down the leash and into every interaction you have with your dog.

If your boy senses you tense up and get worried at every new situation, he will become tense and insecure and it will be a self fulfilling prophecy.

Do obedience, keep getting your boy out and about. And chill.

I mean no offense. But thus board and the Internet are ripe with scary stories from behavioral to medical to nutritional. Please remember this is a tiny subset of GSD owners and enthusiasts and 90 % percent of the posts are from people having an issue. That's why they seek out the board. That does NOT mean that 90% of GSD will have a floppy ear, unexplained aggression, bad hips, EPI, housebreaking issues, allergies, vaccine reactions, and fear aggression.

Enjoy your boy, he sounds amazing and loving and just the right amount of protective. Quit looking for the bad.

Soapbox dismounted.


Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 

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I agree with gsdsar.

Don't create a nervous environment for your dog. If an issue comes up then look for help. Don't worry about all the what ifs.
 

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That was a really great soapbox!:wild:
 

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i got my pup when he was 9 weeks old. he was in a puppy
class when he was 10 weeks old. he had a lot of play dates.
the play dates were mainly for play and socializing. a few minutes
were dedicated to training. i use to set up a lot of meet and greet
( people and dogs )times. my dog was always leashed for meet and
greet times. once my dog learned how to meet and greet on leash
i started training him how to meet and greet off leash. i wanted my
dog to be able to meet and greet on leash or off leash and i wanted
control of my dog whether he's leashed or not.


Doggiedad, how should he meet a new dog? He goes to training and the trainer really discourages the dogs socializing with each other. She says that your dog should not be approaching other dogs on a leash. Still all the dogs in the class love to socialize and it is almost impossible to prevent them from greeting each other. But my question is, if they are not supposed to approach each other on leash how are they supposed to meet new dogs?
 
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