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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need some help with this one...my sweet 2 yr old GSD and I live on a large family farm. My closest neighbors are my parents, two aunts, a cousin and her 13 year old daughter. To give you a bit of history, Gabby is a rescue and has only 3 legs. It seems the missing leg was either shot or became entangled in a tie-out and was neglected until she lost the leg completely. Long story short Gabby is a very gentle loving dog who has completed advanced training, and has her CGC. She is cautious but never aggressive to the UPS guy, Terminix man, or really any one for that matter EXCEPT my cousin's 13 year old daughter. The sight of this mild mannered girl turns Gabby into a snarling ball of terror. She lunges and growls, and bites at her completely ignoring me all the while. Part of the problem, I think is that the route to our house is through the woods, so she comes "out of nowhere" and when I'm out in the yard w/Gabby there's no need for a leash when you're surrounded by 100 acres (She tires out too quickly to run off very far). Her mother can be with her, but Gabby goes straight for the 13 year old. She has 2 dogs of her own and is fairly decent with dogs. I don't think she'd ever hurt one...she claims she wants to be a vet...but the funny thing is that my parents have a 9 year old aussie who used to have the same reaction to this girl. What is going on and how do I correct this???
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I thought the same thing, but if she did I think it was out of ignorance. She is scared now...I think that may have as much to do w/ it as anything. I'm sure they sense her fear. Now my parents dog is fine with her...but that took years.
She does love animals, but I think she can be pretty ignorant about her behavior and how it affects them at times.
Gabby sometimes barks (no aggression, just barking) at kids when we're out and about. Not always, but enough that I figure if she has ever been around them it's not been the best experience for her...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Regardless of whether she was teased or not, I need to know how to handle/control this at this point...this is a girl who loves to come help me clean, garden, etc. She's family and I can't forbid her to visit...I have talked to her..questioned her about whether she's been coming over to "visit" Gabby when I'm not home (on warm days Gabby stays out in a fenced side yard). She insits she hasn't...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That's good advice! thanks! I'll definately be giving that a try. pinkanml, Gabby looks quite a bit like your Nico...wonder if she may have some Shiloh blood?? :)
She's about 75lbs and has a gorgeous plush coat.
I'll buy some training treats and we'll try taking it slow. If the girl likes animals the way she claims she'll be ok with putting in some time getting Gabby to know her better. I'll let you know how we progress. Thanks so much!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well, yesterday didn't go well at all. Tabby, the 13 year old can't get close enough to throw a treat. Literally THE SIGHT of her sends Gabby of the deep end. How can I assert myself as alpha here? I know that I need to, but don't know how in this situation. Gabby is otherwise a well behaved dog withlittle need for correction. I'm no door mat, so I think she sees me as leader of the pack, but how do I remind her of that in this case?


I've tried to upload her pic onto my profile, but haven't figured out how. If you want to pm me your email address I'll send you some! I have tons! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Just tried to get the pic on there again...we'll see if it works...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
"I think yelling at or correcting Gabby is going to make this situation worse. She already has a negative association with this girl for some reason and if you turn into the alpha bitch extraordinaire then she will think this girl turns you into a monster too! "

That's really not my nature. I'm not a yeller and I don't hit. I was thinking maybe putting her in a "down" or something. Not alpha bitch, just "Hey, follow MY lead"
If anything I err on the side of not being forceful enough. Gabby's had a hard time in the past, and I'm not putting her through anything hardcore.

"T-touch might also work to help her stay calm"----what's T-touch?


...but you think the distance is ok? I was afraid that if I was standing there giving her treats while she freaked out that would be sending the wrong message...
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I don't know that this is fear...she gets really pushy with Tabby...the last time the "met" without Gabby on leash Gabby was biting at her..within inches. Lunging growling, snarling...really scary. It's like she's saying "Go back home, youre not allowed anywhere close to my turf!"
She forced Tabby back toward her own home and away from ours.

Last night I talked w/Tabby and her mom at legnth. told her about our "discussion" and asked for her to help try out the technique we talked about. I drove a bag of cheese crumbles (Gabby's favorite) over so that Tabby could throw them. I told her to start at about 40 paces away...well it's a good thing I had Gabby on leash already, because as soon as Tabby rounded the bend in our driveway Gabby just lost it. They were at least 100ft apart! There is no calming Gabby down until Tabby is well out of sight again...
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
at this point I'm willing to try just about anything...wish I had Caesar Milan's number !
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Wow! These are all great suggestions. They key as some one mentioned is finding my starting point. I've been at home with Gabby all weekend and it being my husband's birthday we had more visitors than usual. This is what I observed: In each situation when some one would arrive, either on foot or in a car Gabby "sounds the alarm"...she barks ferocously and the hair on her back stands up, but as soon as she's within 2 feet of the person she stops barking and sniffs, then sits to be petted. If I gave a "Gabby, come" even mid bark she did a complete about face and ran to me tail wagging waiting to greet our company. We had all shapes and sizes come by, but no one got the aggression that Tabby sets off. We got lots of, "Wow! That's a good dog!" Because she let us know we had visitors, and certainly let them know she was there, but never took it too far. pinkanml, what you;re talking about is exactly what I think I need to improve...let her know that I am her protector and not the other way around, but I'm not sure how to go about that.
"Maybe you can really crack down on the NILF. That can help both dominance issues, and fear aggression. My girl had both when I got her, and I found that the more she began to recognize me as the alpha bitch, she understood that it was MY job to be on the watch for strangers, to protect HER when she is scared, and that she is to look to me before she reacts to a situation."
What is NILF and how do I acheive this?
Thank you all so much for your comments, keep 'em coming!
I agree there's a stong possibility that Tabby did something to Gabby early on, but I seriously doubt this stubborn 13 yr old will EVER admit it, now I'm left to try to repair the damage.
 
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