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Three years ago, my husband and I got our first GSD from a friend. She is a female named Juno. I knew there were potential problems with this puppy--backyard breeder without much information, comes from a line of dogs bred exclusively for guard/protection, etc. But we also were living in the Dominican Republic, where most people with GSDs just lock them outside and exclusively use them for home protection, so we wanted to save her from becoming another one of those, and have an exercise companion for me when I walk alone. As she grew, basic training went extremely well and she learned new skills in less than five repetitions. She was (and is) independent, very spunky and likes to do her own thing and patrol the yard rather than snuggle next to me on the couch. However, at about 1.5 years, despite exposure to different dogs and situations, she became severely dog-aggressive. She would bark and lunge at all dogs from a distance. Up close she would make friends with most males, but with females she would be aggressive until they submitted. On walks she was ok, if she knows where to expect a dog or is never too close she is always fine. We worked with an experienced trainer and although the behavior improved, I don't think she will ever restrain herself from going after another female unless she's on a leash or we are at that moment specifically working on that skill.

Fast forward a few years, my husband and I just relocated to the United States for work. Our trainer suggested that she stay with him in his house (she absolutely adores him) until we were settled since an international move will be stressful for Juno and it would be best for us to get settled first. He's using her as his personal companion and in obedience demonstrations and she's doing well.

All that to say--can dog aggression ever be "fixed?" Or in some cases is keeping our dog at a distance from other dogs the best thing we can do? Her litter mates are all aggressive with dogs of the same gender. Juno is always perfectly behaved in the house and with visitors she's properly introduced to. I'd love to bring her up to Florida to live with us, but would like people's opinions on whether or not such a big transition would only make her problem worse, and if the best place for her is with her trainer.

Thanks for listening to this long post...I love my girl, but want to do what's best for her!
 

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Bring her with you. You are her home and family. There are lots of good trainers to continue her training here in the States.
 

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Bring her home. There is plenty of help here. it might not be able to be fixed but it can be managed, people manage this kind of stuff all the time.
 

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Post where you will be moving to. Someone may be able to recommend a good trainer. If you are moving to the ATL area, PM me and I can point you to the trainer we have for Woolf.
 

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Good luck with the move. I would think it's rather traumatic on the adult dog when it loses contact with the trusted owners it's always known. As posted about you can'manage' some aspects if the dog is a little over protective. The 1st may be limit unsupervised contact with strangers.

Some type of trainer us also an option. I realize there are some situations where 'rehoming' is the only viable option.
 

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We'll be moving to central Florida, right in between Orlando and Tampa.
You will be in a good dog area up there. There are a lot of dog shows and breeders in that central area so there has to be trainers. I live a lot further south so don't know any specific names but I bet somebody here does.
 

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I say bring her and find a great trainer in that area to continue what you guys have started. As others have said, there are many trainers in that area that would be worth it. I traveled from Germany to FL, myself and it was a bit stressful for myself, but Titan did SO much better than I expected. He was a dream in regards to long travels. He has continued to move with me all over Fl since then and hasn't had an issue with it. Just be conscious of making her comfortable. I think she will be less stressed being with you traveling than you leaving her for a few months then going through traveling alone.
 

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The trainer suggested leaving her with him until you are settled. I think that a few weeks or months would be fine. Then I'd bring her up to join you.
 

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I can't be fixed - but as others said, it can be managed. Strong solid obedience training is also a big help to teach her to ignore other dogs and to focus on you despite the distraction of another dog around. Not a dog that will ever be a dog-park type of dog, but you probably already know this.

I say do what YOU feel more comfortable doing, bringing her with you, or leaving her until you are settled then bringing her over. Check into the airlines that fly to/from the Dominican replublic if they will ship dogs as cargo, without a person accompanying the dog - some airlines won't.
 

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Aggression isn't something that can be edited or fixed...whether its genetically inherent to the dog or imprinted on them as a result of their upbringing...some things just stay with the dog.

The best thing you can do is what you are already doing...find a trainer who knows what he/she is talking about and put into place obedience and earn the dog's respect...the best you can do with an aggressive dog is command their attention and drive so that they focus on you rather than whatever it is they are inclined to be aggressive with.
 
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