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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,
I have two shepherds; male and female. Male is 4 and female is 2. Male is 70lbs and female is 127. I had a 10 year old Lab that died three months ago from health issues. My male shepherd was always the "pack leader", a pretty good one with his pack. My female was NEVER aggressive, actually she has always been very passive. She tried to become aggressive with my lab when she was very ill and the Vet said that it was because she senses the weakness, just keep them a part. I did and things went ok. BUT NOW... She is attacking full force my male shepherd. He used to be a strong leader with his two dogs, but now she is full on fighting him...it's awful! He seems depressed, weak and wnats to give up the fight. He eats, runs, drinks and cuddles, but his assertiveness is gone and I was told my female wants to be boss. How the heck do I handle this?? I am so so upset!
 

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Yes your female could sense the weakness in your lab, who was the leader, she was fighting him for dominance, when he was sick and weak he became an easy target and she felt she could take over. now that your lab is gone she is fighting for the position that the lab had, leader. the easiest way to help both of them is for you to become leader, so that both the male and female are the same status, they both listen to you and neither of them is boss over the other. Keep them separated for maybe a week, and when they are together make sure that you are fully uncharge of both of them, take them for a walk, one on either side of you, you are the source of everything, don't let them play for a little while because you don't want it to quickly turn into a fight, feed them together if you can. do training with one which the other is in the room, but also under control by you, for example when you are practicing training/OB with the male the female will be in a down-stay on a special mat, which is under a command from you. you can leash the one sitting out if you need to in order to keep them in one spot, but try to keep them in a down-stay and vice versa. while you are establishing that you are the leader i would keep them separated, a long walk together once or twice a day for the first few days, then start adding in the feeding as well as the training. you can also get out a mat or towel 9something for each of them to lay on) and when you are just watching tv or working, have them in the room on their "places" in a down stay, many people like to teach the command "place" to do that, they will both be under control and listening to your commands, neither one is the "leader" of the other, thats you, you take the place that your lab had. they are both used to having a leader, whether its the lab or you it doesn't matter but the female was looking for direction, and when she wasn't getting it she thought she had to become the leader, when the lab was sick he was not a strong leader and now he's gone, and your gsd's still need a leader.
Also do some confidence building exercises with the male, he sounds like the female has damaged his confidence
I just read over your post I had mistaken the lab as being the pack leader instead of the male , same things apply though, make yourself the leader, it sounds like the female is purely fighting for dominate in the pack
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you so much for this help. I understand that I need to practice the leader skills, but I have to be honest, I have never had shepherds, (they are the best breed) however, strong breed. Something I needed to be trained for as well. Thank you again.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Saito,

YES... She is a very big girl, but I will tell you... She has always been very very passive. Until, my lab died and my male shepherd suddenly became very very ..."calm". Almost to the point of weak. So I can see now why she is trying to dominate. i will be practicing skills that require leadership. Thank you and I stiull invite advice.
 

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Forget the dominance BS. You can't down stay and puffy chest walk your way into stopping a dog fight. Separate them and find professional help. If they have any solution for you other than separate them and manage or separate and manage when you are not home and correct the **** out of anyone that tries to start a fight or posture or whatever then move on. Find someone that can show you the proper timing. The Internet gives terrible advice on this topic.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you and I do agree that attempting to try the internet "alpha" scenarios is not exactly working here, but, I am seeing a pattern and I have reached out for professional help. This is the first time I have had German Shepherds and Although, I love them more than anything, they are one **** of a strong breed. Thank you again.
 

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Uh oh ... here we go again! :)

First in the interest of full disclosure "Baillif" is a "Pro" and I am merely JQP ... pet guy! But I learned a lot of things thru the "School of Hard Knocks" with my "first" OS WL GSD and school was called in session with what your seeing now! SO yeah a lot of us get the picture your painting.

That being said ... school is in session. :)

Foremost and simplest is "Crate and Rotate" :

Pit Bull Rescue Central

The find a trainer thing sounds simple enough but if you have a dog with serious issues ...it's not that simple. Gentle Paws type dog trainers are not going to be able able to help you with this. They don't believe in telling a dog "NO" and providing "Consequences" for making "Poor Choices!" Without that happening this won't stop! My version of "find a trainer is in here":
http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/7589889-post13.html

Moving on ... even if you do find a "competent qualified Balanced Trainer (and that's what you need) you will still need to start to have better management practices. I don't know but I would guess, that the trouble maker is allowed to free roam in the house??
That by and large contributes greatly to the surprise element of the "Blitz Attacks" out of the Blue??? If the Dog is in her Crate or in Place in the home "that" can't happen. Full details on "managing" problem dogs are here:

http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/7607634-post41.html


And ... I would just start over with this dog and that would be the first link in here:
http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/5296377-post8.html

So ...yeah kind of a lot there but by and large if you do go the find a trainer route nearly all of it is stuff they be having you do anyway. :)

As always, ask questions and welcome aboard ... sorry it's a bumpy ride so far. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #10
WoW!! Thank you so much. This information really does help and I am appreciative you took the time to help me. This is my first GSD rodeo especially with two, male and femae. They are brother sister, and fight like such! Thanks again
 
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