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Long time, no post.....Rocky is now 14.5 months old, intact, and in many ways so very good, but in others, he is bad and getting worse. I got him from 8 weeks old from a good KC breeder with pedigree. Also saw the mum, dad and grandma and they were all beautiful dogs. He was easy to housebreak, great in OB classes which he attended from 14 weeks until he was 1. I stopped going in the end because he started to become really disruptive towards other dogs and I didn't feel he was getting better, but worse.

Rocky's issue is with other dogs, it started at around 5 months when it was manageable, but at 42kg I am struggling to hold him back, even on a prong. He has never bit another dog, as I haven't given him the chance, but I am really not sure if he would or not anymore. He literally goes bananas. Hackles, barks, growls, bits of spit come out of his mouth, he shakes etc etc. it is frightening and even I kept telling myself it was leash frustration, but I'm not so sure anymore. I never let him off where I can't see for miles in front of me as his recall under distraction is not good and he cannot be trusted. I cannot risk him seeing another dog at close range as he would not come back. The problem is that a long line is not very easy to control on such a strong dog if he sees another, I've nearly burned my hand off in the past!:smirk:

The very strange thing is that the daycare/training place he goes to near me (GSD specialists) he behaves completely differently. He socialises with all the other dogs, recalls, even goes in a kennel with up to 2/3 other dogs and he's fine?? When I approached them about his behaviour they were stunned. They took him into town to see other dogs and he behaved fine, on the prong, same as me?? What am I or have I done wrong? I am going to get them to come to my house to see if he behaves differently on his own patch, but it is simply amazing to see how Rocky behaves in two different places? We were suggested the use of an e collar, but want to avoid if possible, but appreciate that is probably the top level.

On the good side, he is great with all people, good in traffic, scared of nothing apparently, hip and elbows are good and medically fit and healthy?

Be very good to hear from others with similar problem, as I sometimes dread walks with him now as its become such an issue.
 

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I could be completely wrong here but it sounds to me like he feels the need to protect you. You may have a softer energy and your GSD is stepping up to make sure no other dog can threaten you.
It certainly explains why he's completely different at the daycare - there he is an equal 'litter mate' but with his own pack 'you and the family' he is pack leader?!

Just my first gut instinct and as i said i could have it all wrong but maybe something to think about.


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have the trainer come to your house and take a
walk with Rocky and see how he behaves. maybe you
need a specialist?
 

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Thanks both, I am going to get the trainer around here next week to see if he behaves differently with him compared to me and my fiancé. For what it's worth Rocky behaves in the same manner with my fiancé too, if anything he's softer with him than I am! It breaks my heart as I just want him to behave on walks and stop giving the impression that he is a misbehaved aggressive GSD with irresponsible owners:(
 

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And what is your reaction to his reaction? That might be part of issue. Definitely have the trainer come work with you so he can see what is going on.
 

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My boy Luck is 11. on leash he is a sweetie ,ignores cats other dogs and people who walk ujp on us. Off leash w/ other dogs not as goodif Im there. I know that as we integrate our pack Im the soft one as well as primary care giver so time w/ me is the thing. my husband can haver them out no real issues I start having anxiety if they stare. I know from the book about dogs language that my being up tight just escalates. I anticipate issues and then it beconmes a self fulfilling prophecy. I am contacting a training center to help me develop a new management style. Just what happens w/ me. BTW The trainers come to your home.
 

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I don't think you've done anything wrong, and having the trainer come to observe Rocky will hopefully confirm my guess: I think he's just lacking in obedience and maturity. My puppy is the same way on leash, and he requires a stern "quiet" and "leave it" before he's composed. Even then, he's still excited. I believe this is because he's had so much opportunity to play with other dogs, that he wants to play with every dog he sees, and being leashed makes it worse. Off-leash he's a different dog, and I can observe different behaviors from him, depending on the dog he's meeting, but never the frantic mayhem that the leash creates. They're still puppies, and a work in progress, lol. Hang in there :)
 

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I have a 1 yr old very strong willed German Shepherd who was never leash aggressive until about 2 months ago. I got a prong collar (as I had just enrolled her in obedience school) and started using that when working. She would go insane at other dogs and I could flip her over at how hard I corrected. The trainer I work with told me at week 2 if she was still being a menace next week he would take her, she was and he did.
He began to walk Sadie towards another dog in class and she started to snarl, he corrected by using short, loud pops of the collar and "no" or "hey" constantly until she laid her ears back and quit. Sadie hasn't snapped or barked at another dog since I used this type of correction. Instead of doing one large jerk on the lead I do short, fast ones until she gives the desired action. As soon as she gives me the desired action I praise, lots of it. That way she knows bad is bad and good is really good. I feel for you as I have had this same issue, don't know if it will help but it may.
Also, I agree with a previous post that Rocky, for whatever reason in those situation, feels the need to protect you. Make sure you aren't putting that vibe off on him by tensing up, or tightening his lead too soon....hope this helps!! Good luck!


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My Stella who is now 21 months has been dog reactive. She too went to a doggie day care up until about a month ago. She was fine there and loved to play. But at about 20 months she got "snarky" with 2 dogs there, both on different days. Of course this happened right before we went on vacation and she had been scheduled to board there. That's another story. Anyhow, as she has gotten older she just wasn't suited for the daycare anymore.....

I have been working very hard using all kinds of tools and methods to try and get this under control. And it is paying off. But it requires a lot of time and patience. Definitely not an overnight fix.

I don't think it is protection. Well, maybe self protection on her part. I think she is nervous/fearful or whatever. As one of my trainers said.... Stella figures the other dog might be a jerk, so she'll be one first!

And she can be quite the jerk. Lunging, hackles up, barking.... But it is getting better. Still can't walk towards another dog head on, but we can walk at a distance. No need to go Cujo every time she sees a dog.

A lot of her reaction has to do with my reaction. I know, believe me I know, how hard it is to stay calm when your dog is looking like he/she wants to eat the other dog. But I think it is essential.

I am a softee at heart too. I was told I was too vanilla. :laugh: But I have to toughen up a bit for her sake and mine. And remain calm...breathe...
 

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My boy Zimmer, who is a little over a year old now, is very dog reactive while on the leash - if I am the one walking him. Just like your dog, he's a perfect gentleman at daycare with other dogs and the employees, but as soon as I take hold of the leash, he becomes a different dog. If the boyfriend walks him, he minds his manners - never barks, growls, or shows any interest in the dogs they pass during their walk, but I also feel like the boyfriend is more of the disciplinarian out of the two of us. I, too, went to my trainer and said, "Hey, what am I doing wrong?" He basically said that Zimmer doesn't view me as a leader, he just sees me as his buddy.

I never leave the house without a squeaky ball and some treats. As per my trainer's instructions, whenever a strange dog comes into view and Zimmer begins to go batty (barking, pulling, lunging, etc) I reach into my pocket and begin to squeak the ball, and once I have his attention I give him the command to sit, then I praise him and give him a treat. These are treats he only gets when we're walking. So far, it's really helped. In fact, the other day, I forgot his ball, and when I noticed a dog further up the path, I immediately moved to the side of the path, gave Zimmer a quick snap of the leash (he wears a prong collar on our walks) to redirect his attention back to me, then gave the command to sit, and rewarded him with a treat. But instead of just handing it over, I had it within a closed fist, and so while he was licking and pushing my hand, the strange dog walked on by without Zimmer even batting an eye at him. As soon as the other dog was far enough away, I gave Zimmer the treat.

I always have to remind myself to remain calm, which, for the longest time, I couldn't master. I get tense just seeing another dog out of my peripheral. So, yeah, a lot of Zimmer's problem might have something to do with me - I accept that. I still am not always calm, especially when an equally excitable dog starts trotting up the sidewalk towards us. But I am trying, and we are progressing, so that's all I can ask for at this point.

I hope this helps you in some way. Good luck! :)
 
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