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Socializing Advice    Behavior and Training

Started Aug-20 by Beccadawson1; 216 views.
Beccadawson1

From: Beccadawson1

Aug-20

We have a 15 month old German shepherd male. He is intact and has been to a training facility. He loves people and we love him to death… the one issue we are struggling with is other dogs. We have tried introducing him to other dogs and he always becomes aggressive. Do you have any suggestions? 

DW (GSDogwalker)

From: DW (GSDogwalker)

Aug-20

Hi. I just saw this today, sorry for the delay. It’s not because he is intact.  How are you introducing him? Is he on leash or off leash?  German Shepherds are supposed to have some aggression toward people but not toward dogs, however it happens. It seems that the unusually social dogs tend to get confused and have ones dog aggression accidentally reinforced.

Solitaire13

From: Solitaire13

Aug-21

Can you be more specific? Is it all dogs? Only dogs making eye contact? At what distance does he start to aggress? Was he socialized to dogs as a pup? How much exercise does he get? Just what exactly does he do when you say he becomes aggressive? What happens immediately after? What do you do during this?

Beccadawson1

From: Beccadawson1

Aug-23

We have 2 chihuahua mixes that he has always been around. He was run over by a large lab at the dog park when he was 4 months. He became skiddish after that but still interested in meeting other dogs. At our neighborhood park a dog we after him and ever since then he becomes aggressive with all dogs.

We have tried introducing both on and off leash. We have tried at our house and on neutral territory.  Every time the other dog gets excited our boy snaps and growls, twice it has progressed from there and we've and to pull dogs apart.

When he behaves that way we put him in command. He responds appropriately to us. He will ignore other dogs when in command but when free he will go over to them.

DW (GSDogwalker)

From: DW (GSDogwalker)

Aug-24

It’s not aggression in the way we think of dog aggression. As an example, a pittbull will go after a strange dog just to cause a fight. Your dog is reacting inappropriately to normal dog play. It is a fear reaction.  

When you say in command, is that dog on leash? What command is he obeying?  The fact that he is not reactive from a distance is good.  German shepherds are not supposed to be extremely social. Is there a reason why he must play off leash with other dogs?  It may never be something he is comfortable with. If you can walk him on or off a leash and he behaves, you don’t have as serious a problem as it seems.

Dog fighting should never be allowed.  So you might not able to allow him to play with other dogs.  He can become accustomed to dogs at a distance. The more exposure he has, the less dogs at a distance will bother him.

This is just a theory but I think the behavior you described is a combination of natural herding behavior and a mistaken learning in how to deal with it. You said it happens when another dog becomes excited. It may scare your dog and he is trying to stop the behavior but he doesn’t know how, so he attacks. Because it is fear based, he overreacts to protect himself.

Beccadawson1

From: Beccadawson1

Aug-24

"Sit, down, climb, or lets go" are his commands. He stays in whatever command until he is told free. He's focused on the command and ignores the other dogs during this time.  The off-leash interaction desire is for public recreation or when we are at social events with friends.  

We live in a very dog friendly town so taking your dog everywhere is the norm. I want to be able to take him without the fear of a dog fight that he will be blamed for.

DW (GSDogwalker)

From: DW (GSDogwalker)

Aug-24

Then you may want to work with a trainer who can help you ease gradually into dog to dog interactions.  It very difficult once a dog has become reactive to get them past it. 

Solitaire13

From: Solitaire13

Aug-26

His picture looks fine. I will have to look for it. Long story short but I have been busy looking for a decent used or refurbished pc monitor. I am down to using my spare laptop.  It is old, pretty decent, but lousy screen

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