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Stopping German Shepherd From Being Jealous of Other Pets

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How do I stop my 1-1/2 yr old Female, spade, Belgium German Shepherd from being jealous. I have 2 cats also. She doesn't like it when the 17year old is near me. Especially on my lap. She nudges him and lightly nips at him. She's even jealous of the fish. She gets a lot of attention. Play ball etc. She's possessive of me it seems like. No other animal is allowed near me.

Joanne from Medford, NY

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By Joanne (Guest Post)11/28/2007

Thank you everyone for your advice. I found a couple of them very helpful. Sasha did have training classes when she was 6 months old. We're looking into having private lessons at the house. She does listen sometimes with the older cat, but sometimes not. I love the story of Angel. My dog doesn't like it when I kiss my fiancee. She jumps in the middle of us and gives us wet kisses. It is funny but I'm sure not "appropriate" for the Alpha position I need to assume. She does not mind being in the crate sometimes. It used to be her "bed". She always got "night night" cookies, so it wasn't punishment. But a few times I needed to use it for a time out.
Thanks everyone. I will take all the advice I can get. I also just bought the book SIT STAY FETCH. Thanks again. Looking forward to more advice.

By Ruth Counter [2]11/27/2007

If you give this dog a cookie or additional attention to direct her away after you see the jealous behavior, you are in fact rewarding undesirable behavior.

Please do some research on line about being the leader in your pack. GSD's are very intelligent and some have dominant tendencies. If there is a lack of pack leadership some dogs will move into that position. It's not a bad thing, it just IS.

Find out from some pros how to train the dog to see you as the pack leader. A dominant type dog should not sleep on the same level as the leader. The dog should see the leader and family eat first ( I know, that's counter to everything we've been taught about animal care.) Stand up when you need to correct your dog. Dogs think in body language first. Think of a pack of wolves. Stance and eye-contact are crucial to communication. Sounds are important too. Think of a mother correcting her pups.

Your dog needs to be subordinate to every member of your human family. Play with your cats, but control what the dog is doing. No yelling or hitting but with clarity, and consistency. A behavior problem can take a while to correct. Consistency by every family member is the key. Be sure to praise for good behavior, but only when the dog is complying. Dogs are extremely opportunistic. Expect respect.

You might start with putting the dog on tie-down then treating with a toy, or crate the dog with a treat, before you play with the cats. Then a positive thing happens for the dog. You are teaching it that something good comes from going in the crate while mom plays with that cat, but do it before the behavior develops that you don't want. Think prevention. A tragedy could develop from uncontrolled jealousy.

Dogs live in the now, respect leadership and want to know where they belong in the pack. Be a good leader. Be very clear with behavior modification and only reward or praise for compliance when you are dealing with an issue such as jealousy.

If you are not comfortable with what you can do, for heaven's sake seek professional help. Jealousy among dogs is not the cute thing we think it is.

A well trained, confident dog, who knows what appropriate becomes a beloved family member and a joy to have around.

By Rosa (Guest Post)11/26/2007

She is still a baby too, don't forget. I have a large dog, Angel, and I am hers! LOL She does not like the other critters in the house and gets mad when I talk and play with them, she will try to chase them away. I tell her in a very firm voice, leave it! After I tell her this a couple of times ,she will go lay down, but where she can watch me. The funny part is she has been like this from the first day we got her, and she is now 7 If my other half is in bed with me, she will come up on the bed and take his wrist in her mouth and gently move it off of me. LOL as if to say leave her alone, she is mine. She never hurts any of the other critters, or the old man. LOL Just be patient with your dog ,and above all else let her know YOU ARE BOSS, not her. Hope this helps? Rose

By Carrie [2]11/26/2007

If your dog isn't properly trained, and you don't teach it what to do, it will misbehave.

You must walk the dog daily. Then you must firmly sit the dog when he misbehaves.

By Me (Guest Post)11/26/2007

You have to direct the situation. Just don't let her get away with it. Can you have someone else get a cookie for her to direct attention away. Actuall any distraction, like throwing a ball would help. You just have to be consistent. She's obviously establisher herself as alpha, which is fine, but you need to be her alpha & decide when it's inappropriate. Also just say no & pull the other animal away so she can't reach it.
A firm but normal voice "go on" & wave her away. It has always worked for me. It takes time.

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