When my boyfriend was alone with her, him and even his cousin would play with her in the yard and she was fine and really liked them just as well as she did me. In the past few weeks, whenever I'm around my boyfriend, she won't come near him and growls, but alone with him she was fine?
Yesterday night, he let her out to use the bathroom. He was trying to get her back into the house, which she really doesn't enjoy and runs because she LOVES being outside. So he was calling her name to no avail so he went to pick her up (like he usually does) and out of nowhere she grabbed onto his wrist and arm and wouldn't let go. Needless to say she hurt his hand and arm.
We've taken her to obedience school and in public almost every single day to socialize her. I have owned many dogs, from chihuahuas to border collies to pit bulls, and they've never suddenly did a 180 like this, so I'm not sure what to do? I LOVE my dog, she is extremely loving and loyal, but I'm so worried. She's UTD on all her shots and just got back from the vet at the beginning of Feb and everything was in great condition! Any advice or personal experiences would be so helpful!
Gabriella from SC
German Shepards are notorious for protecting their "family", but at only 5 mos old it sounds more like very rough play, which could become a problem as he gets older. Are you continuing the obedience training, or was that just a week or two class? You should definitely continue with training and socializing, but for a while you might consider the kind of lead that also has a semi-muzzle. (03/04/2009)
The puppy obedience class was once a week for five weeks. The adult obedience (for dogs 5 mos and older) starts on Monday (the other class just ended last sat) and is twice a week for six weeks. Hopefully with double the amount of practice a week in handling and socializing, she will snap out of this phase. I must say though, it was not rough play, she very much bit him numerous times with all her might. (03/05/2009)
I would suggest going to Cesar Millan's site at http://www.cesarmillaninc.com, he truly is incredible. He deals with dog psychology, which is the problem not dog obedience. I had a problem with our dog having aggression towards other dogs and his methods truly do work. Good Luck! Could you keep us posted on her progress? (03/05/2009)
Most of the time when our shepherds act aggressively, Eric, my husband will take them on either side of the face with his hands, and make them look at him. He will tell them "No" in an almost growling like voice. They need clear signs that things they like to do like bite or chase or growl, etc is wrong. You are doing good, it is just that Germans have a high drive to protect and sometimes they get out of bounds.
It is a rare situation when a dog has to be put down for being aggressive. I am sure that will not be the case. Our two Germans sleep with us and get on the couches etc. They are well balanced. I think you can go overboard and overreact to things...just don't let the dog see you get upset and practice a no nonsense tone. You will know when you get it because the dog will stop what he is doing wrong to look at you. When he comes to you always praise him. I will let Eric advise you also. Good luck and lots of loving hugs to the baby. (03/05/2009)
By Robyn Fed
Hi I'm Eric, husband of Robyn above.
I have been around German Shepherds all my life and what you say has been happening is nothing new. However I must know something, has she been fixed and if so how long ago was it done? This could be a reason for her taking a piece of your boyfriend, however there is another possible reason. Could it be possible that your boyfriend has hurt this dog by accident or on purpose? These dogs have very long memories and they almost never forget someone who hurt them and did not make it right.
I disagree with those who say "Don't Allow Them on the Couch" because it doesn't really matter. What does matter is that your Boyfriend and you take the Alpha Dog stance with her as she is "protecting you" as a weaker member of the pack and your boyfriend is the 'Threat' because the dog can't distinguish between play and fight. Your puppy will die to protect you and it's very serious, because if she is not taught that you don't need to be protected from your boyfriend (or do you, dogs sense fear and they use it to their advantage) she will get more aggressive to him if she is kennel trained and you may have to use the kennel when she is aggressive to your boy friend.
I have to say that psychosis in dogs is a reality and they do sometimes turn all of a sudden. This is a fact. The fault is not yours. Let me know how it goes, Robyn (03/06/2009)
By Robyn Fed
To everyone whose advice I much appreciated, Nadiah let my boyfriend pet her today. She walked right up to the fence where he was standing and jumped up on the fence so he could pet her! We went to the lake yesterday, it was very warm!, and he played fetch with her, which seemed to help a lot, especially since I was around. We went on a walk and I let him hold the lead, while I walked with him, and she is doing better! I am so happy and thank you for taking the time to comment :) I hope things will keep progressing in this manner and I will keep you updated. Thanks again! (03/08/2009)
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