How to Train a German Shepherd to Not be Aggressive

Medium
2-8 Weeks
Behavior

Introduction

There is no doubt that he has a fierce exterior. However, for the most part, your German Shepherd is calm, gentle and loving inside. Unfortunately, though, he does have moments where he lives up to his German Shepherd characteristics when he’s overly protective. You’ve caught him barking and even trying to bite other pets and strangers. You’re fed up with worrying when new people come over to the house. 

Training your Shepherd not to be aggressive will alleviate that concern. It will also reduce the chances of him causing harm to someone else. The result of which is that he may need to be put down. His aggression could also get him into a fight with another pet, which could lead to pricey vet bills. Training him not to be aggressive will also mean you can stop fitting him in a muzzle whenever you leave the house.

Defining Tasks

Training a German Shepherd not to be aggressive can be challenging. The first thing to do is identify what is causing the aggression in the first place. You can then go about tackling the underlying problem. Training will need to consist of socialization with other pets and people. You will also need to use obedience commands to increase your control. Some deterrence measures may also be required to prevent his aggression developing further.

If he’s a puppy he should be a fast learner and receptive to training. This means you could see results in just a couple of weeks. However, if he’s older and this habit has developed over many years, then you may need a number of months and the help of your veterinarian or a professional dog trainer or behaviorist.

Getting Started

Before you get to work, you will need to get a few bits together. A water spray bottle and deterrence collar will be needed for one method. You will also need treats and toys for incentives and rewards.

Set aside 15 minutes each day for training over the next few weeks, and be ready with a confident and positive attitude. The more consistently you train, the sooner you will see results.

The Deterrence Method

Most Recommended
8 Votes
Step
1
Privacy
This is particularly important if your German Shepherd is a puppy. He must have a safe space he can escape to. Just like humans, dogs can get frustrated and want some time alone. So make sure his crate or bed is his safe space.
Step
2
Water spray bottle
Whenever he gets aggressive, barks or growls, go over and give a spray of water near his face. This will quickly get him associating being aggressive with negative consequences.
Step
3
Deterrence collar
They are available both online and in local stores. A remote control allows you to give your dog spray of citronella if he needs to be deterred from biting. Use this consistently and he will soon think better of being aggressive.
Step
4
Don’t wind him up
It’s important you don’t get him too worked up when you’re playing games, such as tug of war. It’s also crucial that young children don’t tease him too much. You need him to remain relatively calm.
Step
5
Don’t laugh it off
It’s vital everyone in the house reacts in the same way. If one of you laughs or shakes it off, he will be confused by the rest of training. So sit everyone down and ensure all are on board.
Recommend training method?

The Introductions Method

Effective
4 Votes
Step
1
Obedience classes
Sign him up to group obedience classes from an early age as possible. This will help socialize him with other pets and people. Here will learn what sort of behavior is and isn’t acceptable.
Step
2
Basic commands
Teach him ‘down’, ‘stay’ and other useful obedience commands. This will increase your control and reinforce your position as pack leader. All of which should limit his aggression and make him more submissive.
Step
3
Stand ahead
If your German Shepherd is in front of you when you meet other people and pets, he will think it is his job to protect you. However, if you are in front, he will relax and believe it is your job. This will prevent initial aggression when strangers approach and reinforces you as his leader.
Step
4
Keep it short
When he does meet new people and pets, stay close to him and watch his behavior. If you see his tail drop or he starts to get tense, ask them to step back. You need to respect his boundaries.
Step
5
Reward
Give him verbal praise and the odd treat for as long as he remains calm when he meets strangers. This positive reinforcement will help him associate being calm with positive consequences.
Recommend training method?

The Routine Method

Least Recommended
4 Votes
Step
1
Increase his exercise
He’s a big dog, he will need lots of exercise. His biting may be a result of pent up energy. So take him out for an extra or longer walk. Playing games as you go will also tire him out. A tired dog is a calm and gentle dog.
Step
2
Tug of war
If he does start getting aggressive, it can help to pull out a toy and play tug of war. Directing his aggression down a safe avenue will help show him where aggressive behavior can be released.
Step
3
Cold shoulder
If tug of war doesn’t seem to catch his attention when he turns aggressive, you may want to give him the cold shoulder. If his aggression is attention seeking behavior, simply turning away and ignoring him could show him this will not get him what he wants.
Step
4
Encouragement
You also need to constantly reward him for calm play. Relax and stroke him, while giving him the odd treat and verbal praise. He needs to start associating calm behavior with positive consequences.
Step
5
Never punish him
German Shepherds are big, strong and capable of doing serious harm. So do not anger him by punishing him when he is aggressive. This may only worsen the problem. German Shepherds respond best to positive reinforcement.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Hank
German Shepherd
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Hank
German Shepherd
1 Year

Would a beep vibrate and shock collar help me with hank? He’s a great dog. I just don’t know what my other options are. I’ve tried everything.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Alyssa, I would need more information about Hank, his temperament, his aggression, and exactly what you have tried so far to say for sure, but I can say that I have seen those types of collars work very well for treating certain dogs with certain forms of aggression when combined with the proper training techniques and used by someone who knows how to properly train with it. When used wrongly or if a poor quality collar is used, then they can also make the problem significantly worse. For that reason I recommend that anyone looking to use one find a local professional in their area, with extensive experience in dealing with aggression and with the use of remote training collars. These collars are typically best used as interrupters and as low level stimulus' to improve a dog's obedience and self-control enough to create windows where positive reinforcement can also be used to deal with the dog's emotional state at the root of the problem. For some dogs aggression is fear based and a collar could cause more damage when used wrongly or it could provide enough interruption in the poor behavior for the dog to receive communication about what he should be doing instead, and that would give him enough opportunities doing the correct behavior to change his views about whatever he is aggressive toward. Aggression can also be due to a respect issue or be a learned behavior, meaning that the dog acts aggressive simply because he has learned that it gets him what he wants. Aggression can also be a genetic trait. To assess everything involved you will either need the help of a trainer or will need to learn the information that trainers spend time learning about: canine behavior, body language, training methods, and the proper use of training tools such as electric collars. That can take a lot of time and work, but I do know of committed owners who have successfully done it and have been able to help their dogs due to their own hard work and knowledge. If you do choose to use such collars, then do not simply punish your dog when he acts aggressively, he needs to be told not to do something, corrected, shown what to do instead, and then rewarded for correct behavior. There are a lot of other things that go into that, such as fitting the collar properly, finding which level your dog responds to without going too high, knowing your dog's body language, avoid dangerous situations, communicating clearly, and being able to tell what is working and not working and adapting, rather than simply increasing the collar level. A collar alone without proper training and positive reinforcement for the right behavior can make aggression worse. As confusing as all of that is, I actually recommend such collars over the use of Citronella collars though because citronella collars can punish a dog for an extended period of time when the dog continues to smell it, but other types of vibration, stimulation, and tone collars are instant and do not continue the punishment for long. Collars that use only air do not punish a dog for an extended period of time though, so those are less unpleasant for a dog. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Hank's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Brady
German Shepherd
8 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Brady
German Shepherd
8 Months

Brady is a great dog at home and does well with our three boys but when I took him to the park the other day he barked at every person that walked toward us. While at the park he also snapped at my niece and bit her (he did not leave a mark or break skin - he didn't hur her just scared us all). He was fine with my niece when she was at my house but not at the park. How can I get him socialized without fearing that he is going to hurt someone?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kristina, I would recommend getting Brady used to wearing a basket muzzle. A basket muzzle will allow Brady to open his mouth while he is wearing the muzzle and it will allow you to pass small treats to him through the muzzle's holes. You can also use a straw dipped in Peanut Butter or soft cheese to reward him, by poking the dipped straw through the muzzle's holes to let him lick the food off of it. While he is wearing the muzzle you can take him to places safely and reward him with treats for behaving calmly, for looking at people without reacting, and for focusing on you. You can also work on his obedience exercises while he is there to keep his focus on you, to increase his respect and trust toward you, and to keep him from becoming overly aroused and reactive. If the idea of putting a muzzle on him in public is daunting, then I would recommend trying to find a group that regularly goes on walks or trains their dogs together, that would be more supportive of him wearing a muzzle. Some of these groups can be located through websites like Meetup.com or local dog clubs or rescue organizations. Getting together with these groups with Brady while he is wearing the muzzle regularly and working on his reactions and fear while there, should help his overall socialization. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Brady's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Johann
German Shepherd
5 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Johann
German Shepherd
5 Months

I got Johann Neutered 2 weeks ago and thier policy was to leave him over night for observation. Since I have picked him up he has been barking aggressively at others on a walk, and in his obedience class. The first 3 sessions in his obedience class he was very timid, so when others went up to him they did not make eye contact but laid food near him so they would not scare him. Then this last class he barked aggressively and tried to lunge towards them. Is this caused by aniety or me not socializing him enough. Also, how do i socialize him now to not make him scared/anxious towards others. When on our walks he will see a person and his hair will stick straight up.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Amanda, Without a medical evaluation I cannot say for sure. A couple of things could be going on. He could be in pain from something that happened during the surgery or simply from a lengthy recovery. He might have some sort of chemical imbalance going on that needs to be addressed. He might be acting aggressive out of fear due to the emotional trauma of the stay and surgery recovery, or it might be simple coincidence that his aggression appeared around the same time as the surgery. Puppies go through several fear stages throughout their first eighteen months of life, and it's possible that he just happened to hit one and is responding aggressively out of fear. If it is a fear period, then he needs TONS of positive socialization, where he is given treats for calm behavior, for looking at things he is afraid of and not reacting aggressively, for looking at you when he is near something that he is afraid of, and for generally being in the same area as a source of fear and not reacting negatively. He also needs to have a lot of people feed him treats while he is calm like you did in that class. If he is likely to bite someone, then desensitize him to wearing a basket muzzle, and then feed him treats and peanut butter on a straw through the muzzle holes. I would definitely suggest hiring either an Animal Behaviorist or a Veterinary Behaviorist in your case. Johann needs to be evaluated both medically and temperamentally by a trained professional. Someone with both medical training and training in animal behavior, such as a Veterinary Behaviorist should be able to help with both, and to suggest whether or not medical testing might be needed and what type of training protocol should be followed. An important thing to also consider, is whether or not he was showing smaller signs of aggression before the neutering. If he was acting aggressive or fearful before the surgery, but it was simply not as bad as it is now, then the issue is probably trauma and a lack of socialization. He may have been suspicious of people before the surgery, and his stay simply convinced him that his suspicions were correct, and so now he acts defensively toward people because he believes that he has to keep them away from himself to be safe. A qualified Behaviorist should be able to help you with that also though. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Johann's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Dax
German Shepherd
8 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Dax
German Shepherd
8 Months

My new wife and I have recently bought a purebred German Shepard pup from what we believed to be a reliable breeder. She had elbow and hip certification and DM testing done. Also said her main focus when breeding was on temperament. So we chose to bring home an 8 week old male which we love dearly. I own my own construction business so I took him everywhere with me. The breeder had puppy socials to help get the young dogs used to being around other dogs so once to twice a month we took him to those. He was well behaved as a puppy for the most part not chewing on things, growling at people, etc. One issue we did have was peeing, when my wife got home and greeted him he would pee or when new people would come over he would pee. Since then we have altered how we greet him and have guests greet him - we ignore him until he is calm which has helped nearly overcome the urination issue; it happens much less. Around six mounts he started to show signs of aggression such as barking at people and at times being protective of his toys. This all started right before we took him to his breeder for a 2 week board and train. They then asked to keep him for an extra week to help build his confidence up ( my fear being that they didn't have time to work with him the first 2 weeks but do not know for sure). When we got him back, the first night one of my friends came over to the house and when he walked in Dax barked aggressively lunged and bit him (not breaking the skin). We had already had him signed up for basic obedience lessons so we believed that this would be good for the socialization. When we went to the class he lunged and barked aggressively at the other dogs on occasion but as the class went on he got significantly better. After the class we had another act of aggression (lunging, barking, and biting not breaking the skin) towards a person - this time a worker that walked past him. Long story short, we called the breeder he had spent 3 weeks with and she wanted anther week with him; we took her up on the offer of helping, but this time I honestly believe they just boarded him with no extra attention. He was worse when we brought him home having more out bursts. For example, he was sitting next to me on the beach and a young kid came up probable 15' away, Dax charged the kid pushing him to the ground barking and growling (he did not hurt the kid) but looked very scary. He is not fixed, we were told to wait till he was at least 12 mounts. Please help, I am dedicated and will do what it takes to solve this problem.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Brandon, First, I would recommend no longer boarding him with his breeder. Either intentionally or simply because of the environment there, staying there seems to be increasing his defensiveness and possibly fear aggression. I would recommend looking into Jeff Gelhman from SolidK9Training's free educational resources. He has a YouTube channel and a couple of other places where he speaks regularly online such as on Periscope. The help you need is beyond what I can tell you here but his resources provide in depth information about high drive working breeds and aggression issues. It is important for you to hear as well as see what to do, which makes videos easier resources. I would also recommend desensitizing him to wearing a muzzle so that you can safely modify his behavior and socialize him around people without risking any type of injury. The fact that he has not drawn blood during several attacks is actually a good sign. That means that your work socializing him around other puppies while he was a young puppy hopefully helped him develop good bite inhibition, which makes his case easier to work on. The behavior behind the aggression is just as much of an issue however, and does need to be addressed, but it will be less dangerous to address it than if he had drawn blood. To desensitize him to the muzzle spend a couple of weeks, or longer if needed, showing him the muzzle while you feed him lots of treats. Let him sniff it and feed him a treat. Let him touch it and feed him a treat. As he begins to like the muzzle because of the treats, then gradually move it onto his face more and more and feed him a treat every time that you do so, until you can finally place it on him completely and feed him treats through the hole while he wears it for gradually longer and longer periods of time. You can also dip a straw in peanut butter and poke that through the muzzle for him to lick off as a reward. Use a basket muzzle for this or another muzzle that also allows him to still open up his mouth inside the muzzle while wearing it. If you feel at all uncertain about how to work with him on the aggression after looking into training, then I would highly recommend hiring an experienced trainer in your area to work one on one with you either at their facility, at your home, or ideally some of each. Look for someone who has several co-trainers that can socialize him and work hands on with him to get him use to people up close, as well as someone who has extensive experience dealing with aggression, high drive breeds, and protective and defensive instincts. Also look for someone who utilizes both positive reinforcement as well as fair corrections, rather than just one of those things. Also work on teaching very reliable obedience so that you can more easily manage the aggression when situations do arise. That will also have the added benefit of increasing his respect toward you, which is very important during tense situations when he feels the need to control situations. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Dax's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
LEO
German Shepherd
4 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
LEO
German Shepherd
4 Years

Hi there. Ive recently recsued Leo from a very poor environment, neglect and hoarding of multiple shepherds. He was in poor condition health wise with fleas and undernourished. He apparently spent his time on a small run outside and slept inside in a crate. He has bonded with me almoaat immediatly. After proper introductions to my resident female shepherd whos is 4 years old, leo is becoming very guarding of me. Dixie, the resident girl is verynwell trained and is off leash on hikes and our adventures. I have had her since shewas 10 weeks old from an excellent breeder. Excellent bloodlines, both sable working parents. Leo has some limited basic obedience skills but its apparent that he was never ssocialized properly or worked with for any amount of time. He spentbthe majoritynof his time outside on a run and slept in a crate indoors. He will be going to my trainer in 2 weeks for evaluation and board and training. Until that time i have worked with reinforcing his recall and basic skills and have found that he works nicely for a tennis ball as he doeant have much of a food drive. Inknow his potential is there and he will become a fantastic dog. Would it be a detrement to him to use an ecollar for correction at this point? I dont want to cause any more issues for this boy but i also wont tolerate any agression to my girl. Any suggestions and help would be grratly appreciated.
Please note that my trainer is highly qualified but currently out of the country and unavailable for consult.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Emily, An e-collar would probably be a good tool for Leo but he needs to have a foundation set before you jump into e-collar training or it can cause problems. If your trainer plans to use one with him, then go ahead and purchase the one that he or she recommends and put it on Leo but do not turn it on, to make training with that trainer faster when you do start. Do this to prevent Leo from becoming collar wise and only responding when the collar is on. He needs to wear the collar for a couple of weeks while it is off to get used to wearing it, so that he will not realize that it is the collar correcting him when you start training. In two weeks you will be seeing your trainer so you can prepare ahead of time but you will not be able to use the collar stimulation yourself before then. You also need to find Leo's working level of stimulation before you can properly use the collar. If you do not know how to do this yourself, you will need your trainer's help with that. Each dog responds to his own level and a level that is too high or too low can cause major issues. Last, I recommend teaching a dog a couple of obedience, instructional commands, so that you can clearly communicate with the dog what to do instead of act aggressively. This creates less potential frustration. If you put your dog in a situation where he is being corrected but he does not understand what to do instead, or he does not realize that he can avoid the correction, then that is when stress and frustration can build and create worse behavior issues. For now, get him used to wearing a soft silicone basket muzzle. Teach him an "Out" command, which means leave the area. Once he understands the "Out" command, when he starts to act aggressively tell him "Ah Ah!" in a firm tone of voice, then tell him "Out" and herd him out of the area with your body. When he gets several feet away, then back up again to where you were. If he tries to follow you tell him "Ah Ah!" and walk toward him again until he is where you want him to be. Repeat this until he stops trying to come back into that space. He does not have to stay in that particular area. He can walk away, sit down, lay down, or remain there, but he cannot come back into the imaginary circle of space around you, your other dog, or whatever you told him to get away from, until he is invited back. Your attitude should mean business when you do this. Do not be afraid to bump into him a bit if he will not move. You are using your attitude and presence to command respect rather than a tool. This is extremely important. Have him wear the silicone muzzle every day while you are establishing this unless you are in a situation that is not likely to trigger a reaction from him, like outside without your other dog around, playing ball. You might want to look into getting a flirt pole for him to use as a reward since he is play motivated. That will give you something to reward him with other than treats and a ball. Although the ball is a good reward too when you can use that. Since he is fearful, showing aggressive tendencies, and lacks socialization, being firm with him could cause him to try to bite you or your dog, so the muzzle needs to be part of the equation right now while you are establishing the rules. The muzzle with also prevent him from learning that he can get what he wants by using his mouth. If he bites and who he bites backs down, he may quickly learn that that is an effective way to control things. When you cannot be present to supervise both dogs, keep them separate until Leo is behaving better. There will be other things that Leo needs addressed such as his lack of socialization, insecurities, dominance, and aggression. Your trainer will help you with the big picture but for the next two weeks work on the "Out" command using the silicone basket muzzle. Also work on rewarding Leo for being tolerant and calm. He needs to learn what is acceptable even more than be corrected for poor behavior. You also may need to keep a prong collar on him if he gets really feisty while you are enforcing "Out". Ideally, wait until your trainer can help you, but if you find that you need a tool, a prong collar is simpler to use than an e-collar and is easier to use right away. Make sure that it has rounded prong ends and that the collar is fitted properly high on his neck, with the prongs lightly touching his neck all around and not pinching him or hanging loose. You can check out Jeff Gelhman from SolidK9Training's YouTube channel for videos on how to properly fit a prong collar. Only keep the prong collar on him when you are directly supervising him. You can attach a one foot leash to the prong collar to make corrections or maneuvering him easy without having a leash dragging behind him. Keep the same principles in mind with the prong collar. Make sure that you are clearly showing him what he should be doing instead of the bad behavior, and showing him that he can avoid the correction by being obedient. Essentially, focus on teaching him things rather than simply punishing him. The definition of discipline is to train someone to obey rules or a code of behavior using punishment to correct disobedience. Make sure that he is learning instead of simply getting frustrated. I wish you the best training him. It sounds like you have done a wonderful job with Dixie and will no doubt do a good job with him. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to LEO's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Lenny
German Shepherd male
20 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Lenny
German Shepherd male
20 Months

My husbands music pupil was leaving the house, my dog knows her very well.She was carrying a large saxophone case and a large bag, he didn't seem to recognise her so started to bark, because she knew him she still kept walking toward us and he was barking even more. He suddenly lunged at her jumped up at her and pushed her away with his paws. Throughout all of this he never bared his teeth or snapped or tried to bite even though he was close enough to do this. the pupil very kindly stayed till the situation calmed down and she was able to feed him and pet him when he had realised there was no danger or need for protection. This is very out of character for him and I feel I never read his initial warning well enough that he was spooked and unsure of what was coming toward him. he usually really likes this pupil and always gets petted from her. What do you think?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Donna, I would want to know how he does with strangers in other situations. The issue may have been aggression toward strangers in general - and he thought she was a stranger then. If that was the case, he would also display that type of behavior toward other people coming into your home or in public approaching that he does not know and did not appear to be welcomed by you. The issue might be a lack of socialization - some dogs get very spooked by things they were never socialized around as puppies. The things she was carrying may have seemed very suspicious to him and his reaction was in response to that. Pay attention to how he responds to unusual things being carried weird - where he can't see the person very well. The issue could also be the way she approached and her not appearing to be welcomed by you, even though he did recognize her - this type of behavior can be protective, but is often possessive - where the dogs sort of thinks they are in charge or or own you and are acting aggressive because they don't want someone else getting too close to their stuff - like a dog guarding a bone. Pay attention to signs of pushiness and a lack of respect for you, signs of a lack of socialization around strange objects and weird experiences, or a suspicion of strangers - to get a better idea of why he reacted the way he did. Once you have an idea of why you can address the behavior itself. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Lenny's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Gunny
German Shepherd
4 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Gunny
German Shepherd
4 Years

Hello,

My name is Erin. Gunny was a rescue dog we bought when he was 10 months old. He has become very aggressive towards guest that come over to the point that we can not invite anyone over at this point. He has taken to me of all the members of my family, I have two sons and a husband but he doesn’t act aggressive towards them. I am afraid that he may hurt someone, is it to late to train him and if not what advice would you give me?

Thank you for your time
Erin

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Erin, Whether or not it's too late depends on several things. It depends on why he is acting aggressively and whether he has bitten someone before. Aggression can be due to a number of things. It can be fear based, from a lack of proper early socialization, a traumatic event, a genetic disposition, or something the dog is taught unintentionally by an owner, guest, or environment. Aggression can also be protective in nature. Which is often a combination of genetics and a lack of early socialization to provide the dog with enough experiences for him to be able to tell when someone is untrustworthy or normal. Some dogs that are properly socialized are simply genetically overly suspicious anyway though. Aggression can be due to a lack of respect for the owner or others, a dog attempting to control others as a temperament trait, or something else in the environment. Aggression can also be due to less common things like a mental/hormonal imbalance, an injury that causes pain, or manic type temperament that is genetic. Some forms of aggression can be remedied by addressing the underlying cause, like fear. Others can only be managed through teaching respect in the proper way, teaching obedience, changing a dog's emotional response toward something so that he likes the thing he was aggressive toward, or playing catch up on socialization to help the dog tell the difference between dangerous people and safe people. The short answer to a long explanation is that I cannot tell you whether the dog's aggression can be resolved without seeing the dog, hearing more details, and seeing his response to training. I would suggest hiring a trainer who is highly experienced with aggression and getting that person to evaluate your dog. Some aggression can be resolved by addressing underlying issues, some aggression cannot. Some aggression that cannot be resolved can be safely managed and some cannot. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Gunny's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Nala
German Shepherd
12 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Nala
German Shepherd
12 Weeks

We are keen to train her and have started but she can suddenly be aggressive and growl

Add a comment to Nala's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Chewy
German Shepherd
5 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Chewy
German Shepherd
5 Years

Hello, I adopted Chewy from a shelter about 3 months ago, He has been amazing and has gotten along with our foster cat and her litter quite well. He has always barked and gotten anxious as other dogs passed us on walks etc. We treated this by leading him away and when he was done barking to give him a treat and continue the walk. This has not helped. He now barks at dogs when they are just outside using the bathroom and he is inside and has been pulling me and running at dogs lately. (since he is a 78 pound German shepherd I have a hard time controlling him when he acts like this). I bought him a gentle leader harness a few months ago and it was working well until the past few days when he has been aggressively lunging when even seeing a dog. He also tried to attack a dog that got too close to me at a store today, when we have never had these problems with him before. My friend (who has dealt with this same exact problem with his dog) has stated to me its because he feels he is the leader of the pack and needs to protect me. How do I go about breaking him of this as we do not have a detailed history of him from the shelter and the shelter told us he was great with the dogs there when he was there. I bought a training collar today but have yet to use it, it just seems like positive reinforcement doesn't work but I don't want to be too aggressive with him for training.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Cheyenne, I am sorry you are struggling with his aggression. This is honestly something you need to hire a professional trainer who uses both positive reinforcement and fair corrections to help you. Look for someone who has a lot of experience with aggression and high drive, protective breeds like German Shepherds. Check out Jeff Gellman from SolidK9Training on YouTube. He is an aggression expert who has a lot of free videos, with Q&A talks, how to's, and demonstrations. Look for a qualified trainer or behaviorist in your area though. You will need someone to watch your dog's reaction and teach you how to respond in the minute, and someone to give you a preventative plan to deal with the root cause of his aggression. Building Chewy's respect toward you is always a good idea when dealing with aggression. You want to do this in a more mental way rather than a physically confrontational way though. A great way to do this is through obedience training and making him work for what he gets daily. Being very consistent and patiently ensuring that he follows though when you tell him to do something, even if that means waiting for him to do it for a long time, also helps. Check out the article that I have linked below. If at any point he shows any aggression toward you, consult professional help right away. You can combine all three methods from the article that I have linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Jeff Gellman is also proficient in the use of e-collars for training, look into his videos on how to properly fit, introduce, and use e-collars. James Penrith from TakeTheLeadDogTraining on YouTube is also a great e-collar use resource. He works with aggression less though, and more with livestock chasing behavior and off-leash training. Spend time really learning about e-collar use and how to train with one before you try it yourself. They are wonderful, effective tools when used correctly at the right level for that particular dog, but they can be incredibly damaging, ineffective, or abusive if used wrong. The idea is to train your dog to do an acceptable behavior or to condition an acceptable emotional response to something primarily with different types of rewards and to simply use the e-collar as a way of being extremely consistent and insistent, and as a way to interrupt a dog's behavior or state of mind so that you can have the opportunity to teach the dog, who was previously not able to learn. Do not simply put the collar on your dog and punish him without other training combined with it. That type of use alone can actually make aggression worse. A qualified trainer should be able to show you how to use the collar to teach rather than just punish, and Jeff Gellman's videos will demonstrate training also. Whenever you are training simply keep in mind whether or not you are educating your dog. The education may involve discipline but is your dog learning what he is supposed to be doing in addition to what he is not supposed to be doing. Behavior problems often need both types of training. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

I guess the biggest question I have is where do I find a trainer willingly to train a German Shepherd? Every place Ive checked says I can't enroll him in group classes and they won't work with him one on one

Add a comment to Chewy's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Silver
German Shepherd
10 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Silver
German Shepherd
10 Months

when dogs approach on or off lease he lunges and barks

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Your dog needs to learn new behaviors to quell his fear. First we reduce his fear around new dogs, and then we begin adding cues such as “watch me” or “sit.” Research tells us that most leash reactivity is caused by fear, not by aggression. Dogs bark and lunge at other dogs to warn, “Go away! Go away!” Dogs fear other dogs because of genetic reasons, lack of socialization, fights when they were puppies, or any scary (to the dog) interaction with other dogs. Sometimes having low thyroid levels contributes to unwanted canine behavior. During this time, avoid any punishment for reactivity. Doing so will make her concerns even bigger. Dogs learn by making associations, and you want your dog to associate other dogs with pleasant things — never punishment. The first step is to reframe what an oncoming dog means to your dog. From a safe distance — your dog determines the distance, not you — have your leashed dog view another dog. As the new dog comes into view, drop a lot of enticing meat treats just in front of your dog’s nose. Ignore any hysterics for now, but back up and create more space if your dog is unwilling to eat. This part is hard for humans — I understand. It helps to see your dog’s behavior for what it most likely is: fear vs. disobedience. The training reinforcer MUST be a great one, such as real meat. It is critical that the appearance of the new dog causes meat to fall from the sky. When the other dog is out of your dog’s view, all treats stop. We want your dog to predict that other dogs near him means that YUMMY FOOD will appear! As you are reframing your dog’s opinion of seeing other leashed dogs, be careful where you take your dog, and be protective of what she is exposed to. One fight can create a reactive dog. Consider not walking your dog for 30 days as you reprogram her opinions of other dogs. Instead, sit on your front porch or in your garage (or somewhere out of the way if those two options aren't possible) with your dog on leash, and practice treating every time another dog comes into your dog’s line of sight. During this time, engage your dog’s mind with mind puzzles, obedience work, and fun stuff like games in the house or yard. You know you have made great progress when your dog sees another dog, and he turns his head away from the once-threatening dog and looks into your eyes, expecting a treat. Once your dog is looking at his (former) trigger and then looking expectantly up at you for a treat, you can begin to put this skill on cue. Tell your dog "watch me" every time you see another dog approaching. Your end goal is for your dog to see another dog, and remain calm, looking at you for guidance. And this will be either continuing your walk, or being allowed to interact with the other dog. Please let me know if you have additional questions. Thanks for writing in!

Add a comment to Silver's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Tex
German Shepherd
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Tex
German Shepherd
1 Year

We got Tex from a breeder. Immediately after getting him we noticed he was scared of men. He would duck down or start growling. We started taking him to dog classses and he was never aggressive towards other dogs or people there. He is now a year old and he barks at strangers, other dogs and if someone tries entering our home, he may attack. What would you suggest we do since he is not aggressive toward people or dogs in the dog class but is outside of it?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Andrea, Look for a professional trainer who also does private in-home training. Be sure that the person is very experienced with aggression and is a part of a larger training group. Many trainers are not experienced enough to handle aggression, so be picky and ask questions about his experience. You need a trainer to come to your home, to work with you at your home, neighborhood, and other locations where Tex is showing aggression. You will want someone who works somewhere with multiple trainers so that other trainers can accompany your trainer or come in place of him once Tex has gotten used to the first trainer. This will allow Tex to practice strangers entering into your home with the "Stranger" trainers. Start by getting Tex used to wearing a soft silicone basket muzzle. A basket muzzle will allow him to open his mouth while wearing it. You will need for him to be able to wear a muzzle to work with a private trainer and to work around any other people safely. You can go ahead and start this before you find a trainer, as long as Tex has not shown aggression toward you. To get Tex used to wearing the muzzle, when you feed him his meal, feed him one piece at a time. Show him the muzzle and give him a treat. Let him touch the muzzle and give him a treat. When he is comfortable with that, then touch the muzzle to his face and then give him a treat. Gradually work up to more and more muzzle touch and being able to hold the muzzle against his face, and giving a treat each time you do it. When you can hold the muzzle against his face, as if he was wearing it, then feed him treats through the muzzle while he wears it, and practice briefly clipping or buckling it on him and then taking it off again. Gradually work up to him wearing it for longer and longer while you feed treats. Do this until he can go longer and longer between treat rewards and will stay relaxed about the muzzle and you no longer need the treats. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Tex's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Juno
German Shepherd
6 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Juno
German Shepherd
6 Weeks

I’m a highschool student that has the responsibility of teaching my new puppy. I’ve been researching a lot about German Shepard’s and there’s a lot I’m worried about, he’s teething so he bites a lot (me, my other dogs, etc) and I want to make sure he doesn’t grow up biting people. I’m also busy and the only one capable of teaching him, I’m afraid leaving him alone for a long time will make him aggressive and angry. Obedience classes are kind of expensive right now and I can’t afford it. I just want tips on how to stop him from biting and how to fix aggression. I just want to train him right

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Emily, At six week of age the biting that it sounds like you are experiencing is actually normal for all puppies and can even be good; although it does not feel nice! Call around to local Pet Stores, like Petco, to see if any of them offer any free puppy play times. When he has had his first set or two of shots, go ahead and take him to a puppy play group and go to them often if you can. Doing that will help him to learn how to control the pressure of his mouth, so that his biting gets more gentle. Also, while he is at home and around people check out the article that I have linked below and follow the "Bite Inhibition" method until he is four months of age. At the same time, work on teaching him "Leave It" from the "Leave It" method in that same article, and at four months of age start telling him to "Leave It" whenever he tries to bite you, even while playing. If he disobeys your command at that age, then use the "Pressure" method from that article to gently discipline him for his disobedient biting. Doing all of this will not only help him stop biting as he grows older, it will also teach him how to be gentler and be able to control his mouth while he is still a puppy. How much damage a dog does when he bites depends a lot on how well he learns to control the pressure of his mouth as a young puppy. Playful biting before four months of age can actually help a puppy learn this important skill and make him safer as an adult. The important thing is to work on stopping the biting by four to five months of age entirely, because puppies jaws get stronger then. The most important thing you can do for a German shepherd to prevent aggression is to introduce him to as many people and other puppies as possible and give him treats whenever he meets a new person. You want to introduce him to at least one-hundred different people before six months of age. The more the better and make each introduction fun with treats without scaring him. Include elderly people, kids, men, and people who look different than you do. This will help him learn to like people and be less suspicious of strangers as an adult, which is preventing a common cause for many German Shepherd's aggressive attacks. Because he is not fully vaccinated, when you take him places to meet people, carry him so that he does not touch the ground. The ground is where he can pick up common puppy diseases, like Parvo. If you have to put him down for him to go potty find a place where no other dogs have likely been and put him down just long enough for him to pee or poop, then pick him up again unless you are at home. This goes for your neighborhood too, unless it is your backyard. Once he has had his third round of shots and your vet has given his approval, then he can walk places. When you go to the puppy play groups, ask if all the puppies are required to be up-to-date on shots and if the floor is cleaned beforehand with a cleaner that kills Parvo. Most good puppy groups require both of those things, to keep your young puppy safe. When you bring him into the building, carry him and do not put him down until you are in the training area with just the other puppies and the cleaned floor. This will help him stay safe from disease while still letting him get the socialization and gentle biting practice he needs. Check out Ian Dunbar and DogstarDaily online for free puppy socialization E-books you can download and other useful information. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Juno's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Duke
German Shepherd
10 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Duke
German Shepherd
10 Weeks

Duke is 10 weeks old. Initially he was biting but in a playful way. My partner and I just put it down to teething and puppy excitement. However the behaviour has changed in that he now keeps on biting and growls at the same time. We have tried ignoring this behaviour, saying ouch, telling him off or giving him a short time out. Nothing seems to be working to stop him from doing it he is a good dog in many ways but we are worried that if we do not fix this problem now it will develop into something more serious later on.
Would appreciate any help possible.
Toni

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Toni, When puppies play with each other they often growl and get rough. He is likely treating you like an another puppy - which is normal if that's the case but still not something you want since puppy teeth are sharp! Check out the article that I have linked below. Work on teaching him the "Leave It" method. Once he understands what "Leave It" means, you can use the "Pressure" method from that article to gently discipline the biting, but he needs to understand what "Leave It" means first, so that he will not simply respond defensively and get rougher thinking you are playing. Focus on "Leave It" the most because as an intelligent breed, challenging his brain is more likely to be effective, and "Leave It" will help him learn self-control - which is a skill that puppies have to practice. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Also, puppy mouthing takes a long time to change. Don't expect it to end overnight. It should gradually get better as you are consistent and he grows out of the teething and jaw development phases though. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Duke's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Bubu
German Shepherd
2 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Bubu
German Shepherd
2 Months

My dog is now 2 months old. we are giving her some basic training like sit, down, jump and come. she is doing well with it. her only biggest problem is, she just bites a lot. Her biting is increasing day by day. we bought many toys and shift her mind onto that. it seems like nothing is working on her. She gets really hard on our skin. Whenever we say NOH! with a firm voice, she does that even more. She argues with us a lot when we say not to do certain things. She intentionally jumps on us to bite. We have tried the spray method, shocking method, punishment method, and everything to calm her down when she bites on us..everything is just getting useless. We make sure that after every meal she should be doing her poop at one place. But sometimes she just pooped in the room. Her aggression is increasing day by day. We have no clue how to control her temperament. Please help!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Somasree, First, what you are dealing with probably isn't truly aggression - so the advice on this article doesn't apply to you because of her age. It's for older dogs. What you have going on is called mouthing, and it is part of a developmental period where puppies use their mouths to communicate with others, learn about the world around them, practice so they can learn how to control pressure, and develop impulse control and social skills. It is 100% normal and some puppies will do it more than others. Check out the article I have linked below on mouthing. Follow the Bite Inhibition method to help her learn how to control the pressure of her bite. While using that method also start teaching the Leave It method - because that is what will ultimately help it stop completely, but that takes time to teach, so use the Bite Inhibition method while she is learning Leave It also. Once you have taught leave it and she understands what leave it means and can obey the command, then use the Pressure method as a gentle discipline for disobeying leave and continuing to bite. The order of what you teach is important. German Shepherd often have a strong defense drive - so when you get rough with her in response to her biting she probably either things you are playing rough with her or she is acting defensively and "pushing back" instead of submitting - this is normal for her but means that you need to approach the training a little differently. To help with the biting you need training that builds her self-control, is calm, and teaches her mind (not just adding a lot of physical pressure) so that you get less push back from her because of her defense drive. That's why Leave It done calmly is such an important command for her. Keep things as calm as possible while teaching and disciplining. A lot of excitement, anger, and noise will make this harder for you both not easier. Lessons and discipline need to be business-like and firm but super patient and calm too. Also, puppies tend to get really riled up when they are over-tired. Crate Train her and put her in a crate or exercise pen with a food-stuffed hollow chew toy like a kong when she is in an especially crazy mood and struggling to settle down. She probably needs to rest during that time - sort of like an over-tired toddler throwing a tantrum. If she is a really driven dog, then start teaching her a structured heel and a consistent Place command early too to help her learn focus on you, respect, trust, and impulse control early. Be patient- she is little so it will take her longer to learn. Stay consistent and she should get there with practice and time. Finally, enroll her in a puppy kindergarten class or puppy play group class. Look for one that has time for puppy off-leash play with other puppies opposed to adult dogs. Playing with puppies is a safe way for dogs to learn social skills and how to control the pressure of their mouths through play and feedback from other puppies during the play. Look for a class where the play is moderated - puppies given breaks when they start to get too rough, bullying, or feeling overwhelmed, until they calm down, then can be allowed to play again - this keeps play fun for everyone and prevents fear and bad behaviors like bullying being learned. For the pottying, use crate training to limit freedom when you cannot supervise during times when her bladder or bowels are not empty from pottying outside already. Most puppies need to poop 15-45 minutes after eating, after running a lot, and sometimes after waking up, with after eating being the most common time - clip puppy to yourself with a 6 or 8 foot leash during those times if she won't go potty outside yet but you know it's coming. You can also put her into the crate for a bit, then take her outside again in a bit because most puppies have a natural desire to hold it in a confined space. Make sure there is nothing absorbent in the crate and the crate is the right size - you can use a wire crate divider to make larger wire crates small enough...Crates should be big enough for her to turn around, lie down, and stand up, but not so big pups can potty in one end and stand in the opposite end to avoid it - too big doesn't encourage the natural desire to hold pee and poop in a confined space. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Bubu's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Sky
German Shepherd
2 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Sky
German Shepherd
2 Months

She’s become very aggressive during play time she bites at our hands continuously and growls at times all while wagging her tail .. we don’t know if she’s playing or doesn’t want to be touched please help

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jessica, At this age it is most likely play, but could lead to issues later if not addressed. Check out the article linked below. Follow the Bite Inhibition method starting today, but also begin teaching the Leave It command so that pup learns that command well, and that can ultimately be used to stop the biting completely before 4-5 months of age when jaws get stronger. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Also, work on getting pup used to touch and handling to prevent later issues. Use pup's daily meal kibble for this. Gently touch an area of their body and give a piece of kibble for each touch - measure the meal into a baggie and feed without the food bowl at that meal, don't just reach into pup's bowl while they are eating! Gently touch pup's ear and give a treat. Touch a paw and give a treat. Touch tail, other paws one at a time, belly, collar region, shoulder, back, gently open muzzle, look in ears, look in ears, gently lift pup a couple of inches off the ground. After each touch immediately give a treat as a reward for tolerating the touches. You can also feed the teach with your other hand at the same time you touch pup if pup gets mouthy while practicing this. These touches should be brief at first. Practice this with meal kibble as many days of the week as you can right now. Practice several times a week for the first 4-6 months of pup's life, but continue to do this into adulthood at least occasionally after to maintain tolerance. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Sky's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Jyn
German Shepherd
9 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Jyn
German Shepherd
9 Weeks

I got Jyn about two weeks ago and she has done great with her basic commands like sit, stay, lay down, etc and has also done really well with telling us when she needs to go out and go to the bathroom. However she does not listen when it comes to nipping, snapping, and biting. Nobody in our house can walk by her without her wanting to snap at our feet. The minute we sit down or lay on the couch she immediately wants to bite our hands and sometimes lunges at our faces. I have tried redirecting her to her toys, timeout, walking away and I don’t know what more to do. I need help!

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Super cute! It sounds as though you are doing everything right. Good for you for starting the commands early. Keep it up. Practice and practice 10-15 minutes a day and have every family member participate so that she gets used to listening to everyone. To work on Jyn's listening skills: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you. For the biting, read this entire guide through and start right away: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-puppy-to-not-bite. If you cannot calm Jyn and break this habit within a few weeks at most, call in a professional trainer to come to the home. Before you know it, Jyn will be big and hard to handle if you do not deal with the problem now. All the best!

Add a comment to Jyn's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Skye
German Shepherd
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Skye
German Shepherd
2 Years

she has attacked and hurt my 6 year old small terrier twice. The first fight was over food the second happend after she was arroused by another dog walking by outside. normally they sleep next to each other and sometimes even eat out of same bowl! I dont get it but im expecting a newborn in march and im afraid of what may happen we have physically had to separate the two dogs twice. I told my husband it is either shock collar or dog goes. can you recommend or give advice on beneficial collar training ? i dont want to hurt her but i dont want her to keep hurting my little dog now she is even scared to be by skye and i keep her next to me all day but with baby coming that wont be so easy and what if i cant stop it? thank you sincerely mom taylor

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Krischelle, First, it sounds like Skye has major resource guarding issues, issues with impulse control, and tends to redirect aggression onto others. My main concern is that dogs tend to treat babies and toddlers more like other dogs than like people. Many dogs view small children more like they would another dog, and issues that they would not normally due toward a person, but would do toward a dog, might come up with kids. You need to be very aware that Skye could redirect her aggression toward a young child if she became aggressive because of another dog and the child was next to her. She also seems to lack impulse control and may not give a lot of warnings before an attack. I don't want to scare you anymore than you already are, but I want to let you know so that you can be aware. With that said, I suggest hiring a trainer to help you in person. Check out Saun O'Shea from The Good Dog Training. He has a YouTube Channel where he has instructional videos on working through things like resource guarding and dog-aggression. I recommend learning what you can by watching those videos but also hiring a trainer who is very experienced, to help you implement things safely. I also highly suggest getting Skye used to wearing a soft silicon basket muzzle. Done correctly, many dogs do not mind wearing them. The silicone ones are more comfortable and the basket shape will let her open her mouth inside the muzzle still. To get her used to wearing the muzzle, feed her a treat or piece of dog food every time that she touches the muzzle or sniffs it (feed her from a bag of food you have and not a dish on the floor). When she is comfortable with that, feed her treats for touching the muzzle more, then for putting her face into the muzzle partially, then for putting her face into the muzzle all the way. Work on each step until she is comfortable touching the muzzle to that extent before you move onto the next part. Practice all of this until she will keep her face in the muzzle while you feed her treats through the muzzle's holes. When you can do that and she is relaxed, then you can buckle the muzzle and feed her treats through the holes occasionally, before taking it off again. Gradually increase how long you keep the muzzle on her and decrease how often you give her a treat through the muzzle as she improves. Practice this until she can wear the muzzle for longer periods of time and seems relaxed about it. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Skye's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Brady
German Shepherd
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Brady
German Shepherd
2 Years

We got brady at 8 months old and are his third and final home. He had little training then and we’ve gone through extensive training with obedience and even CGC with him. Recently hes started to randomly growl at a few people. At first we thought it was a noise sensitivity but that proved indifferent due to a random even he tried to bite a friend. And this morning he randomly froze and growled at me and I told him no and was verbally correcting him and he then went to lung and I put him on the ground on his side until he calmed down. We also have another shepherd that’s younger. They wrestle and occasionally brady will mount him and lay on him and such. Brady refuses to sleep in bed with us especially if I’m in the bed anymore. (He used to when we first got him). He goes and sleeps on the couch in the same spot on thesame couch. We do however only let him in and out of doors after us. And make him get down off the couch when we say not when he feels like. Also we are able to take food or bones from him if we choose so we don’t think resources are the issue.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Tyler, You need to hire a professional trainer who can work directly with you immediately. Look for a trainer who specializes in aggression or has extensive experience dealing with aggression. This issue is probably not just fear-aggression too, and many trainers only know how to address that, so look for someone who has dealt with other types of aggression too. Brady probably needs a lot more structure, boundaries, and rules in his life to keep his attitude in check. If he was re-homed in the past because of these types of issues and does not have a history of abuse, then he simply might be a dog that needs strong leadership, a lot of obedience management, and a lot of structure. Look up Saun O'Shea from the Good Dog or Jeff Gellman. Saun is a bit more personable so I recommend looking into his style of training first. You might need a trainer who approaches things similar to that, combining a lot of structure, boundaries, fair corrections, and positive reinforcement into their training, to teach new commands, manage aggression, interrupt existing behaviors, and get to root causes also. https://thegooddog.net/ Saun and Jeff also have YouTube channels https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3ElhSrziUvg4FOY4xKou5w I suggest getting Brady used to wearing a soft silicon basket muzzle for right now. If introduced correctly the muzzle shouldn't cause him any distress but will keep you safe while you learn how to work with him, and will prevent him from successfully using aggression to get his way - which makes aggression worse the more he gets his way by resorting to it. Use a soft silicone basket muzzle - they are more comfortable and your dog will be able to open his mouth while wearing it. Pair the muzzle with treats. Every time that he touches the muzzle give him a piece of dog food. When he is used to that give him a piece of food whenever he lets you hold it briefly against his face. Practice gradually putting it on him more and more until he will keep his face in it while you feed him treats through the muzzle's holes. When he is completely comfortable, then you can buckle it and occasionally feed him treats through the muzzle's holes, until he can wear it for longer periods of time and stay relaxed about it. You can do this with his entire meal kibble. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Brady's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Luka
German Shepherd
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Luka
German Shepherd
1 Year

I need help teaching my dog how to be less aggressive. He has been socialized with several dogs and people from the first day I got him, he has always been friendly with strange people and dogs. I have 3 other dogs at home and 3 cats, he has always gotten along with all of them. Here recently in the past few months he has been randomly aggressive towards one of the other dogs, some times he is best friends with him and then other times he will attack him and pin him down. He also has started chasing the cats, he has never hurt any of them but it is very scary to see sometimes. I wanted to know how I can stop this behavior.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Heather, The aggression might be because of his age. Between one and two years old many dogs start displaying more dominant, fearful, possessive, or other temperamental behavior issues. It sounds like the dogs are probably competing. Luka used to be alright with being less dominant when he was younger but may be challenging your other dog now, especially if your other dog is a dominant personality or another male. There could be something else going on as well, like food aggression or possessiveness, but I would need more information to assess that. The dogs all need a lot of structure at home. Make all the dogs, but especially the two that fight, work for everything they get for a while. That means that Luka needs to do a command before he is petted, fed, walked, given a toy, or given a treat. Also, create rules for all of the dogs and be the one to enforce the rules so that the dogs won't have to for each other. Some good rules to have include: No dog is allowed to beg for food. No dog is allowed to be pushy for attention. No dog is allowed to bother another dog's food or stare at them while they eat. No dog is allowed to pester another dog when they want to be left alone. No dog is allowed to guard anything or keep another dog from getting to an area. No dog is allowed to display aggression or dominating behaviors, including staring, lip lifting, posturing, humping, climbing on top of, or anything else. No dog is allowed to steal another dog's toy. No dog is allowed to decide what another dog is or is not allowed to do or go - that is your job. If a dog breaks a rule, you enforce the consequence not the other dog. For example, if another dog steals a toy, take the toy from the thief, give it back to the dog who had it first, and make the thief leave the room. If a dog is being pushy, that dog leaves the room. If a dog is staring at another dog while they eat, the dog staring leaves the room. If a dog is guarding a piece of furniture, they have to get off and are not allowed on that piece of furniture anymore right now. You can also work on building the dog's respect for you in other ways too. If the dogs view you as in charge and as the moderator between them, there is less to compete for. Check out the article that I have linked below for other suggestions for how to build respect. Check out the obedience method specifically. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you It wouldn't hurt to hire a trainer also, to assess if there is something else going on that is starting the fights that also needs to be dealt with. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Luka's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Bandit
Austrian German Shepard
5 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Bandit
Austrian German Shepard
5 Months

I took bandit to the lake and he loved it. We went for a walk down this hiking trail and he did great. Then we got to the inlet and he started showing signs of aggression. So we walked back. From that point on he was aggressive to everyone. How can I teach him that behaviour at places like that is not ok, but still have him do that at home or when its necessary.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Amanda, Your focus needs to be on socializing him really well, getting him used to things he is scared of/suspicious of, not tolerating displays of aggression and teaching him to respond to you and let you handle situations instead. Don't focus on him being becoming too friendly and not protective if you do those things. A protection trained dog needs to be really well socialized so that they actually know what is and isn't normal. A protection dog that's used in that line of work (like police dogs) has a balanced temperament and is neither aggressive nor fearful, but is responding to a high level of training and instruction, an understanding of what is suspicious behavior (different than what they know is supposed to be normal from having been around normal things), has the temperament to be bold and confident when the need arises, and has a high level of respect for their handler. What you are likely dealing with isn't healthy protectiveness but a lack of socialization, fearfulness, and possible resource guarding of you. All of those things make dogs terrible protection dogs, so focus on eliminating the aggression and fear and not training to retain some of it - it it's naturally there you won't eliminate the good parts by doing so. Once pup is older you can teach pup to notice strange things and alert, bark in certain situations, and if he has the temperament for it (which is primarily genetic) to act appropriately during an attack by doing bite work and holds. For any bite training definitely 100%! hire professional help. You can create a dog who has to later be euthanized if protection training is done poorly - any trainer who creates fear in a dog and bullies a dog into learning to attack is a trainer you don't want to work with. Police dog trainers use the dog's natural instincts, called defense drive, and desire to tug as a reward for controlled bites and holds - not fear. Police dogs do not feel overly suspicious, aggressive, or fearful toward people in general - they are actually very confident around most people. They learn to act in very specific situations and have the genetics to not back down from a fight and to fight harder when pressure is applied. If you don't see improvement doing the socializing and desensitizing training with puppy on your own, then do not wait to hire help. 5 months is early for aggression to appear and aggression is much easier to work with if you address it during the puppy stage while pup can still be socialized and respond better developmentally. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Bandit's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Clover
German Shepherd
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Clover
German Shepherd
1 Year

Hello! my dog is a Working line black GSD 14 months old. He is trained by a professional trainer for obedience and Personal protection. The training was to attack a stranger coming inside our house. Recently, he bit a delivery guy that we had to bring him to the bite center. My dog was in his cage then when my wife went just outside the gate, she did not notice that Clover open the cage and run fast towards them and bite him right away. Also the other day, he charged at someone on a motorcycle and a kid that would like to come near my daughter. He is being over protective. Can we still correct this?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Ralph, Unfortunately, I cannot tell you without being your trainer, who knows your dog, knows the level of damage done during the bites, his body language around others, ect...You need a trainer who specializes in aggression to help you in person and the training needs to be done very carefully, probably with a muzzle the first time the trainer comes. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Clover's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Bella
German Shepherd
11 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Bella
German Shepherd
11 Months

Bella is a great dog and so loving and friendly with my brother (her dad), my sister and myself but she absolutely cannot stand my mom coming into my room. She’ll bark aggressively towards her if she’s even close to the door. However, she’s fine with my mom when she’s in her own room. She’ll go snuggle up with her and all. Bella also barks at strangers when I take her for walks. She’s so stubborn when it comes to following orders, I have to “scream” at her and then she’ll do what I ask. Also, since my sister moved away, Bella spends one week with her and one week with me. When my sister leaves, she gets extremely sad, and I don’t know how to cheer her up. I guess my question is, how do I stop her aggressive barking and get her to stop being so stubborn.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Maria, It sounds like Bella lacks respect for your mom and is being possessive of you or the space. She also probably lacks respect and trust for you or simply had not been taught enough commands to understand what you expect of her. I suggest hiring a trainer who can work on boundaries, structure, and building her respect and trust for you and your mom through training and obedience practice. This is not something I suggest doing on your own since the aggression is also happening with family members. Check out Jeff Gellmand from SolidK9Training's videos for more information about implementing boundaries and structure into the routine. Again, hire a trainer to help you implement it and work with her because this is a potentially serious issue and the training should be done carefully. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Bella's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Deuce
German Shepherd
5 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Deuce
German Shepherd
5 Years

My dog Deuce is now all of a sudden getting extremely aggressive towards my husband and has bit him twice already. This just started about a month ago. I don't know what to do.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Brandi, You need professional help right away. Contact a dog trainer that is very experienced with aggression to help you. Without more information and being there in person I am not much help in your situation. You need to be working with a trainer to evaluate your dog. Until you get help Deuce needs to be wearing a basket muzzle when around your husband for his safety. You can introduce the muzzle by pairing it with treats to make it pleasant. Be careful and slow about introducing it. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Deuce's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Duke
German Shepherd
8 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Duke
German Shepherd
8 Months

We have a hard time with duke being aggressive when someone is in the yard with him he also jump on u bite hands arms and feet very hard , we also have a very hard time introducing him to the kids in the house because he is very hyper and still bites alot what should we do?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Skyla, At this age how to handle this depends partially on why is he biting. Is the biting due to excitement around new people and a rough-housing type scenario, where he is just too rough and excited, or is he acting protective, dominant, suspicious, or territorial toward people? If the biting is simply rude, overly rambunctious biting meant to be playful (even though it is not fun for you), then check out the video below on building respect and correcting rudeness toward people. Only utilize this protocol if his motive is not truly aggressive but simply too excited and rough. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcwvUOf5oOg If the aggression is true aggression and he is displaying dominant, territorial, possessive, or protective tendencies, then I highly suggest hiring a professional trainer who works with a number of other trainers, specializes in aggression or is at least very experienced in it, and uses both positive reinforcement and fair corrections combined with a lot of structure and boundaries to build respect by challenging a dog's thought processes, opposed to just over-powering them physically (no alpha rolls - training and firm consistency instead, with tools used correctly). Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Duke's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Shopie
German Shepherd
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Shopie
German Shepherd
2 Years

We adopted her we think she was not loved very much she got very attached to my son and now he is stuck to him like glue and now will growl at anyone that goes near him

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Denise, It sounds like pup is resource guarding your son - which actually means that she believes she owns him and is a respect issue. I highly suggest hiring a professional trainer who specializes in aggression to help you. Pup's trust and respect for your son and the rest of the family members needs to be calmly build through structured obedience, having pup work for everything she gets in life by doing calm commands first, teaching directional commands like Out - leave the area, Leave It, Place, Down, and Off, crate training, working on a long Place command, and rewarding tolerant behavior. This all needs to be done very carefully under the supervision of a qualified trainer to keep everyone involved safe. The trainer should be someone who is calm, knows how to use fair corrections, set boundaries, and train in a way you feel confident about, but also uses positive reinforcement, gains pup's respect through proactive training of their mind and boundaries, and not just a lot of force - which can lead to fear aggression when done wrong, and rewards the behaviors and mindset you want pup to learn when you get to that point. To begin, pup needs to be desensitized to wearing a basket muzzle and be wearing a basket muzzle when not crated while you are home. Have the trainer work with you on this part too. Muzzle introduction video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJTucFnmAbw&list=PLXtcKXk-QWojGYcl1NCg5UA5geEnmpx4a&index=6&t=0s Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Shopie's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Joker
German Shepherd
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Joker
German Shepherd
1 Year

I’m questioning how to break our shepherd from showing aggression towards us. The last 2 months have been terrible. He doesn’t bite but he definitely shows his teeth and gets very close then after we say NO, he tries to get us to play with him... If he’s laying down and you even brush up against him, he growls and shows teeth... Again, he’s a big baby but at times he just downs want to be touched... Even rubbing his belly gets his teeth showing and the growl going. I’m at wits end with it and have even contemplated giving him to someone else because we have a 10 year old.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jessica, I highly suggest hiring a professional trainer who is very experienced with aggression to come to your home and work with you on this. In the meantime, get him used to wearing a basket muzzle and have him wear that during the day. To introduce the muzzle, first place it on the ground and sprinkle his meal kibble around it. Do this until he is comfortable eating around it. Next, when he is comfortable with it being on the floor with food, hold it up and reward him with a piece of kibble every time he touches or sniffs it in your hand. Feed him his whole meal this way. Practice this until he is comfortable touching it. Next, hold a treat inside of it through the muzzle's holes, so that he has to poke his face into it to get the treat. As he gets comfortable doing that, gradually hold the treat further down into the muzzle, so that he has to poke his face all the way into the muzzle to get the treat. Practice until he is comfortable having his face in it. Next, feed several treats in a row through the muzzle's holes while he holds his face in the muzzle for longer. Practice this until he can hold his face in it for at least ten seconds while being fed treats. Next, when he can hold his face in the muzzle for ten seconds while remaining calm, while his face is in the muzzle move the muzzle's buckles together briefly, then feed him a treat through the muzzle. Practice this until he is not bothered by the buckles moving back and forth. Next, while he is wearing the muzzle buckle it and unbuckle it briefly, then feed a treat. As he gets comfortable with this step, gradually keep the muzzle buckled for longer and longer while feeding treats through the muzzle occasionally. Next, gradually increase how long he wears the muzzle for and decrease how often you give him a treat, until he can calmly wear the muzzle for at least an hour without receiving treats more than two treats during that hour. Check out Jeff Gellman from solidk9training. He is an aggression expert located in Rhode Island who has numerous free resources, like Youtube videos. He also offers paid Skype consultations. He is a good place to learn more, but I highly suggest not working on this on your own, but hiring someone to help you implement the training because you need someone to be able to respond in real time to your dog to demonstrate the training and tailor it to you, based on how your dog is responding. Sean O'Shea from the Good Dog is also a good YouTube resource to learn more about aggression and structure. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Joker's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Molly
shepherd/ lab mix
3 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Molly
shepherd/ lab mix
3 Years

It seems that Molly is protective to the point that she will bark, lunge, be scary, and overall aggressive. This happens on occasion.

Also, she was apparently assaulted by a group of young kids, when she about a year old. Now, she growls when little kids want to approach her.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Samuel, First, I suggest working on building her respect and trust in you, her impulse control, and her calmness. Work on the commands below to help with those things and lay a good foundation. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo Second, check out his article: https://www.solidk9training.com/sk9-blog/2016/09/08/the-ten-commandments-of-dog-training-and-ownership-do-2 Third, look for a good trainer in your area who is very experienced with aggression, high drive breeds, fear aggression, and protectiveness, who can help you with some of the protocols linked below. Kid aggression - notice the safety measures like the crate or back tie leash and tape line they stand behind to keep kids safe: https://youtu.be/9n0_27XY3z4 Aggression protocol: https://youtu.be/mgmRRYK1Z6A Resource guarding people q&a: https://youtu.be/tm-bdjDdZqc Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Molly's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Smokey
German Shepherd
10 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Smokey
German Shepherd
10 Months

Hello,
My name is Karla and I had my German Shepherd since he was 2 month old. He has been a great dog since a puppy, pretty smart. However, lately he has being more protective and agresiva toward dog. Two days ago he bit a dog so I decide to bought a shock collar to help improve his behavior. Today he also bit a person and I decide to buy a muzzle to used on his walks. I wonder if I am using to much equipment? Should I just use one so I don’t stress my dog out ? Also I wonder what could be the reason of this problem and what else can I do to fix the problem? I feel that he is getting worse every time, first with the dog and now with the person.
Thanks !

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Karla, A muzzle and a shock collar can be effective tools for dealing with aggression but they can also make it worse if you do not know how to introduce them and use the properly (specifically the shock collar). A shock collar is a powerful tool and it is likely not the collar that is the issue but the need for a lot of training and behavior modification that simply uses the collar as a way to increase consistency from a distance - not simply punish the dog for displaying aggression without also giving rewards for good behavior, making things they don't like pleasant when they are calm, teaching structure and boundaries to build respect. I highly suggest hiring a trainer who can teach you how to use these tools and other tools, like rewards, properly and at the right time. Look for someone who is very experienced with aggression, remote collar training (if they deem necessary), implementing structure and boundaries to build his respect for you and give you ways to manage his behavior better, and who uses positive reinforcement to help him associate his calm behavior and being around other people and dogs and responding well to them - with good things. Check out Jeff Gellman from SolidK9Training for some examples of how to combine these things. I suggest not just watching one of his videos but watching several on the topic of aggression and seeing how he combines obedience, rewards, corrections, calmness, and calm exercises around people and other dogs to help dogs with aggression or fear issues. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8juiJ-Hq8dI Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Smokey's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Theo
German Australian Shepherd
3 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Theo
German Australian Shepherd
3 Years

Hi there! My dog Theo has become more and more aggressive over the past year. During his first two years we used to take him to the dog park with no issues, but over the course of the past year his behavior has gotten worse and aggressive towards other animals. He has also become more ball oriented and protective over it, but when another dog is around we take it away so that it doesn't start a fight. However, Theo has begun to start chasing after other dogs in the dog park and intentionally nipping them in the hind area or knocking them over by running into their side. We have trained him very well and he is very obedient on our walks and runs, but suddenly becomes dis-obedient at the park. We stopped taking him because he was becoming too aggressive and causing too many issues at the park and just increased his length in walks and runs. Recently we started taking him back when there aren't so many dogs around but his behavior has only gotten worse... any advice on how to train him to be less aggressive towards other animals at the park? Thank you!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Shelby, Theo is likely a dog who simply shouldn't be at the dog park. You can do things to improve his behavior around other dogs in general, but the atmosphere of a dog park gives you little control to work on his behavior, encourages over-arousal, and gives him a chance to practice bullying, controlling, and generally being aggressive toward other dogs, which makes his aggression worse and can start fear-aggression for other dogs who were previously fine. I recommend no longer going to the dog park with him period due to his struggles and personality. To help his attitude around other dogs, in addition to removing unstructured time around other dogs, where he has the chance to get worse, add in structured, calming activities around other dogs. A structured heeling walk, such as a dog walking or hiking group, where he is expected to stay focused on you and heel the entire time right now. A structured obedience class or group of owners who practice obedience together - especially heeling, long Down-Stays, Place command, and other things that encourage focus, self-control, calmness, and respect. You want to encourage a calm and respectful attitude around other dogs, not over-arousal and competitiveness. You want to work him mentally so that he really has to focus and stay tuned into you, instead of worrying about what the other dogs are doing. A hike heeling during it, with other dogs doing the same thing and added appropriate weights in a dog pack would probably be a great activity for him as long as he didn't over do it physically in the heat. If you can find a G.R.O.W.L. class in your area that would also be a good activity for him. A G.R.O.W.L. class is a structured socialization class for dogs with dog reactivity or aggression. All of the dogs wear comfortable basket muzzles during the class to keep everyone safe and allow the training to go faster. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Theo's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Mac
German Shepherd
17 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Mac
German Shepherd
17 Months

My son works out of state and is only home 6 out of 21 days, Mac is his dog. His wife is staying with us as they are transiting to our area and building a home. Mac is a good, sweet boy but is aggressive toward our 3 year old twin grand kids who recently visited from out of town. He bit our grandson without being provoked-he was only walking from car to house. Six months ago when they last visited Mac barked, growled and nipped at both kids while they played and screamed so this time we kept him on a run in another area of the yard when the kids were outside. Mac tends to be more aggressive toward my grandson for some reason. My son and D-I-L are expecting a new baby boy this week and are moving to their new home soon. My concern is that Mac will try to bite their new baby when he cries. My son, who was not here during the twins visit is in denial that Mac has a problem that should be handled now. Is this something I should be concerned about? Mac is an outside dog at our house but will again be an inside dog when they move. I would hate to see something happen to their new baby or his cousins, who will visit at Mac's new home, before they try to get this under control. I have suggested obedience school without success. Am i worrying too much?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Cindi, This is something that definitely needs to be addressed. Because the baby will be a member of their family there is a decent chance that Mac will be more tolerant of the baby than other kids if the aggression is due to protectiveness - the chance may be 50% so no guarantee. When the baby becomes a toddler the risk increases because toddlers often lack proper spacial awareness and respect towards dogs and are more likely to do something that aggravates the dog - I would be most concerned when the baby becomes mobile. Because the dog is not your own you ultimately cannot be the one to do what's needed - they will need to recognize the problem and seek help, hopefully your daughter-in-law can voice her concerns to her husband and he will listen to her if she sees a problem - she may not admit the problem to you in trying to support her husband but that doesn't necessarily mean that she doesn't see it and won't say something to him. I would strongly push for the dog to be put away whenever cousins or other kids visit, which will be up to those children's parents to insist on that and not let kids go over if the dog is not put away - if the dog does fine with the new baby his aggression toward other kids is actually likely to get worse because he may bite trying to keep other kids away from your son's child also. Many German Shepherds who are fine with family still struggle with neighbor and visiting kids when they have their own kids because they believe that the other kids are a danger to their family's child when the kids do normal kid things like run and scream, play games and wrestle. Any time a dog bites something needs to be addressed and there is an issue. The severity of the bite (drawing blood, puncture marks) effects how dangerous the dog is. A dog with a gentle mouth who doesn't leave marks still has a behavior issue that needs to be addressed but is less dangerous than a dog with the same behavior issue who bites repeatedly or draws blood. If the dog had bitten someone besides family who wanted something done about it the dog could have been taken away and put down and the owner sued - that is serious and your son should know this. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Mac's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Rugar
German Shepherd
8 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Rugar
German Shepherd
8 Months

Rugar becomes aggressive and attacks other dogs when I'm walking him, and tries to get out of the car to attack other dogs. He's broken through screen doors and has chased down and attacked other dogs that we're leashed and walking with their owners. He also tries to go after children/people on bikes, rollerblades, skateboards, joggers. I purchased him from a party that kept him in a kennel because he chased their free-roaming chickens. When I walk him and no-one else is around, he walks by my side and listens quite well, but when he sees another dog, he turns into a different dog. A week ago, he aggressively broke off his tie out and attacked a dog that was on a leash and walking with its owner. Even though the other dog didn't fight back, Rugar aggressively bit the other dog several times. It took three adults to pull him off the other dog. I feel his aggression is from not being socialized as a puppy. How do I safely and gently train him not to be aggressive?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello, It's 100% time to hire a professional trainer to help in person. I would not recommend doing this yourself due to the dangers to you, other dogs, and other people involved. You need someone who specializes in aggression and has the resources to manage the aggression safely. I would start by introducing pup to a basket muzzle, so that training can be done more carefully when you start with a trainer. Muzzle introduction video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJTucFnmAbw&list=PLXtcKXk-QWojGYcl1NCg5UA5geEnmpx4a&index=6&t=0s Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Rugar's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Zeus
German Shepherd
17 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Zeus
German Shepherd
17 Months

Has started growling at the other dogs in the house and the kids aggressively but has not bit anyone don’t want him to get to that point want to stop it now what should I do

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Karen, I highly suggest hiring a trainer to help you. He needs to be evaluated to see what's going on exactly, and aggression is best treated as soon as possible. 1-2 years is a common age for aggression and fear issues to show up because of mental and sexual maturity around then. Laying a foundation of respect, trust, and boundaries through boundaries, obedience, and consistency is the first step with aggression in general. The specifics of where to go from there depends on the type of aggression and why it's happening. To avoid you being bitten I would work with a trainer to implement the following: Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo Dog Training Do’s https://www.solidk9training.com/sk9-blog/2016/09/08/the-ten-commandments-of-dog-training-and-ownership-do-2 Check out Jeff Gellman from SolidK9Training on YouTube, he has hundreds of videos on aggression. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Zeus's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
buster
german shepard
10 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
buster
german shepard
10 Weeks

When we put him in crate he screams and growls we only put him in when we cant keep an eye on him or are leaving

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Lou, Check out the crate manners protocol from the video linked below. Practice this a whole lot! Not just when you need to crate him. https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ You can also practice the Surprise method from the article linked below at the same time you are practicing the Crate manners protocol above to help him overcome his fear of the crate too: Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate At ten weeks he really needs to be crated for safety reasons - this will get harder to teach not easier, so spend a lot of time helping him overcome this. Expect it to take him about two weeks to adjust - he may adjust sooner but two weeks is normal for some puppies. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to buster's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Nikita
German Shepherd
6 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Nikita
German Shepherd
6 Years

This is our 6 year old German Shepherd. She has lived with my husbands family all her life and we recently moved into a house where we could take her. She was not socialized at all as a puppy and was rarely introduced to anything new for the last 6 years of her life. I have been told she was a very anxious and shy puppy. She is very loving towards me and my husband but is extremely aggressive towards anyone else inside our house, on walks or anywhere else. The problem is that she is very unpredictable and sometimes she is fine and will look fine until she bites someone. She has bit 1 person since we have had her. We can’t take her anywhere at this point because she is so aggressive. Is there a way to help her? She has been trained and is very obedient she just is so scared, anxious and aggressive that it’s hard to have her anywhere near any other people. My husband loves the dog but I don’t feel comfortable taking her out anywhere at risk of her biting someone. Is it too late to help her? We have tried everything it feels like and it’s just unfortunate that she was raised the way she was.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Payton, With the right training help she could likely make enough improvement to be more manageable around people. It sounds like her issue is partially genetic, which cannot be changed - she will likely always be a bit timid and need extra help there, but by giving a lot of structure, helping her get used to being around people, and a whole lot of management, things probably could improve. It will honestly take a lot of work though and you will always probably be managing it on-going, but that management would probably look like walks being a structured heel, practicing Place while inside to build impulse control and calmness, keeping your energy when interacting with her calmer, and giving her a lot of direction in uncertain situations...Basically she may be a dog who really needs to be told how to feel and behave in a lot of situations, but if given that type of leadership long-term she could probably improve a lot. Check out trainers like: The Canine Educator: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0I6q2SHXFk https://www.americascanineeducator.com/ Sean O Shea from the Good Dog: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Jeff Gellman from SolidK9Training: https://www.youtube.com/solidk9training All of these trainers are slightly different than each other but what they have in common is that: they all specialize in behavior problems, are very calm while training, use a lot of structure and boundaries to deal with behavior problems, use both positive reinforcement and fair corrections, and have a ton of experience dealing with aggression, fear, and reactivity. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Nikita's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Beast
German Shepherd
7 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Beast
German Shepherd
7 Months

Sometimes he become very aggressive specially when he is going for a walk he starts jumping and biting the leash and hand also.. he doesn't listen commands as well.. he just do whatever he want and if someone try to control him he starts barking and biting.. now what can i do to control this behavior ? Is this behavior can automatically change after he become of 2 year or 1.5 year's dog.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Vinay, The behavior is normal for some puppies his age but it needs to be addressed. Without training it won't improve on its own. You need to work on increasing his respect and trust for you by training his mind - German Shepherds often need to respect their owners in order for them to work for them, and due to their breed many of them have a strong defense drive - which means when you apply physical pressure they fight back. Their minds need to be stimulated and trained, they need consistency, and a lot of structure to earn respect calmly. Check out the videos and articles linked below for some commands that help build respect calmly. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo Check out the video linked below also: https://youtu.be/EcwvUOf5oOg Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Beast's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Shadow
German Shepherd
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Shadow
German Shepherd
2 Years

My dog is never aggressive towards my family, but he is often protective of us around strangers. He barks and nips at new people, even after meeting them once before. He warms up to people eventually but it is a very scary process trying to get him to stop barking. He sniffs them and will even lick their hands but then goes back to barking and growling a few seconds later. I have tried everything I can think of and I want to 'fix' him before he actually bites someone and we need to have him put down.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kris, I suggest hiring a professional trainer who specializes in aggression and behavior problems, and has good referrals from previous clients - ask lots of questions to get an idea of experience. Check out the videos linked below for some examples of dealing with people related aggression - without working with him in person it is hard to say exactly what type of training he needs. There are several types of aggression. What appears to be protective can also be fear aggression, possessiveness (resource guarding) or part of a dog's defense drive, and although some of the training is the same for all the three, the details are different. Most dogs that are thought to be protective are actually insecure or possessive of their owners - which is a respect and trust issue and not based on the natural, balanced protective instinct related to their people being in danger. Whatever you do, be smart about how you train and use the correct tools to keep everyone safe, such as a back lie leash, muzzle, and use of distance. Jeff Gellman - solidK9Training - notice the back tie leash, tape on the ground to stand behind, rewards only while the dog is calm, and safe corrections at the right timing. https://youtu.be/mgmRRYK1Z6A Stranger protocol with back tie leashes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgmRRYK1Z6A&t=56s Overview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrtQJ2T6WT0&list=PLJ7o1pCCSIaFylmyF10lTwFUp_tvX4qpD&index=27&t=0s Kobe day 1 - resource guards owners: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tiHairtYUc Kobe protocol - resource guarder: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8juiJ-Hq8dI&t=414s More Kobe protocol touch - resource guarder: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-22Fkkzjc68 More Kobe rehab - human resource guarder: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sRSu3xFjUw Thomas - the Canine Educator upstate New York: Fear: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6n0Pfe_cBXg Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZQd0mWZe3g Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anpWFemEkuo Dominance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FswX6ChSbnk Sean O Shea - the Good Dog Training: Redirecting - Be aware that aggressive dogs can redirect - notice how the trainer gets through to the dog before the dog gets over aroused, as soon as he starts to loose focus on the trainer and stare at others. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfiDe0GNnLQ Place - good command to teach: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo&t=665s Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Shadow's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Muna
German Shepherd
4 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Muna
German Shepherd
4 Years

She has always liked her cage but for the past few days she has been giving me a very hard time getting her to go in it when I leave the house...do you have any suggestions why she would do that all of a sudden?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Courtney, I can't say for sure. Something scary like a loud noise may have happened recently while she was in the crate. This could be a respect issue - where she simply is testing boundaries. Either way I suggest going back to the basics for a few days with her. Check out the Surprise method from the article linked below and the Crate manners protocol. The Crate manners protocol will help with any respect issues and to increase calmness in the crate. The Surprise method -sprinkling treats around the crate, giving her a food-stuffed chew toy in the crate, should help with any potential fear related to the crate. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Crate Manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Muna's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
whisky
German Shepherd
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
whisky
German Shepherd
1 Year

Whisky is the most loving and vocal dog we have. he is always "talking" to us. His very playful and gives lots of kisses. He is also very obedient. He is very clear and understand everything you tells him. The only negative thing about him is that he is a bit obsessive protective towards some of family members. especially when it comes to my daughter's room. We can't enter when he is in her room or near her room. This also sometimes happens when I am in my room and his with me then he is very unhappy if they enter the room. He will get this look and then starts growling. He also get very vocal if my husband tries to kiss me or hug me. We tried punishing him for bad behaviour, but i have read that this is not the way to do it. We try to ignore his behaviour so that he sees that it doesn't affect us, but still he does it and it is starting to become a problem. He has been neutered with the hope this problem will become less. If he doesn't change I have no other option to let him go. I love him to bits, so please help me help him.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Marlize, Check out Jeff Gellman from SolidK9Training. He specializes in aggression. Look for advice from those who specialize in aggression and actually work with aggressive dogs every day for accurate advice on how to approach it. Look for a trainer in your area who specializes in aggression and behavior issues. You have a serious resource guarding/possessive issue - which is related to a lack of respect for your family. Corrections are needed here, but they also need to be combined with positive reinforcement, obedience and structure, and done very carefully to avoid making the aggression worse or being bitten. The right trainer can probably make a world of difference here. The average obedience class instructor who only teaches classes probably doesn't have the skills or experience needed to help though - obedience instructors are wonderful but you also need aggression experience and a one-on-one training program, not a class. Look for a balanced trainer who is calm, very experienced with aggression, comes well recommended by previous client's whose dogs struggled with aggression, has experience with resource guarding, and doesn't use things that like alpha rolls. A trainer should be able to explain why they train how they do and it should be logical and make sense to you. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to whisky's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Hutch
German Shepherd
3 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Hutch
German Shepherd
3 Years

Hutch is very sweet and playful. He’s never bitten, but tonight I think he would have if he’d gotten through the window screen. We had a friend over, a friend he’s met more than once. We went to the window, and she put her hand out for him to smell. He barked and tried to push through the screen. It frightened both of us. Once, he growled at another friend who walked between us. I believe he’s being protective, but I don’t want him to hurt anyone. He’s a big boy.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Stacy, You need to hire a professional trainer to work with him in person. Look for someone to specializes in behavior issues and has a lot of experience with a variety of types of aggression (ask questions and ask for client referrals or check reviews of those whose dogs struggled with aggression). I also suggest finding someone who has access to a training staff so that interactions with "strangers" can be practiced safely by those who are experienced. Check out Jeff Gellman from SolidK9training. He has dozens of videos on his YouTube channel. He specializes in aggression. Example: https://youtu.be/4tiHairtYUc https://youtu.be/4tiHairtYUc https://youtu.be/_sRSu3xFjUw https://youtu.be/Ilf3G76oncc Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Hutch's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Spencer
German Shepherd
14 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Spencer
German Shepherd
14 Months

He is mouthing too hard and he does it constantly

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Here is some information on nipping/biting. Nipping: Puppies may nip for a number of reasons. Nipping can be a means of energy release, getting attention, interacting and exploring their environment or it could be a habit that helps with teething. Whatever the cause, nipping can still be painful for the receiver, and it’s an action that pet parents want to curb. Some ways to stop biting before it becomes a real problem include: Using teething toys. Distracting with and redirecting your dog’s biting to safe and durable chew toys is one way to keep them from focusing their mouthy energies to an approved location and teach them what biting habits are acceptable. Making sure your dog is getting the proper amount of exercise. Exercise is huge. Different dogs have different exercise needs based on their breed and size, so check with your veterinarian to make sure that yours is getting the exercise they need. Dogs—and especially puppies—use their playtime to get out extra energy. With too much pent-up energy, your pup may resort to play biting. Having them expel their energy in positive ways - including both physical and mental exercise - will help mitigate extra nips. Being consistent. Training your dog takes patience, practice and consistency. With the right training techniques and commitment, your dog will learn what is preferred behavior. While sometimes it may be easier to let a little nipping activity go, be sure to remain consistent in your cues and redirection. That way, boundaries are clear to your dog. Using positive reinforcement. To establish preferred behaviors, use positive reinforcement when your dog exhibits the correct behavior. For instance, praise and treat your puppy when they listen to your cue to stop unwanted biting as well as when they choose an appropriate teething toy on their own. Saying “Ouch!” The next time your puppy becomes too exuberant and nips you, say “OUCH!” in a very shocked tone and immediately stop playing with them. Your puppy should learn - just as they did with their littermates - that their form of play has become unwanted. When they stop, ensure that you follow up with positive reinforcement by offering praise, treat and/or resuming play. Letting every interaction with your puppy be a learning opportunity. While there are moments of dedicated training time, every interaction with your dog can be used as a potential teaching moment.

Add a comment to Spencer's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Max
German Shepherd
9 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Max
German Shepherd
9 Months

The dog attacked my 10 year old son, biting him on the head drawing blood. The dog now growls at him and lunges at him. We are keeping the dog, Max in our basement for fear he may hurt our son again, and I believe he will. Is there any way to correct this behavior?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Gabriella, I highly suggest contacting Jeff Gellman from SolidK9Training.com This is a serious issue and without evaluating the dog and knowing a thorough history of the dog and more details of the situation I cannot safely answer your question. You need to hire a professional trainer who specializes in aggression to assist you immediately. I would not trust the dog anywhere near your family members until he is evaluated by a professional in person. Whether this is treatable depends on a lot of factors. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Max's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Bruno
German Shepherd
4 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Bruno
German Shepherd
4 Years

Hi,

We have a german shephard named "Bruno". He has been with us from when he was just a month old boy.
Usually he barks at everyone who passes by our home, at tenants who lives on the upstairs. We tried several ways to stop this behavior which is not a success so far.
Another issue is, he chases the dogs outside. When he goes for a walk and suddenly there is a dog which we don't see but he sees, he just runs towards the dog. Couple of times my father had fallen down. There is less reaction time to pull Bruno aside/ turn back. Chasing other dogs was there before also but it was controllable but from last few months it has become very difficult.

Can you please help me on this.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Arun, First, work on pup's overall impulse control, calmness and respect for you calmly. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Leave It: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Out - which means leave the room: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ For the dog aggression, you need to hire professional help from someone who specializes in behavior issues like aggression and leash reactivity to help you with this because there is a risk of a dog redirecting aggression to whoever is close-by while highly aroused, and thus a bite risk to you even though pup may not normally have any human aggression - that's always a risk with aggression while a dog is highly aroused. With a qualified trainer's help, first work on teaching pup a structured heel. This can be started in your own backyard or quiet culdesac without other dogs around. Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo When you begin your walk, work on pup's respect for you, following and calmness before you ever leave the front door. Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Once pup is outside, he should be behind you and not allowed to be scanning the horizon, tensing up, and moving ahead of you. Those things will get him more aroused and more likely to react. He needs to be in a following, relaxed state. This means his muzzle should be behind your leg during the walk - it might seem strict but dog's who struggle with leash reactivity have to have structured walks. Finally, he will need to be interrupted at the first signs of a bad reaction. That means as soon as he stiffens up, starts to try to pull ahead, stares intensely, growls, ect...Don't wait until he has a full explosion or it will be harder to regain his focus. Having a trainer's help will make this easier - if they have a well behaved dog you can set up training scenarios with so that you know the reaction is coming ahead of time and the trainer has the right tools on pup to ensure he can't pull away, and pup is in the correct heel position so you have better control. Practice at first from across the street or at least 100-300 feet away from the other dog. When he finally gets to the point (through probably a lot of repetition and practice for a while) where he can remain calm while walking by the other dog THEN you can reward focus on you, calmness, and tolerance to help desensitize him more to the other dogs emotionally. This second part is important for desensitizing and gaining lasting results but often the interruptions and structure are needed first. Again, hire someone qualified who can do this training with you to ensure it's all done effectively and safely - once pup is doing better, you can probably continue a lot of the training on your own to fully desensitize pup. Here are a few examples of interrupters and dog aggressive or dog reactive dogs being worked with. A good trainer can help you find what works best for you guys. Reactive dog - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XY8s_MlqDNE Aggressive dog - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfiDe0GNnLQ&t=4s https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZbdrQd--wo&t=316s If pup tends to redirect aggression toward people when aroused around dogs when he can't run off, you will need to initially practice the training with pup wearing a basket muzzle. Get pup used to wearing the muzzle ahead of time using his meal kibble and lots of rewards paired with him choosing to touch the muzzle, putting him face inside it, keeping his face there for gradually longer periods of time, and letting you buckle and unbuckle it. The muzzle desensitization should be something pup starts to like. Have pup gets used to wearing the muzzle before you ever start using it during walks so the he doesn't associate the muzzle with being around other dogs and get worked up too soon. To him the muzzle is just something he wears like his collar! For the barking, I suggest combining a few things in your case. You need a way to communicate with him so I suggest teaching the Quiet command from the Quiet method in the article I have linked below - don't expect this alone to work but it will be part of the puzzle for what I will suggest next. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Next, once pup understands what Quiet means you will choose an interrupter - which will be a form of punishment - neither too harsh nor ineffective. If he has ever shown any form of aggression toward you, you absolutely need to hire a trainer for this part of the training and the dog aggression also. An e-collar or Pet Convincer are two of the most effective types of interrupter for most dogs. A pet convincer is a small canister of pressurized, unscented air that you can spray a quick puff of at the dog's side to surprise them enough to help them calm back down. (Don't use citronella and avoid spraying in the face!). An e-collar, aka remote training collar, uses stimulation to interrupt the dog. Only use a high quality e-collar for this, such as E-collar technologies mini educator, Dogtra, SportDog, or Gamin. A good collar should have at least 40 levels, the more levels the more accurately you can train - finding the lowest level your dog will respond to, called a "Working level" so the training is less adverse. In situations where you know pup will bark or is already barking (catch them before they bark if you can), command "Quiet". If they obey, reward with a treat and very calm praise. If they bark anyway or continue to bark, say "Ah Ah" firmly but calmly and give a brief correction. Repeat the correction each time they bark until you get a brief pause in the barking. When they pause, praise and reward them. The combination of communication, correction, and rewarding - with the "Ah Ah" and praise to mark their good and bad behavior with the right timing, is very important. Most bark training only gives part of that equation. Fitting an e-collar - it should be put on while he is calm, just standing around - Ideally have him wear the collar around for a while before starting any training so he won't associate the training with the collar but just with his barking: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLxB6gYsliI Finding the level to use for him (sometimes you will have to go 1 or 2 levels higher during training while the dog is aroused but once he improves you can usually decrease back to his normal level again) - this training level is called a dog's "Working level": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cl3V8vYobM Once pup is calmer in general after the initial training, practice exposing him a lot to the things that trigger the barking normally (make a list - even if it's long). Whenever he DOESN'T bark around something that he normally would have, calmly praise and reward him to continue the desensitization process. An automatic bark collar can also be used during times when he likes to bark while you aren't there after the initial training is done - so he understands that the correction is for his barking at that point in the training. While you are not home, confine him in a crate or room that doesn't look out the windows right now - barking at things out the window lets him practice the bad behavior over and over again and barking is a self-rewarding behavior because of the arousing chemicals released in a dog's brain - so once a dog starts he is naturally encouraged to continue it and stays in that state of mind if you aren't there to interrupt. You won't be able to help him hearing the noises from neighbors but minimize the issue by avoiding windows while away. Again, hire a trainer to help you implement all of this and stay safe when working with aggressive or territorial behavior. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Hi Caitlin,

thanks for the reply. However our dog Bruno isn't a puppy, he is a 4 year old adult. Can you please share some videos on controlling the adult dog,
1) Chasing the other dogs by pulling the owner
2) Barking at every other person comes by the house

It will be very helpful.

Add a comment to Bruno's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Jeager
German Shepherd
3 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Jeager
German Shepherd
3 Years

He is aggressive towards a new person living in our house. She has been living with us for 5 months and he just recently starting being aggressive. He will jump at her and growl and bark. He is very protective of me and my mom but has never went after anyone other than her. She has never done anything aggressive towards him or to us. I am just very concerned that he is going to get out of control

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Olivia, First, you need to hire a professional trainer who specializes in aggression right away. Second, desensitize pup to wearing a basket muzzle and have him wear the muzzle any time she is in the house - period. To introduce the muzzle, first place it on the ground and sprinkle his meal kibble around it. Do this until he is comfortable eating around it. Next, when he is comfortable with it being on the floor with food, hold it up and reward him with a piece of kibble every time he touches or sniffs it in your hand. Feed him his whole meal this way. Practice this until he is comfortable touching it. Next, hold a treat inside of it through the muzzle's holes, so that he has to poke his face into it to get the treat. As he gets comfortable doing that, gradually hold the treat further down into the muzzle, so that he has to poke his face all the way into the muzzle to get the treat. Practice until he is comfortable having his face in it. Next, feed several treats in a row through the muzzle's holes while he holds his face in the muzzle for longer. Practice this until he can hold his face in it for at least ten seconds while being fed treats. Next, when he can hold his face in the muzzle for ten seconds while remaining calm, while his face is in the muzzle move the muzzle's buckles together briefly, then feed him a treat through the muzzle. Practice this until he is not bothered by the buckles moving back and forth. Next, while he is wearing the muzzle buckle it and unbuckle it briefly, then feed a treat. As he gets comfortable with this step, gradually keep the muzzle buckled for longer and longer while feeding treats through the muzzle occasionally. Next, gradually increase how long he wears the muzzle for and decrease how often you give him a treat, until he can calmly wear the muzzle for at least an hour without receiving treats more than two treats during that hour. Third, it sounds like pup thinks he owns you and your mom and is actually resource guarding you from the roommate. This is a respect issue partly. With a trainers help, pup needs to have a ton of structure and boundaries to work on his overall respect for everyone in the house. Work on teaching the following commands and especially following the Working and consistency methods from one of the articles I have linked below. Pup needs to be in doggie bootcamp for a while and it needs to be strict. Have pup wear the muzzle during the day as standard protocol because not only is your roommate in danger, but since pup very likely lacks respect for you and your mom too, it is very possible you and your mom could be bitten too in certain situations while this is still an issue. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo Working and Consistency methods: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Additional training will be needed that involves specifically teaching tolerance with the roommate getting close to you or your mom - but that needs to be done according to an in-person trainer's guidance with the trainer present. Be sure to find someone who specializes in aggression. Many trainers are not experienced in that area to the level you need. Ask a lot of questions and look into referrals or reviews from their previous client's who also dealt with aggression in their dogs - ask for referrals if needed. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Jeager's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Saint
German Shepherd
5 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Saint
German Shepherd
5 Months

When I play with Saint and my 4 yr old male GS, Saint gets extremely aggressive with his biting on Neo (older dog) Example, I throw a frisbee for them, Saint goes after Neo and bites him on hind quarters, neck and sometimes face. He has no interest in going after the object and only wants to bite Neo. What is going on with him? Should I play separately with them?

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Thank you for the question. Saint is a beauty! The problem may just be that he is super enthusiastic when he plays. Still, it's not something that can go on. Saint may be trying to show dominance as well. Do they get along otherwise? How did Saint do in Obedience Classes? If you haven't taken him yet, now is the time to start. Doing so will form a bond between you and Saint and he'll learn essential commands that will come in handy when you are trying to curb his behavior. Obedience training will also let Saint know that you are the leader and that is important when you have a large, enthusiastic dog. Attending classes is also a way to talk with other dog owners who may have had a similar issue. As well, the class instructor will get to know Saint and be able to read his personality. Socializing your pup will go a long way in respect to how he acts and learns as he grows up. It is very wise of you to be questioning this behavior now so that it can be changed. I would keep the playtime separate from Neo until Saint learns commands that will make the playtime more fun for Neo as well. Good luck!

Add a comment to Saint's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Luna
German Shepherd
8 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Luna
German Shepherd
8 Weeks

Hi there!My puppy plays quite aggressively with humans - she seems to take no and bad girl as positive encouragement. When she plays her tail wags, but she gets growly and very bitey. She lunges alot as well. I know she is just a puppy, but is there any way we can set some solid boundaries with her before she gets too big?

Thanks so much!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Rachael, Check out the article linked below. Starting today, use the "Yelp" method. BUT at the same time, begin teaching "Leave It" from the "Leave It" method. As soon as pup is good at the Leave It game, start telling pup to "Leave It" when he attempts to bite or is tempted to bite. Reward pup if she makes a good choice. If she disobeys your leave it command, use the Pressure method to gently discipline pup for biting when you told her not to. The order or all of this is very important - the yelp method can be used for the next couple of weeks while pup is learning leave it, but leave it will teach pup to stop the biting entirely. The pressure method teaches pup that you mean what you say without being overly harsh - but because you have taught pup to leave it first, pup clearly understands that you are not just roughhousing. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Another important part of this is puppy learning bite inhibition. Puppies have to learn while young how to control the pressure of their mouths - this is typically done through play with other puppies. See if there is a puppy class in your area that comes well recommended and has time for moderated off-leash puppy play. If you can't join a class, look for a free puppy play group, or recruit some friends with puppies to come over if you can and create your own group. You are looking for puppies under 6 months of age - since young puppies play differently than adult dogs. Moderate the puppies' play and whenever one pup seems overwhelmed or they are all getting too excited, interrupt their play, let everyone calm down, then let the most timid pup go first to see if they still want to play - if they do, then you can let the other puppies go too when they are waiting for permission. Finding a good puppy class - no class will be ideal but here's what to shoot for: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/puppy-classes-when-to-start/ When pup gets especially wound up, she probably needs a nap too. At this age puppies will sometimes get really hyper when they are overtired or haven't had any mental stimulation through something like training. When you spot that and think pup could be tired, place pup in their crate or an exercise pen with a food stuffed Kong for a bit to help her calm down and rest. Finally, check out the PDF e-book downloads found on this website, written by one of the founders of the association of professional dog trainers, and a pioneer in starting puppy kindergarten classes in the USA. Click on the pictures of the puppies to download the PDF books: https://www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads/ Know that mouthiness at this age is completely normal. It's not fun but it is normal for it to take some time for a puppy to learn self-control well enough to stop. Try not to get discouraged if you don't see instant progress, any progress and moving in the right direction in this area is good, so keep working at it. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Luna's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
General
German Shepherd
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
General
German Shepherd
2 Years

Not aggressive

Add a comment to General's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Jax
German Shepherd
5 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Jax
German Shepherd
5 Years

He was neutered at 2 years old. He has very high prey drive and he is hyper vigilante - he sees everything. He is half west german and half Czech. He has always been very friendly. We do obedience, protection sports and scent detection. Last year he had to be confined for about 3-4 months due to an injury so he was not able to burn his energy. We were not able to run or play ball like he normally does due to this injury. We were at a scent trial and it had been the first time since he was really able to go out over this period of time. One of the volunteers swung the door open fast and didn't wait for me to be with him and he charged her - I think he was startled since it was a covered door and he couldn't see anyone on the other side. He did not bite her he pinned her up against the wall and then I came running around the corner and grabbed him. He wears a red bandana because he is a reactive shepherd - this volunteer should have been a little more conscious and waited until I was with him. He has a memory that is unbelievable - he doesn't forget anything or anyone. He is a very happy dog!!! Yes he is dog aggressive but when he is working/walking then he doesn't care about anyone or any dog or anything - he just wants to work. When he is not working is when he is thinking of things to do...Could you please tell me if you think that just that little bit of time that he was confined could have made him get like this? I am working very hard with him on his impulse control - he seems to not no how to control himself, he just reacts quickly. Any suggestions?

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Jax is a very handsome boy. Thank you for the question and for the detailed explanation. It is hard to say whether this heightened reactivity is due to the confinement, but it is possible. How about discussing the issue with one of the instructors for the scent, obedience, or protection control training? They would know Jax best and may be able to analyze the changes based on seeing him in person (his stance, ear and tail position, etc.) The fact that he did pin someone against the wall is a concern and I think Jax would benefit from one on one training with a behaviorist. Not only will Jax thrive on the training, but it will enable you to get a handle on the situation before it gets out of control. Be sure to find a trainer that has the same philosophy as you - looking out for the individual welfare of your dog, working with him in a way that will tone down the aggression, not increase it. In the meantime, check Robert Cabral's website. https://www.robertcabral.com/ He has videos on every scenario and also offers Skype training. It will get you started until you find someone close by. Good luck to you and Jax!

Add a comment to Jax's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Solo
German Shepherd
14 Months
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Solo
German Shepherd
14 Months

Solo is a wonderful boy. Good at home, very friendly to people. He did 12 weeks of puppy classes and walks regularly with a couple of our friends dogs. Hes has always been a barker at other dogs but when he says hello he stops. We have bee working on the barking and lunging on the lead with a trainer and seen some success. However in the last two weeks there has been 2 occassions when he has growled at another dog. I've never know him do this before and always been confident that although boisterous was not aggressive. He has been on the receiving end of aggression from other dogs on a number of occassions the most recent one being last week when two westies attacked him for no reason...he did not retaliate but hid behind our legs. He is intact but being casterated tommorow. Do you think this is a phase or something more worrying?

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Thank you for the question. It seems to me that you are doing everything right with young Solo. Good for him that he did so well at puppy classes and walks so well with other dogs. The fact that he does bark and lunge a bit leads me to think that Solo would benefit from continued positive reinforcement obedience. I say this because being around the other dogs week after week will only socialize him even better and the trainer there can help you if any situations occur. I do not think that Solo will continue the behavior; it sounds as though other dogs may instigate the issue more than he does. Neutering him will make a difference, too I bet. All the best!

Add a comment to Solo's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Bella
German Shepherd
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Bella
German Shepherd
1 Year

Aggression showed towards strangers and other pets.

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, Bella is in need of obedience training and lots of training sessions with you at home, too: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you. I would make sure that she gets out often and that you get her used to seeing other dogs (does not need to be up close yet). Use the Turns Method to teach her to focus and listen to you when on walks as opposed to looking at other dogs: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel. Sign her up for obedience classes right away (an obedient and confident dog makes all the difference) and explain Bella's personality to the trainer first. I would suggest all of these steps and methods but more importantly, talk to a professional trainer/behaviorist in your area who is used to working with aggressive dogs. This is essential before an incident happens that you are unable to control. All the best to you and Bella!

Add a comment to Bella's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Luna
German Shepherd
3 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Luna
German Shepherd
3 Years

AGGRESSION WITH OTHER DOGS, PERFECT WITH PEOPLE AND KIDS OF ALL AGES. SHE GOES CRAZY WHEN SEEING ANOTHER DOG. LAST NIGHT JUMPED THE FENCE AND BIT ANOTHER DOG. I WAS ABLE TO BREAK HER AWAY BUT SHE DID HURT THE LAB'S NECK. NOW SHE IS MARKED A POTENTIALLY AGGRESSIVE DOG AND NEXT TIME I WILL HAVE TO PUT HER DOWN. SHE IS OUR WORLD AND I NEED TO KNOW IF THERE CAN BE ANY HELP FOR HER/US. WE HAVE A 1 YEAR LAB MIX AND WAS A RUFF START BUT THEY NOW CAN BE TRUSTED TOGETHER. LUNA IS ALPHA OVER SMOKEY. PLEASE WHAT CAN I DO WITH HER AGGRESSION GETTING WORSE AND WORSE.
HELP,
LAURIE

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Thank you for the question. Luna is a very pretty dog and I bet a smart one, too. I think because she has bitten a dog once and is aggressive to all dogs, that you need to meet with a one on one trainer who can assess her and help with the training. This is an urgent need to prevent anything else from happening. If she is jumping the fence, certainly do not leave her outside unattended and when you are out in the yard with her, keep her on a leash. Luna needs obedience training but until you can get her one on one training with a professional, you cannot take her to classes. Socialization is also critical once she is on the road to being more friendly. Please contact a trainer in your area used to dealing with aggressive dogs asap. In the meantime, you can start obedience training at home: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-dog-basic-obedience. All the best!

Add a comment to Luna's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Hudson
German Shepherd
2 Months
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Hudson
German Shepherd
2 Months

When she nips at my hands or feet and I tell her no, she gets more aggressive. Only to when I say NO. Otherwise she is a very good dog, but the NO upsets her. How do I get her to respect NO, without her getting more mad.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello, Check out the article linked below. Starting today, use the "Yelp" method. At the same time however, begin teaching "Leave It" from the "Leave It" method. As soon as pup is good at the Leave It game, start telling pup to "Leave It" when she attempts to bite or is tempted to bite. Reward pup if she makes a good choice. If she disobeys your leave it command, use the Pressure method to gently discipline pup for biting when you told her not to. The order of all of this is very important - the yelp method can be used for the next couple of weeks while pup is learning leave it, but leave it will teach pup to stop the biting entirely and help with the self control. The pressure method teaches pup that you mean what you say without being overly harsh - but because you have taught pup to leave it first, pup clearly understands that you are not just roughhousing (which is what pup probably thinks most of the time right now), so it is more effective. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite When pup gets especially wound up, she probably needs a nap too. At this age puppies will sometimes get really hyper when they are overtired or haven't had any mental stimulation through something like training. When you spot that and think pup could be tired, place pup in their crate or an exercise pen with a food stuffed Kong for a bit to help her calm down and rest. Also, know that mouthiness at this age is completely normal. It's not fun but it is normal for it to take some time for a puppy to learn self-control well enough to stop. Try not to get discouraged if you don't see instant progress, any progress and moving in the right direction in this area is good, so keep at it. As hard as it is, make sure you aren't reacting excitedly or angrily...that will actually rile puppy up more. Calm, boring and consistent is the goal. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Hudson's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Kovu
German Shepherd
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Kovu
German Shepherd
1 Year

Hello, my dog Kovu is very playful and hyper, we just brought home a 2 month old husky and Kovu our German Shepard plays well with him but to rough, what can we do to prevent him from playing to rough and hurting him?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Aleesha, I suggest teaching both dogs a Place, Leave It, Down-Stay, and Out command (which means leave the area). Use these commands to manage the dog's around each other and encourage calmness. Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Place command: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ At this age, I would create a rule of the dog's not playing together at all while inside. Focus on them learning how to calmly co-exist first and let the pup grow a bit. Use those commands to redirect them whenever they begin to play. Practice Place and Down-Stay with them both on opposite ends of the room with their own toys to chew on - to help them get used to simply being together calmly. Where it's safe to do so as pup's age and vaccine status, take the dogs on structured heeling walks together - to facilitate calmness, bonding, and respect in their relationship. When you can't supervise the dog's together, crate train pup and crate him or place him into an exercise pen, with a dog food stuffed chew toy, to keep both dogs safe, prevent puppy issues like accidents and chewing, provide rest for pup - which puppies need a lot of, and prevent bad behaviors like bullying and fear to develop when you aren't there to train. Crate introduction: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Kovu's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Kira
German Shepherd
7 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Kira
German Shepherd
7 Months

Hello, we have been having issues with our German Shepherd puppy getting upset when we let our other shepsky out front to relieve herself. She will paw at the window, try to stop our other dog from going out, bark and pace around the room, only to go back to the window. We have tried positive reinforcement and distractions, however, she doesn't seem receptive. We have also tried having my wife take her in another room, but she knows her big sister is going outside. We are also having issues socializing her due to the Covid 19 pandemic. She was ok around our neighbors, but now has reverted to barking, with hair raised. Do you have any good advice for either of these issues? Thank you.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Andy, First, I would teach pup some commands that help you communicate with her what you do want her to do while the other dog is outside, such as Quiet, Out, Leave It, or Place. Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Place command: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Once pup knows at least one of those commands, like Out, then when pup starts getting tense, give pup a command so that they know what they should be doing. If they obey, reward and begin a training session with pup - doing drill type exercises, where pup goes from one command to the next quickly to get their mind off of the other dog and get them back into a calmer, more respectful mindset, that is focused on you and the training instead. An example of this would be, have pup heel with you around the house around tables and chairs, practice Sit, Down, Stand in different orders quickly - called "doggie pushups", and practice Watch Me. when pup doesn't respond to your Quiet, Out, or other directional command and won't disengage from the window, calmly tell pup "Ah Ah" and use an interrupter to get their attention, such as a Pet Convincer with unscented air, then begin the obedience drills. Practice commands that build respect, calmness, and more independence between the dogs in general. Have both dogs practice Down-Stays on separate ends of the yard - where they can see each other but are required to focus on the people training them and not on each other. Practice pups staying on separate Place beds for 1 hour at a time. Practice puppy staying on Place while you heel your other dog around the house with pup following. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Kira's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Nellie
German Shepherd
7 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Nellie
German Shepherd
7 Months

My wife and I picked up Nellie from a breeder a month ago. She was returned to the breeder and when we asked why we were told that "Nellie was caged a lot" Since bringing Nellie home she has become more and more aggressive towards my wife. My wife has never disciplined her or harmed her in anyway.

The aggression started with putting my wife's hand in her mouth and has progressed to growling and tonight she showed her teeth to my wife.

Nellie acts as if she is terrified of my wife. When my wife stands up or walks into the room Nellie runs away.

The growling typically occurs when my wife tries to leash her; however she doesn't display this behavior towards any other person. My 3 year old grand daughter can leash Nellie and there is no response from her. What are some things we can do to show Nellie that my wife isn't going to harm her and only wants to love on her?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Howard, This isn't a situation where I would recommend working on your own. I suggest hiring a professional, private trainer who specializes in aggression and fear - you need someone who will involve your wife and you in the training but be able to moderate the training and take precautions to keep everyone safe and adjust as you go along - depending on how pup is responding. Working on this on your own could lead to your wife being severely bitten. I suggest getting pup comfortable wearing a muzzle using food rewards. Do this gently and gradually so that the muzzle isn't a scary thing. Pup being able to wear a basket muzzle will help the training be safer for your wife. Muzzle introduction video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJTucFnmAbw&list=PLXtcKXk-QWojGYcl1NCg5UA5geEnmpx4a&index=6&t=0s Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Nellie's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Max
German Shepherd
5 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Max
German Shepherd
5 Months

I just got him from a lady that didn’t have time and he was to much for her (she had never owned a GS). She kept him in a dog pen and walked him during the day with a collar.
I just got him Friday. He first growled at me when I went to get him. After awhile of talking and letting him come to me he finally eased up. So I took him home.
He is a smart, good dog. But he is aggressive towards people. He bit an uncle and growled and jumped at others. I know this probably has something to do with not being socialized with past owner lady. What is the best training to make him comfortable and loving towards people?
I have 2 granddaughters that I do not want to get bit.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Linda, Since he is already biting and time is a big factor here with his age - the sooner big changes can be made, the more likely he will recover if the aggression and fear stem from the lack of socialization (genetics are another possible contributor to aggression), I suggest contacting a professional training group in your area that specializes in behavior issues, fear and aggression. You need people who are knowledgeable and can intensively practice social interactions with him in the right way - such as structured walks, hand feeding - making him work for his food by only rewarding calm responses, practicing obedience exercises with a variety of different people handling him different days, interrupting early signs of aggression before it leads to a bite, knowing how to read his body language and adjust the distance and challenge of the training each session - depending on his response, and being able to do all of the training with a calm and confident attitude, with the proper precautions to avoid being bitten. Finally, pup would need to be desensitized to touch and handling using his meal kibble, once the general fear of people has improved, and desensitized to interactions with kids, including the running, noises, and lack of personal space that sometimes happens with kids (although your granddaughters need to be taught to be gentle and respect pup's space). Pup does need to be prepared for what kids can be like without it causing fear or aggression. Check out Jeff Gellman from SolidK9Training. He specializes in aggression, has a free YouTube channel, and demonstrates many of the things I mentioned. Also check out Thomas from the Canine Educator. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1IH8BFVKRk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Wwg7DlfEWk Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Max's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
buddy
German Shepherd
17 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
buddy
German Shepherd
17 Months

i dont understand he is fine with dogs i let him off the lead when another dog owner says its fine let him play he will run around and play with the other dog but its like he is trying to go rough with them and when the other dog rolls over on there back as to say enough he stands over the top of them and goes for them and i have to pull him off

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Buddy is handsome! I would consult a trainer in your area to assess Buddy and work with him to curb the aggression. This type of behavior often needs the skills of a pro. You can teach many things to your dog but this type of situation is best dealt with by someone who comes recommended and has experience. You want to curb it before it becomes the way he always acts. As well, constantly work on his obedience commands and training him to listen: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you. You can also check this site for videos and the opportunity to talk to a trainer: https://robertcabral.com/. Once things are under control, look for obedience classes in your area. Good luck!

Add a comment to buddy's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Rocky
German Shepherd
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Rocky
German Shepherd
2 Years

My dog becomes aggressive when my brother appears before him. How do I teach him to be calm?

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Thank you for the great pictures! There are several things you should work on and I will suggest guides for you to look at. Has Rocky had any obedience class training? This is first and foremost to a well-socialized dog who has confidence, trust, and a bond with you that enables him to listen. I strongly suggest that right away. Have your brother come along on walks with you and Rocky, even taking Rocky himself once he gets to know him. This is a good bonding activity. Use the Wait on Mat Method here: https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-visitors-calmly. Also, take a look here: https://wagwalking.com/training/not-attack-strangers. Additionally, training Rocky to listen at all times is essential: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you The Consistency Method. Look on this site for videos and the chance to maybe speak to a trainer: https://robertcabral.com/. All the best!

Add a comment to Rocky's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Raze
German Shepherd
3 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Raze
German Shepherd
3 Months

Hello! We just got our beautiful girl about 3 weeks ago. It seems that during our walks she will be timid around people who are calmy getting down and showing the back of their hand and bark aggressively (though I didn't see teeth) around other dogs that get close. We have another full-grown 1-year-old GSD next door (another female) and they seem to trade semi-aggressive barks back and forth through the fence. Is this where the reaction comes from? What about human interaction? Any tips appreciated! Thank you for taking the time to read this, and grateful for any tips/advise/info.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello, At this age the aggression is likely fear based and she is in need of a lot of socialization. Check out the free PDF e-book AFTER You Get Your Puppy and specifically the sections on socialization. www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads I suggest socializing her as often as you can while she is still young. Take her to a wide variety of places. Practice structured obedience commands she knows like Heel, Sit, Down, and Watch Me to keep her energy calm and focused on you. With her focus calmer and on you, look for opportunities to reward her for being in a calm state around other people - like people walking past while you are training. Recruit dog savy, gentle friends to help you. Again, work on commands to get her in the right mindset, then once she is calmer and not reacting poorly or tense around the friends nearby, have them toss treats to her while she is in a calm mindset. When she is comfortable around them from a distance, have them join you on walks with her to build their bond in a non-confrontational way. Have them also practice commands with her using treat training - keeping things fun. I highly suggest joining a puppy class as well for the socialization benefits. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Raze's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Kleo
German shepherd mix
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Kleo
German shepherd mix
2 Years

Kleo is such a great girl, a real sweetheart. With people that is, she’s never harmed a person, but every once in a while she just won’t get along with a dog. She won’t usually start something unless it’s a recurring thing and I want to make very sure that I never beat her. She just had so much energy, even after we’ve run and played for a while, that she tries to play too rough with other dogs and they nip at her and then all hell breaks loose. I just want to find a way to calm her down slightly, because we go on runs every morning and she gets played with plenty. Help?

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Cute photos! The first thing that comes to mind since you are exercising her is what about the mental stimulation? How about signing Kleo up for obedience school, agility, flyball, tracking, etc. She's got a clever mind and will thrive when she gets to use it. No, never beat her please. Dogs deserve training and structure from us to allow them to be the best they can be. Get her some interactive toys (feeders, puzzles, etc.). Give her even more exercise than you are and go to dog training to provide her with ways to use her mind - she'll also get socializing there, too. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-rottweiler-puppy-to-not-be-aggressive and https://wagwalking.com/training/be-calm-around-other-dogs. As well, all three methods here are great! https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs. Have fun and enjoy!

Add a comment to Kleo's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Kali
German Shepherd
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Kali
German Shepherd
1 Year

I have a problem where my bitch is being lead aggressive. Perfect of the lead but in certain scenarios I need to have her on the lead. My neibours have a German shepherd and a Akita and in the last couple of weeks I have noticed her circling humans or other dogs while barking

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, I assume this is a new behavior? How are her obedience commands? I would start reinforcing what she learned in basic obedience classes and immediately enroll Kali in the next level. Obedience goes a long way as to having control over your dog and is also an ideal way to build on socialization skills in a controlled and safe environment. Listening is also essential: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you. Work on any of the methods described there so that you have control over Kali. If you are not able to get to obedience classes right away, contact a trainer online who has experience with potential aggression so that you can nip this in the bud. Contact a trainer in your area for in-home lessons, or join a walking group headed by someone who works with dogs that react when on the lead. Avoid potentially tricky situations until you can start working with a trainer. Also work on The Passing Approach Method here: https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs. Take a look at this site for videos and possible support: https://robertcabral.com/ Good luck!

Add a comment to Kali's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Memphis
German Shepherd
20 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Memphis
German Shepherd
20 Months

He was the last of the litter, he has always been skittish but when people come over if he is in the house and the person gets up he runs up and has grabbed their shirts and is very unsure. I'm scared he is going to hurt someone .

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Amber, This is something I suggest hiring a professional trainer to help in person with. Look for someone who comes highly recommended by previous clients, has a staff of trainers who can practice being "guests and strangers" for training sessions, and specializes in aggression and behavior issues - many trainers don't have experience with that and are focused in other areas, so ask questions when looking. Check out Thomas from the Canine Educator on YouTube for some resources to learn about aggression in general. Jeff Gellman also has several videos on Youtube on confidence building and adding in structure to pup's routine to build respect and trust for you, to help with management also I do suggest hiring someone to work with in person though, and always be careful for your sake and others, when dealing with aggression. Safety measures like a back tie leash or basket muzzle need to be in place for certain aspects of the training. A good trainer takes safety precautions to avoid people being bitten. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Memphis's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Bella
German Shepherd
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Bella
German Shepherd
1 Year

I’ve had my dog since she was 9 weeks old. She turned 1years old on June 8th,2020. She barks aggressively at everyone. She is extremely over protective. Even when I Introduce her properly. I’ve always had her around me every where I go. Never in a bad situation. I socialized her since the day I got her. And she seems to continue to get worse. She also continues to pee in my house and then hides because she knows where she is supposed to use the bathroom. She also destroys everything that! Even with a large variety of toys and bones, and things she loves. I need help

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Cecily, First I do highly suggest hiring a professional trainer with experience in this area, who comes well recommended and is skilled to help with this need specifically - not all trainers are experienced in aggression, so choose carefully, asking a lot of questions and looking into referrals or reviews. I do not suggest doing any of the following on your own due to safety concerns with aggression, and the possibility that a highly aroused dog can always redirect their aggression to whoever is closest. If pup is not already crate trained, I highly suggest crate training as well. The crate is also a great tool for potty training, and teaching calmness. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-not-to-chew/ Check out the videos linked below - People Aggression protocol video- notice the back tie for safety (your guest and those working with a dog should never be put at risk -just in case. Notice that the rewards are given during calmness - not all the time because you don't want to reward aggression and encourage it, and corrections are used with good timing and calmness. With reactivity and aggression you want to stop the unwanted behavior, but then once the dog is calmer you want to do a lot of socializing around people to help overcome fear or dislike if that's an issue for the dog also. https://youtu.be/mgmRRYK1Z6A Only do the following under the supervision and direction of a qualified trainer, with the right safety measure like the back tie leash, in place. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIJoEJfTS-E Stopping the unwanted behavior also makes it easier to continue to expose your dog to people for ongoing socialization. Another important part is structure. Building a dog's trust and respect for you helps a dog trust you to handle situations, and also deals with potential possessiveness that some aggressive dogs are displaying - where they basically view you as theirs and are trying to keep others away from you, like a dog would do with a toy they are guarding. A structured heel and a solid - long Place command are probably the two most important commands for you to practice as far as obedience goes right now. Your walk needs to start out super structured. No scanning the horizon for others or checking out from your dog. She needs to be slightly behind you, focused and following you, and working during the walk. Place command is a great impulse control building command, and has the bonus of helping to build respect and calmness, plus helps manage behavior when people come over. Work up to her being able to stay on Place for 1-2 hours. How you teach these commands matters - with reactivity or aggression issues, calmness, business-like attitude, and slightly firm is important - but not anger, yelling, or unnecessarily roughness. Just being consistent about enforcing rules calmly and teaching her mind. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo Working and Consistency methods: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you If she is generally a bit nervous, then some confidence building exercises may also help her overall attitude. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elvtxiDW6g0 The trainer in many of the videos above also has other videos on fear aggression and reactivity. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Bella's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Captain
German Shepherd
12 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Captain
German Shepherd
12 Weeks

He is aggressively biting and not stopping when we ask him too. We have tried the positive route, the ignoring him, and even grabbing his extra neck skin to pull him down to a submissive position, but nothing seems to work. We absolutely adore him, but as he is getting bigger, the biting is increasing and causing lots of harm to my kids. We also noticed that after he plays hard with one of his big toys he wants to hump it.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Puppies may nip/mouth/bite for a number of reasons. Nipping can be a means of energy release, getting attention, interacting and exploring their environment or it could be a habit that helps with teething. Whatever the cause, nipping can still be painful for the receiver, and it’s an action that pet parents want to curb. Some ways to stop biting before it becomes a real problem include: Using teething toys. Distracting with and redirecting your dog’s biting to safe and durable chew toys is one way to keep them from focusing their mouthy energies to an approved location and teach them what biting habits are acceptable. Making sure your dog is getting the proper amount of exercise. Exercise is huge. Different dogs have different exercise needs based on their breed and size, so check with your veterinarian to make sure that yours is getting the exercise they need. Dogs—and especially puppies—use their playtime to get out extra energy. With too much pent-up energy, your pup may resort to play biting. Having them expel their energy in positive ways - including both physical and mental exercise - will help mitigate extra nips. Being consistent. Training your dog takes patience, practice and consistency. With the right training techniques and commitment, your dog will learn what is preferred behavior. While sometimes it may be easier to let a little nipping activity go, be sure to remain consistent in your cues and redirection. That way, boundaries are clear to your dog. Using positive reinforcement. To establish preferred behaviors, use positive reinforcement when your dog exhibits the correct behavior. For instance, praise and treat your puppy when they listen to your cue to stop unwanted biting as well as when they choose an appropriate teething toy on their own. Saying “Ouch!” The next time your puppy becomes too exuberant and nips you, say “OUCH!” in a very shocked tone and immediately stop playing with them. Your puppy should learn - just as they did with their littermates - that their form of play has become unwanted. When they stop, ensure that you follow up with positive reinforcement by offering praise, treat and/or resuming play. Letting every interaction with your puppy be a learning opportunity. While there are moments of dedicated training time, every interaction with your dog can be used as a potential teaching moment. Please let me know if you have any additional questions. Thank you for writing in!

Add a comment to Captain's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Maya
German Shepard Mix
18 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Maya
German Shepard Mix
18 Months

What did I do wrong?

We just lost our dear dog nukka, she was an Alaskan malamute, a couple of months ago. So at this point we just had zeus, my dog who is a mutt, ( 4 years old) and we felt he needed a friend because he seemed lonely and sad. Zeus is very well trained on verbal command and is not aggressive with other dogs.

So we adopt this sweet GSD mix( she’s about 2 years I think) and when we got her we took her to the pet store to get some supplies, there were other dogs, cats, small animals, and other people there and she didn’t react. We can tell she had recently had puppies and she was just spayed.(zeus is neutered as well) she knows basic commands(sit, lay down, etc.)

When we got home we brought them both on a leash a couple houses down for ours to let them meet. It seemed fine at first but all of a sudden they start fighting we quickly pull them away, distract them and let them cool down. After wee took the for a walk around our block and to tire them out. After about 2 hours we tried meeting them again, and they stated snarling. We kept them in separate rooms for the night, and we tried again in the morning. They snarled again so We contacted a professional, who has yet to get back to us. At the moment we have the new dog in a kennel and Zeus is free roaming.

Is this the right thing to do? What can I do to make it better?

Add a comment to Maya's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Thor
German Shepherd
4 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Thor
German Shepherd
4 Months

How should I train him home with proper love and care?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Dhanashri, I recommend reading Ian Dunbar's free PDF e-book "AFTER You Get Your Puppy" I have linked below. He has a lot of advice on socialization to prevent future behavior issues. ww.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Thor's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
zoey
German Shepherd
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
zoey
German Shepherd
1 Year

We cant ever have people over because she gets aggressive and barks, growls, and bites them. We tried to take her out when she was little but it was a bit difficult because we never had time. I need to find a way to get her to stop being aggressive towards people and other dogs.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello there. It sounds like you have your hands full. It sounds like she is both fearful and somewhat protective. I am going to provide you with information on how to correct this behavior. You won’t be able to solve your dog’s overprotective behavior in one day. In the meantime, you don’t want to put your life on hold. You can still invite guests into your home as long as you prioritize managing your dog’s behavior. You’ll need a short-term strategy to start showing your overprotective dog what behavior is unacceptable while also keeping your guests safe. There are a few ways to do this. Leash: Keeping your dog on a leash while friends are visiting gives you control over your dog’s actions. Leash him up before the doorbell rings and keep him close as you greet your guests. During the visit, you can let the leash drag and only use it if you have to. Muzzle: If you feel her behavior warrants the use of a muzzle for the time being while you work on solving this problem, then it may be a wise choice. Separate Room: Your dog won’t get better without practice, but sometimes you have to weigh the risks versus rewards. If your overprotective dog is in the beginning stages of training, keeping her separated from guests might be best. You don’t want to put a friend’s safety at risk or needlessly stress out your dog. As long as you keep working toward stopping the behavior, separating an overprotective dog from company is a temporary management solution. Start Obedience Training Obedience training is a must for every dog, and it’s especially important for overprotective dogs. Working with your dog on things like “sit-stay,” “down-stay,” and “heel,” will help build her impulse control. He’ll start seeing you as a capable leader and will turn to you for guidance. A mistake many pup parents make is stopping obedience training once their dog masters the basics skills. Being well-trained is about more than knowing how to sit when a person holds a treat in front of their face. It’s a lifetime lesson, and even senior dogs need regular training. Commit to training your dog several times a day for short periods of time. Make Your Dog Work for Affection You can’t help but smother your dog with love every time she’s within petting distance, but that isn’t always what’s best for her. She will start to feel entitled to your attention, and that’s part of the problem. To remedy this, initiate a “work for it” program that allows you to show your dog affection as long as she earns your attention in appropriate ways. Make her sit, stay calm, and do whatever else you ask before doling out whatever it is she wants. If she’s excited for dinner, make her sit and leave it before digging in. If she wants in your lap, ask her to do a trick first. Never give your dog attention if she rudely nudges your hand or barks in your face. She needs to know polite behavior, and polite behavior only, is how she gets what she wants. You ignore everything else. Involve Other People in the Dog’s Life Most overprotective dogs choose to guard only the person they feel closest to. It’s usually the same person who fills their food bowls, takes them on walks, and handles training. They become obsessively attached, and a strong bond gradually mutates into overprotective behavior. Putting some space between you and your dog will help her learn to trust other people. Enlist the entire family’s help and take a step back in your role as primary caregiver. Have someone else feed the dog a few times a week, and encourage other people to engage her in playtime. This will help her be more comfortable with different people. Socialize Socialization is best done during the puppy stages, but even adult and senior dogs benefit from new experiences. Exposing your overprotective dog to new places, experiences, and people, will help her learn that not everyone is out to hurt you. Make sure each new experience is positive, and encourage your dog without forcing her to interact. If your dog is afraid, you don’t want to make things worse. Take socialization at the pace she’s comfortable with. If he seems overwhelmed, back up and try something a little smaller. These are some general ideas and they can be modified to fit your dynamic. These behaviors do take time, I am talking months, to correct. And sometimes the behaviors get worse before they get better. So just push through that time if that starts to happen. Please let me know if you have any additional questions. Thank you for writing in!

Add a comment to zoey's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Jax
German Shepherd
4 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Jax
German Shepherd
4 Years

He will bite others without being provoked and I dont know what to do

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello there. This may be something you want to have evaluated by your veterinarian or a trainer who can come to your house. There are many reasons for aggression. If he doesn't seem to have a trigger, he may have a something medical going on. Health related issues often manifest as aggression without cause. Best of luck!

Add a comment to Jax's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Tyson
German Shepherd
13 Months
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Tyson
German Shepherd
13 Months

My dog suddenly attack on me and my brother and sister . sometimes he attacks on strangers for no reason outside the home as well inside

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Parul, It is definitely time to hire a professional trainer who specializes in aggression and comes well recommended by previous client's whose dogs have dealt with aggression, to help you in person. I would not wait. You can also get pup used to wearing a basket muzzle using pup's food. Be very careful doing this and have the person pup most respects and responds the least aggressively be the one to do so. If you can't get pup used a muzzle safely either, have a professional trainer help with that part to when you begin training. Pup needs to be wearing a basket muzzle during the day while free and in contact with people. A basket muzzle will let pup open their mouth still and pup can learn to drink water through the muzzle with some help. Safety needs to be first priority, then with safety measures in place, the aggression itself can be safely addressed. Go slow and make the experience fun for pup using treats and going at his pace, to keep his stress lower and also minimize your risk of pup protesting and biting while working with him. If pup doesn't have someone who can work with him safely in the home, have a trainer help with this part to. Be especially cautious about being near his face during any interactions or training. It wouldn't be a bad idea to have pup on a leash tethered to something behind you, so that if he lunged for your face during training, the tether would stop him. Muzzle introduction video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJTucFnmAbw&list=PLXtcKXk-QWojGYcl1NCg5UA5geEnmpx4a&index=6&t=0s Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Tyson's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Scotty
GSD
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Scotty
GSD
2 Years

I cannot walk Scotty with my granddaughter as she turns into a dog with very high prey drive running as if hunting pulling me every where even across a busy road she stops waits and crosses every day we only see my granddaughter every two weeks other than that we live on our own I tried everything to get her to focus on me with no response thanks if you can take the time to advise

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

If you have tried many of the tips online regarding walking calmly on leash and nothing has helped, my suggestion would be to get a Gentle Leader collar. It is a head halter that prevents pulling, and encourages them to be more focused on you. These can be found online, and usually at any pet store.

Add a comment to Scotty's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Nala
German Shepherd
22 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Nala
German Shepherd
22 Months

My gsd is very sweet with our family but when we are out and she sees dogs she barks and tries to run at them. Sometimes she’s like that with strangers too.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello. I am going to send you some training exercises you can use to help make your walks or outings a bit more peaceful. You can use the tips below and apply them to both humans and other dogs. The first step is to reframe what an oncoming dog means to your dog. From a safe distance — your dog determines the distance, not you — have your leashed dog view another dog. As the new dog comes into view, drop a lot of enticing meat treats just in front of your dog’s nose. Ignore any hysterics for now, but back up and create more space if your dog is unwilling to eat. This part is hard for humans — I understand. It helps to see your dog’s behavior for what it most likely is: fear vs. disobedience. The training reinforcer MUST be a great one, such as real meat. It is critical that the appearance of the new dog causes meat to fall from the sky. When the other dog is out of your dog’s view, all treats stop. We want your dog to predict that other dogs near him means that YUMMY FOOD will appear! As you are reframing your dog’s opinion of seeing other leashed dogs, be careful where you take your dog, and be protective of what he is exposed to. One fight can create a reactive dog. Consider not walking your dog for 30 days as you reprogram his opinions of other dogs. Instead, sit on your front porch or in your garage with your dog on leash, and practice treating every time another dog comes into your dog’s line of sight. During this time, engage your dog’s mind with mind puzzles, obedience work, and fun stuff like games in the house or yard. You know you have made great progress when your dog sees another dog, and he turns his head away from the once-threatening dog and looks into your eyes, expecting a treat. Once your dog is looking at his (former) trigger and then looking expectantly up at you for a treat, you can begin to put this skill on cue. Tell the dog, sit, "watch me" or whatever command you want to use for this exercise. Remember to go slowly. You will see a significant change in his behavior after a month of consistent practice.

Add a comment to Nala's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Cristal Aragon
German Shepherd
8 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Cristal Aragon
German Shepherd
8 Months

We got our dog when he was 7wks old one February. And we tried to socialize as much as we could but there was the lockdown, I wanted to take him to classes but everything is virtual. Now he gets very anxious with other dogs and people, he barks at them and turns aggressive. He is now 8 months. He is with my children all day since they don’t go to school so he is very overprotective of them. How can I address this when there is very limiting socialization allowed?

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, you are right to address this now. With the warm weather, there should be classes being held outside, or as well, classes where participants wear a mask in class. Either way, your dog needs to be around other people and other dogs as soon as possible. Look up trainers online and make some inquiries. The classes will help your dog a lot. Work on the Passing Approach Method as shown here: https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs. Get started on obedience as you look for a class: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-pitbull-puppy-to-be-obedient. Teach your dog to heel when on walks also for focus and control: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel. All of the methods are good. Consider a private trainer if you do not want to go to class until some training takes place. A couple of sessions can work miracles and give you confidence as an owner. Good luck!

Add a comment to Cristal Aragon's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Choji
German Shepherd
4 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Choji
German Shepherd
4 Months

Hello ,choji will not behave well with other dogs . Every time we take him out for a walk he starts getting aggressive towards other dogs. Starts growling and barking wanting to attack. He has also barked at humans passing by. His behavior is not like that at home. At home he is different as in he can understand but at times it will be a challenge to make him relax. I would love for him to be friendly with others . How can I manage this ?

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Your dog needs to learn new behaviors to quell his fear. First we reduce his fear around new dogs, and then we begin adding cues such as “watch me” or “sit.” Research tells us that most leash reactivity is caused by fear, not by aggression. Dogs bark and lunge at other dogs to warn, “Go away! Go away!” Dogs fear other dogs because of genetic reasons, lack of socialization, fights when they were puppies, or any scary (to the dog) interaction with other dogs. Sometimes having low thyroid levels contributes to unwanted canine behavior. The steps below can be practiced with humans and other dogs. During this time, avoid any punishment for reactivity. Doing so will make her concerns even bigger. Dogs learn by making associations, and you want your dog to associate other dogs with pleasant things — never punishment. The first step is to reframe what an oncoming dog means to your dog. From a safe distance — your dog determines the distance, not you — have your leashed dog view another dog. As the new dog comes into view, drop a lot of enticing meat treats just in front of your dog’s nose. Ignore any hysterics for now, but back up and create more space if your dog is unwilling to eat. This part is hard for humans — I understand. It helps to see your dog’s behavior for what it most likely is: fear vs. disobedience. The training reinforcer MUST be a great one, such as real meat. It is critical that the appearance of the new dog causes meat to fall from the sky. When the other dog is out of your dog’s view, all treats stop. We want your dog to predict that other dogs near him means that YUMMY FOOD will appear! As you are reframing your dog’s opinion of seeing other leashed dogs, be careful where you take your dog, and be protective of what she is exposed to. One fight can create a reactive dog. Consider not walking your dog for 30 days as you reprogram her opinions of other dogs. Instead, sit on your front porch or in your garage (or somewhere out of the way if those two options aren't possible) with your dog on leash, and practice treating every time another dog comes into your dog’s line of sight. During this time, engage your dog’s mind with mind puzzles, obedience work, and fun stuff like games in the house or yard. You know you have made great progress when your dog sees another dog, and he turns his head away from the once-threatening dog and looks into your eyes, expecting a treat. Once your dog is looking at his (former) trigger and then looking expectantly up at you for a treat, you can begin to put this skill on cue. Tell your dog "watch me" every time you see another dog approaching. Your end goal is for your dog to see another dog, and remain calm, looking at you for guidance. And this will be either continuing your walk, or being allowed to interact with the other dog. Please let me know if you have additional questions. Thanks for writing in!

Add a comment to Choji's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Raiden
German Shepherd
5 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Raiden
German Shepherd
5 Months

He aggressively barks at people. Sometimes his hair goes up on his neck when he does it. He seems fearful of them and backs up while doing it. Sometimes he will move forward while doing it as well. Any advice would be appreciated to get him to break this.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello! It sounds like he has some fear based anxiety going on. Your dog needs to learn new behaviors to quell his fear. First we reduce his fear around people on walks, and then we begin adding cues such as “watch me” or “sit.” Research tells us that most leash reactivity is caused by fear, not by aggression. Dogs bark and lunge at other dogs or people to warn, “Go away! Go away!” Dogs fear other dogs because of genetic reasons, fights when they were puppies, or any scary (to the dog) interaction with other dogs. Sometimes it's just a simple case of lacking proper socialization as a puppy. Which most dogs in a typical household lack proper socialization. Dogs need to be introduced to hundreds of different settings as a puppy (by the age of 20 weeks) to be "properly" socialized. Most of us are not able to do that. So we will be playing a bit of catch up! Keep in mind before starting, that punishing him while he's in this state of emotion isn't ideal. Doing so will make his concerns even bigger. Dogs learn by making associations, and you want your dog to associate strangers with pleasant things — never punishment. The first step is to reframe what a stranger means to your dog. From a safe distance — your dog determines the distance, not you — have your leashed dog view another dog. As someone comes into view, drop a lot of enticing meat treats just in front of your dog’s nose. Ignore any hysterics for now, but back up and create more space if your dog is unwilling to eat. This part is hard for humans — I understand. It helps to see your dog’s behavior for what it most likely is: fear vs. disobedience. The training reinforcer MUST be a great one, such as real meat. It is critical that the appearance of the stranger causes meat to fall from the sky. When the stranger is out of your dog’s view, all treats stop. We want your dog to predict that other dogs near him means that YUMMY FOOD will appear! Consider not walking your dog for 30 days as you reprogram his opinions of strangers. Instead, sit on your front porch or in your garage with your dog on leash, and practice treating every time someone comes into your dog’s line of sight. During this time, engage your dog’s mind with mind puzzles, obedience work, and fun stuff like games in the house or yard. You know you have made great progress when your dog sees a stranger, and he turns his head away from the once-threatening person and looks into your eyes, expecting a treat. Once your dog is looking at his (former) trigger and then looking expectantly up at you for a treat, you can begin to put this skill on cue. Tell the dog, "sit" or "watch me" or whatever command you want to use for this setting. After he starts automatically sitting or watching you when he sees a stranger approaching, you know you have success! Remember to go slowly! It could take up to a month or longer of consistent practice before you see an improvement with his behavior.

Add a comment to Raiden's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Bruno
German Shepherd
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Bruno
German Shepherd
1 Year

How can I tame his aggressive nature ?
I have another small dog and bruno keeps exerting his strength on her.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello, I suggest hiring a professional trainer in your case. This issue needs to be managed carefully by someone who can put the needed safety measure in place while training and evaluate the dogs' responses to training in person as you go. Look for a trainer who specializes in behavior issues like aggression. Who comes well recommended by previous clients, and can work with you in person, to show you how to manage their interactions as well. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Bruno's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Diva
German Shepherd
10 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Diva
German Shepherd
10 Years

My 10 yr old god has suddenly become aggressive towards my 2 yr old grandson since he started walking. She’s fine with the 4 yr old

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello there. When dogs show aggression towards one specific person in the household, I typically have people work on improving the relationship between the dog and that person. Your grandson is too young to partake in this type of training. I am guessing this behavior is appearing because your grandson is walking a little unsteady. Your dog may in fact be alerting to everyone that something isn't quite right, eventhough it is normal to us. My suggestion is to make sure he knows his training commands and when he reacts in a negative way towards your grandson, ask him to lay down and stay. This is something that should resolve itself as he becomes desensitized towards your grandson. But if working with a trainer in your area is an option, I strongly suggest working with one in person.

Add a comment to Diva's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Casey
German Shepherd
3 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Casey
German Shepherd
3 Years

My dog can be aggressive towards children. How do I prevent this?

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello! This type of behavior usually takes a lot of work to correct. It is also a delicate situation because kids can be so rambunctious, they don't understand things like adults do, and they are easily injured. Because of that, I am sending you a link packed full of information. It is too much to fit in this box! But if you have additional questions outside of the link, please feel free to message again. https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/dog-behavior-problems-aggression-children#:~:text=Children%20are%20often%20very%20interested,signs%20of%20fear%20or%20aggression.&text=Most%20dog%20aggression%20towards%20children,and%20territorial%20aggression%20as%20well.

Add a comment to Casey's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Zoey
German Shepherd
21 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Zoey
German Shepherd
21 Months

Zoey barks angrily at dogs and when kids come to my walkway Zoey’s hair stands up she tries to bust through the door all while barking angrily. She’s powerful and scary yet (for the most part) a love and snuggles with the family. We also have a cat that we rescued that Zoey’s learning to be better with her. In advance I want to thank you for your help.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Your dog needs to learn new behaviors to quell his fear. First we reduce his fear around new dogs, and then we begin adding cues such as “watch me” or “sit.” Research tells us that most leash reactivity is caused by fear, not by aggression. Dogs bark and lunge at other dogs to warn, “Go away! Go away!” Dogs fear other dogs because of genetic reasons, lack of socialization, fights when they were puppies, or any scary (to the dog) interaction with other dogs. Sometimes having low thyroid levels contributes to unwanted canine behavior. During this time, avoid any punishment for reactivity. Doing so will make her concerns even bigger. Dogs learn by making associations, and you want your dog to associate other dogs with pleasant things — never punishment. The first step is to reframe what an oncoming dog means to your dog. From a safe distance — your dog determines the distance, not you — have your leashed dog view another dog. As the new dog comes into view, drop a lot of enticing meat treats just in front of your dog’s nose. Ignore any hysterics for now, but back up and create more space if your dog is unwilling to eat. This part is hard for humans — I understand. It helps to see your dog’s behavior for what it most likely is: fear vs. disobedience. The training reinforcer MUST be a great one, such as real meat. It is critical that the appearance of the new dog causes meat to fall from the sky. When the other dog is out of your dog’s view, all treats stop. We want your dog to predict that other dogs near him means that YUMMY FOOD will appear! As you are reframing your dog’s opinion of seeing other leashed dogs, be careful where you take your dog, and be protective of what she is exposed to. One fight can create a reactive dog. Consider not walking your dog for 30 days as you reprogram her opinions of other dogs. Instead, sit on your front porch or in your garage (or somewhere out of the way if those two options aren't possible) with your dog on leash, and practice treating every time another dog comes into your dog’s line of sight. During this time, engage your dog’s mind with mind puzzles, obedience work, and fun stuff like games in the house or yard. You know you have made great progress when your dog sees another dog, and he turns his head away from the once-threatening dog and looks into your eyes, expecting a treat. Once your dog is looking at his (former) trigger and then looking expectantly up at you for a treat, you can begin to put this skill on cue. Tell your dog "watch me" every time you see another dog approaching. Your end goal is for your dog to see another dog, and remain calm, looking at you for guidance. And this will be either continuing your walk, or being allowed to interact with the other dog. Please let me know if you have additional questions. Thanks for writing in!

Add a comment to Zoey's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
TITAN
German Shepherd
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
TITAN
German Shepherd
2 Years

Titan is very protective of "his" back yard. We have an alley that runs behind our house. Anytime somebody walks down the alley, he barks aggressively and jumps up to put his front paws on the fence. What can I do to control this behavior?

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello there. Your best bet with this is to work on desensitizing him to people/animals walking by. This usually takes about a month of consistent practice. Although it may take a little longer if your alley isn't very busy. What you will want to do is set aside some time in your day to practice working with him in that environment. Start with him on leash, and as you see people approaching, have him sit for you and give him a treat for sitting. You can continue rewarding him for calm behavior. As soon as he breaks his sit or starts barking or growling, take him on leash and turn back towards your house. Once he has calmed down, you can go back to your spot to practice more. This is going to be tedious and may seem like you are getting nowhere for the first week or so. That is normal. You just have to push through that time and keep going with it.

Add a comment to TITAN's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Forrest
German Shepherd
18 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Forrest
German Shepherd
18 Months

Forrest is an awesome puppy. He is playful, loves us all so much, and does the silliest things. He is very good with most everyone once he lets them get into the house...
That’s the problem. He barks at everyone when the get to the door. It’s terrifying. He has a tremendous bark and he jumps at the door and scares the living crap out of our guests. Once they get inside and he smells them from head to toe and gets in there faces and pretty much gives them a cavity search, then and only then, it’s play time and they are acceptable. Until the next time they come over and then it’s the same strip search all over again. It’s exhausting...
What can we do to help him understand that once we let people in, he can stand down?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Malena, Because of his breed he may always take a minute to warm up; however I suggest working on building his respect and trust for you, so that he will take cues from you whether a person is safe. Work on teaching Say Hi/Touch, Place, Quiet, and Out. Say Hi: https://youtu.be/fj1oMlfjPZ8 Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Place command: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Work up to pup being able to stay on Place for 1-2 hours, then practice for shorter periods with pup staying while people they know enter and exit your home, finally, practice with friends while pup is on a back tie leash to ensure they can't bolt off place if they disobey. Keep the back tie with enough slack that pup won't feel the tension of rhe lead if they stay though. Practice having pup stay on Place calmly while you let people in, while back tied, then have guests toss pup treats onto place one pup is calm (don't reward the barking/growling/not staying well though). Once pup is calm - this may take 30 minute to an hour at first, then allow pup to Say Hi calmly. Practice the other above commands like Say Hi and Out as well. Always take precautions like a back tie leash to ensure guests are safe while practicing too. Your communicatuin with pup should sound calm and confident. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Forrest's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Rexx
German Shepherd
14 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Rexx
German Shepherd
14 Months

Shows aggression towards my wife. He came and sat in front of my wife and whilst she stroked him he started growling and staring at her he suddenly lept up and aggressively attacked her for no apparent reason biting her aggressively for only a few brief seconds before I managed to pull him off but in this time had left her with a number of bites and puncture wounds.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Paul, This is absolutely something that you need to hire a professional trainer who specializes in aggression to help with in person. I do not recommend working on this on your own. Check out trainers like Thomas from the canine educator, Sean O'Shea and Jeff Gellman. Look for a trainer who has that level of experience and who comes well recommended by their clients with aggression needs. For right now I highly suggest crate training him and desensitizing him to wearing a basket muzzle. He needs to be crated or wearing a drag leash and muzzle whenever around your wife (and others since he is a risk for attacking others, especially children). To introduce the muzzle, first place it on the ground and sprinkle his meal kibble around it. Do this until he is comfortable eating around it. Next, when he is comfortable with it being on the floor with food, hold it up and reward him with a piece of kibble every time he touches or sniffs it in your hand. Feed him his whole meal this way. Practice this until he is comfortable touching it. Next, hold a treat inside of it through the muzzle's holes, so that he has to poke his face into it to get the treat. As he gets comfortable doing that, gradually hold the treat further down into the muzzle, so that he has to poke his face all the way into the muzzle to get the treat. Practice until he is comfortable having his face in it. Next, feed several treats in a row through the muzzle's holes while he holds his face in the muzzle for longer. Practice this until he can hold his face in it for at least ten seconds while being fed treats. Next, when he can hold his face in the muzzle for ten seconds while remaining calm, while his face is in the muzzle move the muzzle's buckles together briefly, then feed him a treat through the muzzle. Practice this until he is not bothered by the buckles moving back and forth. Next, while he is wearing the muzzle buckle it and unbuckle it briefly, then feed a treat. As he gets comfortable with this step, gradually keep the muzzle buckled for longer and longer while feeding treats through the muzzle occasionally. Next, gradually increase how long he wears the muzzle for and decrease how often you give him a treat, until he can calmly wear the muzzle for at least an hour without receiving treats more than two treats during that hour. Muzzle introduction video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJTucFnmAbw&list=PLXtcKXk-QWojGYcl1NCg5UA5geEnmpx4a&index=6&t=0s Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Rexx's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Max
German Shepherd
6 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Max
German Shepherd
6 Months

Hi,
We adopted our dog Max from a rescue. We think he’s a full GSD, but they only know the mom is a GSD. Our problem with him is his biting that has turned aggressive at times. We adopted him at 9 weeks old and from the very beginning, he was biting us, but it was puppy biting at the time. Even so, we tried to correct it immediately with time outs, ignoring, walking away. Now his biting has turned aggressive where now he can break skin, jumps, and growls. We have 2 teenagers in the house and he has gone after everyone at different points. I don’t know what could be causing his aggressiveness. We think he gets enough exercise (2-3 walks per day), sleeps good, gets playing time in the house. We don’t want to get rid of him and are already in love with him, but never wanted a dog we are sometimes fearful of. I should mention, we’ve also done puppy training and are doing intermediate training at PetSmart.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Angelene, This is something I suggest hiring a professional trainer to help with in person. Look for someone who specializes in behavior issues like aggression. Many class instructors don't specialize in behavior issues, so check into experience and previous client referrals to find someone who can help with this area, and who can come to your home. You need someone to evaluate pup at home around the family, to read their body language, observe family interactions with them, and see what the aggression looks like - is pup resource guarding, playing too roughly but not intending to harm, lacking respect for family members? Are they giving subtle warning signs or are the aggressive outbursts sudden and without warrant? Exactly what's going on and how well pup is giving warning or not will determine how you need to go forward. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Max's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Ruger
German Shepherd
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Ruger
German Shepherd
1 Year

We adopted Ruger a little over a week ago, his previous owners kenneled him downstairs often and he only knew his back yard and his family and of course the neighbors. Sense he has been with us ive noticed a pretty serious aggressive streak when new people come near me or our daughter (of course this was supposed to be my husbands dog, but I'm the one working with him) I personally dont believe in shock collars, but I would love to know some great techniques to help him, I dont want to see anything bad happen with him due to lack of training or lack of putting in the work to correct the behavior. Yes I'm a little attached to him and he clearly is attached to me because he follows me everywhere I go.
Thank you so much for your help!!!

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello there. It sounds like he may be a little over protective. I am going to provide you with information on how to correct this behavior. These tips are useful for inside your home/yard or outside. Correcting this behavior is more about changing overall habits, rather than reacting while you are in the setting of his behavior. You won’t be able to solve your dog’s overprotective behavior in one day. In the meantime, you don’t want to put your life on hold. You can still invite guests into your home as long as you prioritize managing your dog’s behavior. You’ll need a short-term strategy to start showing your overprotective dog what behavior is unacceptable while also keeping your guests safe. There are a few ways to do this. Leash: Keeping your dog on a leash while friends are visiting gives you control over your dog’s actions. Leash him up before the doorbell rings and keep him close as you greet your guests. During the visit, you can let the leash drag and only use it if you have to. Muzzle: If you feel his behavior warrants the use of a muzzle for the time being while you work on solving this problem, then it may be a wise choice. Separate Room: Your dog won’t get better without practice, but sometimes you have to weigh the risks versus rewards. If your overprotective dog is in the beginning stages of training, keeping him separated from guests might be best. You don’t want to put a friend’s safety at risk or needlessly stress out your dog. As long as you keep working toward stopping the behavior, separating an overprotective dog from company is a temporary management solution. Start Obedience Training Obedience training is a must for every dog, and it’s especially important for overprotective dogs. Working with your dog on things like “sit-stay,” “down-stay,” and “heel,” will help build his impulse control. He’ll start seeing you as a capable leader and will turn to you for guidance. A mistake many pup parents make is stopping obedience training once their dog masters the basics skills. Being well-trained is about more than knowing how to sit when a person holds a treat in front of their face. It’s a lifetime lesson, and even senior dogs need regular training. Commit to training your dog several times a day for short periods of time. Make Your Dog Work for Affection You can’t help but smother your dog with love every time he’s within petting distance, but that isn’t always what’s best for him. He will start to feel entitled to your attention, and that’s part of the problem. To remedy this, initiate a “work for it” program that allows you to show your dog affection as long as he earns your attention in appropriate ways. Make him sit, stay calm, and do whatever else you ask before doling out whatever it is he wants. If he’s excited for dinner, make him sit and leave it before digging in. If he wants in your lap, ask him to do a trick first. Never give your dog attention if he rudely nudges your hand or barks in your face. He needs to know polite behavior, and polite behavior only, is how he gets what he wants. You ignore everything else. Involve Other People in the Dog’s Life Most overprotective dogs choose to guard only the person they feel closest to. It’s usually the same person who fills their food bowls, takes them on walks, and handles training. They become obsessively attached, and a strong bond gradually mutates into overprotective behavior. Putting some space between you and your dog will help him learn to trust other people. Enlist the entire family’s help and take a step back in your role as primary caregiver. Have someone else feed the dog a few times a week, and encourage other people to engage her in playtime. This will help him be more comfortable with different people. Socialize Socialization is best done during the puppy stages, but even adult and senior dogs benefit from new experiences. Exposing your overprotective dog to new places, experiences, and people, will help him learn that not everyone is out to hurt you. Make sure each new experience is positive, and encourage your dog without forcing him to interact. If your dog is afraid, you don’t want to make things worse. Take socialization at the pace he’s comfortable with. If he seems overwhelmed, back up and try something a little smaller. These are some general ideas and they can be modified to fit your dynamic. These behaviors do take time, I am talking months, to correct. And sometimes the behaviors get worse before they get better. So just push through that time if that starts to happen. Please let me know if you have any additional questions. Thank you for writing in!

Add a comment to Ruger's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Gordon
German Shepherd
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Gordon
German Shepherd
2 Years

My GSD has always been mouthy and we try to deter him getting overly aggressive with his biting. My wife and I give him the cold shoulder when he gets too carried away.

He just got neutered, and we just removed his cone.Just before we removed the cone he has begun becoming more aggressive with me, a man. We will be playing tug of war or fetch down the hallway and he will just come and bite my hands harder than I'd like. He doesn't growl or show any intent to actually harm.

I try presenting him with a toy, but he'll often ignore it. I give him the cold shoulder and he will jump and bite me in the back and shoulder. It takes me going to the bedroom to get him to stop where he then lays down and moves.

Gordon is a rescue from a sheriff who kicked deputy who physically abused Gordon when did not obey him. I suspect that the deputy rough housed with him and encouraged his overly mouthy behavior. I also suspect that he does this with me because he thinks it's normal with men.

He is 9.9 times out of 10 friendly with other dogs and us. Gordon also usually displays this behavior after he eats his morning meal.

I just thought the increased aggressive play biting happening after he was neutered might be significant. We were also prescribed sedatives to prevent him from being too active to help the swelling in the sack and make him a "couch potato."

I know this is a big info dump but I just wanted to give you all of my observations.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Tom, It's hard to know for sure why the neutering made things worse. It might be the level of stress hormones from the whole event, some fearfulness associated with his stay away and change in routine, his body adjusting to hormones changing, the different way he has been treated since coming home while recovering, ect... Regardless, it sounds like the biting is the worse when pup is aroused and gets a bit of an energy boost. I would work on things that increase self-control and calmness. I would also stimulate pup more mentally with the games you pick, such as having pup Sit, Down, and heel during walks. Practicing Sit, Down, Wait, ect...during games of fetch. Avoiding tug of war right now. Running pup through a series of fast paced obedience commands, like Stay and Come, Sit, Stand, Down in quick succession, Heel with lots of turns, ect...for exercise. Place - gradually work up to pup staying on place for up to an hour at a time - this is a good respect, impulse control, and calming exercise: Place command: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Working and Consistency methods: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite You may also need to desensitize pup to wearing a basket muzzle and have them wear it routinely during the day when you are home and with pup, to help pup learn that they can't use their mouth to get attention and to keep you safe while restructuring things at home and teaching new commands pup may protest to. To introduce the muzzle, first place it on the ground and sprinkle his meal kibble around it. Do this until he is comfortable eating around it. Next, when he is comfortable with it being on the floor with food, hold it up and reward him with a piece of kibble every time he touches or sniffs it in your hand. Feed him his whole meal this way. Practice this until he is comfortable touching it. Next, hold a treat inside of it through the muzzle's holes, so that he has to poke his face into it to get the treat. As he gets comfortable doing that, gradually hold the treat further down into the muzzle, so that he has to poke his face all the way into the muzzle to get the treat. Practice until he is comfortable having his face in it. Next, feed several treats in a row through the muzzle's holes while he holds his face in the muzzle for longer. Practice this until he can hold his face in it for at least ten seconds while being fed treats. Next, when he can hold his face in the muzzle for ten seconds while remaining calm, while his face is in the muzzle move the muzzle's buckles together briefly, then feed him a treat through the muzzle. Practice this until he is not bothered by the buckles moving back and forth. Next, while he is wearing the muzzle buckle it and unbuckle it briefly, then feed a treat. As he gets comfortable with this step, gradually keep the muzzle buckled for longer and longer while feeding treats through the muzzle occasionally. Next, gradually increase how long he wears the muzzle for and decrease how often you give him a treat, until he can calmly wear the muzzle for at least an hour without receiving treats more than two treats during that hour. Muzzle introduction video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJTucFnmAbw&list=PLXtcKXk-QWojGYcl1NCg5UA5geEnmpx4a&index=6&t=0s Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Gordon's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Teddy
Black German shepherd
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Teddy
Black German shepherd
1 Year

Extremely aggressive... will not allow ANYONE around us, including animals and people

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Your dog needs to learn new behaviors to quell his fear. First we reduce his fear around new dogs, and then we begin adding cues such as “watch me” or “sit.” The steps below can be applied towards both humans and other dogs. Research tells us that most leash reactivity is caused by fear, not by aggression. Dogs bark and lunge at other dogs to warn, “Go away! Go away!” Dogs fear other dogs because of genetic reasons, lack of socialization, fights when they were puppies, or any scary (to the dog) interaction with other dogs. Sometimes having low thyroid levels contributes to unwanted canine behavior. During this time, avoid any punishment for reactivity. Doing so will make his concerns even bigger. Dogs learn by making associations, and you want your dog to associate other dogs with pleasant things — never punishment. The first step is to reframe what an oncoming dog means to your dog. From a safe distance — your dog determines the distance, not you — have your leashed dog view another dog. As the new dog comes into view, drop a lot of enticing meat treats just in front of your dog’s nose. Ignore any hysterics for now, but back up and create more space if your dog is unwilling to eat. This part is hard for humans — I understand. It helps to see your dog’s behavior for what it most likely is: fear vs. disobedience. The training reinforcer MUST be a great one, such as real meat. It is critical that the appearance of the new dog causes meat to fall from the sky. When the other dog is out of your dog’s view, all treats stop. We want your dog to predict that other dogs near him means that YUMMY FOOD will appear! As you are reframing your dog’s opinion of seeing other leashed dogs, be careful where you take your dog, and be protective of what she is exposed to. One fight can create a reactive dog. Consider not walking your dog for 30 days as you reprogram her opinions of other dogs. Instead, sit on your front porch or in your garage (or somewhere out of the way if those two options aren't possible) with your dog on leash, and practice treating every time another dog comes into your dog’s line of sight. During this time, engage your dog’s mind with mind puzzles, obedience work, and fun stuff like games in the house or yard. You know you have made great progress when your dog sees another dog, and he turns his head away from the once-threatening dog and looks into your eyes, expecting a treat. Once your dog is looking at her (former) trigger and then looking expectantly up at you for a treat, you can begin to put this skill on cue. Tell your dog "watch me" every time you see another dog approaching. Your end goal is for your dog to see another dog, and remain calm, looking at you for guidance. And this will be either continuing your walk, or being allowed to interact with the other dog. Please let me know if you have additional questions. Thanks for writing in!

Add a comment to Teddy's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Puppup
German Shepherd
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Puppup
German Shepherd
1 Year

We have a male GSD just over 1yr. He has always been somewhat protective over new dogs & puppies. One reason we kept him was the way he looked after other pets and would literally herd them back into the living room if they wandered away. We recently took in a 3yr old male, very submissive and sweet. Our Puppup began doing the same herding with Zeus, our new male when he arrived. Within a day or two, Puppup began to exhibit aggressive and domineering behavior towards Zeus.He is constantly bullying, bumping,looming over him, tail up and back and neck hair up. I operate a German Shepherd rescue so I can't have that type of behavior in my dogs. Any guidance would be appreciated.
Thank you.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello, It sounds like pup has probably been displaying a less intense version of this behavior for a long time by controlling the movement of other dogs - for some reason, either because this dog is more submissive so pup is reacting to that, or perhaps because the dog isn't doing what pup wants it to, the behavior has become bad enough for you to notice. This is likely a behavior that's very entrenched for pup and the entire way they are used to being able to control, make and enforce rules for other dogs needs to change, with their respect and listening to you as part of that - so that they learn that you are now the one who makes and enforces the rules for all the dogs and it's not their job. Depending on pup's current attitude toward you, changing this level of behavior might result in some protest toward you, so I would do this with professional help from a trainer who specializes in aggression and behavior issues. Check out Sean O'Shean from the Good Dog on Youtube to see some examples of changing family home dynamics between dogs, and dealing with other types of aggression. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Puppup's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Shadow
German Shepherd
10 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Shadow
German Shepherd
10 Years

Growls and puts his mouth on the arm sometimes small punctures

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Thomas, First, I recommend desensitizing pup to wearing a basket muzzle and having pup wear that while you are home to supervise, to keep everyone safe and help pup learn that they can't use their mouth to get what they want. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJTucFnmAbw Second, I would reach out to a trainer in your area who specializes in behavior issues like aggression, to work with in person for this. Look for someone who comes well recommended by their previous clients. You can learn more about aggression from people like Thomas Davis, who has dozens of videos on Youtube. I don't recommend training on your own with this though. Pursue help from someone who is qualified in this area, to ensure its done safely and effectively. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Shadow's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Zoro
German Shepherd
2 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Zoro
German Shepherd
2 Months

She is in a phase where she bites a lot and before sleeping she will get aggressive and bite.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Here is information on nipping/biting. Nipping: Puppies may nip for a number of reasons. Nipping can be a means of energy release, getting attention, interacting and exploring their environment or it could be a habit that helps with teething. Whatever the cause, nipping can still be painful for the receiver, and it’s an action that pet parents want to curb. Some ways to stop biting before it becomes a real problem include: Using teething toys. Distracting with and redirecting your dog’s biting to safe and durable chew toys is one way to keep them from focusing their mouthy energies to an approved location and teach them what biting habits are acceptable. Making sure your dog is getting the proper amount of exercise. Exercise is huge. Different dogs have different exercise needs based on their breed and size, so check with your veterinarian to make sure that yours is getting the exercise they need. Dogs—and especially puppies—use their playtime to get out extra energy. With too much pent-up energy, your pup may resort to play biting. Having them expel their energy in positive ways - including both physical and mental exercise - will help mitigate extra nips. Being consistent. Training your dog takes patience, practice and consistency. With the right training techniques and commitment, your dog will learn what is preferred behavior. While sometimes it may be easier to let a little nipping activity go, be sure to remain consistent in your cues and redirection. That way, boundaries are clear to your dog. Using positive reinforcement. To establish preferred behaviors, use positive reinforcement when your dog exhibits the correct behavior. For instance, praise and treat your puppy when they listen to your cue to stop unwanted biting as well as when they choose an appropriate teething toy on their own. Saying “Ouch!” The next time your puppy becomes too exuberant and nips you, say “OUCH!” in a very shocked tone and immediately stop playing with them. Your puppy should learn - just as they did with their littermates - that their form of play has become unwanted. When they stop, ensure that you follow up with positive reinforcement by offering praise, treat and/or resuming play. Letting every interaction with your puppy be a learning opportunity. While there are moments of dedicated training time, every interaction with your dog can be used as a potential teaching moment.

Add a comment to Zoro's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Vader
GSD
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Vader
GSD
1 Year

Food aggression and I can’t bathe him without him trying to bark, growl, bite.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Elesia, This is a situation I would hire a professional trainer who specializes in behavior issues like aggression, and comes well recommended by their previous clients, to come to your home and help you in person. Pup needs to be carefully desensitized to you approaching their food using food rewards - to pair your approach with treats, so that pup begins to associate your coming close with good things and looks forward to it. This needs to be done very carefully and gradually, starting from a further distance and walking past while you toss pup a treat for reacting well. As pup improves and their body language shows that they enjoy you walking past, you gradually decrease the distance until you can pass right by pup and get a good response. Next, you would work on feeding pup their meal in courses - so that after pup finishes one part, you remove the bowl to fill it a bit again and set back down - tossing a treat across the room before picking up the bowl to keep a safe distance while picking up the bowl. Next you would practice touching pup while they eat and pairing each touch with a really great treat - this would be done from a safe distance using a fake arm in case of a bite - pup should only be touched while eating once they are happy to have you near their food again and by using a fake arm for safety. Because of the risks involved, how dependent this is on reading pup's body language, and the delicate nature of this type of training, I would work with a very experienced trainer on this instead of doing it on your own. For the bath, you will go through a similar process, rewarding pup for being in the presence of water - like a hose running softly from a distance. You would toss out treats for good reactions. As pup shows they are relaxing around the water, you would decrease the distance by tossing the treats less far. Once pup progresses to being close to the water, then you would use a cup to gently trickle water over pup's back, rewarding each time - you would need to work up to that very gradually though, only doing that part once pup is relaxed by the water. As pup improves with that, you would increase the amount of water slowly, until you can bath pup with a cup. All of these things would be done over several sessions, not all at once. I would also have the trainer evaluate pup's overall attitude with you, and potentially work on pup's overall respect for you, through things like having pup work for what they get by doing a command first - like sit before petting, wait before putting food down, down before exiting for a walk, ect...And practicing obedience commands that can help, like Heel, Place, and Down. I would only do this with the help of a trainer since pup has shown aggression. Pup may protest any change in leadership and it needs to be done carefully. Possibly while pup wears a basket muzzle while you are home to supervise - introducing that muzzle with treats ahead of time to make it less stressful. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Vader's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Tiger
German Shepherd
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Tiger
German Shepherd
2 Years

I take him to park for 15 minutes every day to play with ball. What I usually do is throw the ball really far and I told him to sit then when he did that, I start throw the ball and he will start run to get the ball. But the issue is that I can't control or hold him properly when it comes to people and dogs. Those are main concerns that I have. For example, I walk with him on way to park, and when people come past us, I told him to sit and wait then when people about to go past us and he just starting barking at them, t was struggle to hold him back but when it will be more difficult when there are dogs. I just want to sort it out soon as possible because I just want him to be friendly to people and dogs. When I have guests come over and I put him outside because he will barking at them and possibly bite them but I don't know so I just want him to stay inside and comfortable than staying outside until the guest leave. Also I have issue to feeding him, I use bowl with dog food and I use spoon to feed him but if I put the food in the bowl and let him eat but he won't eat it from the bowl. That I have same issues with my other older dog. Let me know what I need to do to teach them or what can I stop them being aggressive over people and dogs as soon as possible as you can.

P.S. Tiger is the second dog that I have and I have currently older dog and she is mother of Tiger, her name is Zena and she is only 4 year old
Thank you.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sara, For the picky eating, I suggest giving each dog no more than 45 minutes to eat from their bowl, then if they are not actively eating, put the food away. At first, I would feed breakfast, lunch and dinner, to give them an extra opportunity to eat, while they are learning to eat more quickly. Once they are doing well, you can try removing the lunch meal. In many cases a dog won't eat breakfast or lunch at first, but as they realize the food is taken up and have opportunity to get hungry again leading up to lunch and dinner, they are more likely to begin eating what's given to them at meal times. Some dogs also simply aren't hungry until later in the day and prefer to eat a little bit in the morning and most of their daily food ration in the evening - if you find a pup is doing that with the new schedule, that should be fine as long as they eat extra in the evening to make up for overall calorie need - you can begin feeding less in the morning if so and give extra at night, so it equals the same amount of food in a day overall- if you have any concern for pup's health, like if they tend to get low blood sugar, speak with your vet and defer to them though - I am not a vet. When you feed them, place their food for the next day into baggies with freeze dried kibble toppers crushed into powder. Shake the food and powder together and let it sit like that in the bag overnight to flavor the kibble. The next day feed the dogs their food out of that. As pups adjust to eating out of a bowl, you can gradually decrease the amount of powder in the kibble over a couple of weeks time. For the aggression, I highly recommend working in person with a trainer. Look for a training group that specializes in behavior issues like aggression. You need someone who works with a team of trainers - to practice desensitizing pups to a variety of people who know how to do so. You also need a training group that has access to other well behaved dogs to desensitize pups to. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Tiger's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Ghost
German Shepherd
2 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Ghost
German Shepherd
2 Months

Sometimes he behave so well but sometimes ready to bite, i think this is because teeth coming. i will tale him home town in week there will be big space for play and home dog will surely help.
If you give few suggestion for him it will be great.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Krishna, First, if you can find a free puppy play date class attend one of those with him so that he can learn how to control the pressure of his bite by playing with other puppies. Petco and some other pet stores with training offer free puppy play classes if you call and ask for the schedule. If you have any friends with puppies under 6 months of age, set up play dates with those puppies too. Moderate the puppies' play and whenever one pup seems overwhelmed or they are all getting too excited, interrupt their play, let everyone calm down, then let the most timid pup go first to see if they still want to play - if they do, then you can let the other puppies go too when they are waiting for permission. Second, check out the article linked below. Starting today, use the "Bite Inhibition" method. At the same time however, begin teaching "Leave It" from the "Leave It" method. As soon as pup is good as the Leave It game, start telling pup to "Leave It" when he attempts to bite or is tempted to bite. Reward pup if he makes a good choice. If he disobeys your leave it command, use the Pressure method to gently discipline pup for biting when you told him not to. The order or all of this is very important - the bite inhibition method can be used for the next couple of weeks while pup is learning leave it, but leave it will teach pup to stop the biting entirely. The pressure method teaches pup that you mean what you say without being overly harsh - but because you have taught pup to leave it first, pup clearly understands that you are not just roughhousing (which is what pup probably thinks most of the time right now), so it is more effective. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite When pup gets especially wound up, he probably needs a nap too. At this age puppies will sometimes get really hyper when they are overtired or haven't had any mental stimulation through something like training. When you spot that and think pup could be tired, place pup in their crate or an exercise pen with a food stuffed Kong for a bit to help him calm down and rest. Also, know that mouthiness at this age is completely normal. It's not fun but it is normal for it to take some time for a puppy to learn self-control well enough to stop. Try not to get discouraged if you don't see instant progress, any progress and moving in the right direction in this area is good, so keep at it. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Ghost's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Diezel
German Shepherd
6 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Diezel
German Shepherd
6 Months

How do I make him less aggressive towards my girlfriend dogs? We’re trying to get the dogs together and adjusted but my boy diezel just won’t let his guard down and constantly Aggressively goes after the other dog and I’m not sure how to get it to stop

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Curtis, First, I would see if you can find a G.R.O.W.L. class in your area, which is a class for dog reactive/aggressive dogs. Where all the dogs wear a basket muzzle for safety and practice interactions in a structured environment with the trainer's instruction. You can desensitize pup to wearing a muzzle using food rewards, ahead of time, so that the muzzle is viewed more positively and not associated with other dogs and stressful situations around dogs. Check out the video linked below. Muzzle introduction video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJTucFnmAbw&list=PLXtcKXk-QWojGYcl1NCg5UA5geEnmpx4a&index=6&t=0s You can also check out trainers who specialize in aggression, like Jeff Gellman from solidk9training, or Thomas Davis the Canine Educator...They both have websites and youtube channnels with videos to see how aggression is sometimes approached. Notice the safety measure that they take and the foundation of obedience that's implemented in the training too to help dogs stay calmer and learn skills like self-control. I would pursue training some professional help - either a G.R.O.W.L. class or private training group that has access to lots of other dogs for desensitizing practice safely. At 6 months, pup likely lacks socialization, and the aggression may be related to fear. best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Diezel's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Lola
German Shepherd
12 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Lola
German Shepherd
12 Weeks

Hey there. I have a 12 week old German Shepard, I got her roughly 2 weeks ago. She has recently shown signs of aggression to other dogs. I took her to her first puppy class and she was absolutely petrified and she started lunging and barking at the other dogs there when they approached her. Once she warmed up to them she was fine and started to play but I took her out to a park and she kept barking at other dogs walking by. I’m concerned that she’s showing this behavior so young, should I be worried that this is turning into aggression or is this normal for such a young puppy?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Lena, Its not normal behavior but I do see it fairly often. I would take it as a sign that socialization will be a bigger priority with her than with some pups, but that doesn't mean it has to be an issue as an adult. Simply be very proactive about socializing pup this year and making it a rewarding experience for pup when you do. Avoid situations where pup could be attacked - like only allow pup to meet well socialized, tolerant adult dogs (but do go out of your way to find them, don't avoid all adult dogs). When evaluating a dog watch their body language and avoid stiff, puffed up looking, dogs who stare your dog down or go right to posturing toward them - look for dogs who seem relaxed, happy, and calm by their body language. Check out the free PDF E-book AFTER You Get Your Puppy, which can be downloaded at the link below, for more socialization information. Don't worry about what you haven't done so far that the book mentions. Just pick up where you are. www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Lola's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Hazel Rose
German Shepherd
7 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Hazel Rose
German Shepherd
7 Months

Hazel barks every time someone walks in the door. She will eventually calm down and sit/play with guests but will randomly start growling and barking very aggressively (usually when the guest stands up). She sometimes will even nip at people as they walk by.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello there. It sounds like you have your hands full. I am going to provide you with information on how to correct this behavior. You won’t be able to solve your dog’s overprotective behavior in one day. In the meantime, you don’t want to put your life on hold. You can still invite guests into your home as long as you prioritize managing your dog’s behavior. You’ll need a short-term strategy to start showing your overprotective dog what behavior is unacceptable while also keeping your guests safe. There are a few ways to do this. Leash: Keeping your dog on a leash while friends are visiting gives you control over your dog’s actions. Leash him up before the doorbell rings and keep him close as you greet your guests. During the visit, you can let the leash drag and only use it if you have to. Muzzle: If you feel his behavior warrants the use of a muzzle for the time being while you work on solving this problem, then it may be a wise choice. Separate Room: Your dog won’t get better without practice, but sometimes you have to weigh the risks versus rewards. If your overprotective dog is in the beginning stages of training, keeping him separated from guests might be best. You don’t want to put a friend’s safety at risk or needlessly stress out your dog. As long as you keep working toward stopping the behavior, separating an overprotective dog from company is a temporary management solution. Start Obedience Training Obedience training is a must for every dog, and it’s especially important for overprotective dogs. Working with your dog on things like “sit-stay,” “down-stay,” and “heel,” will help build his impulse control. He’ll start seeing you as a capable leader and will turn to you for guidance. A mistake many pup parents make is stopping obedience training once their dog masters the basics skills. Being well-trained is about more than knowing how to sit when a person holds a treat in front of their face. It’s a lifetime lesson, and even senior dogs need regular training. Commit to training your dog several times a day for short periods of time. Make Your Dog Work for Affection You can’t help but smother your dog with love every time he’s within petting distance, but that isn’t always what’s best for him. He will start to feel entitled to your attention, and that’s part of the problem. To remedy this, initiate a “work for it” program that allows you to show your dog affection as long as he earns your attention in appropriate ways. Make him sit, stay calm, and do whatever else you ask before doling out whatever it is he wants. If he’s excited for dinner, make him sit and leave it before digging in. If he wants in your lap, ask him to do a trick first. Never give your dog attention if he rudely nudges your hand or barks in your face. He needs to know polite behavior, and polite behavior only, is how he gets what he wants. You ignore everything else. Involve Other People in the Dog’s Life Most overprotective dogs choose to guard only the person they feel closest to. It’s usually the same person who fills their food bowls, takes them on walks, and handles training. They become obsessively attached, and a strong bond gradually mutates into overprotective behavior. Putting some space between you and your dog will help him learn to trust other people. Enlist the entire family’s help and take a step back in your role as primary caregiver. Have someone else feed the dog a few times a week, and encourage other people to engage her in playtime. This will help him be more comfortable with different people. Socialize Socialization is best done during the puppy stages, but even adult and senior dogs benefit from new experiences. Exposing your overprotective dog to new places, experiences, and people, will help him learn that not everyone is out to hurt you. Make sure each new experience is positive, and encourage your dog without forcing him to interact. If your dog is afraid, you don’t want to make things worse. Take socialization at the pace he’s comfortable with. If he seems overwhelmed, back up and try something a little smaller. These are some general ideas and they can be modified to fit your dynamic. These behaviors do take time, I am talking months, to correct. And sometimes the behaviors get worse before they get better. So just push through that time if that starts to happen. Please let me know if you have any additional questions. Thank you for writing in!

Add a comment to Hazel Rose's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Miller
German Shepherd
8 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Miller
German Shepherd
8 Months

He's always been friendly with my neighbors and now suddenly he's barking and snapping when they try to pet him. What can I do?

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello! As dogs mature, they often go through strange phases where their behavior suddenly changes. The best thing you can do to correct this is to start over a bit with socializing. Have your neighbors or anyone who wants to pet him, give him a treat. Do the treats for a week or so, no petting. Then slowly go back to allowing people to pet him. This should get the message across to him rather quickly.

Add a comment to Miller's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
prince
German Shepherd
9 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
prince
German Shepherd
9 Months

He is very playful and he tends to get in our other dogs face and growl/start to bite, he also bites us when we run with him and other things. his bites aren’t hard but are a bad habit. He also tends to jump on people when he sees them. We are very worried and need these things to stop as soon as possible

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sam, First, you need to determine whether pup is biting due to excitement and play, or aggression? If the biting is due to excitement and is what's called mouthing - that has lingered since puppihood, I recommend teaching Leave It and working on the jumping. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Jumping - only use these methods if the jumping and biting is pup excited and not aggression. This will need to be dealt with differently, with more safety measures like a basket muzzle, if there is true aggression, for your own safety. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-australian-shepherds-to-not-jump If the behavior is aggressive in nature, I recommend hiring a professional trainer who specializes in behavior issues like aggression and comes well recommended by their previous clients, to help you in person. If aggression, then pup's overall relationship with you and your other dog needs to be evaluated, what kind of safety measures need to be taken needs to be considered based on what the trainer observes, then underlying issues like resource guarding, the dogs competing, a lack of respect for you, a lack of boundaries, ect...need to be addressed as part of the overall training. That's all best done in person by someone who can see pup's behavior and body language, and ask you more questions about pup. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to prince's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Ruben
German Shepherd
8 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Ruben
German Shepherd
8 Years

Hi,
Our dog is scared of storms and try’s to escape every time. We leave the door open so he can go outside when ever he wants but we are about to go away for a couple of days and I am worried that he might jump the fence.
We also have a shot caller which works and cameras around the house to check on him.
He shows aggression when people come over our house, doesn’t stop barking and shows his teeth.

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, when storms are forecast, try keeping Ruben inside and use a fan or gentle music as a distraction. There is also such thing as a thunder shirt which works very well to calm dogs who have a fear of storms (you can look online or at your local pet supply store). I don't think leaving Ruben on his own when you go away is a good idea - have you considered a dog sitter, dog boarder, or someone to come and check on him? As for the aggression when people come over, try to socialize him with people as much as you can on neutral ground and that will help him deal with visitors. Sign him up for dog training classes (this will give Ruben great mental stimulation, confidence, help him to get used to people, and also help you form a bond). Also, read this guide and work on The Alternate Behavior Method: https://wagwalking.com/training/not-attack-strangers. Good luck and all the best to Ruben!

Add a comment to Ruben's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Charlie
Great Pyrenees German shepherd mix
6 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Charlie
Great Pyrenees German shepherd mix
6 Months

Charlie is really good around family and people he has been socialized around before he was 4 months but lately whenever strangers come over he goes ballistic and tries to bite them. We have tried associating strangers with good things such as treats and positive reinforcement but he still tries to bite them. Do you have any recommendations for us?

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, you started off on the right foot by socializing Charlie - so it is strange and unfortunate that he is now mistrustful of visitors. The Great Pyrenees was once a dog used as a guardian of the homestead so he does have that lineage. The German Shepherd can also be protective. Because Charlie goes "ballistic", I highly recommend a trainer come into the home to give you a hand. A couple of sessions will be well worth the time and expense to make the next several years with Charlie pleasant and safe for everyone. Please do some research and seek out a trainer in your area used to dealing with aggressive dogs. In the meantime, work on his obedience skills such as sit, down, stay, etc. In fact, I would have Charlie sit before every event: before feeding, before getting his leash on to walk, before playtime, before a treat etc. to instill respect. Then take a look here: https://wagwalking.com/training/not-attack-strangers. You can work on the Alternate Behavior Method in the meantime. All the best and good luck!

Add a comment to Charlie's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Luna
German Shepherd
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Luna
German Shepherd
1 Year

She becomes very aggressive with our other smaller dog they play all the time but when we are entering or exiting either the house or the yard she becomes very aggressive towards him

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Rebecca, I recommend hiring a professional trainer who specializes in behavior issues like aggression, will come to your home, and comes well recommended by their previous clients. You likely need someone who can evaluate the dogs' overall interactions to see what needs addressing in their relationship, could to work on things like territorial behavior or resource guarding - which could be behind the aggression, and anything that's subtly going on between them throughout the day to lead to issues - like stares, posturing, body blocks, lift lips, and anything else that's low level aggression signs that could be addressed throughout the day to help the overall attitude toward each other. Spatial recognition commands may also help, like teaching them to go through doorways one at a time. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Luna's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
chase
German Shepherd
8 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
chase
German Shepherd
8 Weeks

he’s very aggressive and it’s getting worrisome, what should i do?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Belle, Check out the free pdf e-book After You Get Your Puppy, which can be downloaded at the link below. I recommend paying special attention to the sections of desensitizing to touch using treats, teaching bite inhibition, and socializing. www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads Puppies, like toddlers, can also have tantrums when overtired or under stimulated. When pup is acting especially mouthy, pup may actually need to be given a dog food stuffed chew toy, like a kong and put into a crate or exercise pen for a little while to allow them to rest. Puppies need to rest a lot at 8 weeks. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to chase's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Simba
German Shepherd
11 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Simba
German Shepherd
11 Years

I recently adopted Simba from the shelter and he has grown very overprotective with me and follows me everywhere. He shows aggression towards my brother and dad by growling & barking at them when they enter a room i’m in. I’ve never dealt with an overprotective dog before so I don’t know how to make him feel more at ease.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello there. It sounds like you have your hands full. I am going to provide you with information on how to correct this behavior. You won’t be able to solve your dog’s overprotective behavior in one day. In the meantime, you don’t want to put your life on hold. You can still invite guests into your home as long as you prioritize managing your dog’s behavior. You’ll need a short-term strategy to start showing your overprotective dog what behavior is unacceptable while also keeping your guests safe. There are a few ways to do this. Leash: Keeping your dog on a leash while friends are visiting gives you control over your dog’s actions. Leash him up before the doorbell rings and keep him close as you greet your guests. During the visit, you can let the leash drag and only use it if you have to. Muzzle: If you feel his behavior warrants the use of a muzzle for the time being while you work on solving this problem, then it may be a wise choice. Separate Room: Your dog won’t get better without practice, but sometimes you have to weigh the risks versus rewards. If your overprotective dog is in the beginning stages of training, keeping him separated from guests might be best. You don’t want to put a friend’s safety at risk or needlessly stress out your dog. As long as you keep working toward stopping the behavior, separating an overprotective dog from company is a temporary management solution. Start Obedience Training Obedience training is a must for every dog, and it’s especially important for overprotective dogs. Working with your dog on things like “sit-stay,” “down-stay,” and “heel,” will help build his impulse control. He’ll start seeing you as a capable leader and will turn to you for guidance. A mistake many pup parents make is stopping obedience training once their dog masters the basics skills. Being well-trained is about more than knowing how to sit when a person holds a treat in front of their face. It’s a lifetime lesson, and even senior dogs need regular training. Commit to training your dog several times a day for short periods of time. Make Your Dog Work for Affection You can’t help but smother your dog with love every time he’s within petting distance, but that isn’t always what’s best for him. He will start to feel entitled to your attention, and that’s part of the problem. To remedy this, initiate a “work for it” program that allows you to show your dog affection as long as he earns your attention in appropriate ways. Make him sit, stay calm, and do whatever else you ask before doling out whatever it is he wants. If he’s excited for dinner, make him sit and leave it before digging in. If he wants in your lap, ask him to do a trick first. Never give your dog attention if he rudely nudges your hand or barks in your face. He needs to know polite behavior, and polite behavior only, is how he gets what he wants. You ignore everything else. Involve Other People in the Dog’s Life Most overprotective dogs choose to guard only the person they feel closest to. It’s usually the same person who fills their food bowls, takes them on walks, and handles training. They become obsessively attached, and a strong bond gradually mutates into overprotective behavior. Putting some space between you and your dog will help him learn to trust other people. Enlist the entire family’s help and take a step back in your role as primary caregiver. Have someone else feed the dog a few times a week, and encourage other people to engage her in playtime. This will help him be more comfortable with different people. Socialize Socialization is best done during the puppy stages, but even adult and senior dogs benefit from new experiences. Exposing your overprotective dog to new places, experiences, and people, will help him learn that not everyone is out to hurt you. Make sure each new experience is positive, and encourage your dog without forcing him to interact. If your dog is afraid, you don’t want to make things worse. Take socialization at the pace he’s comfortable with. If he seems overwhelmed, back up and try something a little smaller. These are some general ideas and they can be modified to fit your dynamic. These behaviors do take time, I am talking months, to correct. And sometimes the behaviors get worse before they get better. So just push through that time if that starts to happen. Please let me know if you have any additional questions. Thank you for writing in!

Add a comment to Simba's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Dakota
German Shepherd
10 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Dakota
German Shepherd
10 Months

Dakota has become aggressive with my lab. One minute she will past with her andthe next attack her. Twice now she has also charged at my husband once when he was joking aroundwith me and got alittle loud the next he was just bringing me ice cream. She never did any of this till she went into heat and we arein the 4th week of heat. Could this be the reason?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Linda, Hormones from being in heat can definitely make aggression worse but it's usually not the sole cause. As dogs reach sexual and mental maturity that is a common time for aggression to show up - things that were minor problems that may have gone overlooked with a puppy can become bigger issues that make the aggression obvious. I recommend hiring a professional trainer who specializes in behavior issues like aggression. Since pup has charged at your husband for approaching you multiple times, it does sound like pup may be possessive of you, so their respect for you and trust for your husband will need to be addressed through a more comprehensive training program that addresses those things through structured routine, training commands, and how you are interacting with pup in daily life. I would also recommend desensitizing pup to wearing a basket muzzle for safety reasons. This can be done using food rewards paired with pup willingly touching and interacting with the muzzle very gradually. Since pup is acting possessive of you around your husband I would have the two dogs evaluated together. There may be some unknown resource guarding that's triggering fights between the dogs also. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Dakota's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Rozie
German Shepherd
1 Month
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Rozie
German Shepherd
1 Month

She is much aggressive even when we play with her....N take her in our hands..N bite at hard...

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello. Here is information on nipping/biting. Nipping: Puppies may nip for a number of reasons. Nipping can be a means of energy release, getting attention, interacting and exploring their environment or it could be a habit that helps with teething. Whatever the cause, nipping can still be painful for the receiver, and it’s an action that pet parents want to curb. Some ways to stop biting before it becomes a real problem include: Using teething toys. Distracting with and redirecting your dog’s biting to safe and durable chew toys is one way to keep them from focusing their mouthy energies to an approved location and teach them what biting habits are acceptable. Making sure your dog is getting the proper amount of exercise. Exercise is huge. Different dogs have different exercise needs based on their breed and size, so check with your veterinarian to make sure that yours is getting the exercise they need. Dogs—and especially puppies—use their playtime to get out extra energy. With too much pent-up energy, your pup may resort to play biting. Having them expel their energy in positive ways - including both physical and mental exercise - will help mitigate extra nips. Being consistent. Training your dog takes patience, practice and consistency. With the right training techniques and commitment, your dog will learn what is preferred behavior. While sometimes it may be easier to let a little nipping activity go, be sure to remain consistent in your cues and redirection. That way, boundaries are clear to your dog. Using positive reinforcement. To establish preferred behaviors, use positive reinforcement when your dog exhibits the correct behavior. For instance, praise and treat your puppy when they listen to your cue to stop unwanted biting as well as when they choose an appropriate teething toy on their own. Saying “Ouch!” The next time your puppy becomes too exuberant and nips you, say “OUCH!” in a very shocked tone and immediately stop playing with them. Your puppy should learn - just as they did with their littermates - that their form of play has become unwanted. When they stop, ensure that you follow up with positive reinforcement by offering praise, treat and/or resuming play. Letting every interaction with your puppy be a learning opportunity. While there are moments of dedicated training time, every interaction with your dog can be used as a potential teaching moment.

Add a comment to Rozie's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Zimba
German Shepherd
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Zimba
German Shepherd
1 Year

He barks and approaches guests like he is going to bite. I am worried..
we muzzle him up and have let him bark .he then settles after a few minutes. Is that the right way?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Geetha, I do recommend continuing the muzzle for everyone's safety. More training will be needed however. In this case, I recommend hiring a professional trainer who specializes in behavior issues like aggression and comes well recommended. I suggest working with the trainer to reward pup for calm body language and desensitize pup to people, while also working on obedience commands to build trust for other people, and boundaries and rules to gain pup's respect and trust for you, so that you can command pup to do things like give space, go to Place, say hi, or come to you when they are feeling unsure, instead of pup trying to handle the situation themselves. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Zimba's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Marley
Beagleman
3 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Marley
Beagleman
3 Years

Our female German Shepherd was 3 yrs old when we rescued Marley at 5 wks. They did fine until Marley matured them Dakota turned on her over toys, attention and we had to separate until Dakota died of liver cancer. We want another GS but don’t want another aggressive moment and need advice if it makes a difference if it’s a male or female GS. I’m home 24/7 and my daughter lives with me and works during the day. We plan on having this new GS trained as I was in the hospital when the planned on having Dakota professionally trained. What do you recommend as to male/female since Marley is female. How should we introduce the puppy to her and should we gather all toys? Any help is appreciated. We do have a large privacy fence and large covered patio with doggie door to come in and out. We also have 3 cats but they loved Dakota and she grow up loving them. Only when Dakota got older did she get aggressive with Marley when Jeannie was home or over toys.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Brenda, Was Marley also toy aggressive? If so, I highly recommend controlling the toys but also working on the resource guarding with a trainer before even bringing another puppy home. Typically a dog of the opposite sex will compete less with your current dog, so if your current dog is female, a male may be less likely to cause issues, but even more than that it will depend on the specific temperament of the puppy you choose. Generally, a middle of the line temperament will go over better. A puppy who is not too dominant but also not super timid, but a pup who is friendly, laid back, and a little on the submissive side. For introductions I recommend having two different people walk them together, practicing the Walking together method. Walking Together: https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs In the home, recommend crate training pup and crating or confining pup to a crate or exercise pen with dog food stuffed chew toys when you can't directly supervise them together. Surprise method for crate training: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Marley's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Leo
German Shepherd
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Leo
German Shepherd
1 Year

He’s not socialized. Is it too late? He barks at everyone

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Donnetta, It is too late to socialize him in the same way that you can socialize a puppy, and it will be much harder, but with work you generally can help pup get used to strangers overtime. One of the fastest ways to do this will be to work with a training group that has a staff of trainers who can practice being "strangers" around him and rewarding him for good responses while you practice structured obedience with him to keep him calmer in their presence. If he is aggressive or fearful, he may be a bite risk, so that is part of the reason I recommend working with a training group since they will know better how to do this safely and be able to practice with lots of different people who know how to behave around him. Once he is comfortable enough to greet and be around the "strangers - i.e. training staff", then having various people practice obedience commands with him and walk him can further help build trust. You will want to practice a lot of obedience with him around other people too, to help him learn how to depend on your calm, confident leadership when nervous, and to help manage any unwanted behavior from him around new people. Check out Thomas Davis from The Canine Educator on Youtube for some examples of working dogs through fear of people. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Leo's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Gracie
German Shepherd
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Gracie
German Shepherd
2 Years

I have a 2-year-old German Shepherd and she is really aggressive she never allows anyone in the house she always bark very aggressively. When I walk her she naturally calm until she sees someone and then she gets aggressive and barks a goes crazy but that's only when they begin to get close When we have visitors we have to put her in the basement to keep everyone safe. I really need help I don't know what to do, I've been training dogs for a while I'm 15 but I've only trained dogs with my uncle and that was with obedience. I hope you can tell me what to do to solve this problem so that she can be a normal and sociable do. Also she was never socialized so that's also the big problem. I hope you can help me.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello there. It sounds like you have your hands full. I am going to provide you with information on how to correct this behavior. You won’t be able to solve your dog’s overprotective behavior in one day. In the meantime, you don’t want to put your life on hold. You can still invite guests into your home as long as you prioritize managing your dog’s behavior. You’ll need a short-term strategy to start showing your overprotective dog what behavior is unacceptable while also keeping your guests safe. There are a few ways to do this. Leash: Keeping your dog on a leash while friends are visiting gives you control over your dog’s actions. Leash him up before the doorbell rings and keep him close as you greet your guests. During the visit, you can let the leash drag and only use it if you have to. Muzzle: If you feel his behavior warrants the use of a muzzle for the time being while you work on solving this problem, then it may be a wise choice. Separate Room: Your dog won’t get better without practice, but sometimes you have to weigh the risks versus rewards. If your overprotective dog is in the beginning stages of training, keeping him separated from guests might be best. You don’t want to put a friend’s safety at risk or needlessly stress out your dog. As long as you keep working toward stopping the behavior, separating an overprotective dog from company is a temporary management solution. Start Obedience Training Obedience training is a must for every dog, and it’s especially important for overprotective dogs. Working with your dog on things like “sit-stay,” “down-stay,” and “heel,” will help build his impulse control. He’ll start seeing you as a capable leader and will turn to you for guidance. A mistake many pup parents make is stopping obedience training once their dog masters the basics skills. Being well-trained is about more than knowing how to sit when a person holds a treat in front of their face. It’s a lifetime lesson, and even senior dogs need regular training. Commit to training your dog several times a day for short periods of time. Make Your Dog Work for Affection You can’t help but smother your dog with love every time he’s within petting distance, but that isn’t always what’s best for him. He will start to feel entitled to your attention, and that’s part of the problem. To remedy this, initiate a “work for it” program that allows you to show your dog affection as long as he earns your attention in appropriate ways. Make him sit, stay calm, and do whatever else you ask before doling out whatever it is he wants. If he’s excited for dinner, make him sit and leave it before digging in. If he wants in your lap, ask him to do a trick first. Never give your dog attention if he rudely nudges your hand or barks in your face. He needs to know polite behavior, and polite behavior only, is how he gets what he wants. You ignore everything else. Involve Other People in the Dog’s Life Most overprotective dogs choose to guard only the person they feel closest to. It’s usually the same person who fills their food bowls, takes them on walks, and handles training. They become obsessively attached, and a strong bond gradually mutates into overprotective behavior. Putting some space between you and your dog will help him learn to trust other people. Enlist the entire family’s help and take a step back in your role as primary caregiver. Have someone else feed the dog a few times a week, and encourage other people to engage her in playtime. This will help him be more comfortable with different people. Socialize Socialization is best done during the puppy stages, but even adult and senior dogs benefit from new experiences. Exposing your overprotective dog to new places, experiences, and people, will help him learn that not everyone is out to hurt you. Make sure each new experience is positive, and encourage your dog without forcing him to interact. If your dog is afraid, you don’t want to make things worse. Take socialization at the pace he’s comfortable with. If he seems overwhelmed, back up and try something a little smaller. These are some general ideas and they can be modified to fit your dynamic. These behaviors do take time, I am talking months, to correct. And sometimes the behaviors get worse before they get better. So just push through that time if that starts to happen. Please let me know if you have any additional questions. Thank you for writing in!

Add a comment to Gracie's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Bailey
German Shepherd
5 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Bailey
German Shepherd
5 Years

Its been over a year that my dog keeps attacking my husband whenever he moves around the house at night only ! Especially if he is in deep sleep and my husband passes by him !!

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello. Since this is occurring at night, I am wondering if your dog is having some vision issues. Regardless, this is something that I would discuss with a veterinarian and a behaviorist in your area. Aggression issues are issues that need to be addressed in person and someone will need to work with you one on one over the course of weeks to correct it.

Add a comment to Bailey's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Bandit
German Shepherd Great Pyrenees mix
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Bandit
German Shepherd Great Pyrenees mix
2 Years

aggressive behavior towards kids, adults and other dogs.
seperation anxiety

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Shelbie, For what you are describing, I recommend hiring a professional trainer who specializes in behavior issues. Look for one who comes well recommended by their previous clients, works with a team of trainers or staff so there are others who can practice being "strangers" during training scenarios you set up, and has access to well mannered dogs to practice around. Check out trainers like SolidK9training online. I don't recommend working on the aggression by yourself. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Bandit's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Zuse
German Shepherd
6 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Zuse
German Shepherd
6 Months

He has separation anxiety and is aggressive toward strangers that approach me.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hi there. Because this behavior issue is complex, I have a lot of information to send you. With some time and practice, this is something that can be turned around over the next month or so. The first step in treating separation anxiety is to break the cycle of anxiety. Every time a dog with separation anxiety becomes anxious when their owner leaves, the distress they feel is reinforced until they become absolutely frantic any time they are left alone. Owners should give the dog an acceptable item to chew, such as a long lasting food treat when they go out. The goal is to have the dog associate this special treat with the owner’s departure. Treats might include hollow bones stuffed with peanut butter or soft cheese, drilled out nylon bones, or hollow rubber chew toys such as Kong toys with similar enhancements (place these in the freezer before giving them to your dog to make them last longer). Give the bone to your dog about 15 minutes before preparing to depart. The chew toy should be used only as a reward to offset the anxiety triggered by your departure. Hiding a variety of these delectable food treats throughout the house may occupy the dog so that the owner’s departure is less stressful. In an effort to prevent destructive behavior, many owners confine their dog in a crate or behind a gate. For dogs that display “barrier frustration,” the use of a crate in this way is counterproductive. Many dogs will physically injure themselves while attempting to escape such confinement. Careful efforts to desensitize and counter condition the dog to crate confinement before leaving them alone may be helpful in some cases. However, some dogs rebel against any form of restraint, including restricting barriers and, for them, crate training may never be a positive experience. Crate training and utilizing the crate while people are home can be a positive way to make the crate a safe place. If you utilize it when people are around, your dog won’t necessarily associate the crate with departure and being left alone. Creating nap time in the crate throughout the day can also be helpful. Building Independence Independence training can help fight separation anxiety and loneliness. Independence training can help build confidence and instill obedience. “Doggie Daycare” or hiring a pet sitter may be a better alternative for dogs that are initially resistant to treatment. It can be expensive, but prices vary. Independence training is one of the more important aspects of the program. It involves teaching your dog to “stand on their own four feet” when you are present, with the express intention that their newfound confidence will spill over into times when you are away. You need to make your dog more independent by reducing the bond between both of you to a more healthy level of involvement. Decreasing the bond is the hardest thing for owners to accept. Most people acquire dogs because they want a strong relationship with them. However, you have to accept that the anxiety your dog experiences in your absence is destructive. Essential components of the independence training program are as follows: Your dog can be with you, but the amount of interaction time should be reduced, especially where attention-seeking behaviors are concerned. You should initiate all interactions with your dog, and they shouldn’t be permitted to demand attention. If you give your dog attention every time they whine, it helps to foster the dog’s dependence on you and increases its anxiety in your absence. You should ignore your dog completely when they engage in attention-seeking behavior, and avoid catering to them when they appear to feel anxious. This means no eye contact, no pushing away, and no soothing talk or body language, all of which will reward their attention-seeking mission. Attention is encouraged only when your dog is sitting or lying calmly. The goal is not to ignore your dog, but to stop reinforcing attention-seeking behaviors so that your dog develops a sense of independence. Minimize the extent to which your dog follows you by teaching them to remain relaxed in one spot, such as their bed. To accomplish this, it is helpful if you train them to perform a sit-stay or down-stay while gradually increasing the time that they hold the command and remain at a distance from you. Providing a treat or toy and encouraging individual play time can be helpful. Once your dog has learned basic obedience commands, you can train them to hold long down-stays while you move progressively farther away. First, your dog should be trained to perform a “down-stay” on a mat or dog bed using a specific command, such as “lie down.” Your dog may have to be gently escorted to the designated spot the first few times. Initially, they should be rewarded every 10 seconds for remaining there, then every 20 seconds, 30 seconds, and so on. Once they have figured out what is wanted, you should switch to an intermittent schedule of reinforcement [reward], as this will strengthen the learned response. Each time your dog breaks their “stay,” issue a verbal correction, indicating that there will be no reward, and then escort them back to their bed. First, your dog can be made to “down-stay” while you are in the room. Next, they can be asked to stay when you are outside of the room, but nearby. The distance and time you are away from your dog can be increased progressively until your dog can remain in a down-stay for 20 to 30 minutes in your absence. Your dog should be warmly praised for compliance. Of course, they need to accept the praise without breaking the stay. Your dog should become accustomed to being separated from you when you are home for varying lengths of time and at different times of day. You can set up child gates to deny your dog access into the room you’re occupying (i.e. reading, watching television, or cooking). Instruct your dog to lie down and stay on a dog bed outside the room. As previously mentioned, you can provide an extended-release food treat or toy to keep your dog calm and distracted. Once they are able to tolerate being separated from you by a child gate, you can graduate to shutting the door to the room so your dog cannot see you. Allowing a dog to sleep in bed with the family can increase dependence. If you decide to prevent your dog from sleeping in your bed, there are some steps to take to establish this routine. First, you need to train your dog to sleep in their own bed on the floor in your bedroom. They may have to be taken to their bed several times before they get the message that you really want them to sleep in their own bed. Alternatively, you can train your dog to enjoy sleeping in a crate to prevent unwanted excursions. Do not use a crate if it causes more anxiety and distress for your dog. Once they tolerate sleeping in their own bed in your bedroom, you can move their bed outside of the bedroom and use a child gate or barrier to keep them out. Always remember to reward your dog with praise or a food treat for remaining in their bed. Develop Departure Techniques Many owners erroneously feel that if separation is so stressful, then they should spend more time with their dog before leaving. Unfortunately, this only exacerbates the condition. Everyone in the family should ignore your dog for 15 to 20 minutes before leaving the house and for at least 10 to 20 minutes after returning home. Alternatively, your leaving can be made a highlight of your dog’s day by making it a “happy time” and the time at which they are fed. Departures should be quick and quiet. When departures (and returns) generate less anxiety (and excitement), your dog will begin to feel less tension in your absence. Remember to reward calm behavior. Teach your dog that your departure and return are just normal parts of the day and are not times to be stressed. You should attempt to randomize the cues indicating that you are preparing to leave. Changing the cues may take some trial and error. Some cues mean nothing to a dog, while others trigger anxiety. Make a list of the things you normally do before leaving for the day (and anxiety occurs) and the things done before a short time out (and no anxiety occurs).Then mix up the cues. For example, if your dog is fine when you go downstairs to do the laundry, you can try taking the laundry basket with you when you leave for work. If your dog becomes anxious when you pick up your keys or put on a coat, you should practice these things when you are not really leaving. You can, for example, stand up, put on a coat or pick up your car keys during television commercials, and then sit down again. You can also open and shut doors while you are home when you do not intend to leave. Entering and exiting through various doors when leaving and returning can also mix up cues for your dog. When you are actually leaving, you should try not to give any cues to this effect. Leave your coat in the car and put your keys in the ignition well before leaving. It is important to randomize all the cues indicating departure (clothing, physical and vocal signals, interactions with family members, other pets, and so on). The planned departure technique can be very effective for some dogs. This program is recommended only under special circumstances because it requires that you never leave your dog alone during the entire retraining period, which can be weeks or months. Timing is everything when implementing this program. If your dog shows signs of anxiety (pacing, panting, barking excessively) the instant you walk out of the door, you should stand outside the door and wait until your dog is quiet for three seconds. Then go back inside quickly and reward your dog for being calm. If you return WHEN your dog is anxious, this reinforces your dog’s tendency to display the behavior, because it has the desired effect of reuniting the “pack” members. The goal is for your dog to connect being calm and relaxed with your return. Gradually work up to slightly longer departures 5 to 10 minutes as long as your dog remains quiet, and continue in this fashion. Eventually, you should be able to leave for the day without your dog becoming anxious when you depart. When performed correctly, this program can be very helpful in resolving separation anxiety. Other Treatment Options Obedience Training Obedience training helps to instill confidence and independence in your dog. You should spend 5 to 10 minutes daily training your dog to obey one-word commands. It may be helpful to have training sessions occur in the room where your dog will be left when you are gone. All positive experiences (food, toys, sleep, training, and attention) should be associated with this area of the home. Exercise Your dog should receive 15 to 20 minutes of sustained aerobic exercise once, preferably twice, per day. It is often helpful to exercise your dog before you leave for the day. Exercise helps to dissipate anxiety and provides constructive interaction between you and your dog. It is best to allow your dog 15 to 20 minutes to calm down before you depart. Fetching a ball is good exercise, as is going for a brisk walk or run with your dog on a leash. Even if your dog has a large yard to run in all day, the aerobic exercise will be beneficial since most dogs will not tire themselves if left to their own devices. This is incredibly helpful in dogs that are working breeds that need a job to expend energy and work their brains. Supplements Recently, supplements have been released to the public that can help dogs with anxiety. Purina created a probiotic that has been shown to reduce anxiety and provide a calming effect on some dogs. Your veterinarian may recommend this product for treating anxiety, or other products that contain L-Theanine or L-tryptophan.

Add a comment to Zuse's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Koda
German Shepherd
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Koda
German Shepherd
1 Year

My boyfriend, who is typically the one that walks our shepherd, was out of town for a couple of days playing hockey, so I was the only one home with Koda. This was the first time that I have been home alone with her for days at a time since she was a puppy, last hockey season. I took her on a walk, and as we passed a stranger on an outdoor staircase, she went right for his arm. Started growling and barking, and would have bit him had he not moved over to where she could not reach him. I am not as strong as my boyfriend and I think that she takes great advantage of that. I am sure that she's just overprotective of me, but is this something that I need to get professional training for?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Victoria, I do highly recommend working with a professional trainer in person for this. Look for someone who specializes in behavior issues and works with a team of trainers who can practice being "strangers" during training. Also, look for a trainer who comes well recommended by their previous clients for similar issues. Not all trainers have experience with aggression. It's possible this is only an issue when she is with you and not with your boyfriend. Dogs have different relationship with different people, and if she trusts or respects him more than she does with you, she is more likely to react to strangers with you than with him. When she is with you it will not get better on it's own though, and is likely to happen again. Because this is a safety issue I generally suggest working with someone who specializes in behavior issues for this type of thing, opposed to other commands and behaviors that can be addressed more easily and safely on your own. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Koda's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Lady
german shephard
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Lady
german shephard
2 Years

For a long time has not done it but after like 6 mts has started attacking our second dog ho is much smaller than her, both female same age.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kia, I recommend hiring a professional trainer who specializes in behavior issues like aggression, to come to your home and evaluate how the dog's are interacting with each other, their individual history and temperaments, and your interactions with each dog. Learning more about each dog, the type of aggression, and what commonly triggers the aggression will have a large effect on how training is done and the household managed to keep everyone safe. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Lady's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Pants
German Shepherd
4 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Pants
German Shepherd
4 Years

My dog barks, growls and snaps at my elderly father when he tries to get out of his chair. My father has Alzhimers.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Corinn, For this issue I highly recommend hiring a professional private trainer who can come to your home to work with you in person. Look for someone who specializes in behavior issues like aggression. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Pants's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Zeus
German Shepherd
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Zeus
German Shepherd
1 Year

Nips at my wife to get her attention. If she turns around and ignores him, he bites her in the rear. He wants her to chase him. Thinks she is a member of the pack to play with.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello David, I highly recommend hiring a professional trainer who specializes in behavior issues to help in person with this. I would work with a trainer who comes well recommended by their previous clients, to work on building pup's respect for her without too much direct confrontation - through things like pup having to earn everything they want by doing a command first, such as Sit before petting, Down before a toy