Tag Archives: dog aggressivness

Introducing a New Puppy to Existing Dogs in the Home

Exploring the vast prairie of the Washita National Wildlife Refuge
Exploring the vast prairie of the Washita National Wildlife Refuge

Hi Everyone,

Introducing two or more dogs to a new German Shepherd Dog puppy can be an anxious experience because you will be worried that the older or larger dogs could potentially hurt the puppy.  The first thing you must remember to do is present a relaxed mental attitude so that your existing dog(s) does not become anxious or nervous at the time of the introduction.  So take a deep breath and carry your new puppy into the house and allow your other dog(s) to come up and sniff the new puppy while you sit on the couch loving the new German Shepherd Dog puppy.  Once the existing dog(s) lose interest in the new puppy allow the puppy to roam around the house and approach the existing dog(s).  If the existing dogs do not lose interest in the new puppy, after several minutes in your lap place the new puppy on the floor and allow the dogs to meet each other.  This should be closely monitored by you until you are absolutely sure the older dog(s) will not harm the new puppy.  If you have outside dogs then the same exercise can be done in your backyard.

Excited puppies playing
Excited puppies playing
German Shepherd Dogs are Gregarious and Want to Be Part of a Pack
German Shepherd Dogs are Gregarious and Want to Be Part of a Pack

You should have a fair idea about the tolerance level and aggressiveness of the older and larger dog(s); therefore, if a possibility exists for the existing dog to snap at the new German Shepherd Dog puppy, you should do the introduction while the existing dog(s) are on leash, which may require the help of family members.  Even if you have an older dog with a solid temperament if it is a shepherd or larger size dog, I would be hesitant to leave the new German Shepherd Dog puppy under 16 weeks-of-age alone with the existing dog without a couple of days of close supervision.  One single act of aggression from the older dog intended only to teach the new puppy manners can severely injure the puppy if you are not there to prevent or intervene.  After a couple of days of close supervision, you should know if it is safe to leave the dogs together unattended.

If you have friends with dogs then you can do the introduction in the same manner at your friend’s house.  The process should be the same if your friend brings their dog(s) to your house.  If you are introducing new puppies to each other there is no reason to go through any pretense, just introduce them and enjoy the show as they discover each other.

Puppies Learn Manners From Older Dogs
Puppies Learn Manners From Older Dogs

 

Puppies and Adults Can Get Along if Properly Introduced
Puppies and Adults Can Get Along if Properly Introduced

As always with all puppies, any dogs that the puppy comes into contact with should be up to date on all vaccinations.  There is little worse than losing a new puppy to parvo or distemper because they came into contact with an unvaccinated dog that was shedding viruses.

Ask me a Question and I will provide my opinion.   Also, please see our web page: KeystoneGermanShepherds

Sincerely,

KeystoneGermanShepherds

Retraining Dog Aggressive German Shepherd Dogs Conclusion

Exploring the vast prairie of the Washita National Wildlife Refuge
Exploring the vast prairie of the Washita National Wildlife Refuge
Hi Everyone,

The best way to retrain your German Shepherd Dog not to be dog aggressive is to expose them to a lot of strange dogs while walking on lead while healing, and when the opportunity arises refocus their attention from the aggressive actions to that of a calm and relaxed mindset.  To get your German Shepherd Dog to refocus while it is being aggressive requires a firm action from you that must be robust enough that it will distract them from the object of their aggression and refocus their attention back onto you.  For those that are physically able a Kung Fu type grip and a sharp poke into the rib cage of your German Shepherd Dog is usually enough to get them to refocus back onto you.  This is not to be done hard enough to physically hurt the shepherd, but hard enough that they will be unable to ignore it and that they have no doubts that you disapprove of their behavior.

Well Socialized German Shepherd Dogs Playing
Well Socialized German Shepherd Dogs Playing

In the wild, the pack leader would harshly bite a subordinate if they were showing undue aggression to other pack members or a perceived threat.  By poking your shepherd in the ribs, you are assuming the role of pack leader and biting a subordinate dog that is misbehaving, and this is how your dog will perceive this correction.  If done properly, the dog will turn in your direction and look at you, and at this time you should provide a sharp verbal command of “Leave it”.  Throughout this retraining exercise, you cannot become anxious or excited, you must remain calm and exude confidence or your dog will pick up on your negative energy and remain aggressive towards strange dogs.

When the correction is repeated and done correctly over several days your German Shepherd Dog will begin to relax around strange dogs and remain calm while you are walking.  Once this begins you can start trying to work this exercise with long leads and allow your German Shepherd Dog to actually interact with strange dogs.  You must continue to use a lead so that you can separate your shepherd from the strange dog if either dog begins to show aggression.  Only when you are fully confident that your shepherd is retrained can you allow your shepherd untethered access to strange dogs.

For those people that are not physically able to perform the above exercise, electric shock training collars work well to replace the hand as the pseudo bite to your dog.  In addition, if your German Shepherd Dog shows unwarranted aggression in the backyard by barking and charging the fence every time a strange dog walks by, the use of a shock collar will place an end to this unwanted behavior quickly.

If the shepherd that demonstrates this behavior towards strange dogs has subordinate dogs in the yard with them, they may lash out at the subordinate when the shock is applied.  This is because they believe that the dog closes to them applied the shock (pseudo-bite) and since they are subordinate, they had no right to correct the dominant shepherd.  This is a simple problem to fix, just put up subordinate dogs when using the shock collar.  You may want to create the corrective situation by having friends or neighbors walk their dogs by your yard until your aggressive German Shepherd Dog ignores the strange dogs after a few corrections from the shock collar.

Socializing German Shepherd Dogs Should Start as Puppies
Socializing German Shepherd Dogs Should Start as Puppies

If you hire a professional trainer to retrain your German Shepherd Dog not to be aggressive towards strange dogs, they will basically be doing a derivative form of the above training exercise.  Once they retrain your dog, they will want to retrain you.  If you do not follow their instructions you will likely be right back at the starting point with a dog aggressive German shepherd.

Ask me a Question and I will provide my opinion. Also, please see our web page: KeystoneGermanShepherds

Sincerely,

 

KeystoneGermanShepherds

Aggressive aggressiveness protectiveness

Retraining Dog Aggressive German Shepherd Dogs

Exploring the vast prairie of the Washita National Wildlife Refuge
Exploring the vast prairie of the Washita National Wildlife Refuge

Hi Everyone,

First, I would like to apologize for not posting daily, which was my original plan for this blog.  However, as we have moved into spring, mowing and maintenance work has dominated my time.  I see now that I will not be able to always post every day.  However, I will post as much as possible and after I get caught up with all my work, I will post on a more regular basis.  Please continue to check our blog for new posts, and look in the archives for post that may be germane to your current situation or questions regarding German Shepherd Dogs.

Retraining your German shepherd dog not to be dog aggressive is not an easy task and will take a concerted effort and time to correct.  Retrain rather than train is because your shepherd was not always dog aggressive, and likely you had a large part in the development of this behavior as your puppy grew up.  Either you did not socialize the German Shepherd Dog enough as a puppy by exposing them to strange dogs and people or when you came into contact with a strange dog while walking your shepherd you gave the wrong signals, which encouraged the aggressive behavior.

12-Month-Old Heidelberg's Nelson Being Socialized to Strange Dogs at a Dog Show
12-Month-Old Heidelberg’s Nelson Being Socialized to Strange Dogs at a Dog Show

German Shepherd Dogs that are bred correctly will have the propensity to be protective of their owners and their owner’s property including the owner’s other animals.  If not nurtured and developed correctly this predisposition to be protective can be demonstrated in aggressive behavior to strange dogs that come to close to the owners or owner’s property or even while on a walk.

Because your German Shepherd Dog is aggressive towards other dogs does not mean that your shepherd is evil or a killer.   If this is your thought process then you need to understand that your shepherd is just doing what they were bred to do and because of your lack of training experience it is your fault not your dog’s fault.  In your German Shepherd Dog’s mind they are protecting you from attack from strange dogs when they show this aggravating behavior of charging at strange dogs while you are walking with them.  From this perspective, while frustrating, it is a little harder to be angry at your dog now that you know they are willing to risk injury and even death to protect you from what they see as a perceived threat.

German Shepherds Will Protect Your Property From Strange Dogs and People
German Shepherds Will Protect Your Property From Strange Dogs and People

If your German Shepherd Dog is dog aggressive then it is imperative and solely your responsibility to keep your shepherd from contacting a strange dog outside of your property until they are retrained.  If your German Shepherd Dog hurts another dog outside of your property get your checkbook out and start writing a check.  While you are writing a check, then write another one out to a professional trainer to retrain your German shepherd Dog. 

Basically if your German Shepherd dog is dog aggressive, you have four choices: 1) return the dog to breeder or get rid of the shepherd and the problem then get a poodle because you do not understand dog psychology well in enough to own a German Shepherd Dog; 2) ignore the problem and keep your shepherd on your property away from strange dogs; 3) retrain your German Shepherd Dog yourself; and 4) hire a professional trainer to retrain your dog not to be dog aggressive.  Tomorrow, I will continue this blog by focusing on option 3 and 4.

Ask me a Question and I will provide my opinion. Also, please see our web page: KeystoneGermanShepherds

Sincerely,

KeystoneGermanShepherds