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Up Topic Dog Boards / Behaviour / German Shepherd's sudden anti-social behaviour
- By Szymon [gb] Date 18.04.17 09:20 GMT
Hello, I have a three year old German Shepherd called Bruno. In the past, up to the time when he was about one and a half he used to play with all dogs who would want to play, he would be able to walk off-lead and adapt his play-style to the dog he was playing with, i.e chasing with some dogs and play fighting with the other. It never got too serious until suddenly out of nowhere he began jumping on male dogs and growling at them while doing it. At first it would be the other dog growling at him and then he jumped on them but from the second "meeting" onward, Bruno would  run up to the dog and begin jumping and growling at them. He's never bitten a dog or any person despite some of the fights looking serious. Soon I decided to only walk him on the lead however he wasn't used to walking on the lead and walking him was near impossible as he is so strong. I got myself a training lead and use that to walk him now however the walks are not fun for him or me. I have been walking him on that lead ever since however I lost my passion in dogs as well as the confidence in my dog, I just want him to be as he was once he was young. Does anyone know any cause or a solution to this problem? any help is appreciated.
- By furriefriends [gb] Date 18.04.17 10:22 GMT Upvotes 2
I think you are wise to use the long line so you have some control .its easy for things to escalate.
As for dealing with this. I would build a really strong recall , get him focus on you by lots of training starting at home. the watch command is good. teach him to ignore other dogs by giving treats at a distance to begin with and focusing on you the giver of all things nice. 
Your aim is to get him to ignore other dogs for now by offering treats when he is ignoring them and focused on you.
it may also be worth getting the help of a properly qualified behaviourist who is reward based. Nothing aversive

It probably wont be possible to work out why but you are where you are and you need to improve things so you and him have fun again. He doesn't need to play with other dogs , being involved with you is the best thing  for both of you. I have reactive dog and are now training her to ignore others and its all about us together. we walk away form other dogs before she has started to notice them too much giving loads of treats. ps I have a gsd who has been hard work as well as my other dog.
- By mixedpack [gb] Date 18.04.17 16:26 GMT Upvotes 3
Training, training and more training, positive re-enforcement and focus on a toy if possible, as you say, he is a big strong dog and he must never be allowed to become out of control in a situation with other dogs in a public place.  I would have a look round for possibly a GSD training club, go and watch to see how their methods sit with you and if you like what you see and the people doing the training then join up. The idea is that he is totally focussed on you and watching to see what you want and then you will have the sort of control you need. I don't know why he has suddenly become different although they can be slow to mature, also look at his food to make sure he is not getting protein levels above what his exercise regime requires.
- By Admin (Administrator) Date 21.04.17 06:59 GMT
Facebook reply:

Gemma Mackenzie says:  Sounds like he's turned to an adult and trying to dominate other males Which could possibly lead to fights. Has he been neutered. You have to keep socialising him I no its hard with the situation you're in but he'll feed of what you're feeling when you walk him if you're tense and anxious about walking him he'll play up and take the leadership roll. You can try dog walks and training classes to have him around other dogs. Good luck
- By Carrington Date 21.04.17 17:47 GMT Upvotes 3
I just want him to be as he was once he was young.

That's your issue right there, he's not a puppy, with puppy licence, he's not an adolescent who will be taught boundaries by other dogs he meets (the stage where he should have been on a long line, the most dangerous time to be attacked and scarred for life, moulding the dogs perception of other dogs, also the time he could hurt smaller dogs.)

He's an adult now, his alliance is now to his owner, he won't be interested in playing with other dogs (much)  so don't worry about that, that time may well and truly be over, don't think of it. :smile: He may wish to meet and greet if he has had no bad experiences, but unfortunately you allowed him to get into altercations (you may have judged them not serious, but they define his character)

He's no longer sure if a dog he meets is going to growl at him or play with him, so he may well become defensive, he's too big to take the chance, so please use that long line until he settles 6-12 months.... GSD's go through stages as all dogs, they play, become unsure, worried, think they're the big man, then fine, then, don't give a toss about other dogs...... :grin:

Concentrate on playing with him and keeping his focus on you, have fun yourselves on walks.... The KC bronze, silver and gold are fun to do along with activity groups great bonding for you and your dog if your interested.

If you allow no confrontations, he'll settle and be a lovely boy again, and get to the 'I don't give a toss stage' then you'll think he's got boring.:wink:
Up Topic Dog Boards / Behaviour / German Shepherd's sudden anti-social behaviour

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