I adopted my first dog who is a German Shepherd Mix (weighs about 80 lbs) seven months ago when I was watching my parents black lab mix.Well, I don't have a yard, so I have to walk the dogs on leash. My problem is the GS is extremly aggressive towards other dogs. It has gotten better since working with a behaviorist, but I had several incidents where he and the lab (who weighs around 70) dragged me to another dog and the GS would pick up the other dog and shake it. Once the Lab went back to my parents I could walk the GS on his own because he isn't as strong by himself. Also when using something called the "gently leader" helped allot. My questions are these: 1) What are the general impressions of the "gentle leader"? 2) I would dearly LOVE to adopt a second dog-My GS is a pack dog and he seems to miss the lab allot but when it comes to walking I won't put my GS or other dogs at jeporady, so should I go for a smaller dog, or just always use the gentle leader? 3) My problem with a smaller dog is the GS plays slightly rough, he is after all a 4 year old alpha male. Would it just be best to keep him as a single dog? Suggestions would be dearly appreaciated.
if you are working with a behaviorist why don't you ask their opinion? they know your dog and would be able to give you better insight. i personally would stay away from getting a small dog. i would get someone over 40 lbs. and i would definitely get a female. the gentle leaders are a great help in walking dogs that pull. they are not a corrective device against dog to dog aggression. that you need to work on before you get another dog.
Honestly, to me if you have a dog you know for sure is dog aggressive, you shouldn't be looking for another dog that you can't keep seperate at times (possibly all the time) without inviting trouble. Even if your gsd was accepting of a dog that was younger to start off with, there'd be no guarantee that at some point it wouldn't take a dislike to the younger dog, probably over a dominance related issue. As you have been working with a behaviorist, they're definitely the best person for you to be asking this question, as they've had personal experience with your dog. And if your dog is so dog aggressive that it will physically attack dogs by dragging you to them when it is on a leash, you should consider muzzling the dog when you walk it to prevent lawsuits from his attacks.
what will also help is a prong collar when you take him for walks .i know i will take a little heat for this but they do work . i wouldnt recommend a second dog with him if he is that aggrassive with other dogs . but in time he will mellow out my shepard mix did when he turned six .but i use the prong collor for a long time .they wont pull with it . what worked for me with anotherdog with him was a dominant female and it helps if they arespayed and nuretured .
Thanks guys! I have asked the behaviourist, and I am not sure if I just got a bad one, but he seems very unsure on what to do. He just pulls my dog's leash and yells at him allot and tells me that I have not excerted myself as ALPHA. In fact I got the gentle leader suggestion from another GSD' owner. And I realized I just made my poor dog sound like a demon... he has gotten much better in the time he has been here. It seems the longer he is away from the pound the more he settles in and the less aggressive he gets.
It didn't seem quite right to me. He is a much older gentleman, maybe he just has very different ideas about dog training or behavior then myself, but my vet suggested him. How would one go about finding a new one, behaviorist that is?
Nothing youve descibed about this behaviorist sounds good. Talk to a dog trainer in the area and get their recommendation on a behaviorist, where do you live? Yelling at a dog is stupid and could be dangerous and contributing to this problem.
yelling at and jerking the dog around are very old school ways of dog training. that what they did years ago. that is not the preferred way to train dogs nowadays. there are much better ways to get results. if you are uncomfortable find someone else. ask the vets office. someone that works there may know who to refer you to.
Hi Dog-in-Days, sounds like you've had quite a time! Your committment to your dog is commendable, and you need to know that whatever the outcome, you've done a great job. One site I'd recommend is: http://www.suesternberg.com/ She is wonderful. I attended a seminar of hers dealing with canine assessments, and it was fantastic. I hope this helps!
i have used a prong collar on my lab with good results. agree, that behaviorist sounds bad!! i also would not get a 2nd dog. also, i wouldn't walk both the lab and shepherd at the same time. too much strength!