Hi. Our 1yo rescued german shepherd was living happily with two other german shepherds at the rescue place but turned out to be dog agressive once we got her home.
I read the recent posts about people with small dogs trying to protect them from big dogs...but what should I do when off-leash little dogs come racing at full speed across the park at Sophie? I don't know whether to pull her back or try to get between her and the little dog...or to let Darwinian forces do their job as in, what is a 6-pound dog thinking by attacking a 75 lb dog-agressive shepherd? (OK, OK I'm just kidding about the Darwinian thing.)
It's only happened a few times, but the last time I seriously thought the other dog (about 8 inches tall) was going to be killed. Fortunately she got all the way up to us, Sophie barred her teeth and lunged, and the other dog realized: Gee. Maybe this wasn't such a brilliant idea after all, and ran.
You need to get this dog into obedience classes with a good trainer. Mostly for the distractions. A good trainer can help you set this dog up for success by exposing him to little dogs without having an incident.
Yeah, I agree completely. We do plan to get her in a class or hire a behaviorist for the agression issue. She may never be a run-in-the-dog-park kind of dog, but it would be better if she were at least more neutral.
It's just that there have been a ton of issues with Sophie since we got her (currently in tmt for +heartworm, some potty-training issues, major separation anxiety, etc) so we're only able to tackle one at a time. But as soon as she finishes this second round of heartworm treatment, we're planning on working on the dog aggression.
I will say, adopting a rescue dog has been a huge education. Geez.
I absolutely hate to disagree with mommamia but please do not muzzle your dog. You may need to keep her away from other dogs at first until you can get a handle on her. Muzzling will cause her to be more fearful and aggressive IMO. Muzzling will take away her defenses and make her feel more vulnerable.
***Edited By: pwcorgilover on 9/3/2006 11:38:04 PM*** Reason: correct pronouns
I have had the same problem. What i do with my dogs is stand over thier shoulders with thier body between my legs. Then i pull thier collar high up on thier necks and hold it with my hand. That way i have control over the dogs head and body.
I dont know if that will work with a shepard as they are larger than anything i have owned. The best thing to do though is get immeadiate control over your dogs head. Dont try to grip the muzzle as that can be taken as a threat.
I agree with getting her into classes. Pretty much starting (attempting) the entire process of socialization all over again. While you're in the process, a head halti or something similar would probably be easier to control her with in these situations than a collar.
Thanks for the suggestions. I'm optimistic that you guys think the classes will be so helpful. How do they actually teach a dog not to attack other dogs? I don't think I'd want to be the teacher's dog that gets signed up for that duty...
I haven't used a muzzle on Sophie, b/c the problem now is only with the few off-leash dogs that come up to her. Otherwise, I can keep her away from dogs, cross the street, walk at off-hours, etc.
When we could walk her before HW treatment ;-(, we had her on a gentle leader which helped a lot with her tremendous pulling. We also kept a choke-collar on her during walks which was completely loose but just served as reassurance for us that if she lunged and the gentle leader broke, the collar would then function. Otherwise, it stayed totally lax all the time as it was much longer than the GL. (This is one strong dog). She's never broken the GL but we feel better just knowing the other collar is there if we need it.