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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I seem to have discovered some dog aggression in my 3.5 month old GSD bitch..

She has only encountered about 4 or 5 dogs, since I took possession of her 3 weeks ago..and each has been a bit of a nightmare..

The first was a nice and clam Bichon Frise owned by a friend of mine. Good idea, you'd think. Wrong. It snarled and barked at Xena...who snarled and barked back in return...

Then a large black male labrador, who is also owned by a friend. Nice relaxed dog. When they were off the lead...the Labrador was play chasing Xena..who immediately took offense..yelping loudly and trying to outrun/out maneoever him... prey drive in Labrador meant more chasing...and when Xena ran out of field...she turned and snapped away at him... MeerKat like !

Today, we were at my local Schutzhund club, when she met another dog...a male pup who was 12 weeks old male. He barked a couple of times at her, from about 3 foot away... the result was Xena went down the lead, snarling and barking, hair up etc....

It's becoming a problem..and something i'm going to have to deal with ASAP, before she gets much older.....

Any tips/advice..?
 

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Do you know when she was taken away from her litter? Sometimes if they are taken away too early, they miss out on friendly dog body language. She doesn't have to be best friends with every dog she meets, but you're right, she does need to be at least neutral to them. If there is a place where you can take where she can see a lot of other dogs, but maybe not directly interact with them quite yet, that would be where I would start. Like my older dog has agility class in a fairly large obedience/rally/agility complex and so my husband keeps my pup on a leash and sits off to the side so he can see all the other well-behaved dogs go by. You can also add in attention and focus work and perhaps a little light obedience around other dogs. One of the worst things you can do is start to get tense on the leash. Your dog will pick up on that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Do you know when she was taken away from her litter? Sometimes if they are taken away too early, they miss out on friendly dog body language.
She was 10 weeks old, when I got her.....

She doesn't have to be best friends with every dog she meets, but you're right, she does need to be at least neutral to them.
I think she does possess a degree of neutrality..in that she doesn't particularly jump up and down when she sees another dog and also will pay just as much attention to a person walking past alone, as she will to a person and dog walking past..

If there is a place where you can take where she can see a lot of other dogs, but maybe not directly interact with them quite yet, that would be where I would start.
Yeah. The working dog club that i'm a member of, is slightly different to the Schutzhund club where I'm thinking of joining... in that there are more puppies there and also the people who run it and are members have far more patience. Xena and I are going next Sunday to the working dog club for some more interaction with dogs...of different ages... the older ones being known for their calm demeanor etc.

One of the worst things you can do is start to get tense on the leash. Your dog will pick up on that.
True... Something one has to mentally avoid..it's so tempting to take a firmer hold isnt' it?

I'm going to have to be a bit firmer with her at times too... It was noticed that today, I was trying to reassure her when she was showing aggression to the other dog..but it appeared to have the opposite effect in that it looked like I was encouraging her...[-X

I'm going to have to watch myself that I don't give the wrong vibes to her...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I might have been worrying before the need..(not sure)...

I've just been out with some friends..who've got various dogs..... and Xena got along with them..great. She played a bit....ran along...ignored them..played etc... and whenever I called her name..she ran back (quicker than normal, I noticed)..and sat/presented nice in front of me...

There were 2 x field spaniels, 2 x English Setters and a lhasa apso... males and females...

So I feel a bit better now... I must admit..none of them showed any aggression towards her...so perhaps that's the trigger she waits for...?
 

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So I feel a bit better now... I must admit..none of them showed any aggression towards her...so perhaps that's the trigger she waits for...?
If you get yelled at or chased, without (much) reason, won´t you yell back???

wth...
 

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Gary,

Do you do any other training with her. As well as going to the Schutzhund club we always took our pup along to a nearby dog training school and took her through puppy obedience up to KC Good Citizen Gold.

What has this got to do with dog aggression?? Well it helped conditioned her to be around all sorts of others dogs in a controlled environment and still be able to listen to me. Always better to have a controlled environment with a puppy than run the risk of bumping into an unsuitable dog off lead.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Gary,

Do you do any other training with her. As well as going to the Schutzhund club we always took our pup along to a nearby dog training school and took her through puppy obedience up to KC Good Citizen Gold.

What has this got to do with dog aggression?? Well it helped conditioned her to be around all sorts of others dogs in a controlled environment and still be able to listen to me. Always better to have a controlled environment with a puppy than run the risk of bumping into an unsuitable dog off lead.
I'm also a member of a working dog club..and this coming Sunday, there's going to be a socialisation session for puppies/young dogs... So i'm going along to that...should be good conditioning.

If you read back to my earlier post, you'll see that she still listened when I called her name and responded very well...
 

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If you get yelled at or chased, without (much) reason, won´t you yell back???
I have to agree with Selena. In each of the scenarios you outlined, there was a trigger for her reaction. It doesn't sound to me like she's aggressive as much as fearful. She needs to spend some time around dogs with good dog social skills. Who are used to pups, and even better, used to pups who aren't totally confident. Who will react to her fear with a "hey, I'm not that scary" reaction and either be neutral about her, or gently try to get her to play. Generally these are adult dogs, 3 years and older. Anything younger tends to be to much of a pup itself, and a scared or running pup triggers a reaction to catch that pup and pummel it. They haven't learned how to be gentle with smaller dogs yet, since they are still pups themselves.
 
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