GSD on lead aggression towards other dogs

Posted by morgen
Aug 3, 2008
Hi there. My beautiful GSD aged 18 months lacks confidence irrespective of being suitably socialised as a puppy ; this means that every time I walk her, and she spots another dog she turns into a gremlin. She barks, growls, and twists about in order to free herself from the halti and lead. Invariably, there are onlookers who frown at my attempts to control my dog. I'm getting really desparate. I have read alot of books. Attended training. Done intensive one to one training and group work but there has been little improvement. I have also tried to turn round when another dog approaches but my GDS is very strong and sometimes I'm unable to 'contain her' :when she resists. Any advice folks?
Posted by KOPsRobyn
Jan 2, 2010
Hi Morgen

Firstly, it is important to make sure that you yourself are calm and not transmitting any tension through the leash to your dog. They are very sensitive animals and if they sense that you are afraid, they will either feel the need to protect you or that they too should be scared, depending on the situation, therefore may react aggressively. You will have to make a conscious effort to do so, as you may be sub-consciously stiffening when you see another dog as a result of your dog's past experiences with them. Walking her in a halti or gentle leader is a good idea, as this gives you much more control over her, which should stop her from fighting you. It may be a good idea to try turning around the moment she starts misbehaving and walking her home straightaway. This will hopefully show her that she will miss out on a decent walk if she continues to act in this manner. Another idea is to try and distract her as the other dog goes by. You can do this by focussing her attention on you instead by making her obey a command, such as 'sit-stay'. Make sure you reward her when she obeys you and sits quietly.

I hope this helps and all the best with your training!
Posted by crazycrayonmom
Jan 2, 2010
For a distraction I like teaching my dogs the "watch" command. They are supposed to immediately look at me. It does great to distract from other things if you catch them before they lose control.

I teach watch by using a treat in one hand that I move up to my eyes when I say "watch". The minute they make eye contact with me I give them the treat.
Posted by Col
May 19, 2010
Hi all.
I am just reading through this forum for the first time .
This is almost exactly the problem i have. We got Chara from the RSPCA about a year ago . She was a stray and was very scared of other Dogs.
She is approximately 2.5 and a very good dog freindly with visitors and very gentle to people she has no other aggression issues
She now is extremely aggressive to other dogs when out. Real red zone looking reaction.
We follow most of the tips listed on similar threads .
She is not interested in treats when out but loves her frisby.
We can get about 15 yards from other dogs and she will lie down with her frisby and be calm as long as the dog does not approach or get excited.
She also has a strange curiosity to dogs in the distance happy to follow at a distance.

We have a Collie as well he is a great dog from a broken home . he is very freindly and loves all animals we hope she will learn all is well waytching him.
After a very loud 5 mins when we got him all is fine and she loves being with him.She never turns on him even if another Dog sets her off.

She will play with nother free range large sheepdog that wanders near us called Max (Do not worry he is well looked after and has loving owners) she is allways agrresive on seeing him but he puts her down physically ( its like a Ninja move) then she is fine.

Our parents have a border terrier and he is crazy for play. Everytime we visit we have 5 mins of hell then she chills and turns into a puppy endlessly playing.
Our freinds have a older heinz she also puts Chara in her place and she is then happy and playful with this dog.
We put the muzzle on Chara when she first meets these dogs to avoid any potential bites.
She gives good focus on me and obeys commands off lead (leash to you Transatlantic cousins ) and and she will lie down when she sees dogs in the distance. I feel she may respond well without lead on but cannot take risk with strangers dogs. I have had some success when Max is about.

Any ideas folks . It is dificult to consitently " time out " as both dogs need a good 1-2 hours a day and we have to work etc.