Help with aggression

Posted by Sammy
Apr 30, 2010
Hi, I am new to this site. I have 2 GSDS. My female is very aggressive when our new neighbors go to their car and leave their driveway. She goes to the fence and barks aggressively and now my male who is 6 months younger runs along the fence beside the female and now the female is redirecting her aggression onto the male by going after him. I try calling them back to the house but the female(when she gets in one of her moods) just completely ignores me.
How to I handle this behavior?? They both come in when i call them at any other time even though the female sometimes takes her good time about doing so. I have a fenced in yard. Their ages are 3 and 2/and 1/2. Thanks for any help and I am trying the alpha training and have tried growling at the female but have just ended up with a sore throat!
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Apr 30, 2010
Hi Sammy,

We have a similar problem so I understand how you feel.
In my case, it is next door neighbor's dogs that excite my 3 dogs. Their dogs don't bark or even get close to the wooden fence but Daisy, one of my dogs, is always waiting by the fence for their dogs to come out to their back yard. Once they are out, Daisy, the watcher, gets so excited and barks and lunges at the fence aggressively, then Noah and Holly join her without any delay:mad:

Since I am not always around when they do this (in fact, this behavior bothers my husband a lot, but I am not so concerned since they are just doing the dog thing) but whenever I happen to see this happening I do the following:

1) If I sense the neighbor's dogs coming outside, I call my dogs right away in a happy voice "Hey doggies, lets go inside~". This prevents the disaster. Please note, I don't use "Come" command when there is a good chance that they fail the command so that "Come" remains as a very powerful command.

2) If Daisy, the watcher, starts barking before I call them, I call one dog at a time so that the specific dog pays more attention. The order is by trustworthiness of the dogs. "Holly, over here! Good girl. Stay with mama now." "Noah, leave it! Over here, lets go inside." Then finally "Daisy, o-v-e-r h-e-r-e, r-i-g-h-t n-o-w!!!"

It is very hard to stop the barkings once they started and especially among multiple dogs!

All the basic commands, such as "Sit" "Down" "Stay" "Leave it" "Drop it" and most importantly "Come" should be practiced from no distraction and gradually add more and more distraction so that your dog can be successful at each stage. I think this is one of my biggest challenges too

Good luck
Posted by Sammy
May 1, 2010
thank you so much for your suggestions. It helps knowing that I am not the only one who has a similar type of problem. Your Daisy sounds a lot like my Samantha ( Sammy) who sits and watches for someone to come out of the house so she can start her barking routine. You can just imagine what it is like when the neighbor's dog a few houses over gets loose and comes to the fence to visit my dogs!
I think maybe sometimes this bothers me too much but I get embarrassed when they don't listen right away.
When I am outside with them I can often get them inside before this happens.
I also need to change my wording from come here to your over here.Thanks for this suggestion too.
I need to change my tone of voice to as once the barking starts I add to all the "excitement" by yelling Enough, come here right now.
My male is very good with basic commands both on and off leash even with distractions as long as Sammy is not around and even if she is out if I can get him before Sammy goes into her routine.
I need to start back with the basics with Sammy on leash without distractions then with distractions then progress to off leash without then with distractions.
I will also try to remain calmer myself with all this too.
Thanks again so much. I hope I posted this ok
Posted by kjd
May 1, 2010
Sounds as if you know the way to go!

My Sunna likes to go out and bark at the house next door. There is a dog in that house, but when that dog is outside, she is nowhere near where Sunna is barking. Sunna seems to know the dog is on the other side of the house wall. I pretty much ignore it unless she barks before 9AM or after 9PM. Then I call her in. She has no problem with coming in. However, if I don't block the exit to the outside, she'll go out and bark again.