aggressive german shepherd towards other dogs

Posted by Johanna
Aug 17, 2008
We have a 10 month old German Shepherd Bitch she is absolutely adorable, when she is at home she sits,lies down, wont eat her food till you tell her she can have it, she plays well with my parents German Shepherd and my brothers dog......but when we go for a walk any other cat or dog that crosses her path she just wants to take to them and wont listen to any commands.A few days ago we went for a walk with a couple with another GS a male and every time he got close enough for a sniff she just attacked him would'nt even let him sniff her.We can't let her off the leash when we walking her as we just can't trust her in case there is another dog around.Sometimes even just a strange person she sees walking towards us and she growls,we have had two other German Shepherds before who both lived long happy lives and we had no agressive problems with either of them,both were very well trained by my husband and I,we have trained our new pup exactly the same way,but when we take her walking she just seems ready to take on anything that crosses her path.Can anyone give me any advice on fixing this problem, would be much apprieciated.
Posted by Annie
Aug 18, 2008
Is this all happening recently? I´m just thinking that some breeds come on heat early and when that happened for my dog ( at 1 year) she went ballistic when another dog came sniffing her. It lasted for over a month....just an idea that she may be giving off sents and she is not happy with others reactions.

Another idea is that this ( for my dog) was the age when she was a bossy teenager. She was always trying to be tough , boss everybody around, give orders, protect us...pick more fights...horrible. I got really strict with having her sit and stay for a new dog, strong recall, and being extra polite to people or she would be removed. After she turned 1 a lot of these agros went. I really remember her looking at me and ( I swear) rolling her eyes at me !! She was so cool and tough. Quite the school bully! She forgot almost all her training and was very rude to my kids.....makes me laugh now, but maybe you have a surly teenager you need to deal with?
Posted by Johanna
Aug 18, 2008
She has been like that even through puppy school she used to bark and carry on but after about 10 minutes she was fine,its good to hear that your dog stopped after 1 year old gives me hope that ours will too. Hopefully ours will settle down too, as you say it could be just a teenage thing.

We had her spayed about a month ago but she was already doing that to other dogs.

She growls and barks but her tail wags flat out so I think she wants to play but just does'nt know how to go about it with a strange dog.

Thank you for your comment it is much appriciated.
Posted by Annie
Aug 22, 2008
Hi again,
often it takes a while after the operation to see any changes.

My dog also used to wag her tail and bound up ( I believed she was wanting to play) but it would often instantly turn into a fight. I pictured her as the 'uncool' kid at school that wanted to play and be friends with everybody, but just didn´t have any social skills! The smallest signal from the other dog, and it was like...OK...lets push each other a bit then....horrible.

I found an older dog in the neighbourhood ( checked out dogs over fences) and spoke to the owner about the dogs temperament. The other dog was older, calm, and high status, as in she was not a nervous dog and confident in new situations. I then visited this neighbour ( not in her garden but in the fields) and our dogs often had contact. The other dog was quick to tell my dog when it was too much, she sometimes growled or moved away from my dog. I´m not saying the other dog was the perfect mentor for mine, but she stuck around long enough to relax my dog. I found my dog was always OK after a minute or two.

Knowing this, I then would meet other dogs, but I asked the owners to keep the dogs on the line and not make contact immediately ( as in the owners could talk, but the dogs just had to look, no sniffing). It was amazing that after watching the other dog for only a minute or two, then the dogs could happily play together. My dog just didn´t know how to pause and check out the situation first, and so was jumping in too fast with concrete boots on:rolleyes:

Now ( she is 2) I have no problems off line in dog parks, she is friendly and doesn´t fight and when she is not interested or a bit nervous she comes straight to me...and of course, I´ll look out for her.
hope something helps.
Annie and Joey