Irrational behaviour at night

Posted by kathy-barrett
May 10, 2013
I have had my 3 year old King Shepherd Bitch since she was 12 weeks old. She is well behaved on the whole although always striving to be pack leader. She does obedience demos and agility. I have four GSDs as well as her. During the day I can walk them together but at night I have to walk her alone because she behaves so erratically. If she hears the slightest sound (bird fluttering in the bush or scrabbling rodent etc etc) she lunges to the end of her lead furiously barking and growling. She actually leaps into the air and tries to savage the source of the sound. She tries to escape the lead and seems not to be aware of my presence.

Yogie exhibits similar behaviour when she sees a strange light or shadow where she is not used to seeing it.

The only time she behaves in this way during the day is when she is in the car park of our pub and a car goes past.

She has had a perfectly normal upbringing and her breeder was brilliant. I met both parents who were lovely dogs.

The only thing I can think of that might have upset her in any way is this. Soon after she had had all her injections and could go for walks, I was walking her at night down a single track lane in the snow with one of my older dogs. A milk tanker which was lit up like the "Coke Lorry at Christmas" came thundering towards us. It wasn't going to stop so I grabbed both dogs and dived into the ditch with them. We were all very shaken.

What I don't know is what is motivating her behaviour, so I am not sure whether I should be reassuring her or reprimanding her.

Any ideas please? Many thanks
Posted by Preethi KOP
May 13, 2013
Hi again Kathy,

Thanks again for writing in. From what you have said, it does seem like Yogie had some sort of negative experience which is causing this behaviour. It might have been the milk tanker or something else, we will never know.

The easiest solution I have for you is avoiding walking her at night as her erractic behaviour puts both of you at risk. I am sorry that I cannot give you any more advice than this. Reassuring her would be better as reprimanding her might only make her more excitable/fearful of the situation.

Good luck!