Aggressive dog towards roomate

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Aggressive dog towards roomate

This is a discussion on Aggressive dog towards roomate within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Hey all so my roommate has an almost 2 year old german shepard. Hes nice to everyone very energetic, however he is aggressive towards me. ...

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Old 12-28-2015, 08:34 PM
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Aggressive dog towards roomate

Hey all so my roommate has an almost 2 year old german shepard. Hes nice to everyone very energetic, however he is aggressive towards me. Its worrying due to the fact that he has lunged several times and actually made contact once recently. when his owner (my roommate) is not home he is fine mostly stays to himself but lets me know when he needs out or wants to play ball. When his owner is home though if i get within 3-4 feet of him (the owner) he lunges and is very aggressive. The owner and i have been friends for a long time and i knew the dog before moving in together. we have never fought physically or even verbally (the occasional roommate disagreements still happen but not overly aggressive) and i have done nothing malicious to the dog. any insight to whats going on, i am close to my breaking point to where if it happens again i will almost have to get physical back with him since he is not a small dog. but i also know if i have to resort to that A. it will not make his trusting me easier and B. that if i have to respond physically with him (the dog) being aggressive especially now that he has actually made contact that that one of us will be hurt badly.

P.S. the owner is a large male 6'1, 250lb, however i am bigger at 6'3 300lb which i wonder if that is part of the reason he feels the need to "protect" even when i have shown no sign of aggression towards dog or owner

Last edited by bigman91; 12-28-2015 at 08:37 PM. Reason: adding informaton
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Old 01-02-2016, 11:09 AM
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I'm not sure that it's aggression, to me it seems like simple pack dominance. The dog may see you as a lower member of the pack. It's fine when you two are the only ones home because he sees you as equals. When your roommate comes home he needs to defend his role...he wants to insert himself as a higher social member. So far you've let him, and this behavior will only continue to worsen the more you let it go on.

Most often this sort of behavior is because the person has been too submissive. There's alot of power in the word "no" and "bad" depending on what his owner uses. He should also not be allowed on the couch, beds or any other places of human dominance until this behavior has ceased.
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Old 01-02-2016, 12:39 PM
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I would guess the dog wasn't socialized very well or just happens to be a single person dog. Your best bet is to hole up in your room and not interact or to find a new place to live if they don't crate him or keep him out of communal spaces. It's not just because you may get bit, either-a dog that has a bite history ends up having lots of other problems and its much harder to deal with after the fact than prevention. You could always hire a trainer if your friend is okay with you doing so-but finding a vet behaviourist that is trustworthy isn't as straightforward as it seems anymore.

In the meantime, stay away. Do not respond physically or escalate the situation-you would only end up making it worse for next time, or immediately. Buy baby gates if you want to keep your door open but not have the dog have access. You can do a ton of management so you don't have to deal with the dog if your friend is a good friend and willing to try.

Also, once a dog has bitten (as you mentioned in your last line, sorry) people on this forum are unable to give you advice, so take that with a grain of salt. Go see a behaviourist. This is not a problem that just goes away. Since its not your dog, if you don't want to deal with it you can leave-but your friend should bring the dog to a behaviourist regardless.
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Old 01-02-2016, 04:21 PM
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This has nothing to do with dominance. https://www.dogforum.com/training-beh...nce-dogs-4076/
Its really hard to give advice on something like this over the internet. I agree with Kwenami your friend really needs to contact a behaviorist. Here is a link on how to do so https://www.dogforum.com/training-beh...iorist-113946/
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Old 01-02-2016, 05:30 PM
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It's not dominance. It sounds like resource guarding with your roommate being the resource. Many dogs can be protective over their owner. My GSD was like that with my BF(not to me). But it was mostly toward other dogs, she didn't want them to go near him. I have no advise other than to see a trainer.
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Old 01-02-2016, 05:46 PM
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yes trainer and/or behaviourist would be great... since the dog seems to be fine with you when the owner is not present, I'd guess it has to do with resource guarding.
I don't think you can do much except help your roommate minimally with training.
before starting any training, I'd get the dog postitively conditioned on a muzzle, so he can't hurt you.
personally, if i were your roommate, I'd reward the dog for calm behaviour when you're close to them.
do it often, like 20-30 times every day and teach the dog gently that it's okay when you're close to their human.

Sancho had a problem with strangers hugging his humans when we got him. I think in his case it was more that he thought they'd threaten us and his protective insticts kicked in.
loads of hugs and treats were given until he understood that it is okay. ^^"
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Old 01-02-2016, 10:17 PM
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I also think it sounds like resource guarding. Especially since he will actively engage with you if his owner isn't present.
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Old 01-04-2016, 12:00 PM
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The problem has been solved I guess it was a dominance issue as I am not home very much. But he acted out again and I had no choice but to put him in his place physically (within reason for those that would say abuse) and since he has not liked that I have gotten close to my roomate but does not act upon it with more than being more alert
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Old 01-04-2016, 12:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigman91 View Post
The problem has been solved I guess it was a dominance issue as I am not home very much. But he acted out again and I had no choice but to put him in his place physically (within reason for those that would say abuse) and since he has not liked that I have gotten close to my roomate but does not act upon it with more than being more alert
Be VERY careful. Whatever he was feeling in regards to you isn't gone; if anything, now you pose a real threat. It's more likely than not that he'll back off for a little bit, and then you'll inadvertently do something to make him even more uncomfortable, in which case he'll come at you with even more force.
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Old 01-04-2016, 03:10 PM
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This has nothing to do with dominance.
Please read the dominance sticky that I linked to above.
Like PoppyKenna said you really haven't solved the problem. I understand you may have had no choice but to defend your self but you have just confirmed all feelings he had against you. You may have suppressed the behavior but you haven't really gotten to the root of the problem. It is very possible that this behavior will appear again.

https://www.dogforum.com/training-beh...-fallout-4776/

Have you talked to your roommate about contacting a trainer and/or behaviorist?
Also, I would follow mathilda's suggestion to condition the dog to a muzzle.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FABgZTFvHo

Edit: Since this sounds like it might be related to resource guarding I would also check out this sticky https://www.dogforum.com/training-beh...fication-7511/
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Last edited by CoyotePro; 01-04-2016 at 03:14 PM.
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