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Hello,

So a little background into my story. I own a 5 year old male German Shepherd. He is not neutered (please no criticism on this, at the point we were able to neuter him we were told it is too late)

When we first got Rex, we had another german shepherd male in our home, who was about 2 years old at the time. They got along wonderfully, they were best friends. Rex definitely was dominant though, always had to have the toys, etc. Our other dog was very well behaved and submissive, so this did not cause a problem. About two years ago, we unfortunately had to put that dog to sleep due to an autoimmune disorder that severely affected his quality of life.

After this happened, I took Rex to a dog park, where surprisingly he was scared of the other dogs! As soon as we let him in the park, all the dogs came running towards him, and he stuck his tail between his legs and tried to run out! We slowly convinced him to come inside, where he ignored all the dogs and instead just played with a tennis ball with me. He could care less of the other dogs.

Shortly after, I would say around this time last year, we saw an ad on Facebook for a german shepherd about 1 years old, who's owner could no longer take care of him, and needed a home. He was neutered, and I was told would jump their front yard fence and chase after people, but never fought another dog.

We unfortunately, introduced them wrong. This dog came in to our backyard, which was not neutral, and never left. Rex did not like this, and it resulted in 3 very big dog fights, in which blood was drawn, and we decided to find this dog a new home. This was over the course of about a month, there were times they would be fine and get along (I wouldn't really say play but tolerate each other) and then over a toy, food, or anything randomly a big fight would break out.

Since, Rex has not really been socialized very little with any other dogs, due to my own fear and anxiety of this happening again. He loves being outside, swimming, playing, he loves people, and he behaves very well, I am just very nervous about introducing him to new dogs. He does well with my grandmothers ****zu who comes over, and they really both ignore and don't mind each other at all. A friends rotweiller and him have been around each other only at both of their homes, so their own territory, and they fought. They also never seemed to get along very well though.

Yesterday, a friend brought over a lab mix who is smaller than him, and he has enjoyed being around before, and he was fine. He did growl and snap quickly at her once because I believe he did not like the way she was play growling and barking at my husband, and then they layed down together and were fine. It seems for the most part he is okay with girls, but other boys seem to be what usually results in a fight.

Long story short, my daughter and her boyfriend in a few weeks are picking up a male german shepherd puppy. Although this puppy will live at his own house, we REALLY want them to get along and be able to be together and play. I have read so many articles on aggression and how to socialize an adult dog, and I am considering bringing Rex to a dog park once every weekend for an hour or so, on a leash, and letting him just get used to the exposure of other dogs. It is nerve-racking for me, but I really want him to be okay, and not aggressive anymore.

Advice anyone?? Opinions please!! HELP! Thanks!
 

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It's a bad idea to take him to the dog park on a leash. That makes him a target in both his and the other dogs' minds, so he will be more likely to be reactive, and they will be more likely to try to start trouble with him. It doesn't sound like he's a good candidate for dog parks, and that's ok- many dogs aren't.

I wouldn't have high hopes for him getting along indefinitely with any other male dog, as he has a few strikes against him in that respect:
1. He's intact. That may make him more likely to be both a victim of fights as well as a provocateur. For what it's worth, you could probably find a vet easily who would neuter him if that's what you want, as most places alter "older" dogs fairly frequently. It may not make much difference in his behavior at this point. Even 2 altered male dogs are more likely to fight than a male and female, though IME less so than 2 intact males.
2. Reactivity and even outright dog aggression (especially same sex) isn't unheard of in GSDs, so he may have some inherent predisposition to not be the most tolerant of other dogs, particularly other males.
3. He's been in a couple fights already, so he's had opportunities for that behavior to be reinforced. IME, each fight that a dog willingly participates in increases the likelihood that they will fight in the future, so preventing future fights by managing carefully will go a long way in keeping his dog aggression from increasing.

It may be possible for him and your daughters dog to get along with each other, and you can increase the odds of that by doing things like keeping valuable resources (food, toys, etc) up when they are together, separating when they begin to get too rough in play, and using extra caution as the young dog becomes an adolescent/adult, as that is when you are most likely to start to see problems. Personally, I would abandon the idea of them being friends and frolicking playfully together, and focus on keeping them tolerant of each other. Lots of leash walks together, and perhaps calm time together in the house if they are ok with each other, but always under a watchful eye, and under controlled circumstances. It's also possible that he could attack and injure the puppy, and with such a size difference, it could be serious, so that's a risk you have to take into account.

if you are interested in increasing your dogs tolerance for other dogs, it may be worth your while to find a training class that accepts reactive/aggressive dogs. This would give you the opportunity to work with him in a controlled environment near other dogs, so you can continue to reinforce good behavior towards them. It probably won't make him "friendly" towards other dogs, but it will give you tools (obedience) to help control him around them.
 
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