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Discussion Starter #1
This is an old problem with a dog that is long gone, but I did want your opinions on it.

Here is the story of Earl, my GSD, that I had as a kid. I got Earl as a birthday present when I was in middle school, I think 6th grade. We got Earl to replace our old GSD that we lost the previous fall. Earl was mainly an outside dog, but I did smuggle him in quite a bit and let me tell you, it is hard to smuggle in a 130lb dog. Anyway, when he was a pup, about 6-9 months, the neighbor's 2 boxers go loose and came over and attacked him. These two dogs had a history of aggression, especially the female, but this was the first time they attacked anything. We weren't home when the attack started, but came home and put an end to it. Earl was scared and had blood on his coat, but he wasn't actively bleeding. From that moment on, he was extremely dog aggressive. Prior to that, we could take him anywhere and he was fine with all the dogs he met, but after that he would totally freak out.

Is this something you could work out of a dog, or would this be more of an issue that the owner would just deal with and try to manage the best as possible?
 

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I have never had a dog that was DA. But I do believe that you can retrain a dog not to be dog aggressive. There are many people on this site that can offer you their experiences.
 

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Thanks Brittany. We lost Earl June 03, so there isn't a whole lot that can be done now, but I was just interested in case I ever run across an issue like this again.
 

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ya know that's a good question, I'm not sure. He would go kind of crazy, barking, growling, the hair on his back would go up but it was always when he was on a leash so he never got close enough to actually touch another animal.

One thing that I guess I didn't mention about Earl is that he was a big baby and the nicest dog ever. We always joked that personality wise he was more like a Golden Retriever than a GSD.

Aside from when he saw another dog I don't think he ever growled or acted aggressive in anyway. That just wasn't in him.
 

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dog and human aggression are not related, so thats very normal that he was fine with your family.

many dogs that react the way you describe are just very frightened and are trying to make the scary thing go away by making a bunch of noise. Even if they are pulling towards the other dog.

I have a dog that behaves the same way if behind a fence or on a leash, but he is actually quite friendly with other dogs.


but anyway to answer your question, yes those behaviors can be replaced with more apropriate ones with training, absolutely. :)



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When we first got Kelsey she would bark and lunge at other dogs on a leash and her fur would stand up. But all she wanted was to greet. After allowing her to greet a few dogs after she sat nicely she was fine.
 

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dog and human aggression are not related, so thats very normal that he was fine with your family.

many dogs that react the way you describe are just very frightened and are trying to make the scary thing go away by making a bunch of noise. Even if they are pulling towards the other dog.

I have a dog that behaves the same way if behind a fence or on a leash, but he is actually quite friendly with other dogs.


but anyway to answer your question, yes those behaviors can be replaced with more apropriate ones with training, absolutely. :)
I always figured it was a fear based response to other dogs and he was a large shepherd, so I always tried to avoid letting him near another dog. The darn animal out weighed me by close to 30 pounds and I knew that if anything DID happen I wouldn't be able to force him away.

But you said something that really made me go back...He was only like this on a leash, something I never put together. A few of mom's friends would bring their dogs over to play and he would be fine with them, but I would take him to my younger brother's soccer games and that is where we would have the most issues. Hmm... wow, I never put those together.
 

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I just posted a similar thread about Rally, my dog who has been attacked while on-leash, and is now Dog Aggressive..However, he doesn't hate ALL dogs, just overly excited, high energy dogs..Rally used to be the way your Earl was, Sweet, kind, loved playing with other dogs, etc..But since the attacks, he is just OUT on all other dogs while he is on the leash. Rally is also insane when he see's dogs on the other side of the fence, but I dont think its because he wants to meet them, I think its because he is threatened by them. If he has the opportunity to 'meet' like at a dog park, or off leash he is usually quite sweet..UNLESS the other dogs are overly excited, or insecure, and then he automatically HATES them.

They have given me some awesome advice about a book called "Control Unleashed" and I"m reading it, and trying to incorporate that into Rally's behavior issues..Its going to be a LONG process, but hopefully it will pay off..
 

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When we got Clyde he was being attacked on a daily basis from his father dog. After having him a few weeks I realized he was becoming dog aggressive with dogs outside our home. He was getting very hard to walk as soon as he would see another dog he would go into a stalking position and go crazy when one got close enough.

He has lived with us for just about a year now and still has his issues but he is learning. I first worked with him on a simple watch me command. Just whenever I would have him look right in my eyes then give him a treat as long as he was calm and sitting, also making him wait longer as time went on before giving him his treat. After he got this mastered I would take him for walks around dogs that were fenced and I knew were rather calm. When he went to stalk them I stand infront of him and I have him sit and watch me. When he calms down and knows what I want he gets his treat. I have also been slowly working out the treats too and rewarding with praise. Just last week on our walk a loose stray was wondering around and at first I didnt notice it (had my headphones on). Clyde did alert me but didnt go to stalking mode. He looked at the dog and looked at me. I had him sit and watch me, I also kept the other dog away from Clyde so he knew I was protecting him. There was no attack! I am so proud of him.

Also my niece was able to bring her dog over for Thanksgiving and after about a hour of watching Clyde very close and on a leash we took off his leash. He was ok with the other dog in the house, as long as she didnt get to close to me then he would grumble again. Making progress though.

I think the hardest thing is getting them to realize you are now their protector especially when their aggression is coming from fear.
 
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