Dog Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have had Turbo, our 3 year old male German Shepherd for almost three months now. We had him neutered three weeks ago, and he has healed well as far as the vet can tell. We live out in the country on acreage, and after the first few weeks of having him, we have let him off leash. He hangs out outside with us, has occasionally said hi to runners or walkers on our road, but has never been aggressive. He does mouth us when excited, and we are in obedience class to help with this and excitable leash walking.
Yesterday, I went out back with him to let him potty and he ran around to the front yard before I could stop him. As I was running up to get him, someone started yelling that turbo had attacked her boyfriend. I obviously was worried and since he came right back to me, I put him in his kennel so I could go check on/talk with the young man. As I was running back, they started walking away yelling that they understood he was just being protective, and didn't want the police called to press charges. My neighbor had run out when they heard her screaming, and she told me that they didn't want the police to come out because he had a warrant out for his arrest, but that he had been knocked over and had been scratched but not bitten.
I have read up on owning and caring for German Shepherds, we are working in behavior classes for the things mentioned above, and we have fallen in love with this dog/breed. I didn't see what happened, and since I couldn't talk with the young man, I don't have any idea. I am not sure how to proceed here. We would love to keep the dog if we can, but we also have small children and can't have an aggressive dog. Any advice or suggestions would be most appreciated! Thank you!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
500 Posts
I have found that people over react to being "attacked" or "bit". Many dogs use their mouths like hands...and a child wanting to grab on to you. Sounds like you have an excited dog that wanted to say hi...then the "victim" freaks out and then the dog gets more excited.

Definitely have to work with your dog on what is acceptable and bite inhibition, but when I get a "YOUR DOG BIT ME" (who is the happiest most non aggressive dog ever)...I respond with asking if any skin was broken or scratched (answer is always no)...then explain if he was really "attacking" you...you would know it and need medical attention!

I say that not to make an excuse, but rather diffuse the situation with people that over react to oversensitivities to any time they come in contact with a dog's mouth.

Classic example:

When Pax was juts 13 weeks old, we were roughhousing on the floor and his razor puppy teeth caught the inside of my ear which sent me to the ER for a few stitches. Nurse wanted to file a "Dog Attack" form...to which I absolutely refused. She could not understand the difference between a dog "attack" and a 13 week only puppy play accident! I just looked at her and said "you obviously have never had a puppy, have you?"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
880 Posts
I absolutely love German Shepherds, have owned them, and can tell you that whatever your dog does will be seen in the worst possible light<--one of the view things I don't miss about not having gsd right now.
Please protect him from that, and don't let him get in to this situation again. He sounds fabulous, and yay for rescuing him. Wonderful dog, wonderful owner, but don't let him do that again. If he is a normal shepherd, he will likely run out to the front and 'protect against' or 'chase' or 'play' with passersbys again, not to mention cars. Most shepherds, all I have owned, are territorial, which means they will act like real pita's when on their own turf. Calling their bluff is taking a chance. And even if he's real friendly, people get freaked out when faced with a barking shepherd.
As a cyclist, I used to dread loose dogs of any breed, because even a friendly dog can cause an accident, or get hit (had one hit right in front of me as it tried to cross the road to chase me while I cycled by).
He needs a really reliable recall under all likely distractions to be off a leash and that is one of the most difficult things to achieve.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
811 Posts
If the man was knocked over, sounds like your dog jumped at him. So that's something to work on. The second thing I would do is not to allow my dog unsupervised out of my sight so the incident could not be repeated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
290 Posts
Training is what you need, obviously. Good that you're working on behavior.

I wouldn't let him outside offleash/untethered until he has 100% perfect recall... and even then, I would be rather iffy about it. It would be great to teach bite inhibition and general manners as well (no jumping up, etc.). Luckily, my Shepherd was never that dog... he was just a barker, but wouldn't run up on people or anything. As a pedestrian or dog walker, I can tell you it's terrifying seeing a large, unknown dog untethered running towards you. It freaks me out even more when nobody is outside and I don't know if they have an invisible fence or not (not like I agree with those anyway...).
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,281 Posts
Everything you can give us about the incident is speculation-you weren't there to see it. I'd say the main thing you need to focus on is supervision and to not let him off leash. If you want to give him more space, find a long line. You can also hire a professional to help you figure out what training is needed and what you are willing to put the effort in for.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top