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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Thank you again for your replies in my previous post and sorry that I am posting another thread that soon. But I have bad experience from today, even after trying to adjust to new terms and behavior around my pup and I am desperate, because things got worse.

All this day my dog was "chasing" me around the house and watching me, whatever I was doing. More like gazing at me all the time, lowering her head every time i turned in her direction, to pick something in the fridge, and so on (I saw it even without looking directly on her). I was feeling tense from her gazing at me. I did not touch her today. I did not pet her, did not look in her eyes, we even played few times, we went for walk, she ate all her meals, we went in garden and it seemed okay in those situations.

After that my BF came from the evening go for walk with her, she came to her spot in the kitchen again, and started to stare at me like serial killer again. It got like normal after this whole day, so I did not realize I am stepping in some kind of her comfort zone again. I was cleaning up the kitchen and tried to pick up some garbage from the floor around her spot. And here it came, high pitched bark. I had to call my boyfriend there to help me with this, but we just got into a fight. It seems he doesn't believe me she is literally trying to dominate me and shoo me away from another spot in the house, she claimed as hers. He said that with me all reading about the dog, how come I can't figure this out by myself.

Starting to have a feeling, that my dog sees me as her competition (considering my BF) and is trying to dominate me and resource guard, because she feels my insecurity, and does not want me around, so she takes advantage of this. So should I move to the garden and live there, or what?

I feel lonely, clueless and denied. Please, help me somehow, or just tell me that I am not alone in this.
 

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Has she been to the vet for a workup?

I did read the other thread about the warning escalations, and the handling missteps before posting here. And those can be factors, but I don't know, seems like there is something bigger here imo. Lack of appetite, increased aggression, less deep sleep, increased resource guarding, plus her general fearfulness.

And I'll admit it's been awhile since a gsd was in my life. But I do distinctly.remember growing up, and back from my grandfather's childhood, that not being "their person" meant they still liked you, enjoyed you, listened to.you--you were just second fiddle when their.person was around. There wasn't hard-eyeing you around the house. Has the breed really changed that much temperamentally?

seems he doesn't believe me she is literally trying to dominate me and shoo me away from another spot in the house, she claimed as hers. He said that with me all reading about the dog, how come I can't figure this out by myself.
People who aren't keyed in and live the experiences you do can brush you off. I remember when I asked for help with my prior dog. I basically was jumping up.and down asking for help,.only to be told: she's a puppy, she's a border collie, she's a border collie puppy. Yes, she was. She was also a lot.more than that. And I needed help.It can be lonely, exhausting, and nerves wracking to live with a dog that you are walking on eggshells with. And that nobody seems to really notice,.or who trivialize it.

But for some humor, next time your boyfriend asks why you can't figure it out by yourself... why can't he read and break open a cookbook and make a 5-star meal ;)

I hope these two articles bring some comfort and help.

www.collared-scholar.com/when-trust-is-broken-how-to-respond-to-your-aggressive-dog/

www.whole-dog-journal.com/behavior/reforming-a-reactionary-dog
 

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Hi, Aliza! I’m going to join the club of “there was a time I felt threatened by my dog” to offer some empathy and reassurance. It was right about the 10 month mark, my dog was a GSD mix, I was a first time handler. I was lucky to find a good trainer to help me out with a few tips and a lot of support, it made all the difference for me.

It does sound like fast escalation, I think @Shadowfox has a good point about the vet check just in case (also because you did just have a sick cat in the household), and about the importance of understanding and support for yourself.

The other thing that comes to mind is that if you changed your own behavior abruptly, even if it’s a change in the right direction, this can sometimes be confusing for the dog and cause some reactions to escalate. Something very similar to what @BigBlackDog suggested in your other thread is what worked for me and my dog, but the devil is in the details, and it’s good to have a clear plan, a final goal, but also intermediate steps, management strategies for what to do if things “get worse before they get better”, and ideally, some guidance and feedback.

Can you minimize conflict and avoid triggers for a few days? Like, do the cleaning and picking things up while she’s away, if that riles her up? Suspend petting and play for the moment? Give her calming things to do, like chews you don’t have to take away, and in a safe place? Be hands off towards the evening and have your boyfriend take over later in the day etc.?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Hi guys and thank you so much for your patience and time.

I was really broken yesterday, so I took some time to think it all through and to get calm. The truth I see right now is that the things escalated right because I was that miserable yesterday, and the days before as well, because of the cat. I tried not to show it, but my dog knew. My dog was unsure and nervous about me, in addition to have another triggers, which could be multiple. Like the hormones, changes in her life, changes in schedule, etc.

Some other dog lover also told me, that my dog can even sense that my negative emotions are there "because of her". That dogs just can sense it somehow and it's different from some stranger grieving loss of his father for example, the dog would not act like this.

Also Joanne said something like that the problem was escalating a longer time than I think, maybe. Like way longer? And the hormones could cause her to be more irritated and less patient with anything she doesn't like. Today she is like completely new dog again. All friendly, greeting me when I woke up, then just wen ballistic on me in my bed and we cuddled for a few minutes. And I was like "what the....?"

It's kinda confusing, but if things are going to keep changing, I will take her to the vet again. She does not act like sick dog, or dog in pain. She act like very emotional, even when playing, joyfully and in almost frustrated style throwing ball to me, voicing during it, like she is overexcited - but it lasts only few minutes, than she gets tired and goes to sleep. She eats all her meals everytimes, it just takes time until she decides to eat it. Today she even took a kong toy from me and was licking it in my room. It seems ok now, but I am reserved about it. The resource guarding problems are still there.

I was also told that my dog was not even just unsure and nervous about me, but also could take an advantage of this, to try to dominate me and claim the better family spot, because she was feeling my weakness. I don't know.

And Shadowfox:
Yes, I know exactly what do you mean. You just like scream for help and others are like "nah, it's normal, stop pannicking, calm down, stop freaking out, anyway you are doing this to yourself..." Yeah.

Oh and I forgot, she is mixed breed, she is not pure GS. She has 1/4 of SH in her blood as well, so... And no no, I doubt it's about the breed itself, this problem is really individual, don't be worried. I am sure about this. I just have to learn how to understand to my dog, how to get some confidence, so my dog won't "smell" that insecurity in me. And avoid spending time with her, when I am feeling like yesterday, because she is that reactive. We have to clear this between us, imo.

Gonna read your links and thank you again, for your understanding and cheering me up. :)

DogRun:
Hello and thanks you came here! As I said to the Shadowfox, my dog is not pure either, which apparently can make things worse. And I am planning to get a trainer from the next month as well, by the way.

Also as I said, if these things happen again and will continue to repeat, I am going to get her to the vet again. But today I could not recognize her... She was all cuddly, all of the sudden happy to see me, tail wagging. I will still try to avoid the situation, which could make her trigger the resource guarding behavior, but I am going to keep an eye on her definitelly.

Yesterday I called my BF few times to do this and that.... And today I said to myself "what the heck... don't be worried". And when I needed to put her down from the stairs, when granny was going down to the hall, I just called her. She ran to me, all excited, I gave her toy and we played a tug game for a while. Like there was no problem at all the day before... Weird, but I need to work on routine and style how to keep my dog busy and happy. This is just a start, I know it.

Thank you so much again! I am going to read the links from Shadowfox.
 

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Not to say that there aren't other issues at play, but it may reassure you to know that prolonged staring seems to be a common trait in Shepherd crosses. All of mine have done the same, and it's definitely a bit off-putting until you get used to it. As for behaviour, my experience is that Shepherds need to know that someone's in charge. If not you, it will be them (with all the trouble that entails). The more you can keep calm, be confident and consistent, and give clear instructions the more likely they will respond positively. Good luck!
 
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