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ScottA is offline  
Location: Ontario, CAN
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 1
04-01-2017, 03:26 AM

Need help with aggressive dog

Hi all,

My name is Scott and I've got a 10 month old German Shepherd/Lab/Husky mix named Jax. He is generally a good dog. He knows all he basic commands such as sit,lie,stay,paw, drop it and down. Probably a few others too but it's irrelevant to my current issue. He listens to me without hesitation and is extremely loyal to myself and my girlfriend. It's just the 3 of us in an apartment building. He was raised here as a pup but recently he's been aggressive. I'll start at the top of my list of issues. Brace yourselves

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First off he freaks out when someone comes over and gets so excited he play or "greet" nips them. Not a hard nip or agrressive but I really can't stand that. He also jumps up on them which also I cannot stand.

So there's issue #1. He excitedly nips and jumps.

Issue #2
He can't stand getting his nails cut. I took him to a petsmart 1 time and he was never the same about it again. I then tried cutting them for a few months. Introducing the cutters with treats, trying to cut them while he was eating peanut butter. Rewarding like crazy but he's still wriggling and fighting with me. I ended up bringing him back to the groomers so they can deal with it and it takes 3 of them with a muzzle to get it done. Not sure what I can do there either.

Issue #3
He has been overly aggressive with other dogs in the hallway so bad to the point I am getting him a basket muzzle tomorrow so I can relax knowing he's not going to murder the neighbors dog. I have held him back before as he's been fighting me to try and get to the other dog. It scares my neighbors and embarrasses the **** out of me. I keep him in a choke chain when we walk and he's a great walker but I can't figure out why he hates the hallway so much. It's got to stop. I will try the muzzle out and at the very least I will feel better. He is not agressive with people as I can walk by a person and the very worst he will do and only if they say something to excite him like hi puppy who's a good boy want a pet.. then he may try and jump up at them to which I give his choke chain a little pull to correct him, ensuring he cannot reach the people. With dogs though my lord I haven't seen anything so savage before in my life.. This NEEDS to Stop! As quickly as possible.

He also is agressive with babies and short people. Under 4ft. I cannot tolerate this as my girlfriend and I are going to be starting a family in the next few years.

If those 3 issues were solved it would make me a lot happier and less worried when I go to take him out. He is by no means a little dog. With his strength and looks people are afraid and when he goes psychotic I am the only one he will listen to. My girlfriend can't even take him outside anymore.

He is enrolled in training starting 2 weeks time and I'm afraid he will be nasty with the other dogs.

It is not like I am not trying my hardest and honestly sometimes I just want to break down and cry. My mother wants me to give the dog away to a farm or something but I know with some hard work he will be a great dog. She says it's in his nature to be so agressive and high strung.

What should I do??


I though I posted in training, can a mod please move this post to the correct board. Thank you.
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Dogsey Senior
muddymoodymoo is offline  
Location: Sirius
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 660
13-01-2017, 11:15 AM
Hi. It sounds like your dog is in the adolescent stage of his life. This period can last from 6-9 months to about 3 years. During this time he will be going through so called 2nd fear period when things he was previously OK will now worry him. Also his hormones will affect how he sees other dogs - hence the display of aggression towards them.

Also during adolescence he will push the boundaries to see what he can get away with. Very similar to human teenagers don't you think?

What to do about it? Firstly don't attend a class where there are other dogs as this is likely to stress him even more so he won't be able to concentrate and learn.

Secondly find a good trainer (or even better a behaviourist) who uses only positive reinforcements and can assess your dog and write up a plan that you need to follow.

Thirdly - don't expect fast results - it is going to take time. And patience. And persistence. And determination.

There is an excellent dog trainer who kindly puts training videos on youtube for free that deal with behavioural and training issues. You will find her under kikopup.

I read somewhere, that most dogs given 'away' are between the ages of 10 months and 3 years. Which coincides with the adolescence period with all its challenges. I don't know what you have in mind for your dog if you can't teach him to be a good pet, but problem dogs are hard, if not impossible, to rehome and are likely to be the first ones to be euthanized in shelters that are already full.

I hope, that your dog will be lucky and you will work through the problems and I wish you luck.
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Dogsey Veteran
Trouble is offline  
Location: Romford, uk
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 14,265
Female  Diamond Supporter 
13-01-2017, 11:28 AM
So he obeys his commands so well that you can't tell him to stop what he's doing and he obeys?
Lots of dogs hate having their nails cut try a dremmel instead.
He attacks other dogs and he clearly ignores you when you tell him to stop?
He isn't aggressive with people, oh unless those people are under 4 foot tall or babies.
Firstly you seriously need to re evaluate what you have written.
This dog is not trained, if he was he wouldn't ignore you and do as he pleases. He lacks confidence which is why he's so damn aggressive.
He probably will be a total PITH at training and it's unfair at this stage to inflict him on others. He needs one to one training before progressing to a class.
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Dogsey Junior
mirandashell is offline  
Location: England, UK
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 83
13-01-2017, 11:42 AM
Yep, you have a teenager on your hands and it is going to take patience and hard work but it will be worth it.

First of all, when he flips out, you must remain calm. The more wound up you get, the more wound up he will get.

A really important thing to look for is triggers so you can stop the bad behaviour before it starts. Watch for him going into a hyper-alert state - his body tenses, his ears go up and he stands still. At that point, call him to you. When he responds, praise him and then walk him away from whatever triggered the alert. Keep doing this until he calms down and then praise him for the calm behaviour.

With the other dogs in the block, check before you go out if there's another dog around. If there is, wait for that dog to go before you go out.

With visitors, he is getting overstimulated - that's what is making him jump up and nip. Instruct them to ignore him. You also ignore him. DO NOT even look at him until he calms down. Then acknowledge him. This will teach him that he has to be calm.

That's just a few tips. Do some research on Kikopup. Learn your dog's body language. That above all else will help you avoid embarrassing and, more importantly, dangerous situations.
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