Rescued Shepherd Resolved Aggression

@d_hapke (165)
United States
July 18, 2007 8:33pm CST
When we adopted our first dog we were told she was not aggressive towards other animals. Shepherds are known to not do well in shelters. We brought her home to my mother's house and she attacked her Chihuahua and Silky Terrier as well as the cats. We then had to live in a gated community. Once we moved out we finally were able to slowly 'ease' her into new pets. She is still not over her aggression 100%. Any ideas how we can take her out in public and not have her bark at other dogs? Does her barking at other dogs mean she wants to attack? Her tail is usually curved and high. Is this bad? We are still afraid to have her near other dogs in public but would simply die without her! Any thoughts?
3 people like this
4 responses
@musicman6 (2371)
• United States
23 Jul 07
It depends on the age of the dog! When we got our German Shepherd, he was already 1 yr old! But with our guidance and consistency, he turned out to be real good , as far as aggression goes! You've got to realize, that the German Shepherd is famous for this aggression, they are very protective, and if not controlled will attack! We had other dogs, and cats, and chickens, around and he would not even dare raise any aggression towards them, but if a stranger came around he sure let him know , that he was on the job! And we wanted it that way, and that's the way it had to be or else, you have to put your foot down! And to get him used to going out in public, you have to do it often, to get him used to it!
1 person likes this
• Australia
30 Jul 07
They are NOT aggressive dogs & will no attack unless provoked - breeds do not to the damage it's the way the owners teach them that will cause them to act the way they do. It's like saying Dobermans are naturally aggressive & if you think that, then you need to do a little more research on dogs :)
@d_hapke (165)
• United States
1 Aug 07
I used to be able to walk her where we used to live. But now, we live off a major road and she has advanced arthritis due to her neglect. We now have a kitten and she tries to nip her but not aggresively. She doesn't shake her or grab her, just gently tries to bite, if that makes sense. As for agreession, she hardly has any. Just this behavior that I don't know how to take? People come in and out of our home and she is the sweetest dog. Just sits there waiting to be pet.
@Gemmygirl1 (2870)
• Australia
30 Jul 07
Didn't you see that show - It's Me Or The Dog? Basically, all you need to do is have her TRAINED, professionally, get her in to obedience school ASAP - the whole saying - you cant teach an old dog new tricks, is a load of crap! We had a dog that did just as yours did - we had a staffy who attached my MIL's pomeranian & our cats. Chances are she's just very protective but still you can re-program a dog at any age with some simple obedience training. They learn new things & new rules & can adapt! That way she will learn to associate with the other animals in the classes, she'll learn all the basic commands - even the more advanced ones if you continue the training! You wont have to be without her, just get her in to training right away & have all her problems sorted out. She is probably scared of other things, which is why she gets aggressive, it may have been something in her past that has made her be that way but you can fix it all & it might cost you a bit of money but it's definitely worth it if you want to keep her & have her happy & not aggressive towards anything else. I wish you the best & you'll have to let us know how she goes with the training, i don't think she'll change without it. Don't give up!
• Australia
30 Jul 07
Don't believe it has anything to do with the breed either - they're wonderful family pets & i don't think they'd be classed that if they weren't good with animals or kids :) I had a Kelpie x Shepherd & he was the most gentle, wonderful dog ever - they're protective but shouldn't be aggressive.
@carmelanirel (20979)
• United States
20 Jul 07
Is the same dog your mother-in-law talked you into? Sounds like you need to be more cautious about the dog you get. Our animal shelter allows you a few days to bring a dog home to see if it fits into your lifestyle before you adopt. Also, you got to remember, the dog is in a new area and new people with probably different training than where it came from. No matter what the age, the new dog is like a child and will need extra attention to train it to your way of living.. But once trained, the dog can be your best friend...
@d_hapke (165)
• United States
1 Aug 07
No, this is not the mother-in-law dog. This is one we got almost three years ago and we adore her. I'm just not sure if when she's barking at other dogs does she want to meet them or warn them off.
@anam149 (11)
• United States
31 Jul 07
Have you seen any of the Dog Whisperer shows? He has excellent ways of altering dog behaviours. It is on the Discovery Channel but I do believe he has his own website, too. Ceasar Milan I think is his name. We have seen programs where he works with Shepherds as well as dogs with other animal problems and barking at dogs on walks. Give it a try. You might just be surprised. Good Luck!