4 yr old GSP- defiant/aggressive behavior

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txgsp
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4 yr old GSP- defiant/aggressive behavior

Post by txgsp » Sun Aug 11, 2013 9:43 pm

Hey all. I have a 4 year old GSP who has been showing serious defiance and agressive behavior over the past 6-8 months. 90% of the time, he is an angel. Over the course of the past couple of months, he has gotten really aggressive and defiant at specific times. Situations such as: when he doesn't want to go outside, he will get under the table and growl and bark at you if you approach him; when he gets a toy or something he isn't supposed to have, he will growl and bark; tonight he tore a hole in his bed and wouldn't let me come near it; when he throws up occasionally, he barks and protects it.

What should I do? It is becoming a huge issue because I honestly cannot say I feel comfortable approaching him when he is that aggressive. I usually have to get the leash out and act like we are going somewhere in order to get him out from under the table. As soon as he gets out, he is back to normal.

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Re: 4 yr old GSP- defiant/aggressive behavior

Post by RoostersMom » Sun Aug 11, 2013 10:26 pm

I would first try using the NILIF, nothing in life is free, program. If that doesn't work in a month or so, I would look at finding a behaviorist (not dog trainer). I don't have specific one thing for you to try - but the NILIF has done wonders for a friend's dog.

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Re: 4 yr old GSP- defiant/aggressive behavior

Post by Vonzeppelinkennels » Mon Aug 12, 2013 12:42 am

Sounds like the dog is playing a game with you & your losing to me.He has you buffallowed & you need to show him who's boss or he is only going to get worse & own you & everything else.

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Re: 4 yr old GSP- defiant/aggressive behavior

Post by shags » Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:54 am

Dog, meet Jesus.

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Re: 4 yr old GSP- defiant/aggressive behavior

Post by GrayDawg » Mon Aug 12, 2013 5:40 am

shags wrote:Dog, meet Jesus.
BINGO !!

Your dog is playin' you like a country fiddle.......
If you truly are afraid of your dog in these isolated situations, the dog may have already won.
You need to find a way to take control of the situation the very next time he acts up.

If he goes under a table to hide/bark/growl, simply take the chairs, lay them on their back
(so they have a lower height profile), and slowly push the chairs towards your dog until he is
out from under the table. Then leave the chairs under the table, so he can't return there.

Rob

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Re: 4 yr old GSP- defiant/aggressive behavior

Post by txgsp » Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:37 am

It's not so much making me nervous as it does when he stays at my moms if I am out of town. It's like he is totally defiant and being a butt head when he doesn't get his way.

I am not really sure how to take back control when he is doing it though. Under the kitchen table makes sense, but when he goes behind chairs, etc. I will look into the NILIF program...

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Re: 4 yr old GSP- defiant/aggressive behavior

Post by shags » Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:34 am

You can leave a lead on him so you can drag him out of his lairs...and you can wreck his lairs by moving the furniture when he goes behind it.

Catch some episodes of Dog Whisperer with Cesar Milan. He regularly deals with dogs with snotty attitudes and possessiveness. It's all about body language and attitude with a little help from a broom or somesuch to give you some protection while you crowd the dog.

If this bad behavior seems to have come out of the blue - and you'll have to do some honest thinking about that - and behavior modification techniques don't work, you might want to have your vet pull blood for a thyroid panel. Not just TSH and T4, but a full panel including antibodies. Low thyroid values, or even low normal, can cause weird aggression problems. Here's an article about testing and one about behavior.

http://www.foxfirepublishing.com/doddsarticle.html

http://www.canine-epilepsy-guardian-ang ... havior.htm

Edited to add link

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Re: 4 yr old GSP- defiant/aggressive behavior

Post by mister2 » Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:32 am

My dad always told me if you push a dog into a corner with no way out, he will attack. Just be careful. I have no advice but I hope you find a quick solution.

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Re: 4 yr old GSP- defiant/aggressive behavior

Post by Munster » Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:48 am

its hard to gauge what is going on. Another problem is you dont know how to read a dog, so having you do to much can cause more problems. Even how you are reacting to the current problem..............is causeing a problem.

HAving said that, Shags is on it with the lead. If it were my dog, and I am confident in what I am seeing, the dog would wear a lead and I would put him in those situations so I could work it out sooner then later.
I would stand on the lead up to the buckle/collar until the dog "gave" himself up to me. Gives he his belly. I would go into some serious obedience training to.

But also like shag brought up, you need to make sure it isnt a medical issue. Doing anything that I mentioned before would not be fair if the dog is ill.

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Re: 4 yr old GSP- defiant/aggressive behavior

Post by txgsp » Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:33 am

I could easily recreate the situation. It happens when he really doesn't want to do something (go outside) or when he is protecting something (toy in his mouth, his bed, etc.)

It is confusing because before 6-8 months ago, he never did anything like this. I do take him to day care 3 times a week and have for unite some time due to my job and wanting to keep him entertained, so perhaps he has become more possessive/aggressive because of that. Either way, I need to get to the root of it.

I don't think he would concede if I put a lead on him. I can't foresee a situation where he would roll over and submit, but maybe I am wrong. I know he is spoiled but this is way overly aggressive vs. just not wanting to listen to little commands.

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Re: 4 yr old GSP- defiant/aggressive behavior

Post by Munster » Mon Aug 12, 2013 12:06 pm

Video it.

Unless this is a medical issue, it didnt JUST happen. There were signs leading up to it that you missed. He shouldnt be GAURDING anything. This isnt his job or place. I dont want to upset any tree huggers or kinder gentler trainers here, but the way I do it he would submit or pass out.
BUT, here is the catch, you have to know what the problem is. Is he being a brat or is he sick. You dont always want to meet aggression with aggression. So, this is where you need to see what you are looking at. Sounds like he is just a brat who has had no structure and been let do what he wishes.
Crate his, take him out to eat, and do obedience with and put him away. re establish you are the owner.

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Re: 4 yr old GSP- defiant/aggressive behavior

Post by DonF » Mon Aug 12, 2013 12:26 pm

I love GSP's but I also know sometimes any dog get's a screw loose for one reason or another. There's far to many good dogs available out there to put up with that nonsense. You may well get a handle on it most time's but I would suspect your gonna spend a lot of time in the future convincing the dog of it. Not worth the risk getting bit. If your intent on staying with the dog, I'd move it outside into a kennel. All that behavior would get it then is left in the kennel.

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Re: 4 yr old GSP- defiant/aggressive behavior

Post by txgsp » Mon Aug 12, 2013 12:45 pm

Giving him away or kenneling him outside is not going to happen.

Would using his e-collar outside/inside be effective? Leave it on him all the time and work with him on obedience on a consistent basis with his e-collar as reinforcement? This would present a control tactic if he decides to get cranky and get under the table, etc.

Thoughts?

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Re: 4 yr old GSP- defiant/aggressive behavior

Post by Munster » Mon Aug 12, 2013 1:09 pm

I would not give an aggressive dog away. That becomes liability. I would put him down. IF this is what is going on.

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Re: 4 yr old GSP- defiant/aggressive behavior

Post by txgsp » Mon Aug 12, 2013 1:26 pm

Perhaps I should be more clear.... This is not an every day occurrence. He is being a brat and I am looking for pointers as to how to break him of it. I will make sure there aren't any health issues, but I will not even think about putting this dog down.

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Re: 4 yr old GSP- defiant/aggressive behavior

Post by birddog1968 » Mon Aug 12, 2013 1:35 pm

you need to rattle his cage and show him at NO time is it acceptable behavior. I hope you don't have children in the house.


If a dog of mine ever showed people aggression he'd be done for.....its a dog, not a fur baby or a person.

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Re: 4 yr old GSP- defiant/aggressive behavior

Post by Vonzeppelinkennels » Mon Aug 12, 2013 1:38 pm

If he is being a BRAT you are allowing him to be a BRAT!!

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Re: 4 yr old GSP- defiant/aggressive behavior

Post by Chukar12 » Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:40 pm

I think we are being kind calling him a brat. I took the liberty of checking out a couple of your other posts where you have been pretty forthright about undesired behavior. I could offer a suggestion to help you, but most angles have been covered. When a dog growls at you or warns you about "their" property you are teetering on potential disaster. Nothing more may ever come of the behavior, but more confidence and maturity will likely escalate it. If things with the dog are as I suspect, I think you need a fresh start; the established rules and relationship need a major change.I would contact a professional in your area that specializes in behavior modification.

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Re: 4 yr old GSP- defiant/aggressive behavior

Post by benelli » Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:15 pm

You mentioned in one post putting the e-collar on him and using that when he gets aggressive ... I'm not an expert, but I remember seeing on several other posts (usually about dog-to-dog aggression) that using e-collar stim can just escalate things because then the dog gets really mad. I don't have anything to add - I'm not an expert on aggressive dogs - but I wanted to at least offer that bit of advice so you didn't inadvertently spur him from just growling to actually attacking.

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Re: 4 yr old GSP- defiant/aggressive behavior

Post by Sharon » Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:37 pm

I wouldn't use the e collar for that. How often is he going between you and your Mom's place? This doesn't happen all of a sudden. Is there any more history you can give us? How have you been using the e collar up to now?

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Re: 4 yr old GSP- defiant/aggressive behavior

Post by RoostersMom » Mon Aug 12, 2013 5:07 pm

I would not use an e-collar on this behavior, it does escalate the aggression. NILIF will set you back up as the king of the house. He gets to eat when you say, be outside when you say.....it establishes a new norm for him. He is resource guarding with the toys - they aren't his, they are yours and he needs to know that. I think it will help you to follow the NILIF plan.

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Re: 4 yr old GSP- defiant/aggressive behavior

Post by Steve007 » Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:28 pm

You'd be surprised what ten minutes of basic obedience work twice a day for a couple of months can do for a dog's respect for you, and for your abilty to control him. You might even find it's a great new dog hobby, and a great new relationship with your dog.

The concept of checking out his health is a valid one, but so is asking (if they'll tell you) if there has been any change of circumstances (or people) at his "doggie day care". But failing answers there, daily twice-a-day obedience.

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Re: 4 yr old GSP- defiant/aggressive behavior

Post by Duckdog » Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:58 pm

You've been given some solid advice,...

Here's my take...
Nothing belongs to the dog...nothing.
Your food bowl, your dog food, your toys. You ALLOW him to use them.
Own them. Be the alpha. This dog needs a master, plain and simple.

MAKE him wait for everything...his food, his toys, everything. Be the alpha, they are yours and he doesn't get them until you allow it.

I may ruffle some feathers, but you're going to have to get physical, and if you're afraid of getting nipped, protect yourself,
But, the next time you see this "attitude" building, (read your dog), his eyes, demeanor,

You flip that dog over on his back and hold him by the throat until he ABSOLUTELY submits. You'll see it, you'll feel it.
It will be an exhale and calmness after a MASSIVE fit, but you HAVE to win!
It will be a sigh of relief for both of you.
It isn't going to work after just one time...be persistent.
Be the alpha. I agree with Cesar's philosophy that "dogs want to be led" it's your job to be the leader but he's challenging you. Not because he nessasarily wants the job, it's because no one is doing it and it's a void that has to be filled in his (pack) mentality.

If this isn't a health issue, this has to be done.

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Re: 4 yr old GSP- defiant/aggressive behavior

Post by Sharon » Mon Aug 12, 2013 8:27 pm

"You flip that dog over on his back and hold him by the throat until he ABSOLUTELY submits. You'll see it, you'll feel it. "

I understand what you are saying but.............the OP could get badly bitten on the face.

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Re: 4 yr old GSP- defiant/aggressive behavior

Post by txgsp » Mon Aug 12, 2013 8:36 pm

I appreciate everyone's advice thus far.

I only have the e-collar on him when we hunt or when I let him off leash in the park, etc.

As far as going back and forth to my mom's... It isn't that often. Maybe once every week or two. I lived there for a while with him, s he loves going over there. But perhaps she has allowed him to be more independent and spoil him more than I do.

As far as history goes... He has never been aggressive until about 8 months ago, like I mentioned. He has had to move quite a bit since I got him in college, I graduated and lived in San Antonio for a bit, then moved to Houston and have lived at home with my mom, now in a house with roommates. I would say he became more "protective" when we lived in an apartment in San Antonio. Just more vigilant. But never aggressive.

It really started when I moved back home and lived with my mom for a couple of months. He would find stuffed animals and not let them go. Found a baseball and wouldn't give it back, barking and getting very protective. That was the first time he did it. I'll be the first to say he is spoiled, but I have never allowed him to be aggressive. I always reprimand him.

Perhaps what I will do is really limit his independence. Toys, food, etc like all of you have mentioned. I was not going to out his collar on and shock the heck outta him, I know better than that. I have read about using it around the house and yard, keeping it on them to reinforce the commands they already know. Putting him down is 100% not an option, nor is giving him away. I know this can be dealt with by other means.

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Re: 4 yr old GSP- defiant/aggressive behavior

Post by Duckdog » Mon Aug 12, 2013 8:40 pm

I understand what you are saying but.............the OP could get badly bitten on the face.

Which is why I said that if that is a concen, he should take measures to protect himself. If he has the dog on it's back and has ahold of it's throat, it CAN'T bite him.

If he can't handle this and can't afford or won't go to the trouble to have someone else do it, this dog is a major liability.

I made my 10 year old daughter do this with her "un-ruley" Jack Russel. It absolutely changed the dog and she was about one growl away from a one way ride with me. That's a fact and I told her that too. The Jack doesn't have a mean bone in her body left and if you didn't know it, you'd never think it was the same pup.

If a 10 year old girl can do it, I think a full grown adult can handle it.

And, it's probably exactly how Cesar would handle it too.

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Re: 4 yr old GSP- defiant/aggressive behavior

Post by mister2 » Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:03 pm

A mature 4yr old gsp is gonna be quite a handful. Sure sounds like this dog would escalate to bite if pursued. In my novice opinion, life is especially too short to deal with a dog that will bite its owner. Humans come first and thats it. i will not tolerate any of my dogs showing any negative behavior towards any humans or other dogs for any reason at any time. I don't try to make any excuses for my dogs behavior. I also have small kids so swift and timely corrections are a must.

Could your dog be picking up bad behaviors from the day care facility? I'm sure that's all they do there is claim and guard their territory. Just as easily as hunting dogs could pick up hunting skills from a more experienced dog, so could it pick up bad behaviors just as fast. i have seen a coworkers spoiled and day cared labrador do this also. This lab is a time bomb waiting to explode and worse yet is even she knows it. Good luck and I hope it works out for you.

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Re: 4 yr old GSP- defiant/aggressive behavior

Post by S&J gsp » Tue Aug 13, 2013 3:40 am

If there are no health issues this is a two part problem first is a dominance issue next is an obedience issue you need to fix the first to fix the second. Now there is no easy fix to either you have atleast a 55 pound ball of energy to make see you as the BOSS rolling him on his back is the best way to make him see you as the BOSS also can be dangerous. If he were mine I would make him give me his belly or throat not by force by body language and pressure it is hard to do but he'll still have his confendiance. Next in obedience you want complyance not discipline it is a fine line and some times you need discipline to get compliance it is hard to describe in words it is easier to see if there is a good obedience training group around your area go watch a few days and ask a lot of questions. Another good place would be a Schutzhund group go watch and ask questions. Make sure it is a good obedience group not a pet store class they have no idea how to handle your problem. You stated you were concerned so the dog has already keyed on that and is gaining more each time you back up take a stand and be ready so lash out and some will give up. If he lashes out you need to be ready if he gives in your making progress.

Now a few questions
You said it started 8 months ago with growling
I would say it started before that with standing in front of you, making you follow him out of a room, demanding food, begging for food, pushing you ( so much as just pushing his head under your hand) standing on you (I mean is much as a foot on your foot) laying in a doorway and making you step over, all are dominant behaviers that should have been dealt with than. It may be more posturing than aggressive and with you not taking a stand and backing off he went to the next level. If any of the scenario's happened that is when it started. And I would suggest you consult with a PROFESSIONAL trainer in your area to get help to fix this because he would be able to see the dog in person

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Re: 4 yr old GSP- defiant/aggressive behavior

Post by GWPtyler » Tue Aug 13, 2013 8:37 am

Duckdog wrote:You've been given some solid advice,...

Here's my take...
Nothing belongs to the dog...nothing.
Your food bowl, your dog food, your toys. You ALLOW him to use them.
Own them. Be the alpha. This dog needs a master, plain and simple.

MAKE him wait for everything...his food, his toys, everything. Be the alpha, they are yours and he doesn't get them until you allow it.

I may ruffle some feathers, but you're going to have to get physical, and if you're afraid of getting nipped, protect yourself,
But, the next time you see this "attitude" building, (read your dog), his eyes, demeanor,

You flip that dog over on his back and hold him by the throat until he ABSOLUTELY submits. You'll see it, you'll feel it.
It will be an exhale and calmness after a MASSIVE fit, but you HAVE to win!
It will be a sigh of relief for both of you.
It isn't going to work after just one time...be persistent.
Be the alpha. I agree with Cesar's philosophy that "dogs want to be led" it's your job to be the leader but he's challenging you. Not because he nessasarily wants the job, it's because no one is doing it and it's a void that has to be filled in his (pack) mentality.

If this isn't a health issue, this has to be done.
^^^^^^THIS

And overlay with some obedience and/or other training every day for 15-30 minutes. Sounds to me that a dog like that doesn't have structure. Dogs NEED structure. They are the epitome of OCD. Think of them as soldiers. There is a reason grunts are told when to exercise, when to eat, when to go to the bathroom, when to sleep: To keep order and to let them know that they aren't in command. Dogs are the same way. Sounds to me like your pooch is getting a little high on his horse. You better plan on knocking him back to ground level, and pronto.

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Re: 4 yr old GSP- defiant/aggressive behavior

Post by Tooling » Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:19 am

If you think you can do it without getting seriously bitten...punch your dog across the jaw the instant he shows aggression and tries to take a swipe at you or anybody else...seriously...close fisted. If he tries to evade move the chair, move the couch..make him know that wherever he hides he cannot hide from you with his kennel being his only refuge while indoors. Outdoors let him evade tail tucked. Make him understand that he cannot evade your command and that it is simply not an option as you will be there no matter where he goes....again, this is for aggressive dominant behavior....not necessarily possessiveness. Stand over him posturing dominance while looking him straight in the eye making him know you mean it...he will look away. Let him know that you are by all means his loving owner but you can also be quite the s.o.b.

If your dog does not look away and does not stand down...you have a pretty serious problem. If your dog looks away tentatively and his body /limbs tighten up be cautious as he is ready to strike.

He will sulk and he will mope for a day or two and DO NOT approach him for affection after this...he WILL come to you and you will have won. He will be better for it and you will be as well.
Last edited by Tooling on Tue Aug 13, 2013 11:02 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: 4 yr old GSP- defiant/aggressive behavior

Post by Cajun Casey » Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:35 am

Sounds like a typical male shorthair who's never had any training on how to behave. I would not beat, punch, roll or otherwise physically punish the dog. I would work him on high value rewards for HERE, KENNEL and LEAVE IT. I would suggest you talk to a retriever trainer who knows what he is doing and have him show you how to introduce force on the kennel command. I would also leave a four foot dragline on the dog so you can heel him out of defensive situations.

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Re: 4 yr old GSP- defiant/aggressive behavior

Post by Chukar12 » Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:38 am

Get some professional help.
These things escalate quickly on the internet. Most aggression with dogs in general is not primarily dominance related, "aggression" as described is usually not needed in the dog world. This aggression is possessive and place, and had you identified it early on when the dog was younger and easier to control you could have used physicality in a much safer manner to establish the proper hierarchy. With due respect, because you did not, and because there are unknown factors with other family members, it is unlikely that your timing, consistency and ability to apply physical pressure will be properly directed from what your read here; in my opinion.

Some of this advice is bravado and will simply get you hurt or create other problems. You can go for a winner take all approach, GOD help you if you lose. You clearly love the dog and have made it clear that re-homing it, kenneling it outside, or euthanizing it are not considerations. At 4 years old you do not have an easy solution...the dog is who he is and you and your folks are who you are, you need advice and a process from someone who can convince you of how all parties need to change.

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Re: 4 yr old GSP- defiant/aggressive behavior

Post by Tooling » Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:42 am

Hate to say and certainly do not advocate whooping on a dog however a male GSP can be a funny critter being the head strong and capable dogs that they are...establish this dominance and you will have a male GSP loyal and loving for all of his days. I also would never strike a dog unless there is actual aggression. If you are lucky, this "confrontation" will take place at a young age and will set the precedent. As a long time owner of GSP's I can also say with confidence that this did take place at a young age somehow or another and it was either simply not recognized or the "wrong thing" happened. Also, as others pointed out there are other variables such as other family members etc. If you were to take my advice it may become a situation where yes, maybe you have won but then he could work to "establish" this with other family members which could be a very very bad thing so please proceed with caution. Do not even attempt my strategy if you do not have the will to actually mean business...there is zero tolerance for hesitation or trepidation..the dog WILL pick up on that. I feel for you and that is definitely a tough one.
Last edited by Tooling on Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:58 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: 4 yr old GSP- defiant/aggressive behavior

Post by Tooling » Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:45 am

Chukar12 wrote:Get some professional help.
These things escalate quickly on the internet. Most aggression with dogs in general is not primarily dominance related, "aggression" as described is usually not needed in the dog world. This aggression is possessive and place, and had you identified it early on when the dog was younger and easier to control you could have used physicality in a much safer manner to establish the proper hierarchy. With due respect, because you did not, and because there are unknown factors with other family members, it is unlikely that your timing, consistency and ability to apply physical pressure will be properly directed from what your read here; in my opinion.

Some of this advice is bravado and will simply get you hurt or create other problems. You can go for a winner take all approach, GOD help you if you lose. You clearly love the dog and have made it clear that re-homing it, kenneling it outside, or euthanizing it are not considerations. At 4 years old you do not have an easy solution...the dog is who he is and you and your folks are who you are, you need advice and a process from someone who can convince you of how all parties need to change.
EXCELLENT post!!

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Re: 4 yr old GSP- defiant/aggressive behavior

Post by Sharon » Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:47 am

Cajun Casey wrote:Sounds like a typical male shorthair who's never had any training on how to behave. I would not beat, punch, roll or otherwise physically punish the dog. I would work him on high value rewards for HERE, KENNEL and LEAVE IT. I would suggest you talk to a retriever trainer who knows what he is doing and have him show you how to introduce force on the kennel command. I would also leave a four foot dragline on the dog so you can heel him out of defensive situations.

Excellent advice. Also I'd go with Chukar 12's advice.

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Re: 4 yr old GSP- defiant/aggressive behavior

Post by deke » Tue Aug 13, 2013 11:22 am

You are afraid of your own dog? Seems like the dog already won. The dog needs a good "bleep" whippin every time he growls at anybody, and a bullet if he bites

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Re: 4 yr old GSP- defiant/aggressive behavior

Post by Cajun Casey » Tue Aug 13, 2013 11:43 am

Sounds to me like the dog has never had a chance to do anything right and be rewarded and is being punished for defensive behavior. I'd like to see what goes down at doggy daycare. Bet he gets dominated by at least one other male dog.

Shorthairs are sharp dogs. Get a different breed if you don't like attitude. One of my most obnoxious dogs that likes to start fights for fun can be redirected by telling him to find his tennyball. This is a dog that will bite through my hand if I try to handle his mouth for meds. He will retrieve soft to hand all day and ignore the other dogs totally. Left to his own devices, he's a jackazz.

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Re: 4 yr old GSP- defiant/aggressive behavior

Post by txgsp » Tue Aug 13, 2013 12:10 pm

Chukar12 wrote:Get some professional help.
These things escalate quickly on the internet. Most aggression with dogs in general is not primarily dominance related, "aggression" as described is usually not needed in the dog world. This aggression is possessive and place, and had you identified it early on when the dog was younger and easier to control you could have used physicality in a much safer manner to establish the proper hierarchy. With due respect, because you did not, and because there are unknown factors with other family members, it is unlikely that your timing, consistency and ability to apply physical pressure will be properly directed from what your read here; in my opinion.

Some of this advice is bravado and will simply get you hurt or create other problems. You can go for a winner take all approach, GOD help you if you lose. You clearly love the dog and have made it clear that re-homing it, kenneling it outside, or euthanizing it are not considerations. At 4 years old you do not have an easy solution...the dog is who he is and you and your folks are who you are, you need advice and a process from someone who can convince you of how all parties need to change.
Thank you, Chukar.

To many of you, I am not apologizing for his behavior at all. It is unacceptable for him to act that way towards me or anyone else. It may be a build up of him feeling like he is in control, so I need to restablish that. I can honestly say though that I'm surprised so many of you would kill your dog.

I appreciate everyone's take though, it is very informative for me whether I agree or not. So, thanks everyone for your advice thus far.

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Re: 4 yr old GSP- defiant/aggressive behavior

Post by DoubleBarrel GunDogs » Tue Aug 13, 2013 3:06 pm

Chukar12 wrote:Get some professional help.
These things escalate quickly on the internet. Most aggression with dogs in general is not primarily dominance related, "aggression" as described is usually not needed in the dog world. This aggression is possessive and place, and had you identified it early on when the dog was younger and easier to control you could have used physicality in a much safer manner to establish the proper hierarchy. With due respect, because you did not, and because there are unknown factors with other family members, it is unlikely that your timing, consistency and ability to apply physical pressure will be properly directed from what your read here; in my opinion.

Some of this advice is bravado and will simply get you hurt or create other problems. You can go for a winner take all approach, GOD help you if you lose. You clearly love the dog and have made it clear that re-homing it, kenneling it outside, or euthanizing it are not considerations. At 4 years old you do not have an easy solution...the dog is who he is and you and your folks are who you are, you need advice and a process from someone who can convince you of how all parties need to change.
Good advise.

I would take the dog out of his element, and put him on the chain gang with a few other dogs. His true colors would come through quickly. There's no better place to begin gaining control than the chain.

Nate

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Re: 4 yr old GSP- defiant/aggressive behavior

Post by bobman » Tue Aug 13, 2013 4:28 pm

Chain gang would be Easy to do if like a lot of us he has a bunch of dogs

Get some help I have a Dk hes my avatar he was like this when he came to me that way he's a good dog now but I had to retrain how he viewed the world

The comments one poster made above about it not just happening and that a dog does give a lot of visual dominant cues
That you need to be aware of is a good tip

Google leerburg and read his entire site its not exactly the same but there is a lot of good info on dealing with agressive dogs that will crossover to your issue

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Re: 4 yr old GSP- defiant/aggressive behavior

Post by Donnytpburge » Tue Aug 13, 2013 4:41 pm

I agree with Nate,

Put the dog on the chain for a good while.
They seem to forget who put them on the chain, but always remember the hand
That turns them loose.
DB

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Re: 4 yr old GSP- defiant/aggressive behavior

Post by Tooling » Tue Aug 13, 2013 6:22 pm

Not sure I'd shoot a dog either, especially on my own behalf...guess if it got that out of control more than once maybe and certainly if he went freaking Cujo on my a$$.
Attacking somebody else..ESPECIALLY a child..in a heart beat. A dog genuinely attacking my dog having not been provoked by my dog would be put down so quick it wouldn't even be funny..in fact, I've been there before and the dog was lucky I had to go in and get my pc giving him a chance to get out of there.

I hate to hear about this as I have NEVER come across an aggressive Shorthair..snippy and moody yes...dominating yes...possessive yes...food aggression yes...genuinely aggressive no.
I'm only on number five myself however I have been around many many of them over the years. Maybe not enough of them..I 'dunno. love this breed!

I think Cajun Casey also brings up a good point...when your dog is not in your care and out of your sight you simply do not know what is happening in your absence..I also think he has a very good point saying that perhaps the dog has simply not gotten much of a chance to get things right and be rewarded for it. Remember, these dogs need humans and a job along with stimulation like they need water.

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Re: 4 yr old GSP- defiant/aggressive behavior

Post by txgsp » Tue Aug 13, 2013 8:51 pm

Tooling wrote:Not sure I'd shoot a dog either, especially on my own behalf...guess if it got that out of control more than once maybe and certainly if he went freaking Cujo on my a$$.
Attacking somebody else..ESPECIALLY a child..in a heart beat. A dog genuinely attacking my dog having not been provoked by my dog would be put down so quick it wouldn't even be funny..in fact, I've been there before and the dog was lucky I had to go in and get my pc giving him a chance to get out of there.

I hate to hear about this as I have NEVER come across an aggressive Shorthair..snippy and moody yes...dominating yes...possessive yes...food aggression yes...genuinely aggressive no.
I'm only on number five myself however I have been around many many of them over the years. Maybe not enough of them..I 'dunno. love this breed!

I think Cajun Casey also brings up a good point...when your dog is not in your care and out of your sight you simply do not know what is happening in your absence..I also think he has a very good point saying that perhaps the dog has simply not gotten much of a chance to get things right and be rewarded for it. Remember, these dogs need humans and a job along with stimulation like they need water.
I would not say he is genuinely aggressive at all. Loves people, strangers, other dogs. It's weird little things he gets snippy About. I think I really need to start over and take complete control of everything he does. Using the NILIF approach along with general obedience. I am in no way defending my dog, but he is not mean spirited at all. He needs work in learning he is not #1. I will take the blame for not installing it earlier, I will.

Again, I appreciate everyone's varied approaches. Thanks y'all.

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Re: 4 yr old GSP- defiant/aggressive behavior

Post by Saddle » Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:22 pm

You are an apologist for your dog. You are part of the problem not the solution.

Casey I'm glad I don't have to teach my dogs how to behave. Or give them commands and reward them for them not biting me never heard of such a thing. This is not typical of a short hair I have three of them right now in for training and none of them act like this.

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Re: 4 yr old GSP- defiant/aggressive behavior

Post by Cajun Casey » Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:30 pm

Saddle wrote:You are an apologist for your dog. You are part of the problem not the solution.

Casey I'm glad I don't have to teach my dogs how to behave. Or give them commands and reward them for them not biting me never heard of such a thing. This is not typical of a short hair I have three of them right now in for training and none of them act like this.
I've been in the breed for fifteen years and there are more contentious ones than most care to admit. But, coming from herding breeds and being around pit bulls and chihuahuas at work on a daily basis, a snarky shorthair is a walk in the park.

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Re: 4 yr old GSP- defiant/aggressive behavior

Post by SanerSoft » Wed Aug 14, 2013 6:33 am

IMO, the only solution for you is to get professional help from an animal behaviorist (as also suggested by another) or put the dog down.

A good place to start looking for an animal behaviorist is to contact Patricia McConnell at the University Of Wisconsin. She specializes in rehabbing aggressive dogs. Her website is http://www.patriciamcconnell.com. She is also an accomplished author. If you are willing to do some reading on the subject, get her book The Other End Of The Leash. The focus of the book is how we as humans interact with canines, but in it she has references and stories about dog aggression issues she has experienced with clients. My favorite story is the one about the dog that would not let the husband back in the bed after he got up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night.

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Re: 4 yr old GSP- defiant/aggressive behavior

Post by markj » Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:58 am

I'm surprised so many of you would kill your dog.
If the dog bites or harms a child..... or anyone else it decides to bite down on. Well you figure that part out.

Try the reward system for awhile, get the dog interested in some form of excersize, this does it for my dogs. Left all to themselves they get into trouble just like I did as a teenager. They are very smart and will figure out how to come out on top if you let them. Dont hit him, one method I love is a spray bottle, growls at me he gets wet in the face. Takes very few squirts to get him to stop. Works for barking too. Outside the hose it right there. Water sprayed on a dog gets their attention right now. Harms not one hair :)

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Re: 4 yr old GSP- defiant/aggressive behavior

Post by roaniecowpony » Sat Aug 17, 2013 6:39 am

There's a lot of good advice in this thread. Some of it is bravado as pointed out earlier. Some is good for the person giving the advice but probably not you, lest you not be in this situation to begin with. I agree with those that stated this didn't just happen when you noticed it. I believe it has been a work in progress. The dog hasn't had consistent structured discipline. It hasn't been reminded everyday that it owns nothing and everything belongs to you. This may sound like a harsh line to take with a dog, but even with my trustworthy, loving labrador, its a daily reinforcement. It has to be a way of life for you and the dog. If its done early in the dog's life and maintained consistently, it's such small acts that most of us don't think twice about it. Things like making the dog sit/stand patiently for its food and look at you to give the command to eat and varying the time they wait, AT EVERY MEAL. This one thing done daily is a strong tool in conveying your dominance. Even my little sissy of a dog labrador tries me on (mild challenges) with many things throughout a normal day. It's just in a dog's nature to challenge authority. But what keeps it in check is the small requirements set and enforced daily. I'd be willing to bet a cold one this dog won't stand and wait for a command to eat with bowl of food on the floor in front of it.

You're behind the eightball on this and you recognize it. Good. Not knowing your determination and skills with dogs, I think Chukar12 has given good advice. A pro can probably fix this dogs behavior quickly. But changing how you behave is the longterm solution IMO. Don't dilly dally. Get it done very soon. Unfortunately, this is the classic situation that ends up with dogs at the shelters and then oblivious people wanting to do something nice by rescuing and get a loving pet, only to end up with someone elses problem like this.

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Re: 4 yr old GSP- defiant/aggressive behavior

Post by John S » Mon Aug 19, 2013 7:24 am

I've read through most of the posts and agree with what many have written, but also have reservations about some other things that have been written.
Although I am no expert, I have read much on dog behavior and as cheesy as it sounds I have watched a lot of Ceasar Milano.
There are two things that pop out at me, one is the doggy day care. IMO if you send your dog to day care then you need to spend a good amount of time with the dog each day afterwards to recondition him from the bad habits inevitably picked up. Remember dogs are pack animals, maybe he is getting conflicted by being thrust in multiple packs, i.e. home pack, day care pack and possible different dogs on each day forming 3rd or 4th packs. This may all be very confusing to the dog.
Additionally, exercise! How much do you give him? Do you run him everyday to the point of near fatigue? You would be surprised how much easier to handle a dog is that is truly tired, but not yet worn out.

And like other have said, a strong obedience training regimen sounds like a MUST at this point, but if you do not have the training to do it yourself, get professional help. Don't know where to get professional help, check with your local Vets and pet stores.

Good Luck.

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Re: 4 yr old GSP- defiant/aggressive behavior

Post by mudpuppy » Wed Aug 21, 2013 1:52 pm

Ummmmm two words

SQUIRT GUN!

I'm serious as a heart attack. While I'm a newbie with Pointers, this isn't my first trip to the dog rodeo. I have been around dogs my whole life from mini maltese/bichons to 150 pound German Shepherds and one of the best training tools I have ever used on any dog is a high powered squirt gun or spray bottle loaded with water. It has never taken more than one or two well aimed blasts to the face to cause the mischief perpetrator to pause and say, "yes, momma, anything you say" to me and back off and listen to me. Usually after a few encounters all I have ever had to do was pick up the squirt gun and show it to them to get them to stop whatever mischief or attitude they were showing me at the moment. I try to keep a few staged throughout the house...you do what you have to do when you have 5 dogs running around. Your floor and furniture might get a bit damp but when he started his hissy fit, I would let him have it with a water cannon squirt gun. It may be enough to startle him into behaving.

I learned the trick from a German Shepherd breeder who had a kennel of 30 dogs. He kept a bucket of water with a dipper in it and when they started up in their runs he would just scoop up a dipper of water and stand there. No more attitude. A vet confirmed the method to me.

When our pointer/BC mix pups get a little too aggressive with out cats, out come the squirt bottles. They hate getting sprayed in the face and back off immediately.

It's worth a try. Don't give up on this boy. I agree. It's a power play. You just got to be the one who is more powerful.

Good luck.

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