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Specific Dog" Aggressive German Shepherd-ideas anyone?



 
 
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  #1  
Old July 15th 03, 06:00 PM
Rick
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Default Specific Dog" Aggressive German Shepherd-ideas anyone?

We have 4 German Shepherds in our family: two males and two females.
The alpha leader is the senior female (and longest running member of
the pack). The problem is with the two males.

Both dogs were brought into the house at approximately the same time.
Although one has assimilated into the overall scheme of things, the
other male has not.

He gets along well with the two females, only occasionally
"challenging" the alpha female. But he's had a few fights with the
other male, leading us to keep them separate at all times. This male's
prey drive is such that he'll also pursue the family cat if the
opportunity arises. Therefore he's kept separate from the cat as well.

Because of the one's obvious aggression, we kept him away from the
other male. Then one day, we muzzled both dogs and "introduced" them.
Later that day, we pulled the muzzles and they were fine for about a
month. That's when the big fight occurred. Since then we've kept the
males separated.

We've tried a number of potential solutions including Prozac, but
nothing to date has given us any hope that the two males will be able
to peacefully co-exist. One behaviorist indicated that we should put
the two males together and let them work it out. When I asked who
would pay for the vet bills, the behaviorist suggested that we muzzle
both of them to minimize injuries.

Does anyone have any ideas as to how we can arrive at a peaceful
solution to this problem?
  #2  
Old July 15th 03, 06:47 PM
Andrea
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Rick" wrote
snip
.. One behaviorist indicated that we should put
the two males together and let them work it out. When I asked who
would pay for the vet bills, the behaviorist suggested that we muzzle
both of them to minimize injuries.



Well, it sounds like he's vying for dominance. You can't really make the
dogs' relationship something other than what it is. Honestly, I tend to
agree with the behaviorist. If you really want things settled, they need to
work it out. This doesn't mean letting them have a knock down drag out
fight, necessarily, but it does mean you need to stop separating them.

If you can let them hash it out with out it turning into a blood bath, do.
Also, observe them carefully. Is this status seeker an actual Alpha type, or
is he seeking dominance out of insecurity? There's a difference between
dominant and domineering and you need to determine what the personalities
here are if you want to help crystalize their relationships. If the status
seeker really is dominant/alpha over the other male you should reinforce
this by feeding him first, petting him first, and backing him up. If he's
not, then back up the other male. The tension's there because the heirarchy
is in question. Help them clear it up.

Also, since you're the leader, when they start bickering too much, nip it in
the bud. They need to shut it when you say, so enforce that if you can & do
it without separating them. But in my limited experience, you can't force
the dogs to sublimate this issue. It has to be cleared up otherwise the
potential for a big fight will always lurk beneath the surface. If you are
fearful that neither will submit & there will be serious bodily harm,
perhaps placing the 2nd male is your best bet. This doesn't sound like dog
aggression to me, it sounds like he's trying to rise in his pack. That
doesn't mean he isn't *also* dog aggressive, but it's a different set of
behaviors.
--
-Andrea Stone
Saorsa Basenjis
http://home1.gte.net/res0s12z/
The Trolls Nest - greenmen, goblins & gargoyle wall art
www.trollsnest.com


  #3  
Old July 15th 03, 09:03 PM
Tricia9999
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Default

We've tried a number of potential solutions including Prozac, but
nothing to date has given us any hope that the two males will be able
to peacefully co-exist.


I think this is exactly the type of situation where drugs should not be used.
It's a case of drugging dogs for being dogs, but not doing so in a manner that
is convenient for the humans.

You are the leader. You get to disallow fights. If this is heirarchy posturing,
you can probably fix it and live carefully with it. If these dogs just really
hate each other, all might be better off if one gets rehomed.
  #4  
Old July 15th 03, 09:22 PM
DogStar716
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Default

think this is exactly the type of situation where drugs should not be used.
It's a case of drugging dogs for being dogs, but not doing so in a manner
that
is convenient for the humans.

You are the leader. You get to disallow fights. If this is heirarchy
posturing,
you can probably fix it and live carefully with it. If these dogs just really
hate each other, all might be better off if one gets rehomed.


I totally agree.
Dogstar716
Come see Gunnars Life: http://hometown.aol.com/dogstar716/index.html


  #5  
Old July 16th 03, 04:00 AM
shellystaarvinghattie
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Default



Rick wrote:
We have 4 German Shepherds in our family: two males and two females.
The alpha leader is the senior female (and longest running member of
the pack). The problem is with the two males.

Both dogs were brought into the house at approximately the same time.
Although one has assimilated into the overall scheme of things, the
other male has not.

He gets along well with the two females, only occasionally
"challenging" the alpha female. But he's had a few fights with the
other male, leading us to keep them separate at all times. This male's
prey drive is such that he'll also pursue the family cat if the
opportunity arises. Therefore he's kept separate from the cat as well.

Because of the one's obvious aggression, we kept him away from the
other male. Then one day, we muzzled both dogs and "introduced" them.
Later that day, we pulled the muzzles and they were fine for about a
month. That's when the big fight occurred. Since then we've kept the
males separated.

We've tried a number of potential solutions including Prozac, but
nothing to date has given us any hope that the two males will be able
to peacefully co-exist. One behaviorist indicated that we should put
the two males together and let them work it out.



hello Rick,

I had some roommates once, with two cHOWEs and they followed that kind
of advice and there were some serious vet bills to pay (see below).
Later, I stepped in with a serious "distract and praise" type
methodology, using a bouncing basketball to preempt and then praise any
bad behavior by the main troublemaking culprit meekim the cHOWE

http://dogtv.com/meekim.htm
http://dogtv.com/meekim.htm
http://dogtv.com/meekim.htm

My friend and colleague Jerr*y How*e has an extensively documented FREE
methodology for dealing with problem behavior such as fighting, or kitty
kat chasing witHOWEt separating the dogs and kitty kats (can make things
worse) or physically touching them (sometimes you have to, if a fight
has already started, but if you do it right, you won't have much mooore
fighting to breakup and all your dogs and kats can live heelpilly ever
after.

You can download the free training manual at


http://doggydoright.com
http://doggydoright.com
http://doggydoright.com

PS,

We have lots of mentally ill nutcases here who will try to warn you off
of Jerry and myself. Specifically, try not to "Poke" at shelly. She has
OCD and she obsessively starves her dogs and if you play with her, her
dogs might get starved even moooore than they are currently starving.
It's extremely rare that shelly gets poked and she will be baffled and
confuzzled when you poke at her. Part of her mental illness, is that she
was a little ballerina in the early seventies, and now she's a fat dogg
starvving pig who thinks she is still a ballerina.


KUCKOOO!!
CUCKOOOOOO!!!!
ding!
ding!
ding!

KUCKOOO!!
CUCKOOOOOO!!!!
ding!
ding!
ding!


Don't engage her in conversation. It would be cruel to her to talk to
her. It's far moooore humane to shun her and encourage everyone else to
shun her and pretend she doesn't exist. That's the kindest thing we can
do for her.



When I asked who
would pay for the vet bills, the behaviorist suggested that we muzzle
both of them to minimize injuries.







Does anyone have any ideas as to how we can arrive at a peaceful
solution to this problem?



--
mi.chael
li.ve...

..http://dogtv.com/hope_attacks.mpg
..http://dogtv.com/hope_attacks.mpg
..http://dogtv.com/hope_attacks.mpg
..http://dogtv.com/hope_attacks.mpg
..http://dogtv.com/hope_attacks.mpg



================================================== ======
SHELLY IS THE ONLY ONE WHO DOESN'T THINK HATTIE IS STARVING

"when i got harriet she was emaciated, so i asked my vet for advice on
slowly adding weight to her. six months later i took harriet in for her
spring check-up and my vet was surprised that at how thin she still was."
--shelly couv.rette


"raises hand i've been told by three different vets that
harriet (53lbs) is *way* too skinny. we're still
vet-shopping, BTW."

--shelly couv.rette

"if you really can't resist
it when your dog pulls the "i'm starving!" routine G, you can give
him some frozen green beans or a small amount of plain pureed pumpkin.
i would also suggest putting the food out of his sight. i keep my
food--still inside the bags, which are tightly rolled down--inside
trash cans in the closed laundry room. that keeps it fresh and keeps
it out of my dogs' sight."

--shelly couv.rette

"heh. i get the opposite response. people think that poor little
harriet is positively starved to death. i've actually had people stop
me in the pet supply shop and tell me that i need to fatten her up!"

--shelly couv.rette


"i think that may be part of the problem. who wants to go to a
vet who tells you you're hurting your .widdle precious? i
think the other part is that some vets really don't *realize*
that what they consider proper weight is fat. after having
been told by a couple of vets that my dogs are too thin, i've
got a dim view of vets on that topic."

--shelly couv.rette

"my mom is kinda that way, but not *as* bad. she thinks that harriet is
awfully skinny, so feeding her table snax is okay. she tells me that
just a bite won't hurt."

--shelly couv.rette


NOBODY IS STARVING FAT PI.G SHELLY

NOBODY WILL STOP SHELLY ON THE STREET
AND TELL HER SHE IS STARVING HERSELF
shelly's fat face
http://home.bluemarble.net/~scouvrette/Wshelly2.jpg
================================================== =====


There are a lot of big fat women on these groups who starve their dogs
out of vanity, but shelly is a special case.

shelly is moor.e than a little bit beyond the pale

Shelly has OCD, and maybe she's just a little obsessive about measuring
out extra tiny and discrete portions with a tiny measuring cup, or
counting out pieces of green bean or pumpkin that she gives her dogs
when they give her the "I'm Starving" routine. When grandma tried to
give Hattie a snack, shelly probably went apeshit, because it was in
violation of her Obsessive need to oversee every tiny calorie that goes
into her widdle precious' mouth.

shelly's a special case, a special kind of dog abuser.

  #6  
Old July 16th 03, 04:22 AM
Emily Carroll
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


Both dogs were brought into the house at approximately the same time.
Although one has assimilated into the overall scheme of things, the
other male has not.

We've tried a number of potential solutions including Prozac, but
nothing to date has given us any hope that the two males will be able
to peacefully co-exist. One behaviorist indicated that we should put
the two males together and let them work it out. When I asked who
would pay for the vet bills, the behaviorist suggested that we muzzle
both of them to minimize injuries.

Does anyone have any ideas as to how we can arrive at a peaceful
solution to this problem?


In many breeds, introducing (or just keeping) two members of the same gender
and about the same age is extremely difficult. They'll pick at eachother
and have many royal blow-outs.

I would work on a strong leave-it with each dog individually. This will
also help your poor kitty out. They need to learn that leave it means leave
it this instant and don't even THINK about touching it again. I would then
work on introducing them again and enforcing that leave-it command when they
get snarky with eachother. If they want to fight, fine. They get to be in
a down-stay for 10 minutes if they can't leave it when told to. You should
be able to get them to the point where they will tolerate eachother in your
presence in order to keep you off their behinds I would never leave them
alone together, however, and would crate both of them when they weren't
supervised.

~Emily


---
Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
Version: 6.0.490 / Virus Database: 289 - Release Date: 6/16/2003


  #7  
Old July 16th 03, 04:39 PM
Marshall Dermer
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Rick wrote:
We have 4 German Shepherds in our family: two males and two females.
The alpha leader is the senior female (and longest running member of
the pack). The problem is with the two males.

Both dogs were brought into the house at approximately the same time.
Although one has assimilated into the overall scheme of things, the
other male has not.

He gets along well with the two females, only occasionally
"challenging" the alpha female. But he's had a few fights with the
other male, leading us to keep them separate at all times. This male's
prey drive is such that he'll also pursue the family cat if the
opportunity arises. Therefore he's kept separate from the cat as well.

Because of the one's obvious aggression, we kept him away from the
other male. Then one day, we muzzled both dogs and "introduced" them.
Later that day, we pulled the muzzles and they were fine for about a
month. That's when the big fight occurred. Since then we've kept the
males separated.

We've tried a number of potential solutions including Prozac, but
nothing to date has given us any hope that the two males will be able
to peacefully co-exist. One behaviorist indicated that we should put
the two males together and let them work it out.


Rick,

Below is a recent, relevant post from Laura Costas on
the Animal Reinforcement Forum.

In the post below, "R+" designates positive reinforcement and
"P-" designates negative punishment.

Positive reinforcement is the response contingent presentation of a stimulus
(a reinforcer) that increases the rate of similar future behavior.

Negative punishment is the response contingent removal of a stimulus (could
be a positive reinforcer) that deceases the rate of similar future behavior.

I have slightly edited Laura's excellent post.

--Marshall


----------
From: Laura Costas
Date: Sun, 13 Jul 2003 08:35:19 -0700
To: Animal Reinforcement Forum
Subject: sibling disputes


I had a similar situation but not between sibs, just two extremely
competitive dogs, a young male and older female. The dogs are my own, so I
know the outcome is favorable.

I would not shelve the basic obedience training, in fact, I'd put it in the
express lane so that the owners can be asking for behaviors in situations
where the dogs are likely to compete. The dogs shouldn't be permitted to
make the decisions that lead to the disputes. Your client is going to have
to work the heck out of the dogs all the time so that they don't have the
opportunity to make many bad decisions--they're too busy complying with what
is asked of them. This is a lot of work at first, but will pay off as the
dogs learn what they're supposed to be doing in routine situations. Novel
situations will require lots of management until the two sort it out.

I would definitely train a "Go To Your Crate" cue.

I would have the client station large pieces of cardboard or masonite all
around the house where the client can get to them in the event of a fight.
Simply hold the board between the two dogs so that they can't see each other
and the fight will likely dissolve. I find that the visual stimuli of
hostility really keeps the dispute going, and without it it resolves
instantly. When you have a moment of calm, cue "Go To Your Crate" and shut
the doors on the combatants. They get a big P- from the social group for
inappropriate behavior. I found that the male, who was the less confident
dog, would willingly go and he learned that going to his crate would
actually end in a less intense dispute. This was a very happy outcome.
Whenever he feels overwhelmed by the strong, capricious bitch, he heads for
his crate, and recovers. The bitch never follows him there, and many
smaller disputes have been avoided. Of course R+ for this choice on the
male's part.

Is one dog stronger than the other? If you have a clear status difference,
then R+ the less confident dog for deference of any kind. You'll have to
teach the client what all the signs of deference are if they don't know
already.

Teach both dogs to wait so that they both understand that the resources are
coming even if the other is getting them first. This takes the edge off
competition when they know that the goodies consistently flow, and that no
one will go without.

R+ calm behavior whenever it occurs. Keeping the stimulation level low is
very important. Interrupting very stimulating activities frequently will
help. This will also help them to interrupt a gathering dispute before it
comes to fisticuffs. My young dog learned to stop and take a deep breath,
as I described above, because I taught it.

P- the instigator of any kind of hostility. Staring, rumbling, pushy
barking, whatever, gets tossed out. Access to the social group is
contingent upon calm, cooperative behavior.

I had a particularly nasty situation where if we moved a hair toward the
younger dog to stop his hostility, he would attack the older one regardless
of her behavior. This hostage-taking was very difficult, but we learned to
move away from the dog and toward the big board, and put an end to the flow
of visual stimulation from the two. Later, we were able to just say, Hey
team, let's go outside or whatever and that broke the spell.

Manage the heck out of the environment so that novel situations and
high-value attractions are not directly accessed by either dog. For
example, a guest comes, both dogs outside, one dog comes in at a time. When
all is calm, both are allowed to be in together, etc. I still separate the
two for guests, their meals, and raw bones because this keeps the tension
low overall.

I found that this very intensive regimen gave the dogs the space they needed
to make choices that I could R+ and it worked out over about a year as the
young male matured. I managed my household to within an inch of its life,
and it was a great burden. I don't know if it would have worked with
someone less familiar with dog behavior. My young male was not a placeable
dog, or I would have bailed on this situation--it was extremely stressful.
Now that the dog understands and accepts his place in the household, and has
a spectrum of choices to make to avoid conflict, I have a tolerable
situation.

Also, do refer to Karen Overall's protocols for aggression within the
household. I concur with her conviction that it is safer to support the
stronger dog's status, rather than try to create a situation where all are
equal.


Good luck,

--
Laura Costas
 




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