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I have a 10-month-old German shepherd/husky mix. I got him…

Hi Jane! So I...

Hi Jane! So I have a 10-month-old German shepherd/husky mix. I got him when he was 3 months old, and even then he showed signs of dominance (humping). I used to bring him to the dog park every day. From 3-6 months old, he was never really involved in any major altercations. Sometimes a few aggressive older dogs would snap at him, but it could have been due to him trying to overly sniff and/or hump them. but we stayed at the dog park even after these so that he wouldn't leave thinking thats how the dog park always is.

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. What is wrong with the dog?

He is 10 months now and it seems that every time we go to the dog park now, he starts a fight that ends with me breaking it up.

Veterinarian's Assistant: Strange behavior is often perplexing. I'm sure the Dog Trainer can help you. What is the dog's name?

Ryker

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else important you think the Dog Trainer should know about Ryker?

He's an extremely loving and obedient dog at home, but now when it comes to other dogs (usually male) there's always a problem. And he loves to play rough. As he gets older, he's starting to cross the line between just playing a bit rough and playing in a very aggressive manner.

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Answered in 1 hour by:
3/26/2018
Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 20,443
Experience: Behaviorist /Trainer and Dog breeder 18+ years
Verified

Hi JaCustomer,

Welcome to Just Answer. My name is Jane. I have been involved professionally with dogs in the healthcare and behavioral fields for over 20 years. I’ve worked as a Vet Assistant and Behaviorist and have extensive experience in dog reproduction, as a breeder, for even longer than that.. Canine behavioral issues and training are also my specialties. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

It is necessary for me to get a little information from you before I can type up your reply. Your patience is appreciated.

What obedience training have you done with him?

How often do you work with him?

When he is playing is his tail up, down or horizontal?

Is he neutered yet?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
to save money on trainers, I'd watch Youtube videos on how to properly train him. I taught him come, sit, stay, paw, and lay down. He really is obedient when he's not in a busy setting, such as the park. When I give him a treat or two throughout the day, I usually go over a couple of the commands before giving it to him. He was neutered a little over a month ago, but I didn't change his behavior by any means. The situation that we usually encounter is going to the dog park and meeting male dogs. He happily runs around sniffing, then will encounter a male dog and stop. He basically gives the other dog the death glare. Once I see this look I know a fight is about to happen. I always try to stay within close distance to him but it can be challenging as he runs around. I'm trying to remember how his tail is, possibly horizontal, and his fur will go up slightly. It's definitely not tucked in his legs as if he's scared.
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Could it be a dominance/alpha dog thing? He definitely went through a persistent humping phase. He still attempts to from time to time with certain male dogs. Also, at another, smaller dog park we go to, we're friends with a larger female pomsky. Although he doesn't snap at her and start a fight with her the way he does with other male dogs, he will aggresivelyyy play with her and chase her down. Even when she is submissive to him, he's still trying to aggressively play while being vocal and rough. Also, my friend has a 4 year old female husky. Ryker met her and did not like her immediately. My friend said it's probably because his dog acts as the alpha.I just miss being able to bring him to the park so he can social with dogs. I read that as a dog matures, they don't always keep that 'puppy-friendly-to-everyone' personality, but he's only 10 months and the dog ages they were referring to were between 2 and 3. What should I do !?

I'm reading your replies and typing up my response.

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I know you are not going to like this part of my reply but dog parks are not the best place to take your dog. There are way too many dogs at parks that have had no training at all and become very aggressive toward other dogs with little to know provocation. Now if they have cause, it is even more of a bad idea. The real problem is that for a dog that is attacked it can trigger them to be aggressive before they can be attacked. Your dog so far seems to be able to hold his own until you break it up, but each "fight" just is one more chance that he may turn aggressive when he meets a more dominant aggressive dog. I never suggest that people take their dogs to dog parks especially when they are Between the age of 12 to 24 months. They are maturing into adults between 7 and 18 months of age but between 1-2 years of age they start challenging their place in a pack. Now in a situation where you go to a park once in a while. The park is not your dog's territory and he has nothing to prove to any other dogs and can enjoy the time there. But when a dog goes to a park all the time, they start to feel the park belongs to them and then the dogs have to work out who is the top dog at the park and when you have more than one alpha dog there you can have fights.

Now dog parks and obedience classes are great places to actually find a dog that your dog can interact with and play nicely with. Once you find a few then find an unused tennis court that you can use for the two dog to have play dates. They are totally enclosed and big enough to give dogs enough room to really stretch their legs and run and play. The best companions for him should be females of similar age.

However, you can correct the behavior with more obedience training and learning body language. I know he knows some commands but you need an excellent recall command or a down and stay. The following site is helpful in helping owners train their dog. Be sure and click on the link to the page on obedience at the bottom. and links on subsequent pages leading to detailed instructions.

http://www.schutzhund-training.com/training_theory.html

Training works best if you train at least 30 minutes a day (two 15 minute sessions). I would start making your dog work via the Nothing in life is free program (NILF). It is outlined below.

http://www.pets.ca/articles/article-dog_nilf.htm

http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/dogs/tips/training_nothing_in_life_is_free.html

You need to start working him in a distraction free area and gradually either add distractions or start working him in areas where there is slightly more distractions until he obeys regardless of what distraction is present. In order to do this you really need to have a high value treat for training such as hot dog slivers or chic***** *****vers. The dog needs to know the reward is greater if he listens then when he can play.

Learn body language. You can tell what is happening long before he even gets that look in his eye.

Https://apdt.com/pet-owners/dog-park/body-language/

http://www.pawsacrossamerica.com/interpret.html

http://www.petprofessionalguild.com/dogbodylanguage

He needs to listen regardless of what dog is around or person, or even if he is running toward another dog. That is the only way you can really allow him to go to his favorite dog park. You may still be able to go to alternative parks until he is trained. Once trained, you can evaluate both your dog's body language and any other dog approaching your dog to help determine whether he can be allowed to interact or whether you need to call him to you and leash him.

I sincerely ***** ***** I have helped you. Please remember to rate my service by selecting the 5 stars at the top of the screen ( rating me now does not close your question). We can continue here until you are satisfied, simply use the reply box and let me know. Thank you!

Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 20,443
Experience: Behaviorist /Trainer and Dog breeder 18+ years
Verified
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
That was really helpful and all seems to really make sense ! Thank you so much for your honest and thoughtful responses :)

You are very welcome.

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Hi,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Jane Lefler
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