German Shepherd Dog > A Behavior Problem with Prince.. (70 replies)
A Behavior Problem with Prince..
by Ruger1 on 02 June 2012 - 00:57
|Well, it has been a while since I have posted much about Prince. Things have been relatively quiet. I am not pleased to have to submit this post, but I need some advice and I am looking for opinions . ..|
Prince has developed the habit of rushing to the door when family members or guests walk towards the door to leave. He barks/growls and then when the door closes he jumps on the door with a vegence ...
I have noticed this as being a potentially dangerous behavior. He does not do this to me or my oldest daughter because we dicipline the behavior. My husband on the other hand thinks I cause the behavior by holding him back when people walk out to leave. So needless to say he does not disipline Prince for this behavior. When my husband walks out the door he lets Prince growl/bark and lunge at the door without addressing the behavior.
Anyway, tonight my husband walked out the door and when he was almost out the door Prince did his typical barging to the door and barking. However, Prince bit him in the butt as he closed the door behind him..No blood, but a bruise not that it makes a difference...
Needless to say I have a problem,,or had a problem that was not addressed properly from the start. My husband gave him a stiff correction and Prince DID NOT follow him to the door a second time.
I am not sure what is best way to handle this behavior??....
by clc29 on 02 June 2012 - 01:17
Let me be the first to say I've missed your posts and replies here on the forum....Don't be such a stranger.
I'm by no means an expert since I'm going through similar growing pains with Cisco but, the one thing that stands out to me is the difference in how you and your husband correct Prince. I'm very interested in hearing what some of the more experienced breeders and handlers offer as a solution.
You don't have to answer these questions....as they are just some thoughts rattling around in my brain and I wonder if they even affect the issue.
How old is Prince now?
How long has he been exhibiting this behavior?
Was there a particular instance (that you can remember) that might have started it?
Has the behavior escalated?
Are you and your husband on the same page with Prince's training?
by GSDPACK on 02 June 2012 - 01:46
|seems like Mr. Prince thinks everybody is the "leaving mail man".|
by Ruger1 on 02 June 2012 - 02:21
|clc29,,Thanks for the post..:)|
GSDpack,,yeah,it appears that way..
How old is Prince now? 2 years/intact
How long has he been exhibiting this behavior? This particular behavior about 6 months
Was there a particular instance (that you can remember) that might have started it? When I go out he expects to go out too. I assumed it was his way of protesting about not being taken out. I assumed he behaved that way with visitors because he does not like people in the house.
Has the behavior escalated? Yes, it started with him getting alert when people would walk towards the door,,Then rushing and barging the door, then barking when you shut the door. Now he slams up against the door and barks ( a biilgerent type bark),,today a bite..
Are you and your husband on the same page with Prince's training? No, my husband does not want to believe that Prince is aggressive. He thinks that I create the behavior. He says, "just let him go he will be fine " I am glad it was my husband who got bit. Now, he might take the problem more serious...just sayin..
by aceofspades on 02 June 2012 - 02:55
|I see it as a pack order thing. Anyone higher in the pack than "you" is allowed to come and go as they please without permission. If he is not doing it tO you or your one daughter he knows that you are above him and that you do not need his permission to leave. In the same sense he views your husband and guests as lower in the pack and not allowed to come and go as they please. I vaguely recall some of the issues you had with Prince and various trainers last year. I do thi k he needs a firm and authoritative pack and needs to be taught that ALL two legged members are above him. For some dogs this takes firm negative corrections as opposed to a "clickers and cookies" approach. That seems clear to me as you said your husband firmly corrected Prince and Prince did not make a second attempt to rush the door. So that is how I see it. I am definitely no pro and the dogs I have now respond extremely well to positive reinforcement training so that is what I do, but I had one GS who was just a hot mess and the only thing that worked for him were strong negative corrections. Different dogs respond differently.|
by Ruger1 on 02 June 2012 - 03:46
|aceofspades..Yes, I understand what you are saying,,,My male has had every bennefit of positive reinforcement and treats,,However, he only understands firm < firmer then I am physically able or willing > to administer. He is what you would call a hot mess lol,,,Prince has a neck like a tree trunk...And when he sets his mind on something it is nearly impossible to redirect his behavior..Unless it is done physically ...|
by aceofspades on 02 June 2012 - 04:04
|My Old male was the same. I couldn't give him a firm enough correction to get a change in behaviour. My husband could but no matter how hard I tried he just would.not.listen to me. We didn't have any aggression issues. He was just a very high energy dog with a ridiculous prey/play drive and deaf ears (LOL). He died just a couple months before he turned 9 in a tragic accident but he was every bit still an insane teenager at almost 9 years old. He never did chill out. He was not a beginner GS and I was a beginner GS owner. I look everywhere for a dog like him again but can't seem to find it.|
by Ruger1 on 02 June 2012 - 04:26
|Sorry you lost your boy in that way,,|
Most of Prince's issues are aggression based not prey/energy. What the aggression stems from is anyone's guess at this point, but it is unacceptable at any rate..There are times that he gets prey crazy with our ATV's and cats, but my issue with Prince is definitley his hot temper. What happened tonight is the result of me letting him get a way with a small thing, that led to a bigger thing, that eventually ended me up here. I was taught better,,I feel I have failed again...
by windwalker18 on 02 June 2012 - 06:42
|My guy went thru that kind of behavior when he was 10 months or so... He'd charge anyone coming into the yard from the house, especially the other dogs. It was him stretching his limits, and that ole testosterone kicking in. He wanted (and still at times does with the other dogs) to prove that he was boss. |
Training Him the Command LEAVE IT... to mean stop whatever you're doing, and being sure to enforce it 100% of the time got it under control. He's a bold alpha working fellow, and sometimes needs a reminder to cool his jets. During the worse of it he was barking as he charged, and I had a couple of very colorful bruises on my thigh, and the back of one arm... Both times he got a hard correction, and then did a 10 minute time out in his crate with a blanket over it. He was quite penitent over his behavior, and only needed a hard NO, to stop for some time after.
The big problem that you have is that there's a conflict over the cause and correction for this behavior. Unless he gets the same reaction from both of you he'll continue to have breaks of bad behavior because he will know that he can get away with it. Good luck training your Husband.... LOL.
by 1GSD1 on 02 June 2012 - 13:21
|I can only give you an example of a dog from decades ago. He was a grumpy Springer Spaniel. Growling and moody but he was just that, a grumpy dog and he never bit nor tried to bite. He was a pain in the ass with the other dogs though including females. He was a house dog but he was a hunting dog not a breeding dog. We neutered him late at about 8 yrs of age and it made a big difference.|
With Prince having what you said might be anal gland issues or possibly fistulas, I thought I read that they both were more common in intact males. Maybe it'll take care of both that and his aggression to a degree if you neutered him.
Only going on one dog, the old grump but thought I'd mention it.
by VKGSDs on 02 June 2012 - 13:30
|If one of my dogs did that even once that would be an immediate loss of that privilege, meaning they would no longer have any access to try that (crated, put out in the yard, baby-gate the hallway, put the dog in another room) at least until I had a good plan on how to deal with it.|
My husband doesn't have much to do with my dogs but I make sure they understand that he's untouchable. So, if they do something naughty involving him, his things, his space, etc *I* am still the one calling the shots. I don't expect every person that my dog disapproves of to come over and practice correcting my dog so they get the point. No, *I* decide how they may act in the house, on the street, at training, etc regardless of who is coming or going. So in this case, in my opinion, you should still be the one handling Prince and not your husband if Prince is primarily your dog. Your husband shouldn't have to get on him just to prove he is "higher ranked" or anything like that; you should show/tell your dog who can do what and when without his disapproval. The dog should always defer to your judgement in your home whether it's your husband leaving or stranger handy-man (would you want *that* guy practicing discipline on your dog? no). In our house I make the boundaries clear and if there's some relapse I'll step in and give the dog a refresher but if I had my husband trying to do the same thing it would just confuse the dogs and IMO is not necessary.
I'm not sure how exactly he's being "disciplined" by you and your daughter, but if he's still dashing at the door then the discipline is happening too late since it's not interrupting the behavior; you need to manage and control it rather than show disapproval after the fact, if that makes sense? Every time he does it, it's self-rewarding that behavior even if you scold him for doing it. For me the easiest way to stop it would be to make sure he doesn't have access to the hall and door when people leave.
I haven't seen a dog go after someone with their back turned but if it happened to me I'd also make sure the dog is not allowed to make any sort of protective association. For example I wouldn't stand next to the dog holding his collar or leash while someone was leaving, giving the dog reason to think he was there to protect me and stand between me and whoever was leaving. I'd put the dog somewhere else, maybe even where he could see (like in a crate or gated off) and make a point of showing the person out myself so he sees I'm calling the shots about who leaves. If he's quiet in the crate or wherever, I'd go back and calmly praise him.
Instead of having your husband try to work his way up the rank I would just take the dog down a few notches. The dog is the one acting inappropriately, not the husband or guest trying to leave.
I'm not against some strong handling and stern corrections but that needs to come from *you* as the handler and be correctly timed. I can't really say how I would go about correcting this behavior after the fact because I don't know you or the dog and wouldn't feel it's responsible to give such advice over the Internet. I just think whatever correction you give needs to make a point the first time and effectively interrupt the behavior.
by Chaz Reinhold on 02 June 2012 - 13:51
|Get rid of the husband. Problem solved. ;). When you have a cuddly, wuddly precious teddy bear like Prince, you have to take out the stuffing. Does your dog shit in the house? If not, why not? Did you stop the pissing from the beginning? Or did you wait 6 months to react?|
by swingfield on 02 June 2012 - 17:16
|It might be hard to do at first.. but be consistent.. you "own" the door.. physically put yourself in between him and the door.. and 'make' him back up.. you "own" that space.. you are the alpha.. you dont need his help (at this time) with intruders.. on your terms your way.. be confident.. hold your head up and bulldoze "through" him .. knees pushing.. dont bend over and move him.. stand up and make him move away...if you can ! I have a female now that we have finally got through her head.. my house.. my rules.. I will call you when I need you !!! haha.. good luck.. and remember .. you own the doorway !! :) jmo Sherry|
by Nans gsd on 02 June 2012 - 17:20
|Ruger: can you contact the person who trained him when you had the other problems? They need to come and observe this behavior and correct him and teach you at the same time. This has gone on waaaaaaaay too long for you to be able to stop this behavior. Good luck, Nan|
by Bhaugh on 02 June 2012 - 18:08
|I would put a leash and prong collar on him and make an immediate correction as soon as the person(s) started for the door. Youve allowed the behavior ie not making the correction when it first happened, now he thinks its ok to do. He can wear the leash around during people visiting and when they get up to leave, make the immediate correction and dont be nice about it. This is one of those "tough" times when you MUST take control esp since he bit your husband. Now your husband understands just how out of control this is. What was the "stiff" correction?|
If a dog did that in my house, they would be toast. Ive picked up more than my share of dogs and reminded them they WILL follow the rules. Others may suggest a gentler approach with a sit stay and food. You can try that approach. If you crate Prince when the person is leaving or your husband for that fact, then the issue will not be addressed. And although it was suggested that you be the one in control of correction, I would say that your husband needs to also work with the dog since he lives there. Your hushand has slipped in rank. He needs to remind Prince that poor Prince is down on the totem pool a rung or two. I'm guessing that there are other behaviors that Prince is doing with your spouse. This is just the most obvious.
by Eldee on 02 June 2012 - 18:24
My good friend recently adopted a 5 year old GSD. She has a horse boarding at her farm and this dog never stopped chasing it or eating horse poop. She finally had enough and went out and bought a shock collar ( correction collar ). One zap and the dog hasn't chased the horse or eaten poop since. I am just saying..... Sometimes you have to resort to something you are dead set against, if it means the life of your dog. If you don't stop this aggressive behaviour now, it can only get worse and that spells a whole heap of trouble down the road.
by Red Sable on 02 June 2012 - 18:32
|I agree Eldee, depending on the dog, any other punishment is just nagging. Many times I've wished I'd just bought one, I still may for some issues where selective hearing and out of reach situations apply.|
by Ninja181 on 02 June 2012 - 19:11
|First of all I don't believe your dog BIT your husband. These dogs can bite with enough force to break any bone in the human body. He simply nipped him, and he nipped him because he feels higher in the pack than your husband, he didn't want him to leave and was trying to HERD him back. They nip when herding, when they are not getting the response they want. Like turning it up a notch. |
The GSD will key off higher pack members, but will make his own decisions with lower pack members if ALLOWED.
This is exactly why the dogs should not be allowed alone with children. If one child tugs on your child and no one but the dog is there he might bite thinking he is protecting a lower pack member.
I would ask Kelly, or Slamdunc or anyone else with a lot of training experience the best way to address this.
by beetree on 02 June 2012 - 19:18
|Wow great description Ninja, about the nipping not always being biting! My dog will only do that with my youngest! Never actually bites anything, and he's definitely trying to modify the kids behaviour, it is not like he wants to eliminate a threat and draw blood.|
I always step in immediately to become the dominant one, but maybe there is something better to do?
by Ninja181 on 02 June 2012 - 19:35
|Bee it's just like the mother GSD playing with a puppy and the puppy gets too ruff. The mother will correct it with a good nip. They can't talk so they bark & notch it up to a nip.|