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German Shepherd Aggression

6495 Views 41 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  Precious Puppy
Siberian husky Mammal Vertebrate Dog Canidae
Mammal Vertebrate Dog Canidae Dog breed
Dog Mammal Vertebrate Dog breed Canidae

Hello! I am new to the forum and am in desperate need of advice. First, a little background: I have two dogs, a 5 year old Husky and a 2 year old German Shepherd. About a year ago, I moved in with my boyfriend. He has a 5 year old Bull Mastiff. All three of the dogs live together in the same house. All dogs are male. My two are neutered; my boyfriend's is not.

Over time, problems started brewing between the GSD and mastiff. The mastiff would occassionally hump the GSD, which would spark aggression in the GSD. He would growl or snap at the mastiff to get him to stop. The humping has stopped, but the aggression on the part of the GSD has worsened. He has attacked the mastiff many times, leaving puncture wounds on his face and neck. It is an awful, high stress living situation that is not fair to the mastiff. I am fully aware of this.

I have taken the GSD for a one week "boot camp" at the facility near our house that trains police K9s. They trained him with a prong collar. While his obedience improved, the aggression towards the mastiff remains. Last night the GSD attacked the mastiff just because I told the mastiff, "NO" for something he was doing. He left a large hole in his ear. This was the worst attack yet.

I am now exploring the option of using an e-collar to further train and curb the GSD's aggression. I would love some advice on how to use the e-collar to ensure that I do not inadvertently worsen the aggression with the use of the collar.

Please, I do not want this to be a discussion of why not to use e-collars. I also do not want people telling me to rehome my GSD. I want to correct this issue and do everything I can do myself before looking into any other options. I would really appreciate any feedback anyone could give me on using e-collars with aggressive dogs. Thank you so much for your help!
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I don't think the e-collar will produce the results you want. Basically, it looks like the problem is stress. The collar would cause even higher levels of stress. While you may curtail negative behavior in the short term, you're setting yourself up for an explosion of fury. It think you've already seen this with the prong collar.

Overall, I think that finding ways to reduce stress in the home will be the key to improvement. You can use positive methods to help the two dogs get along better, once the stress level is lowered. I'm greeting the impression that things are tense right now. The dogs will pick up on that and act accordingly.

I suppose having the mastiff fixed is off the table as well?

You've got to get away from the dominance and pack theory thinking. See these links for more info.




The thing is that you can probably put the dog into shutdown using the dominance techniques, making the animal seem obedient in the short term. But, what you really have is a ticking timebomb that will go off.
Neutering the mastiff may help in the long run but for the short term keep the dogs apart as much as possible. When they are together, keep the atmosphere stress free and positive. Separate them ASAP at the first sign of a problem, but do it calmly so as not to raise the stress level. Use positive rewards for calm behavior or simply not reacting.

I'm typing this on mobile so hopefully it makes sense.
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