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German Shepherd Aggression

6489 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've already had him trained by the best facility in northwest Indiana. Like I said, it helped with obedience, but did nothing for the aggression. I have a lot of experience with positive training methods and have to say that they have not worked very well. My Husky was trained with NILIF and I wasn't impressed. Thanks for your input. I appreciate it.
The dogs get along great most of the time. For some reason, when he's tired or crabby or irritable he strikes without provocation. I really do not understand it. It's like when I give the bull mastiff a command the GSD has to put his two cents in by attacking him or growling him. Almost all the time when they fight it's because me or my boyfriend told the bull mastiff to do something (i.e. move over, off the couch, etc.). I am sure I have done something wrong in his training where the GSD doesn't understand his place in the "pack." I'm hoping that using the e-collar will reestablish me as pack leader and that will, in turn, help with the dominance issues as well, if they are indeed a result of lack of respect for me (hopefully that makes sense).
I just said that I didn't want people to talk about their opinions of using an e-collar or rehoming the dog...you successfully did both. Thanks.

I hate using these forums because many people (like you) just post to boast about how much they know about dogs. You aren't really trying to help people, just brag about what you [think] you know. If you were really trying to help, you'd ask more questions to clarify the issue.

Thank you to the people on here who have truly tried to help with their suggestions. I appreciate it!
That makes a lot of sense, thank you. I did a lot of research and asked how to begin to address the aggression issue and almost all places said to begin with obedience training (even though GSDs are generally pretty obedient to begin with). Do you think neutering the bull mastiff would be a good start?
I am not "electrocuting" my dog for attacking another dog, nor is that what I said I was going to do. I actually never said I would even shock him during a fight, as I know that would cause him to lash out harder at the mastiff.
What about just using the buzzer for redirection? That's definitely what he's doing-supervising the mastiff's actions and then "punishing" him-which is obviously not his role! I have been unable to find a behaviorist in my area, which is a huge bummer. Thanks for your feedback!
That definitely makes sense, that's why I went ahead with the 5 day training. It made sense for him to know basic obedience before tackling the main issue head on. He sits, stays, lays down, heels like a champ, walks beautifully on a leash-it's just the aggression that I can't get under control.
Thank you for stating the obvious. Your advice is useless. In the meantime, darling, enjoy tooting your own horn on your stupid "accomplishments." ;)
I wouldn't be using the ecollar to punish aggression; I would use it to correct him when he chooses to ignore my commands (whether it be sit, stay, etc.) in hopes that it would transfer over to the aggression problem, if that makes sense. I would never use the shock when he was involved in a scuffle, as I know the dangers of this.

I didn't blame the GSD when he was growling while being humped and I definitely agree with you that that is two dogs communicating in their own way. All I was saying in regards to that is I think that is when the major issues between the two started.
Many people have their own opinions on what is the most effective method of training. That was not the reason for this post and it has gotten WAY off topic; not one person on here has directly answered the question that was asked. I do not care who is in favor of prong collars, e-collars, positive training methods, etc. and I put that disclaimer out there in my initial post. I asked for help with the e-collar, which I still haven't gotten. Thanks anyway.
Thank you for actually answering my question. I will look up Bart Bellon and try to learn the appropriate way to use an ecollar. I did not use Faus, but rather Landheim. They did okay with teaching him obedience, but like I said, it did not curb the aggression (and his obedience was pretty solid to begin with!). I appreciate your help.
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