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Is my German Shep. going to be aggressive?

I have a 7 month of old German Shep. Today when I took her to the creek it was much more crowded then usual. She is very shy and skittish. I was worried about how she would do around so much noice etc but have never seen her so much as growl before so I just kept a close eye on her. All the sudden this kid comes up to her, tells me he is going to squirt her with his water gun and then does it before I can even tell him not to. I knew she wouldn't like it. She jumped back and got behind me when he squirted her and I turned to walk away with soon as I tried to walk away he lunged to pet her... she tried to bite his hand and then started barking at him. I instantly left to take the dog home. I am worried though that her shyness is going to turn into aggression. What do you think? I also have a 9 month old baby. They play together all the time and the dog is always very gentle but could she turn on her later? Please help


Asked by mrsbvader at 7:26 PM on Apr. 25, 2009 in Pets

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Answers (14)
  • You are very welcome. I added the "exercise" part, b/c many families feel that if the dog runs around in the back yard, that this is enough exercise, but taking her on a leash and walking very briskly or running with her is a "controlled excercise" which is much diff. So keep that up. This helps her get out the negative energy & emotion.

    I would take her into public as often as possible, but always keeping the leash and deliberately making her stand or sit beside you so that you can feel when she is getting tense. Then give her the quick tug and making the low growl, yourself to let her know that as soon as she might be feeling aggressive, that its not appropriate. If she begins to show her teeth, pinch down on her neck (the same as the head pack dog would do to bite) to show her YOU are the head pack dog and in control and she cannot attack unless YOU give her the command to do so. Practice with her as often as poss.

    Answer by lifeasinoit at 10:33 AM on Apr. 26, 2009

  • i wouldnt have that dog around my kid!

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:40 PM on Apr. 25, 2009

  • We have a 1 year old pitbull. I know they are two different dogs but he has been aggresive with other people like strangers like if he doesnt know you he will bark and keep barking till he sniffs you out and make sure that we are okay with you being there. But has never been aggressive with the babies I have a 4 yr old lil bro, 5 year old niece, and 4 month old. When the kids go outside he will keep them close to the house because we have dogs behind us that are so mean and if they go close to the fence he runs the fence to keep the dogs chasing him and not try to bite the kids and does that till we get to the kids and get them away from there. However ur dog was already afraid of him when the lil boy cause of the water gun and maybe thought that he was going to hurt him.

    Answer by zacharysmommie2 at 7:44 PM on Apr. 25, 2009

  • Any dog could be aggressive in the right situation. You just have to keep an eye on the dog and make sure not to put the dog outside by itself, where it could possibly bite a child.

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:49 PM on Apr. 25, 2009

  • First off German Shepherds are nippy when they are young and somewhat as they get older. They are also very vocal. We have 2 large Shepherds and one is really laid back and the other is very energetic. I think that when you take yours out be sure to keep her close to you and be firm. Read all about them, maybe consider an obedience class with her. They require a lot of work and attention so you have to be really commited. I wouldn't let this one instance dictate if you should keep her or not. She deserves the chance to show you how well she can do. Message me if you need any help. GL

    Answer by 4x4mum at 8:33 PM on Apr. 25, 2009

  • Sounds to me like you need to work on socializing her better. Get her into an obedience class and never leave her and your baby alone unsupervised - this goes for any dog and baby/kid.

    As for the first poster - I was thinking I wouldn't have that bratty kid around my dog.

    Answer by Christina807 at 10:28 PM on Apr. 25, 2009

  • Shepherds have a high energy need. Most people don't take this into account when they adopt this breed. On one hand they can be very introvert and fearful, and turn around and scare the daylights out someone.

    First, I would be sure and walk this dog or even run with her every day for at least 15-20 min. Twice if you can. This gets out the negative energy that her body is building. Right after the run, she will be easier to train and teach her how to respond. I would keep a good tight handle on her leash and collar and never allow her to walk in front of you. Keep her to your side and train her to sit, stand and stay always talking firmly and with a deep voice (commanding) so that she feels YOU are in control. Dogs don't want to be the ones in control. That makes them unstable.


    Answer by lifeasinoit at 2:58 AM on Apr. 26, 2009

  • cont...In the crowd, let her see you respond to children and talk to strangers. She will pick up cues from you, and from them as to how she should act. If she feels you are apprehensive she will be aggressive. If she feels you are strong and in control, she will relax and follow you. Remember that only one of you can be the lead pack dog, and that must be YOU. :)

    This prob. sounds too easy, but I promise exercising her at least once if not twice a day will make a diff. in her energy level and aggression level. Let the hubs take her out on one of the walks/run. Don't allow her leash to get long, keep her very close to your body and make her walk or run as you do. She will feel your energy. When you keep her close you are able to give her quick tugs when you feel her becoming aggressive. Speak deeply using a growly voice when she misbehaves and choose easy words for her to respond to.

    Answer by lifeasinoit at 3:02 AM on Apr. 26, 2009

  • When she cowers, teach her to come and "sit" or stand beside you. Don't allow her to stay in that emotion. Speak to her firmly and command. Always make her mind and use short commands, never yelling but speaking in low firm tones. If you feel her becoming tense, use a low growl/throaty sound and quick tug her collar to change her emotion. This shouldn't take but just a few days.

    She needs the confidence she'll get from the fast walking/running. When she obeys your commands be sure and pat the top of her head and say "good girl." I wouldn't do treats. That makes her learn to only obey when there is something in your hand to eat. Dogs really do respond to affirmative pats and voices.

    To make her sit, press her backside down saying "sit", then pat her head. These dogs learn easily and can be great for protection and also for friendship. She will eventually learn to sit at your front door to protect the fam.

    Answer by lifeasinoit at 3:11 AM on Apr. 26, 2009

  • German Shepherds, by the breed standard, are not supposed to be timid and fearful. Yours probably came from a breeder who didn't have a clue about what a proper temperament was supposed to be BEFORE breeding a dog. Too many people just see dollar signs.

    Providing your dog is still as intelligent as a Shepherd is supposed to be, you may be able to work with training. However, bearing in mind that the dog has already shown the willingness to bite, I would be extremely careful about ever taking the dog out in public, or even having the dog around my child.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:21 AM on Apr. 26, 2009