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What to do when my puppy is too aggressive?

asked 2016-04-09 21:55:15 -0500

So my boyfriend and I adopted Milo, our German Shepard mix, about seven months ago. He is ten months old now and we kind of view him as our child since we are too young to have any of our own yet. Well Milo is a pretty great dog until he gets in trouble. His favorite thing to do is pee in the house and when he does we scold him or spank him. When this happens, Milo goes nuts. He starts barking, howling, biting and just going crazy!!! He recently bit and drew blood from both of my hands and I'm starting to think that it may not be so safe to have him anymore. I don't want to hit Milo but I don't know how to get him to stop being so damn aggressive! It will break my heart but if his behavior doesn't change, we will be forced to give him to another home and that's the last thing I want. Someone please help me before I loose my baby completely.

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answered 2017-01-09 23:07:43 -0500

First of all it is a dangerous thing to treat a dog like a child. They are a different species with different coping mechanisms. A GSD (German Shepherd Dog) is very intelligent, very energetic, and very loyal. Even if Milo is only part GSD he can be a handful if not trained correctly from the start. The dominance theory will not work and if you continue you may get bit again. Try a positive approach. Many people are so so busy with work and other life events that they don't take time to stop - look - listen. Take time and get to know your dog.

No dog's favorite thing is to pee in the house. They just can't get out fast enough and may not know how to tell you. It sounds like Milo may have to go to the bathroom more often than he is getting out. At 10 months I would suggest taking him out every 2-3 hours and then stretch it to every 3-4 hours. You may want to hang a set of bells on your door. Spend some time teaching your dog to ring the bells with his nose. When he rings it take him out. If he relieves himself outside, then give him a treat. The general rule is usually that a puppy can hold his bladder one hour for each month of his age plus one hour, but some dogs, especially the smaller breeds are notoriously hard to potty train. If your dog is food motivated eventually he will make the connection. Set him up for success. Show him what you want him to do. Think of it as a bread trail to the end goal.

Scolding and punishing your puppy for having an accident can make him turn on you especially at almost a year of age. All he knows is the person he trusts and loves is scolding him or spanking him and he doesn't know why. Take him out every couple of hours. Praise him and treat him EVERY time he goes out and relieves himself. He will learn to associate something good when he goes outside to pee.

Warning - I am not there to see your dog, but spanking your dog may cause him to turn on you. I suspect there is nothing that can't be turned around at this point if you try positive reinforcement rather than punishment, but I am not there to observe.

It also sounds like your puppy has a lot of pent up energy which equals more walks. This will tire him out, give him a longer time outside to do his business, and you will have less conflicts. I have found that most GSD's do well when going out to potty when I get there, going inside to eat (if it is time to eat), and then going back outside to pee / poop again. a good 30-45 minute walk twice a day will probably suffice, but remember you still ... (more)

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One other thing - avoid tug of war type games or any type of grabbing, pulling, or hitting, especially around the hear. As a puppy your dog may think this is the way you want to play and get confused thus setting him up to be aggressive to protect himself.

Linda R.'s profile imageLinda R. ( 2017-01-09 23:09:29 -0500 )edit

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