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GSD aggression towards other dogs

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by Zaranlls, Sep 27, 2019.

  1. Zaranlls

    Zaranlls PetForums Newbie

    Sep 27, 2019
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    Hi, I have a GSD 1 year old male recently neutered. He is the more dominant male in comparison to the other GSD male also 1 year old unnetured. He is so unbothered by other dogs until they go up and sniff his nose he will snap. He can stand beside other dogs as I take him canicrossing and he is fine but once that contact is made he just snaps. I'm not sure how to work on this as I've been trying to get him socialising with lots of dogs recently but once he snaps at them they want to keep their distance which is understandable. His body language is not fearful or scared as he still seems relaxed it's nearly like a "get away from my face" snap.
  2. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums VIP

    May 23, 2018
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    I would guess that he is indeed saying "get out of my face."
    I would also guess that he probably doesn't just snap, but gives off several warnings before going to the snap. Likely something like becoming very still, hardening about the eyes, maybe closing his mouth and tightening his lips. These are all very understandable warnings in the dog world. The equivalent of "please step back, get out of my personal space." If the warnings go unheeded, the next step is to snap.

    There is nothing to fix on his end. He's perfectly entitled to not want another dog in his face.
    However, you as his owner, can handle things for him, either by getting between him and the other dog, or encouraging him away from the space-invading dog.

    Be careful with socialization. He doesn't have to interact with every dog. Socialization is about positive experiences with other dogs. Not overwhelming him with other dogs. Ideally you want him to be 'dog neutral.' Dogs don't need to interact with every dog they encounter.
    Zaranlls, Sairy, kimthecat and 8 others like this.
  3. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

    Feb 18, 2009
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    Going into another dog's face and sniffing its nose is very 'forward' in terms of good manners for dogs. They shouldn't be doing it in the first place, and their owners shouldn't be allowing it. Under those circumstances, an air snap - no contact made nor intended - is perfectly acceptable.
    Zaranlls, Sairy, Lurcherlad and 2 others like this.
  4. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

    Feb 12, 2009
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    I am helping a friend with her dog that barks at other dogs. We are hitting lucky and managing to stand and chat with other dog owners while their polite dogs keep their distance and he is getting much more relaxed. The moment another dog gets right in his face he snaps. Only happened a couple of times when I have not been quick enough to get between them but it is not his fault.

    I am starting to think that Toffee has a lot of dog sense. She is an absolute sod for wanting to run up to other dogs but she completely ignores dogs that are giving off signals that say 'keep away'. She also dived between 2 collies that were about to fight and completely diffused the situation. She is really annoying in wanting to go to other dogs (never owned one that does this before ) but at least she does have some common sense about it.
    Zaranlls, Sairy and Lurcherlad like this.
  5. Sairy

    Sairy PetForums VIP

    Nov 22, 2016
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    Yup, just don't allow other dogs to get in his face. If you push the issue then you may make it worse - if he's happy with other dogs being nearby then that's fine. There is no real need for him to interact with other dogs. Advocate on his behalf - once he realises that you will stop other dogs from bothering him he may relax more.
    Zaranlls, Blitz and O2.0 like this.
  6. Allybean11

    Allybean11 PetForums Member

    Nov 12, 2017
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    Tilly is exactly the same! She would rather ignore dogs and do her own thing and when they come to sniff her bum she’s cool with it, (it’s a sniff sniff and move on) but exuberant puppy’s or dogs that are a bit too over-friendly especially in her face area and she snaps.

    It took me a long time to understand that this is normal and every dog is different. Her best friend is extremely tolerant, and I had to try not to compare! She has her friends and when she gets to know dogs, (met them a few times) she’s MUCH more tolerant, as she knows their intentions and habits.

    I tend to reward her for every good interaction with praise and treats, but ignore the snapping. If you tell him off for snapping, he’ll think that snapping is bad and go straight into a worse signal for “stay away”
  7. OwnedByTerrierists

    OwnedByTerrierists PetForums Member

    Sep 3, 2018
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    Yep Dottie is the same, she will let a dog have a sniff but will snap if they are really bouncy or in her face. Similarly if they barge up behind her when she's busy she'll whip round and tell them to get lost!
    She will happily play with some dogs but I don't expect her to greet every dog she meets just as I don't talk to every person I see. As long as your dog isn't lunging and actively going for other dogs then I wouldnt be too worried.
    Zaranlls and Allybean11 like this.
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