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Canine Behavior/Dominant German Shepherd


Hi! I really need some help.
I have a 4 year old German Shepherd and a 7 month old Husky cross Labrador.
I've had the German Shepherd since he was 3, he was very well looked after before he came to us and we've had the puppy since he was 3 months.
It was like love at first sight when I first brought him home and they were best of friends!
They are both neutered but recently the older dog has began attacking the pup. He hasn't caused injury or drawn blood but he pushes him down and barks until the puppy submisses. It's becoming unbearable as they can't even be in the same room any more.

I rarely go to the question pool but here I am.

Your situation requires immediate evaluation by a certified applied animal behaviorist.  Your "puppy" is entering adolescence/young adulthood.  Your GSD is responding to body language and subtle interactions between them that suggest the "puppy" may be a rank opportunist (in some way "challenging" the social status between the dogs in a manner you cannot determine because you are, naturally, not privy to comprehending such things, as most people are not.)  If they "can't even be in the same room any more" you have a problem that you may have contributed to by your reaction to the GSD's behavior.  Bottom line: no blood has been drawn, "puppy" is demonstrating submission, GSD is backing off.  

I suggest you find a CAAB from the following sites:

An educated and experienced evaluation of temperament for both dogs will result in a prognosis regarding their ongoing relationship.  Living with dogs whom you deliberately separate, which will only exacerbate the situation, is not acceptable for anyone: you or the dogs.

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Jill Connor, Ph.D.


I have spent my entire professional life rehabilitating the behavior of the domestic dog and I can answer any question regarding any behavior problem in any breed dog. I have answered more than 5,000 QUESTIONS on this site in the past (almost) eight years. If you are a caring, committed owner and need advice, I'm here for you. I am personally acquainted with my colleagues (Turid Rugaas, Ian Dunbar, etc.) who were members of an elite group in EGroups that I founded: K9Shrinks. THERE ARE NO QUICK FIXES for serious behavioral issues; not only is it unprofessional to offer same, it is also unethical. IF I ASK YOU SUBSEQUENT QUESTIONS, I NEED YOU TO INTERACT WITH ME. More information equals more credible answers and a more successful outcome. If you want ANSWERS THAT WORK, participate in any way I request. I'm quite committed to working on this site for YOUR benefit and the benefit of YOUR DOG. Help me in any way you can.


30 years of solving serious behavior problems in domestic dogs; expert in dog to human aggression; Internet columnist for for 5 years; former radio talk show host, WHPC.FM, Garden City, NY "Bite Back" (1995 through 2000). List owner, international animal behavior experts, Seminar leader: "Operant Conditioning and Learning"; "Aggression in The Domestic Dog"; "Solving Problem Behaviors" -- conducted for various training facilities on Long Island from 1993 through 2000. Former clinical director of "Behavioral Abnormalities" in conjunction with Mark Beckerman, DVM, Hempstead, New York.

Member, APDT (UK); Psychologists in Ethical Treatment with Animals

Harcourt Brace Learning Direct: "The Business of Dog Training" "The Fail Safe Dog: Brain Training, not Pain Training"

Ph.D., UC Berkeley

Past/Present Clients
Board of Directors: Northeast Dog Rescue Connection; The Dog Project; Sav-A-Dog Foundation; etc. Pro Bono counselor: Little Shelter Humane Society My practice is presently limited to forensics. I diagnose cause of dog bite, based upon testimony before the Court, for attorneys and insurance companies litigating dog bites, including fatal injuries. I also do pro bono work for bona fide rescue organizations, humane societies, et al, regarding such analysis in an effort to obtain release for dogs being held for death in municipal shelters in the US.

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