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Canine Behavior/German Shepherd dominating puppy.


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.

Hi Emily -

Congratulations on your new pup.  I am sorry that you are having trouble with your dogs.  Unfortunately there are no equals in a dog pack whether there are two members or twenty.  Now that your pup is sexually mature (even though he is neutered) and approaching adulthood, it sounds as though your adult shepherd is making his place as alpha dog well known.  I would recommend contacting a local dog trainer who can help you to work through this issue so you can avoid any potential dog-fights or unwanted aggression.  Please supervise these encounters to make sure they do not escalate into a fight.  You can certainly try to break up "attacks" by putting the older dog in a time out (crate, separated area) when he gets too rough with the puppy.  You can also try a startle technique such as a squirt bottle if water or a can of pennies when things get too rough.  Remember to praise the dogs when when they are behaving well together and try to make it more rewarding for the shepherd to be gentle with the puppy by giving him treats, love, praise for good interactions.
Please contact a trainer to help you through this situation as soon as possible.  In the meantime try to familiarize yourself with doggie body language so you can better anticipate when things are gonna get ugly.  Below is a link to get you started.  Best of luck with your pups.  Keep me posted.  

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Jennifer Ganser, LMT, ABCDT


For canines I can answer questions related to behavior, obedience training, health and massage therapy (anatomy, health benefits) For equines I can answer questions related to behavior, barn management, health and massage therapy (anatomy, health benefits) I am not a veterinarian and it is not within my scope of practice as a licensed massage therapist or certified dog trainer to diagnose health conditions. Please contact your pet's veterinarian for illness related questions and emergencies.


I am a licensed massage therapist for people, horses, and dogs and a certified dog trainer. I teach group obedience classes as well as private lessons. I also work with horses and help barns establish good management practices.

Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) National Certification Board of Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB)

2009 - graduate of Connecticut Center for Massage Therapy 2010 - certified in canine/feline first aid + CPR by Red Cross 2012 - graduate of Post University equine program 2012 - graduate of Animal Behavior College Obedience program

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