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Canine Behavior/German Shepherd puppy


Hello, l I recently adopted a 4 MO old gcd. When we are in the swimming pool with my 6 y.o. daughter the  puppy circles the pool frantically whining.  Eventually he will jump in and make a beeline directly to my daughter.  He then swims on top of her which pushes her under the water. I'm not sure if he is trying to play or thinks he is trying to save her.he focuses directly on herand even though I try to tell him to calm down he does not pay one bit of attention to me he's focused on her only. so I am wondering if you can tell me what type of behavior the system and if there is something I can do as a pet owner toredirect him from swimming to her and pushing her into the water. I do not mind if you swim in our pool but this is somewhat of a safety hazard I certainly don't want any accidents. Thanks

Thank you for svaing me the trouble of reporting this exchange to Allexperts. First of all, I have a NAME, and it is not "hey, lady.". I have signed my posts and my name is clearly listed.  Your anger and lack of respect for others is vividly and acutely apparent and it certainly doesn't belong on this site which I have come to love over the years because it allows me to assist folks genuinely needing my expertise without charging any fee, but your angry and disruptive attitude doesn't belong  anywhere on the Internet, and I am pleased to be "outing" you here on Allexperts so that they can keep their wonderful site free of this negativity that you are seeding here. Second, the fact that you are escalating your anger and disruptiveness in such an odd manner and on a trigger hair and threatening to report me (toward what end? To get me thrown off Allexperts?) is obviously further proof that you have a personal axe to grind and are specifically seeking to do me harm in my livelihood by slandering my good reputation and threatening my passion and livelihood. Those who react as you just did to my instinctive, gut accusation in such magnitude do so only when the accuser has hit a nerve - and, therefore, I know I am right.  Third, how dare you accuse any volunteer here of having "MENTAL" problems?". Seriously - how DARE you??? That is so way out of line that it needs no further response from me.  Allexperts, I hope when you see what has occurred here you will shut this woman down and disallow her from ever posting on this site again. I am sure you will clearly see why she should be.Thank you Stephenie for one thing - for saving ME the trouble of reporting you to Allexperts.

Well, isn't it interesting that you "found" my response just when you had an excuse to give me a poor rating in a category. I don't know who sent you to set me up, but Karma will get you for your meanness, I have utter faith in that. And, I wonder how you so conveniently "found" my response just when you thought you had an excuse to lower my rating, if you wouldn't mind sharing that. VERY suspect, indeed. I wonder who is so threatened by my knowledge that they feel they need to sic questioners like you on volunteers like me? Hmmm...!

August 1st update: it's really a shame that you sent in a question, I responded, you never bothered to read my response, and therefore wasted my time. I came across some additional information regarding your situation along with video which would have helped you greatly - but since you never even bothered to read my response, I won't be sharing that information with you.

Madeline Friedman, M.A.
Professional Dog Ttrainer and Dohg Behavior Expert

Hi Stephenie,

I'm familiar with the behavior you described, and have seen it numerous times and developed training and behavior protocols for customers over the years in order to resolve such behaviors. However, the protocols take weeks and sometimes months to change the behavior, and I feel your situation is of concern enough to me to be beyond the scope of a behavioral and training protocol which could responsibly be shared on a "basic advice" forum here on Allexperts as a volunteer. I feel you need to see another behavior expert, live, as quickly as possible, such as a veterinary behaviorist, which you can find at, or a trainer and behavior expert who is also familiar with the behavior. The behavior is potentially dangerous, for your child, and also for your dog who is rehearsing a high arousal situation and his stress levels being allowed to elevate and escalate each time he's allowed near the swimming pool while your daughter swims. There may be many reasons why your dog becomes so highly aroused during the times your daughter's in the pool, but one reason may be that dogs intuitively know that bodies of water can be dangerous and he sees your daughter swimming as a threat to her safety, especially since he doesn't understand that her kicking and screaming are signs of play and not signs of panic. He is a puupy, and he doesn't know the difference. His exposure to this situation, which is highly disturbing to him, will not resolve and may become worse if you do not remove him from the situation. His behavior could also generalize to other people or even other animals enjoying the pool. GSDs are herding dogs and develop a strong, protective bond with their "flock;"  however, I've also seen this behavior in other dogs such as many terriers, which are not herding breeds. For now, I would highly suggest that you not allow your GSD puppy near the pool when anyone who will provoke him to the behavior you've described is using the pool, as he will continue to become highly aroused and the pattern of high arousal behavior will become more ingrained as part of his behavioral repertoire; and, as well, and as you've mentioned, the behavior he exhibits is potentially dangerous to your daughter. He's manageable now in size as a puppy, but as he grows and matures he may not be as manageable and you may have a more difficult time removing him from your daughter in the pool. I am strongly suggesting that you do everything you can to not let your GSD continue to practice this behavior. If you contain him while your daughter is swimming, or anyone else with whom he has the reaction you describe, do your best to make sure he can not see or hear the noise from the pool, as the shrieks of play and other pool noises may serve to highly arouse him even during containment, and he could damage your home or even hurt himself trying to get to the source of the pool noises. If he's allowed to become that highly aroused and frustrated, he could nip out of frustration even after pool events and during times of high arousal as well. Please do follow my advice and see a professional for this issue as soon as possible.

Best regards,
Madeline Friedman, M.A.

Canine Behavior

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Madeline S. Friedman, M.A.


I respond to public questions only. I'm not a veterinarian & do not respond to medical questions.Suggestions: Submit a question in one area of priority, as what I am able to address in this venue is limited. Provide as much detail re: the behavior & issue as you can. Tell me how & if behavior is a change from previous behavior & when the changes occurred. Let me know what you think may have triggered such changes & what you have tried so far to resolve it, & what the results were. Let me know what you want help with & what are your concerns & questions about the behavior. I have set up a payment/donation to myself for responding to questions. I donate most of it to animal shelters & rescues. I keep a small portion for my time. The minimum donation is $25.00 on PayPal. When I see that a donation has been made, I will respond to your question. You will be prompted to make the donation before submitting your question. When you have read & rated my response fairly, which must be at the time you read it, I will refund $5.00 back to you IF YOU REQUEST that I do so in your rating comments. If I ask for more details, please respond as a "follow-up" & not as a new question. If I don't respond to your question, I will refund your donation less $5.00. DO rate me fairly at the end of our exchange. I will be pleased if you DO nominate me for volunteer of the month - why not, if I was generous in my response? I may suggest something you were not necessarily ready to hear, but I am honest in the interest of helping your dog, & that is my goal. Please keep that in mind. Please do NOT contact me privately about Allexperts questions through my e-mail or website unless I have invited you to do so. That is an invasion of my privacy - thank you for respecting it. If you would like to contact me for actual dog training & behavior consulting, you may contact me through my Web site.


Own & operate dog training & behavior consulting businesses, Hoboken Dog Trainer, and ny-njDogTrainer, in the NYC & NYC Metro areas since 2002. Work with thousands of dog owners & their dogs, & shelter & rescue dogs. Active volunteer in dog shelters and rescues (rescues being "no kill" and shelters being municipality-run urban shelters that can and do euthanize dogs). AllExperts volunteer in "Dogs, Category 701" and "Dog Training" and "Canine Behavior" since 2006. When you submit a question, please make sure it's being submitted in the appropriate category as I volunteer in two different categories. Make sure you agree to the Virtual Contract (the instructions I outline for question submissions) and agree to read and rate my response when I answer in the body of your question. I make donations to various animal non-profits based on YOUR ratings. If you don't rate my response, or rate it unfairly, you have just denied a dog rescue org or shelter a donation. Keep that in mind.

Professional Member of APDT for five years Founding Member of Animal Behavior Associates Behavior Education Network Former Board Member of IAABC, appointed by Founder Former Member of IPDTA in Canada Founding member of Behavior Education Network

Chronicle of the Dog (APDT, peer publication, numerous articles) Popular Dog Series magazine, numerous entries AOL in Tonowanda News Morris County News Vermont News Boston NOW New York A.M. Polo Trace Newsletter The Dodo AOL

Counseling Psychology, Caldwell College Animal Science, Rutgers University Master of Arts Degree Permanent New Jersey State Teaching Certification (teach public school and university level) Numerous workshops, lectures, and seminars on dog training and behavior Ongoing self-motivated study in my area of expertise

Awards and Honors
Best Canine Coach Award, 2006, Rondout Valley Instructor's Training Course Society of Illustrators, second place international competition Jellybean Photographics, second place international competition Fashion Institute of Technology "Commitment to Illustration" award

Past/Present Clients
Testimonials from a number of clients appear on my Web site at under "Reviews." My customers include: Puppy owners wanting to get their puppies off to the best start; owners of mature dogs who want their dogs to have more obedience skills; fosters and owners of rescue dogs or shelter dogs; customers with special needs who need to train or retrain their dogs; housetraining and housebreaking; owners who have behavioral issues with their dogs such as house accidents, aggression towards humans, aggression towards other animals, inattentive dogs, unmotivated dogs, overly-exuberant dogs; and, more.

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