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Dogs/Promating aggression


Dear Karen,

I have 4 year old german shepherd male, we actually keep him at our villa supervised by housekeepers.

He was showing aggressive behavior and people told us to find him a mate! We did so yesterday and he was fine. But today we received a call from the villa saying that he is showing extreme aggressive behavior towards them (he has actually torn his chain & now they can't get out)!

What shall we do? Please respond ASAP.

Thank you so much in advance.

Aggressive behavior can be hereditary, and it most certainly can be made worse in a dog by leaving him chained all day with no way to relieve stress or get enough exercise to tire him out. A dog needs to be trained and walked and taught to understand what is acceptable behavior and what is not. Contrary to what you were told, breeding can make a dog more aggressive as now he thinks he is alpha. The alpha always get the best, first... and that includes breeding rights.

What should you do? Go home and collect your dog so the people can get out of the villa.
If it is a watchdog that you want, all you need is one that will bark... not one that will bite. Either place this dog elsewhere, or start working with/training him every single day so that he becomes part of your family. If he is closer to you and feels like he is a family member, he will be more protective toward you and those in your family (and that includes those who work for you).


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Karen Brittan


I have been showing miniature schnauzers in conformation, obedience, and earthdog for forty years, and am a professional dog groomer. I am not a veterinarian and cannot answer questions of a veterinary nature. However, I can give my opinion or share some experiences on some health issues. Everyone should remember that this is a volunteer service, and few of us are up late into the night. Medical emergencies require a veterinary visit, or at least a telephone call... not an internet question which might not be viewed and answered until hours later. If your dog is sick or injured, it should be seen by a licensed professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.


I have taught obedience classes and have taught people how to groom for many years.

Learn more about me and my dogs:

Member of: American Miniature Schnauzer Club; Twin Cities Miniature Schnauzer Club; Twin Cities Obedience Training Club; Elk River Kennel Club; Minnesota Professional Pet Groomers Association; Greater Twin Cities Earthdog Club.

Fifty-one years of living with, observing, and training dogs, along with numerous seminars during that time.

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