How do I
stop my dog attacking other people and animals?
Question - As we
meet other dogs and their owners on our walks, our 12
month old German shepherd he goes absolutely crazy on the
lead and won't stop barking.
We live in a quiet suburb so he hasn't had much opportunity to meet and play with other dogs which we know would be good for him.
I don't like to let him off the lead very often because of the way he carries on and tries to attack people and animals.
He is very well behaved at home with our children and visitors.
He has a wonderful nature but his actions sometimes scare me.
My husband thinks that he might be trying to protect me when we are out and about, because he doesn't carry on like that when he walks him.
Do you have any suggestions?
Answer - It sounds like he is more likely that he is trying to protect himself rather than you.
By carrying on when he meets other dogs, he knows it is likely that both the dogs and their owners will keep away from him, and you will also take him away from the source of his anxiety.
The reason he doesn't carry on when your husband walks him is that he probably has a different view of your husband's ability to protect him if necessary.
Your dog knows that your husband is physically stronger than you and will be more likely to protect him if another dog attacks.
In addition, previous unfriendly doggie encounters may only have happened with you rather than with your husband, so your dog may have more fear when he's out walking with you.
Try avoiding that area for the next few months and walk him in a new place with different things to look at and experience.
If you can, take him to an out of the way place where there aren't any other dogs to contend with, or else let your husband take him for his walks for the time being.
Try playing games with him and encourage him to play with a favourite toy so that he loves playing with you.
Take his favorite toy with you on your walks and play when there are no
Once he is happy to play with you anywhere at any time, begin to use the toys as a way of taking his mind off other dogs in the distance.
Then, gradually, you should be able to get closer to them without him behaving badly.
If the problem remains severe or if you need help to achieve any of these stages, please contact a Pet Behaviour Counsellor for more information on how to treat
We hope this helps.
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