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Old 07-31-2011, 12:35 AM
 
Location: Canada
3,187 posts, read 2,780,142 times
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I have a female GSD who attacked my beagle years ago and nearly killed her. The beagle recovered and my GSD and the beagle now tolerate each other to the point where they will lie down together, and even occasionally play together, although I am always watchful because my GSD (100 pounds) and my beagle (25 pounds) are very mismatched and dogs often seem unaware of that. Plus my beagle is a month short of 15 years old and arthritic so she can only stand so much play.

However, there is nothing scarier than witnessing a dog attack, and it has left me with a fear of having my female GSD around strange dogs.

The GSD was okay with my 2 other, bigger dogs - it was only the beagle she ever had a problem with and the beagle to be honest, was very obnoxious to the GSD.

So I don't know if my GSD is dog aggressive, or Luba-aggressive. Or if she would be aggressive to all small dogs but not to bigger ones.

A friend asked today if she could come over with her 6-year old female Great Dane. I said no, that my female GSD was dog aggressive but ever since her call, I've been wondering whether that is even correct.

After all, the GSD never attacked a strange dog - she attacked her 'sibling.' And she was in heat at the time which can make some dogs moody. And Luba is a provocateur.

But my female GSD is a velcro dog - she gets jealous if I pay my other dogs attention. I don't let her get away with it - she knows she has to sit and endure it but she verbalises with soft admonitions the entire time to let me know that she'd much prefer being an only child.

The friend is from out of town and if she only wanted to come by for an hour or so I could muzzle my GSD, have her on a leash and test the whole thing out by introducing them gradually and seeing how it goes, but she was wanting to come for a whole day and I'm not prepared for the vigilance it would take on my part to make sure that the two dogs had no problems, or conversely to shut my dog in a room by herself for that long a time.

I guess I am wondering whether anyone has any insight into how a one-woman GSD might react to a dog that would weigh more than she does, and be bigger than she is? Might she still try to attack a larger dog, or would the size of a Great Dane intimidate her?

My female GSD is also now ten years old and much slower than she was when the incident with the beagle which happened quite a few years ago. She never showed any aggression towards my other female dog who wasn't a small dog but who also didn't act like an a-hole the way the beagle can.

I realise that no one can know anything for certain, but I thought maybe some of you might have some sort of thoughts on the matter that I haven't thought of.
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Old 07-31-2011, 02:11 AM
 
Location: In the middle...
1,249 posts, read 1,254,419 times
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Default The Past is the past...

It is time to let the past go. It happened ten years ago and dogs live in the moment.

There are a couple of things to thinks about. Is your GSD spayed now? Is the Dane puppy intact? If the answer to your GSD is no and the answer is yes to the Dane and they are both females, that could very well be a problem. You would have the same issues if they were two males. Hormones do wonders on our canines. If only one is intact (or neither), there should not be a problem.

Keeping a muzzle handy is always a good idea if there is a possibility of aggression, however, dogs are social creatures and keeping them away from their own kind only breeds anti-social behavior.

You said that the GSD and Beagle sleep together now, that shows they are comfortable with one another and when they are awake, they at least tolerate one another.

The Dane is only coming for a visit and both will be supervised.

If you decide to do it, before your friend arrives, take your GSD on a long walk, it will help to tire her out and put her into a more calm state of mind. Perhaps having your friend going on the walk with you with her Dane would also be a benefit. Keep a muzzle with you just in case but ENJOY!

Make sure you visualize the walk and the day working out and NOT the problems that could possibly occur. What you picture is what will happen!

Have fun with your friend and enjoy!

LuvABull.Denver
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Old 07-31-2011, 03:21 AM
 
Location: Canada
3,187 posts, read 2,780,142 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuvABull.Denver View Post
It is time to let the past go. It happened ten years ago and dogs live in the moment.

There are a couple of things to thinks about. Is your GSD spayed now? Is the Dane puppy intact? If the answer to your GSD is no and the answer is yes to the Dane and they are both females, that could very well be a problem. You would have the same issues if they were two males. Hormones do wonders on our canines. If only one is intact (or neither), there should not be a problem.

Keeping a muzzle handy is always a good idea if there is a possibility of aggression, however, dogs are social creatures and keeping them away from their own kind only breeds anti-social behavior.

You said that the GSD and Beagle sleep together now, that shows they are comfortable with one another and when they are awake, they at least tolerate one another.

The Dane is only coming for a visit and both will be supervised.

If you decide to do it, before your friend arrives, take your GSD on a long walk, it will help to tire her out and put her into a more calm state of mind. Perhaps having your friend going on the walk with you with her Dane would also be a benefit. Keep a muzzle with you just in case but ENJOY!

Make sure you visualize the walk and the day working out and NOT the problems that could possibly occur. What you picture is what will happen!

Have fun with your friend and enjoy!

LuvABull.Denver

Thanks for your post. Yes, the GSD is spayed as to the Great Dane, I would think so but I don't know for sure. She got the dog recently as a rescue.

But my friend won't be coming with the dog today anyway, since I told her no already and have no way of reaching her before she arrives tomorrow. I just wondered for any future visits.

I have 3 dogs total now - 2 females and 1 neutered GSD male - used to have 4 but one passed away almost 3 years ago. So they aren't isolated from their own kind. My other two dogs are very social and never met a dog they didn't like, but my female GSD thinks I am the world.

Maybe next time I'll take a deep breath and take a chance on a dog visit.
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Old 07-31-2011, 09:26 AM
 
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My female GSD does not like other dogs, big or small. And small dogs set off her prey drive instinct. She is very focused on me and makes those little sounds of discontent that you describe lol. My male GSD is a marshmallow with everyone/everything, and the only dog in the universe that my female adores. We have, with work and effort, been able to socialize her with a couple of neighborhood dogs, but they are bigger dogs too ( labs, etc ). She caused quite a scene initially but we were successful. It is important however, that you introduce on neutral territory, with both dogs leashed, and that someone who is alpha and in total control of her, be handling her.
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Old 07-31-2011, 11:29 AM
 
Location: Tropical state of mind
5,100 posts, read 8,674,271 times
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It very well could have been a prey drive thing that set her off. Or your beagle could have provoked the attack. It sounds like you're not real knowledgeable on their body language so it's hard to say. Having a dog that's not spayed or neutered will make it even more difficult. Hormones can cause all kinds of problems for dogs, especially if you're not an experienced handler. Seeing as how your dog has been around other dogs with no problems I wouldn't classify her as dog aggressive. There was something that went on between the two that you didn't pick up on.

I agree, take your dog for a long walk. Then do some basic obedience. Work her body and her mind. Then when your friend gets there meet her outside with your dog on a leash and take both dogs for a walk. Keep them apart at first, slowly allowing them to be nearer one another as you continue the walk. By the time you get back home your dog should have all the excess energy out of her. Also remember if your beagle is the problem, you'll need to do this with BOTH of them. A GSD is a very high energy working dog, so if you haven't found something to do with her, start looking into it. At the very least, regular basic obedience session at home, just something to work her mind and lots of walks to get out that energy.
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Old 07-31-2011, 11:37 AM
 
Location: Canada
3,187 posts, read 2,780,142 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dee 42 View Post
My female GSD does not like other dogs, big or small. And small dogs set off her prey drive instinct. She is very focused on me and makes those little sounds of discontent that you describe lol. My male GSD is a marshmallow with everyone/everything, and the only dog in the universe that my female adores. We have, with work and effort, been able to socialize her with a couple of neighborhood dogs, but they are bigger dogs too ( labs, etc ). She caused quite a scene initially but we were successful. It is important however, that you introduce on neutral territory, with both dogs leashed, and that someone who is alpha and in total control of her, be handling her.

You described my female GSD to a T. Mister, the male GSD, is her soul mate and the only dog she really interacts with but she always defers to him even though he is smaller than she is, and younger by more than two years.

And it took me a long, long time (years) before I could have my beagle and my female GSD in the same room. My GSD always looked at her with a mixture of contempt and amazement that my beagle had survived her attack, and my beagle had a real hate-on for my female GSD after that, and wanted to go after my GSD. I don't know how that fits in with the idea I've heard before too, that dogs live in the moment, because both of them definitely had the past on their minds.

I had to make sure they both knew I was in charge, and that each of them had to defer to me for direction.

I also think that the beagle, being small, set off her prey drive which is why I wonder how she would react to a Great Dane.

And I was thinking about that neutral territory thing too. I'm on a farm - it would be a long way to neutral territory.
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Old 07-31-2011, 11:43 AM
 
Location: Tropical state of mind
5,100 posts, read 8,674,271 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by netwit View Post
You described my female GSD to a T. Mister, the male GSD, is her soul mate and the only dog she really interacts with but she always defers to him even though he is smaller than she is, and younger by more than two years.

And it took me a long, long time (years) before I could have my beagle and my female GSD in the same room. My GSD always looked at her with a mixture of contempt and amazement that my beagle had survived her attack, and my beagle had a real hate-on for my female GSD after that, and wanted to go after my GSD. I don't know how that fits in with the idea I've heard before too, that dogs live in the moment, because both of them definitely had the past on their minds.

I had to make sure they both knew I was in charge, and that each of them had to defer to me for direction.

I also think that the beagle, being small, set off her prey drive which is why I wonder how she would react to a Great Dane.

And I was thinking about that neutral territory thing too. I'm on a farm - it would be a long way to neutral territory.
The dogs weren't holding a grudge and living in the past. They were working out pack order. They were in the moment. Sometimes the moment isn't always roses and chocolates. That's when it's up to us to step in as pack leader. Glad they've worked it out though.
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Old 07-31-2011, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Canada
3,187 posts, read 2,780,142 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrs1885 View Post
It very well could have been a prey drive thing that set her off. Or your beagle could have provoked the attack. It sounds like you're not real knowledgeable on their body language so it's hard to say. Having a dog that's not spayed or neutered will make it even more difficult. Hormones can cause all kinds of problems for dogs, especially if you're not an experienced handler. Seeing as how your dog has been around other dogs with no problems I wouldn't classify her as dog aggressive. There was something that went on between the two that you didn't pick up on.

I agree, take your dog for a long walk. Then do some basic obedience. Work her body and her mind. Then when your friend gets there meet her outside with your dog on a leash and take both dogs for a walk. Keep them apart at first, slowly allowing them to be nearer one another as you continue the walk. By the time you get back home your dog should have all the excess energy out of her. Also remember if your beagle is the problem, you'll need to do this with BOTH of them. A GSD is a very high energy working dog, so if you haven't found something to do with her, start looking into it. At the very least, regular basic obedience session at home, just something to work her mind and lots of walks to get out that energy.

My beagle and my GSD get along now. The attack happened years ago and I did work with both of them - that's why they get along now. As far as the GSD's energy level goes, she has been diagnosed with dog MS and her walk is shaky and at 10 years old, she is failing before my eyes. She doesn't have that much energy anymore.

I asked about how the GSD might react to an entirely different dog.
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Old 07-31-2011, 11:51 AM
 
Location: Tropical state of mind
5,100 posts, read 8,674,271 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by netwit View Post
My beagle and my GSD get along now. The attack happened years ago and I did work with both of them - that's why they get along now. As far as the GSD's energy level goes, she has been diagnosed with dog MS and her walk is shaky and at 10 years old, she is failing before my eyes. She doesn't have that much energy anymore.

I asked about how the GSD might react to an entirely different dog.
Sorry about her health. Ours is 14 years old and we're watching her go down hill fast as well. It's not easy.

I realized what the question was. Didn't have the information on her health at the time, so my answer didn't help. At this stage of her life, I wouldn't bother her with other dogs. If your friend wants to visit and bring her dog, I'd put your dog in a room by herself where she can just relax. I keep Lady (our GSD) in our room on her bed when we have company over. The younger more active dogs come out to visit other people and dogs that are here, but the older ones that aren't as active and don't like to run and play just stay in the room.

As for the simple answer on who she'll react to another dog, I think it depends on the dog just as much as it depends on her. If it's another dominant female you could have the same problem. If it's a submissive male she may accept it.
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Old 07-31-2011, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Canada
3,187 posts, read 2,780,142 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrs1885 View Post
Sorry about her health. Ours is 14 years old and we're watching her go down hill fast as well. It's not easy.

I realized what the question was. Didn't have the information on her health at the time, so my answer didn't help. At this stage of her life, I wouldn't bother her with other dogs. If your friend wants to visit and bring her dog, I'd put your dog in a room by herself where she can just relax. I keep Lady (our GSD) in our room on her bed when we have company over. The younger more active dogs come out to visit other people and dogs that are here, but the older ones that aren't as active and don't like to run and play just stay in the room.

As for the simple answer on who she'll react to another dog, I think it depends on the dog just as much as it depends on her. If it's another dominant female you could have the same problem. If it's a submissive male she may accept it.
Yes, that's true and I don't know my friend's dog at all.

Unfortunately I can't put my velcro GSD in a room by herself for all day - she doesn't relax when she can't see me.
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