"Ask the Dog Guy" with John Wade

"Ask the Dog Guy" with John Wade

Puppy and Obedience Training Without Food or Fear

Dastardly Doggy Doorman

– Posted in: Aggression, Behavior Problems, Columns

Hello Mr Wade,

I am writing to you to seek help with my 4 year old male German shepherd. From a pup he had aggressive tendencies. During the last 2yrs things have grown worse to the point of being dangerous. He now has to have a muzzle on or be put in another room when anyone comes to the door or he will attempt to bite. My boyfriend has 2 hounds, giving us a grand total of 4 dogs in the house which makes for a lot of chaos when anyone attempts to visit and now have a baby on the way. We have come to realize that we cannot handle these 4 dogs and in order to minimize the chaos our plan is to try and find a home for one of the hounds as he constantly barks and howls and is a “runner.

Thanks

Nancy B.

Hi Nancy B.

You have a German Shepherd, with a life long history of aggression, he’s “willing to bite” and is now “to the point of being dangerous”, and with a baby on the way you’ve elected that one of the hounds has to go? I sense the presence of Robert Mugabe as your electoral process advisor. If you figure a dog has to go, I’d have the marines over to escort Mr. Threat to Life and Limb out the door, not the hound that one might argue is quite understandably only trying to escape the asylum.

Every time I get a letter like this and give a qualified recommendation (qualified because without seeing the dog I can’t be sure) that the dog has to go I get a bunch of grumpy letters from some people commenting that “it’s the people, not the dog” “shouldn’t have got the dog if they weren’t willing …” “dogs are people too” and so on. I like dogs, I like dogs a lot, but I love kids and the people that care for them more, a lot more and as hard as it may be sometimes a choice has to be made. Those letters have an element of truth but this is here and now.

Have this dog looked at by a professional and if they can’t guarantee to you that this dog can be turned around quickly and I say quickly because with a child on the way things are going to be complicated enough, then he needs to given the hound’s short straw. There is going to be an endless stream of people coming to visit for “There’s a baby on the way!” events. Will you be able to guarantee you’re going to be able to keep them safe? Can you get things on track on or before your pregnancy starts messing with your balance, energy levels, available time etc.? If not then get him into a German Shepherd rescue program so they can find him a qualified home before he hurts someone and has to be put down. Even if you can get the dog whipped into shape before the baby’s arrival you’ll find it very difficult with a baby around to maintain the level of training required to keep a dog like this safely in line. I’ve seen it done but very rarely.

The governor need to make a couple of calls. One to the hound, “Your sentence has been commuted.” The second, to the German Shepherd, “We’ve reopened your case and you’ll never guess…”

John Wade

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