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Hi, I have a Nine month old Sable Female German Shepard. She is really sweet and has never bitten any person or dog, but on walks and when on lead she barks and lunges at other dogs and bicycles and fast moving large vehicles. She is submissive to other dogs no matter the size and even with small dogs is really gentle and never does any harm. She also barks at visitors or plumbers, services . Ect coming to the house. She never does any harm but I really would like the lunging and barking on lead to stop. She never barks off lead and is very well socialised since she was a little pup at 12 weeks old. Any idea why she is doing it and how to stop this behaviour?

I suspect it might be leash aggression ( even though she isn’t aggressive).

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It might be ‘leash aggression’ to some degree, but a large factor is probably also her breed. German ShepHERD.  They are a herding breed. They have strong instincts & natural drives to move, push, steer and round up usually livestock, but in the absence of livestock, many will find other things to push, steer, round up etc. And as with many dogs used for herding (such as Border Collies & Kelpies) , movement is a big trigger for their instincts. 
 

It’s definitely time to seek professional help, because although your dog hasn’t bitten anyone just yet, the more they practice the behaviour, the better and bolder they get at it, and it may only be a matter of time, and maturity, before you have a dog that has bitten someone. Have your dog assessed by a professional (I’m sure you’ll get some great recommendations here). Also, it may be worth looking at do herding with your dog. What I mean by herding, is the organised sport of herding, where experienced people can guide you and your dog through learning to use, and moreover, control, your dogs natural drives. 
 

 

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15 minutes ago, Scratch said:

It might be ‘leash aggression’ to some degree, but a large factor is probably also her breed. German ShepHERD.  They are a herding breed. They have strong instincts & natural drives to move, push, steer and round up usually livestock, but in the absence of livestock, many will find other things to push, steer, round up etc. And as with many dogs used for herding (such as Border Collies & Kelpies) , movement is a big trigger for their instincts. 
 

It’s definitely time to seek professional help, because although your dog hasn’t bitten anyone just yet, the more they practice the behaviour, the better and bolder they get at it, and it may only be a matter of time, and maturity, before you have a dog that has bitten someone. Have your dog assessed by a professional (I’m sure you’ll get some great recommendations here). Also, it may be worth looking at do herding with your dog. What I mean by herding, is the organised sport of herding, where experienced people can guide you and your dog through learning to use, and moreover, control, your dogs natural drives. 
 

 

Hi, if professional trainers are too expensive, is there any other choice? 

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13 minutes ago, s.bale23 said:

Hi, if professional trainers are too expensive, is there any other choice? 

Unless you already have a lot of experience managing these behaviours and training alternate behaviours, which it doesn't sound like you do, you will need professional help. As Scratch said, it's important that this behaviour isn't allowed to escalate and if you try to manage it yourself by reading books or watching YouTube videos, there is a reasonable risk that you will make things worse rather than better. 

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31 minutes ago, s.bale23 said:

Hi, if professional trainers are too expensive, is there any other choice? 

It would be infinitely ‘more expensive’ to deal with a dog that has escalated  to an actual bite.....

but, at least perhaps seek the assistance of your dogs breeder. Also see if there is a German Shepherd Dog club in your state where you may find some valuable advice. Also, as I mentioned previously, look into doing herding with your dog. You will find info about herding training on your states ANKC affiliated website, such as Dog Vic,  Dogs SA  etc. It may sound counterproductive to train behaviours that don’t seem desirable, but in doing so, yourself and your dog become more in control of those behaviours, as well as it being excellent mental and physical stimulation and exercise for the dog. A lot of German Shepherds compete in herding, because they’re naturals at it! 

At the very least, see if there is a basic dog obedience club in your area and call them. Training may not be on right now because of Covid19, but phone or email contact may prompt some help and suggestions.

Edited by Scratch
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Probably veering away from the subject, but years ago when our family had a standard schnauzer, and he was walked at the park, on lead, whenever a jogger went past, he would lunge.  This was before he was allowed by us to run around at the park free.  When his recall was finally satisfactory, and we walked around on the  walking path he wouldn't bat an eyelid when joggers passed him.  In his case, I am sure it was leash aggression.  He never hurt a fly. 

Edited by twodoggies2001
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@twodoggies2001. I had a similar experience many years ago. My dog was fine with other dogs in the off leash  park, but as soon as his leash went on to go home, he would carry on if any dog came near him.  
 

Many dog owners don’t understand that being on a leash isn’t inherent in a dog.  Many believe that dogs pop out speaking human, sitting and walking on a leash.

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  • 3 months later...
On 05/05/2020 at 2:12 PM, Scratch said:

It might be ‘leash aggression’ to some degree, but a large factor is probably also her breed. German ShepHERD.  They are a herding breed. They have strong instincts & natural drives to move, push, steer and round up usually livestock, but in the absence of livestock, many will find other things to push, steer, round up etc. And as with many dogs used for herding (such as Border Collies & Kelpies) , movement is a big trigger for their instincts. 
 

It’s definitely time to seek professional help, because although your dog hasn’t bitten anyone just yet, the more they practice the behaviour, the better and bolder they get at it, and it may only be a matter of time, and maturity, before you have a dog that has bitten someone. Have your dog assessed by a professional (I’m sure you’ll get some great recommendations here). Also, it may be worth looking at do herding with your dog. What I mean by herding, is the organised sport of herding, where experienced people can guide you and your dog through learning to use, and moreover, control, your dogs natural drives. 
 

 

Thank You ,

I have seeker for a trainer and will see how it goes, thanks again for your efforts 

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