Shy dog barks, snaps and lunges at people and other dogs.

Hi, i have a 5 month old king shepard, rottie, chow, wolf mix male dog. We got him from a local breeder at 8 weeks old. He was well socialized and around the other puppies up until we adopted him. My friend adopted one of his sisters from the litter, and we had play dates for about a month. Then out of nowhere he started baring his teeth and acting fearful and aggressive towards the other puppy. It slowly progressed from there. At first we couldnt walk him because he would just sit down and refuse to move if anything passed us by, a car, bike, person, dog, even if a leaf blew past us. We got him over and ignoring everything except people and dogs now. He luges and barks at other dogs and people, and if they get to close he snaps at them. He hasnt bitten anyone or any animal yet, but it still worries me. I have tried the techniques above as well as many others, with patience, but none seem to work. As soon as that other dog or person is in his eyesight he gets fixated. We have even tried blocking his line of view to get his attention back on us, and he will sit there and keep trying to see around us. ive tried just walking past using the command ‘nevermind’ which he knows very well, but if the person or dog is in his sight before i make the command he will sit down and refuse to move, then bark and lunge when they get near. Ive tried forcing him to continue, and immiedately he puts his paws on the leash and rolls on his back. Ive tried waiting him out, he does the same thing. And sometimes he will sit down, then try to hightail it home. I even tried getting him to sit and focus on he as they person or dog walked past as that is how we got him over his fear of cars and bikes. He is also fearful or loud noises, garbage bags, booming voices (men), and pringles cans and objects like them that make noise.
I have never had a dog with this behavior before so i do not understand where it came from, or how to correct it. All his playdates were well monitored, the breeder he came from was excellent, i knew him and his family personally and they are great with dogs and training them, and there had been no ‘incidents’ at my home, or anywhere else. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Asked by Member 1109273 on May 4th 2012 in Fears & Phobias
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Ow. Sorry biting my tongue on the excellent breeder thought. Creating such a mix is not responsible breeding.

Yes, I have plenty of experience. Pepper is GSD, Chow, Golden Ret mix, Humane Soc rescue we brought home at 7-8 weeks old. By 3 months she was doing much the same thing. Growling, hackles raised, alternately lunging forward and hiding behind me. She's 3 years old and still doing it.

You do know, he's terrified. This is his personality. Hyper vigilant, nervous, fearful. Considering how big he'll get, hire a behaviorist.

This is what helps with Pepper
Stay calm, but keep the leash short, not tight.
Turn around, walk away.
Use food, toys or other diversion.
Be creative, change to meet his interests.
Allow him to keep his distance.
Teach him where to retreat to at home, he may begin to guard the main living area from new people.

Pepper is a wreck when the cleaner is in the house, even though she likes her, the bumping and vacuum upset her.
I accept her as is.

Pepper answered on 5/4/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer


You might want to try reading Scaredy Dog- it comes highly recommended. Also, if you haven't had him neutered, do so now. Testosterone starts to influence their behavior more and more at that age, and it is strongly implicated in aggressive behavior. Also, the more he gets used to behaving badly, the less the neutering will help. You want to do it before his bad behavior gets to be a pattern.

Member 1104298 answered on 5/4/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


I agree about the "responsible breeder"-definitely get him neutered if he is not,conssult your vet on a good behaviorlist-he is scared and stressed and anxious and could benefit from a medication to help control his anxiety but only if you apply the behanior therapy and obedience training with it.

Member 1109765 answered on 5/8/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer