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Categories: Recall and Come

Q. My 9 month old American bloodline GSD just bit the mailman. What should I do?
I have a big problem with my 9 month old shepherd. I have two pups, one 4 months old from your bloodlines and the 9 month old from mainly American lines. The problem is with the older one, he is not neutered yet and he appears to be developing some territorial aggression. Last week he bit the mail lady, he has never been this way before! Today, he chased a young boy across the school yard that we live next to his hackles were raised and he would circle the boy and bark!! I had one hell of a time catching him, he would not listen to me!!! We have worked hard to socialize both dogs and I don't know what to do. I do have several of your training tapes and everything else is working great, but this problem is not covered in any of the tapes I have. Is this a temperament problem that cannot be solved? He does not usually act this way, but I cannot take any chances with him biting somebody! If you could please give me some advice I would greatly appreciate it!

P.S. I do not want my younger pup to pick up on these bad habits! The little german boy does seem to have a better temperament when it comes to people.


A. This sounds like a handler problem as much as a dog problem.

1. This dog should not be off leash where he can have the opportunity to bite someone. A dog only gets one chance. He bit the mail lady that was strike one. Get a muzzle and make the dog wear it when he is loose. We sell the inexpensive Jafco muzzles, they work fine. He should have one on whenever you let him off leash (at least until you have full control.)

2. One of the tapes you should have is Basic Dog Obedience. Get a prong collar on this dog. He is not fully obedience trained. He can not handle the distractions of the school yard. This requires a level 10 correction in a prong collar to get his attention. He must understand that COME means COME!!

3. Make him drag a long line when he is in muzzle and on a prong when you take him out. This gives you the opportunity to get to him if he plays keep away.

4. If it were my dog I would put an electric collar on the dog and use it. He is old enough to take the stimulation and this gives you an opportunity to reach out and touch him. There are several different collars, depending on how serious you want to get either the Tri Tronics Companion or Sportsman to real serious with the Tri Tronics Pro 100. The Innotec collars work well too.

But when you look at these points - yes - your dog has a nerve problem. He is not 100% stable and is a little sharp. He would not be doing this at this age if he had solid nerves. So with this in mind you have to get on the band wagon and do some serious obedience training or get rid of the dog. You are the only one who knows if you have the temperament to do this work - many people are too soft and can not get down on a dog like this the way they should - those people need to get another dog.
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