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Havers Dog Behaviour Blog

My dog behaviour blog is all about dogs and owners I have helped and dog related items in the news.

What can you do with a German shepherd who has bitten?

I love visits like this too!

This German shepherd has been causing his owners a great deal of stress, worry and concern because he bit someone and they are mortified.

I had a phone call from a very upset owner who described in great deal what had happened, the circumstances in which the incident happened and they told me a great deal about the dog who is only a youngster.

All dogs can bite, all dogs can be aggressive but they don't tend to do it because they want to, they do it because it is usually the highest level of communication and the dog feels so out of their depth and so out of control it can be the ultimate cry for help.

Until you meet the dog, you can only go on what the owner has told you but you can't let that cloud your judgement nor can you let if form an opinion of the dog because the owners a looking at the incident, not at the dog or the reasons and there is always a reason. With a little information and insight, the reason can be established and the reason is not the bite, the reason is what caused the dog to be in a situation where he thought a bite as his only course of action available.

I met the dog and found a very stressed and over excited dog. I did not meet an aggressive dog but I did meet a dog that was not under control and who had little regard for his owners, he would nibble one of them and nibble hard enough to be painful. That is not the behaviour of a dog who respects people but neither did their behaviour respect the dog.

It is all about balance and this dog was so out of balance, he was constantly on the go, bringing toys, barking, jumping, nipping, nibbling, generally being annoying because that is how he generated the most reaction and interaction.

The owners also believed playing with him a lot would tire him out, they didn't realise they were just keeping him over active and over stimulated.

Continuous activity leads to fatigue, both physical and mental and there comes a point where he cannot cope any more and this point was reached on a very busy day where there was a lot going on and the dog was so overloaded he lost the plot.

I met a dog who was simmering and by turning down the reactions and the attentions, he was soon relaxed enough to lie down, not for long mind you but it is a start.

I met a dog very stressed, very confused and very frustrated. I left a dog with a clearer idea that being calm and more relaxed was indeed a viable option. With practice, that will become a preferable option and he will be a much calmer and better controlled dog and he will be far better able to cope and control his own emotions.

If this resonates with you or reminds you of someone you know, get in touch or ask them to get in touch because there is a great deal that can be done for troubled dogs if their owners are prepared to change and put some hard work in. Only you can decide if your dog is worth the effort and the hard work. I believe every dog is worth the effort and the hard work and I will help and support you all the way.

German shepherd lying down chewing a ball.JPG