I just adopted a one-year-old German shepherd. She’s a very sweet girl. Playful, doesn’t pull on the leash, and is very affectionate. However, I have 2 other dogs that she is ridiculously jealous of: a 10-month-old German shepherd and a 2-year-old American Eskimo. She’s showed more aggression towards the German shepherd. Mostly when I’m petting him she will show teeth and get snappy. I immediately reprimand her and if she calms I’ll allow her to stay but sometimes she doesn’t stop so I put her outside. I have worked with training her separately from the others as I fear food aggression and she’s as smart as to be expected. She has a crate so at night there aren’t any concerns but how can I get over this hurdle so my children aren’t in danger with her and bond as a family? Or how can I make her feel more comfortable like when I’m petting my previous dogs it isn’t taking anything from her? — Tori
Wow. Sounds like you have a pretty full house.
I am going to start this from a back door approach because there is the potential that your children could be the unintentional recipients of your newest family members jealousy. As a trainer, safety is always paramont for me when working with behaviors. When children are involved, it is non-negotiable for me to have a qualified trainer involved to ensure everyone’s safety.
And because children are involved I do not feel that an email description of how to handle this would be adequate enough for me to coach you through this. And throwing her outside is a temporary fix but will not teach her how to handle that energy or address the root of the issue.
So to answer your question, I would investigate positive reinforcement trainers in your area: APDT.com is a great resource, as is your local dog day cares and veterinarians. Have a trainer come to your home, evaluate your new shepherd’s behavior and develop a safe, effective training protocol to assist in moving through and ending the jealousy issue.
I would also simultaneously address any potential body issues that she may have such as a misalignment in her spine or neck which could be ok most of the time and set her off more when she is stressed about something, such as your affection. I say this because I am seeing a very high correlation between dysfunctional behavior and body biomechanics being off center and want to make sure that if this is the case it is addressed from the beginning. So, to this end I would locate a dog chiropractor in your area and have her assessed as you may not know her entire history, so give her the benefit of the doubt and you will know you are starting with a clean slate.
I am sorry for not being more detailed but certain situations need to be addressed in person and I believe that this is one.
Let me know how it turns out!
Best, Alecia Evans, HDT, Inventor
Alecia Evans is the inventor of The Walk In Sync™ Humane Dog Walking and Training System with her exclusive 5 Minute Manners Makeovers using the Walk In Sync™ Harness and Accu-Grip Leash, along with her Walk In Sync™ 3 Easy Steps to teach any human/dog duos to Walk In Sync in just minutes.
The former host of the award-winning GrassRoots Aspen TV Series, The Whole Animal-An Alternative Approach to Animal Care, Alecia takes a natural approach to dog training and health care. Her work has been featured on Fox and Friends, The Sandra Glosser Show, NY 1, and in Aspen Magazine, DogTipper.com, The New York Daily News and Woof Report.