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GWP personality
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Butterfly
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PostPosted: 05/09/03, 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We bought Jake from the breeder when he was 4 months old. This is a professional breeder that also trains dog for hunting. I guess we should have known there might be a problem when we went there the parents didn't bark or do anything but Jake the pup did bark. No growling though, that is what he does now if a stranger approaches him. We have had company (family) the last week or so and we bring Jake in the house and he's been pretty good with them. I still don't think they could approach him if they were by themselves but he's listening to us alittle better when we're there. He actually this morning tried to crawl into my mother-in-laws lap. All 52 lbs. of him. He is going to go thru an obidience class the first of June. It's a small class with 7 dogs, so he'll be exposed to other dogs as well as people. We're keeping our fingers cross that this helps.

:D
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dualgwp
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PostPosted: 05/09/03, 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great, sitting in Mom in Laws lap shows he wants to be friendly... hope Mom doesn't mind too much.

One thing you can try... when company is coming over, have him on a leash, just let him drag it around the house. Hand the leash to a dog freindly person and let them take him for a short walk,,,no pressure, no commands, just have him go with them. You stay out of it! If possible have the "stranger" offer him a cookie or treat and then when he takes it.... he can walk Jake back to you and hand you the leash.

This should teach him to trust a bit more....and give him that courage he is probably lacking right now. Don't baby talk him, that only tells him he is right.....there is something to be fearful of.

When we talk about agression, it's not only growling and barking, but also body posturing. You can see a dog tighten up, raise his tail, stare and walk stiff legged before he growls or barks. They just sort of get this look in their eyes.... as soon as you see that type of behaviour, either quickly distract him with the hope that he will forget what he was thinking, or give him a good stiff NO! and then distract him. Make sure strangers understand that they are not to pet your dog without your permission.

I am always amazed at folks that will walk up to a strange dog and try to grab it or pet it. Even the most stable dog will be a bit put off by such behaviour. It's our job to protect them in these circumstances, but it's also our job to make sure our dogs don't just randomly terrorize the neighbors.

Bernee
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Keith
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PostPosted: 05/09/03, 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the field they will ignore or be friendly with someone they just met. Most of my wirehairs are different at my house. I have four dogs right now in my kennels. Two that are 13 years old, one that is 2 years old and one that is 6 months old. From 3 completely different bloodlines. Of all of the wirehairs I have owned at least half would not be friendly to strangers approaching them in my yard. I don't consider this a breed flaw. I have only had one dog that I think might actually bite someone if I wasn't there. But when I am in the yard with them and a stranger comes in that is completely different. Many are definitely protective of their trainer. I have to tell them no. I have noticed when my hunting partners come in the yard the first time I have to introduce them to my dogs. If they were to approach the first time without me most of the dogs would bark at them and not be friendly. But after spending a day hunting with them those same dogs would let them come into the yard and let them out of their kennels without me and they would be friendly toward them. They have excellent memories and will remember a guy they hunted with 1 or 2 years later and fully accept him. But most are suspicious at the first meeting.
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Butterfly
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PostPosted: 05/09/03, 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We had an incident with Jake a few weeks ago which alarmed us. I had him on a leash and was standing in our yard talking to our neighbor. She was petting him a good 5 minutes with no problem then all of a sudden he growled and snapped at her. Mind you if he wanted to bite her her hand was close enough he could have gotten her. A few days after that he broke his chain and she tried to catch him. According to her he charged her and chased her out of our yard. That is when we became very concerned. Of course her lab jumped Jake the day we brought him home. I don't know if he could smell her lab on her and that made him react the way he did or what. All I know is to this day if he sees the lab, who is a female, he growls. We're still hoping we can solve this. He's supposed to go to a kennel while we're on vacation and I'm scared to death somethings going to happen.

Butterfly
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Keith
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PostPosted: 05/09/03, 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You say he broke his chain. Is he kept on a chain? Some dogs will become aggressive being kept on a chain.
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Butterfly
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PostPosted: 05/09/03, 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He's on a chain right now. He really seems to prefer it to being in the house. When he's inside he always wants out. He gets more attention outside right now because we're generally out doing yard or garden work and everytime we pass we always stop and play. He's also taken out to the field to run at least 2 times a day. Can't have him in the house much right now because he still a pup and likes to play. My mother-in-law who is visiting has had 2 hip replacements and is quite unstable. We're afraid he'll bump her and she'll go down and break something else. He was in the house all winter though and will be this winter. When she leaves he'll be back in the house some as well as outside.

Butterfly
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Keith
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PostPosted: 05/09/03, 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would just like to add that I have visited kennels of wirehairs with several dogs all of them friendly and none of them barking at me. It really depends on the breeder and his dogs.
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abbygwp
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PostPosted: 05/09/03, 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I keep reading and reading as this post gets bigger. It is a relief to know that I am not the only one with a dog with some agression. However, in Abby's case she is socialized, loves people (all kinds), any dog she thinks is her friend (except little ones, they scare her) she even has a pet rabbit (YES IT'S REAL) they sleep together on the floor in the living room.

She is an indoor dog, though she is outside/ inside constantly when we are home in a fenced yard, never chained unless we are walking. Even then she is lead with a head lead and standard leather collar. Walks great on a leash (unless she catches a scent, there the need for the head lead)

So this is getting more and more confusing for me. I am going to watch her body languange and make sure I catch her at the "look" with the NO! tactic and see if it helps. We also have an appointment tomorrow with the vet.
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Illona
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PostPosted: 05/23/03, 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any results on Abby from the vet? Have you looked into diet?

I'm coming into this conversation late, and am really just breezing through. I've skimmed a number of the posts in this thread with interest, and thought I'd add my own experience.

I have a black&white GWP and she is the sweetest, friendliest, happiest dog I've ever owned - with people. With other dogs, she has many dog friends (GSPs, vizlas, another GWP) with whom she plays and runs while on hikes. She is approx. 16 mos old (out of rescue) and has never shown aggression, however she IS a dominant female. She demonstrates her dominance in play, and her friends accept the play, always coming for more, etc. Because her play language is so good, she has never had to snap at these dogs or play her hand aggressively. At the same time, these other dogs can come into her house, eat out of her bowl, destroy her toys, and take her bones with little more than a wag from her.

HOWEVER, between the ages of 8 to 10 months we took Matea on a regular basis to a dog park. There she often got nailed by other dogs -- big dogs (Rotties, Ridgebacks, mastiffs, GSDs, boxers and the sort). At the time I had little choice; no place else to let her off-leash. Often these 'attacks' were inflicted when she wasn't even involved with the other dog but instead happily playing with another dog. It was simply a case of a bigger dog deciding they didn't like the way she played.

After so many incidents, Matea has become defensive, especially when on leash. We're working on it. Doing more and more obedience and agility classes to get her around other dogs. When she first meets a new dog, she will go through the subtle motions in her body language to indicate her desire to be the alpha. Only if the other dog suddenly explodes on her, does she retaliate. She's never been in an all-out fight, and I dread the day it happens. She's a tough girl; very fair with other dogs, but tough. Luckily if we're out in the field, she's usually more interested in hunting.

Illona
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abbygwp
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PostPosted: 06/11/03, 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Update...ok, so we have changed the diet, had sessions with personal trainer and Abby seems to be doing much better. There was an "incident" last night but we both yelled the big NO! and she went right to her cage by herself.

SO>>>it looks like things may be looking up for us!
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Dave1967
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PostPosted: 08/31/03, 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Abbygwp so much time has pasted since you posted your concerns that my observations may no longer have any relevance. I believe that all to many people mis-read the signs of aggression. The GWP/Drahthaar is a pretty complex package. The one point that you mentioned in you post that no one has picked up on is the scheduled separation of your husband from the family. I spent 20 years in the military and my Wires were always that one extra edge that I left the family with. Many times I got the call in the middle of the night that resulted to an extended separation. Sometimes that was for a few days sometimes it was for many months. The dogs understood this and immediately stepped into the Alpha roll for the home. When I was gone, women and children were OK, but adult males were off-limits. This expression of aggression showed up anytime that a strange male got on our block. It didn't matter if the male was the mailman, the meter reader or a police car driving by, the GWP's (three different dogs at a lot of different times) would go into alert mode. More to the point of you post, when I had some forewarning of my departure the pup would begin to get mad at me. I finale figured this out to read something like this. When I knew that I was going to be going I spent a great deal more time with the wife and kids, I never wanted to admit it but I was never sure that I would be coming back. I truly believe that the pups could pickup on this and they were mad at me for my personnel weakness. I was suppose to be the Alpha Pup and here I was showing the pack some weakness. If you have this breed you don't have the option either your are going to be Alpha pup or they ill accept the promotion and teach you the fetch.
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Anne
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PostPosted: 09/02/03, 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Abby:
I'm sorry I did not see your post or I would have replied. With that being said you are exactly right to go to a professional with this situation. It sounds like you already have found someone but if you need other referrals I can help you locate someone in your area.

I started to write a reply to the string but it has taken so many wild loops and turns my post got really long. So, to be brief, good luck, keep us posted and let us know how we can help.
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Anne
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PostPosted: 09/04/03, 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

By the way Birddog, I do like to stay current on all the latest information about dog temperment (in any breed). If you could point me to the studies that conclusivly link coat color to aggression I'd sure like to read them.

Anne and Riley
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Illona
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PostPosted: 09/04/03, 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So would I, Anne. My rescue GWP is a black, and she's definitely from some pretty strong hunting stock. Her instincts and drive make the vizslas and GSPs we hang out with look like lapdogs.

But aggression? Not from this girl. She adores everyone, even piddling on occassion with those extra special people. And it's not submissive; it's the most bizarre thing. She's just so happy she can't hold it if she has to go. She can't get enough of people. So much for the security of having a dog in the house. We're actually thinking of adopting a senior terrier now, and maybe he'll be able to show her a few tricks.

No aggression here. Dominant with other dogs in her body language and play, but not aggressive.

Illona
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cheerio
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PostPosted: 09/05/03, 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Comtesse is a beautiful jet black, and has a beautiful temperament to go with it. Affectionate is the words that comes to mind, certainly not aggressive.
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