Crazy4Dogs asked in PetsDogs · 1 decade ago

How do you tell someone they've ruined a perfectly good dog? (nicely)?

So, back when I was 9, my parents decided to buy a german shepherd from a breeder. She had show dog lines from her mom, and her dad was a bag sniffer. They had her shipped over from the state of Washington to Connecticut, and we were expecting the best from her. ANYWAYS.

(what I'm about to say, let this be a lesson to you people who only train your dog the basics and think your done)

My Stepdad ended up babying her and never socialized her, only took her to ONE obedience class and thought that she would be good for life. 5 years later, here she is, dog aggressive, food aggressive, and barks at anything that moves, bares her teeth at ANYONE who isn't my stepdad.

Now, here I am with a pit bull from a shelter, and I've had her for almost for 2 months, I've already gotten her over most of her resource guarding, and aggression towards male dogs. She is SO much better behaved then my stepdad's shepherd.

I'm ready to tell him how it is, that he's ruined her. But I want to say it in a nice way, if possible. Any ideas?? pleasee??


I've also been attacked by his dog 2 times. :/ just thought i'd add that.

Update 2:

I'm not afraid of being incorrect or whatever, I'm just afraid he won't ever talk to me again. He doesn't talk to my brother anymore because of something he said. I can't really risk it, because I can't stand living with my Dad, and my Mom went far away.

Update 3:

She's not dominant over me, shes just protective over my stepdad. When I go over there and he's not there, she treats me like she treats him.

10 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    dog trainer 30 plus years -

    Oh love, I cannot tell you how many times I have wanted to open my mouth...too many to count. I have found out what works best. I have people over to my house, or out for a walk, just a "shoot the breeze time" - a bonding time for us. I bring whatever dog I have that is most similar to theirs. I do not invite their dog over...then suggest a walk kind of out of the blue. I have found that people do not learn when they are being yelled at, or even when someone is just being a bit "preachy" to them. Most people learn from someone who "teaches quietly". We go for our walk...I do my regular commands & just let them "experience" what walking with and being with a disciplined/well trained dog is like. I don't have to holler, jerk on a leash, and get all crazy like they do...I simply walk and enjoy myself. After many of these walks through the years I have gained friends. They don't always say it out loud, but they watch and learn, and take home what they have learned. Some will ask questions after a few walks...some will ask for my help...most learn that "training" a dog takes more love...than just "leaving a dog" to train itself.

    I will copy and paste what I do for dogs with aggression. If an opening arises (make sure it's not pushed on him or he will just throw it away) then give it to your step father. Many people don't know because they have not been taught....many people have backgrounds of seeing discipline go too far - so they find it hard to discipline at all. We need to understand people have "issues" that they don't always share out loud, but they do share in the way they react and respond to situations. Look a little deeper than your stepfathers outer may find a reason that you never knew existed. I hope this helps love. Just remember you may be helping more than just his dog.

    The dog is given no more leash than what is necessary for him/her to walk beside me in a very close heel position. For 3 easy to use Fri. after work, Sat. & Sun. - the dog goes everywhere with me. The bathroom, the household chores, car rides...never for any reason leaves my side. When I take a shower I shut the door and he/she stays in the bathroom with me. I do not let them eat from a bowl...they have to totally rely on me. It all sounds pretty radical in behavior...but I'm telling you it works. While outside to go potty the first 3 days it is only in the back yard which is wood fenced. He/she is not allowed to run freely on those days. It's out to go potty & if exercise is needed I jog around the in toe. I make it a point to chat the entire time. I end up sounding like a nut to my neighbors I am sure...but the voice is really important...they need to learn to hear, listen and trust. I do positive reinforcement by saying "nice job..good sit...thanks for waiting" (bathroom/shower). A lot of praise is necessary. When I am getting negative responses I calmly tell/teach them to sit. When in position I state "" I enunciate it listen in that way because it seems to draw the attention better. When he/she is putting head down and tugging away or avoiding contact with me I say "up,up,up" and pull the head up with a tug of the leash to draw the attention back to the "listen position". After the three days you should see some major turn in respect to you. Then start off on very small trips out or having people you know come ring the door bell. They need to know you are working with the dog because you are not going to open the door until your dog is in a sit/calm state. You can have friends meet you on a walk down the block and back. If someone/dog/whatever comes step far away, at least 4 feet, put him/her in a sit position with the "shhhhhhhh" which you can also use from the 3 day work when needed. It's to when you use it do not show any emotion other than "clam" - they reflect what we feel a lot of times. If your dog shows hyper behavior on the short walk just say "no, no, no...all done" then march him/her home. Sit position at home..."easy, no, li-SIN (listen) on submission by doing small commands one right after the next "sit" "shake" "back" "up" etc...

    Dogs need a firm hand, a kind heart, and repetition. Don't allow them to get away with something one time...then discipline the next time. If you call them short "before" they go into a total reaction..."watch it" - it helps to bring them to the reality of where boundaries are.

  • 1 decade ago

    I hate to break this to you, but he is probably well aware the dog is "ruined". If the dog is aggressive towards and other dogs, and has attacked you twice, you step dad probably knows very well what he has done, and obviously doesn't have an interest in fixing it.

    For your own sanity, don't waste your breath. Just keep focusing on your lovely dog that you ARE dedicated to. You have obviously already put in more work in 2 months than your step-dad has in years of dog ownership. Maybe he thought that paying top dollar for good lineage was all the work he needed to put into the dog. Well obviously his expensive purebred has proven him wrong. And once you have turned your pit bull into little angel, maybe that will motivate him to fix this mess he's created with his GSD.

    Good Luck with your training!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I am not sure what the point is in saying it nicely.

    Why be a hypocrite.

    If you really feel the dog is ruined then say so, in exactly those words.

    If you are more worried about being politically correct then you obviously do not have the courage of your own convictions and then need to just mind your own business.

    If the dog has attacked you two times, I presume you have done the right thing and made sure animal bite reports were filed. Obviously when a GSD "attacks" someone they do damage.

    By the way, it might feel good to you to tell him the dog is ruined, but is it really going to do any good?

    It is more useful that this dog get reported to protect anyone else from being "attacked".

    Last but not least, I would not be too smug about the Pit Bull. Two months is nothing. You do not even really know this dog yet. You have a long road to go before you should get on your high horse.

  • 1 decade ago

    Well, I'm not sure how you could put it.. Just tell him straight off. I agree, he has. Babying a dog leads to nothing but trouble. One obedience class isn't usually enough. The dog still will need to be socialized. Whichis obvious, i mean all puppies have littermates but when unsocialized with other dogs for years they may become dog-aggressive. We're finishing our second dog obedience course tonight then we have three more to do. Training and socializing is a life long thing...

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  • Don't say anything.. just go ahead and fix the dog. That's what I would do. Words are meaningless, actions are meaningful. If you SHOW him how much better the dog could be then he will get the point. My friend had a dog which she kept on the end of a chain for 8 years of his life.. wouldn't bring him inside, wouldn't feed him or properly care for him.. I tried to say things nicely about it forever and it didn't work. I moved in there with her and I just simply brought the dog inside. I didn't care what they said or did, I just brought the dog inside and started to train him. He had food aggression too as well as possession aggression.. he wasn't housetrained or leash trained.. I just did it. I hand fed him, bought him toys for the first time in his life, taught him tricks and commands, fed him, brushed him.. and eventually turned him into my dog. After that she used to get mad because he wouldn't sleep in her room, he wouldn't listen to her and he did whatever I asked of him, and slept by my side all day and all night. Once she saw that, I didn't have to say anything.. I didn't have to tell her how she had failed, because I showed her how I could succeed. To this day I get mad just thinking about how that poor dog suffered all those years.. in -40C with no hay in his dog house, no water in his dish and no food in his bowl.. but I changed that. He lived out his days well trained and eating steak with her parents who took him in when she moved away and left him behind to get another dog she couldn't bother to train properly.

    Some people just don't get it, and they never will no matter how much you tell them.. you have to show them, or take over. No dog belongs to someone who spoils them, they in fact belong to the dog.. Train a dog, ask a dog to work for you and earn his respect and he belongs to you above everyone else. If I were you, I'd start right away with that dog.. Nothing in Life is Free, hand feeding, training with treats, and taking control of all the toys etc. Make the dog work for you, and your stepdad will soon see and feel like a fool.. he'll start doing what you do to keep up. Peace.. KC

  • 1 decade ago

    Owners never like to hear 'I don't feel safe around your dog' or 'I don't trust your dog'. If your father asks why, you can tell him EXACTLY and specifically why focusing on the dog's lack of behavioral training as opposed to a blanket statement of 'you ruined your dog'. Try to avoid the word 'you' when discussing this with your father. People are less likely to listen when they feel they are being 'attacked. Best of luck to you.

    PS: Bless your heart for getting a shelter dog. Major karmic brownie points to you!

  • 1 decade ago

    yes, she is dominant over you. it's WHY she's guarding your stepdad. she's not thinking of him as a master, she's thinking of him as her property, and to her, you are some subordinate who might try to steal him.

    i agree with several posters on the subject of not creating a rift- i'm sure he already knows how badly the dog has come out because of poor training and socialization. don't tell him what's wrong- but maybe you can offer him some tips from knowlegable trainers that might help him?

    dog lady, good advice. i also do that with new dogs that come to me, to teach them who controls the resources, but i don't talk to them very much. i make them wait for that until they are practically aching to hear someone command them, and reward them.

    Source(s): p.s. CJ, it took you 2 weeks to train your dog to sit? seriously? dang!!
  • Mark J
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    If you have been bit by the dog, they need to get it under control. Those bites were reported, correct?

  • 1 decade ago

    There is no way to ruin a dog, because they can be fixed. just say that " how that dog is acting is not ok, Its not ok for her/him to attack me and growl at me". that dog sees your step dad as the dominator. You need to also act as one. You either need to bite your dog or jump her and put her to the ground, that is basically telling her its your way or no way. If she barks at everything tell her no and stop. You need to tel your step dad how it is.

    Source(s): Pit bull owner.... my dog is only food aggressive towards my husband because he steals my food. My shar pei was the same way, he bit me once on the wrist, I managed to get loose, i swung around grabbed him by the throat and put him to the ground and said no bad dog. As for my pit ive never been bit. I now have a german shepard. You need to understand that pits are the smartest dogs alive and german shepards are the stupiest. Ive spent 8 months training my german shepard to sit and he still doesnt understand. Trust me it will take more then classes for german shepards. I trained my pit in 2 weeks to sit. In my house, the dominance smart levels go from, me, my pit, my baby girl, my cat ryce, my cat sage, my husband and then my dog cooper. Its sad but true.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    if your 14 and so damn great with dogs why haven't you taught this german shepherd anything. i don't believe your story your a troll.

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