sourced from: https://www.reddit.com/r/Dogtraining/comments/aro607/78_month_old_germanbullmastif_pup_is_scared_of/
Here`s another great article:
Male pup, German Shepard/Bullmastif mix.
So he was great when he was younger, met several dogs, toddlers, plenty of people in our neighborhood without issue, very playful and non-aggressive, a big bloody baby. Then came the winter, My shifts were crappy, it was cold and I was only taking him for one walk per day, sometimes not as my wife stays at home and was taking care of his walking during the day.
Over the winter, I can't put my finger on when, my wife started telling me that he was becoming aggressive and barking at people and dogs during walks, this was during a particularly bad two week period for me at work and I was letting my wife do most of the walking (mia culpa). I started walking him again more often and from then on it seems, he was more fearful of people, sometimes I could get him to have positive interactions but his go to was low growls and barks until he no longer perceives them as a threat. Dogs… straight up barking, raised hackles and the whole bit.
Usually as I sit there in those situations, comfortably able to control him but not sure what else to do, I typically wave owners to pass me, wait as they do so and then move on with the walk. In the moment I usually tell him "no", give a few corrective tugs to no avail and try not to "comfort" him as from my understanding that would only serve to encourage the behavior. As a result of this behavior for now I've been avoiding walking him during high traffic times so we can have productive walks and generally let him go nuts off leash later at night after work when no one is around in secluded areas.
So my questions are, what the hell could be happening/happened for him to get this way in the span of a few weeks? and in the moment of a confrontation with a dog, what should I be doing?
Final point, we were waiting to get him fixed later on as we believed he would be a large bread and were told that it was better for his health to wait until he was fully grown at 12 months+ unless he was being aggressive……….. at this point we're thinking we'll have to do it ASAP and will probably have to muzzle him for the vet appointment. Good call?
Sidenote, we fully plan to follow up with formal training after he's fixed and hopefully a bit less aggressive.
submitted by /u/Slaptos
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