My 6 month shepherd mix Rooney has been in puppy class since he was 5 months. He started out being the star of the class. These last few weeks he seems to be showing aggressive behaviour toward the other classmates. Now when the other dogs enter the ring it's all lunging and high pitched barking. It's like Dr. Jeckle and Mr. Hyde status. He sometimes tries to nip at me if I try to avert his attention or hold him back.

Here's the kicker, HE DOES NOT ACT LIKE THIS IN PUBLIC. We go on long walks in different places, visit dog friendly restaurants ect. and he passes by and meets and greets other dogs and people/children just fine (although he hasn't been to a dog park yet). But something about the puppy class sets him off! I should mention that I have him in a petsmart puppy class so the area we are in is pretty small with four other puppies in the class who sometimes physically/verbally show their excitement but none are aggressive.

We play fetch so hes tired before we go to classes but this doesn't seem to make a difference. I was just in public with him yesterday and he was fine passing other dogs on walks sometimes he would wander towards the dog and we would keep moving past them without any lunging high pitched barking or nipping. Went to the last class this morning and we couldn't even take it bc he started behaving badly. He even nipped the instructor for trying to avert his attention. Trainer doesn't really know what's going on with him. Eventually I can get his attention with treats but it is short lived

Does anyone have good insight into what's going on? Beyond frustrated with the little one.

Thanks for the help!


1 Answer 1


Did he experience something unhappy during training? I suggest you should communicate with the trainer. Ask clearly when this situation happens, so as to find the direct reason. Puppy is just like a kid, he is sensitive and needs your care and comfort. Most of the shepherds are gentle and docile, I believe he can be trained to be a good dog or even a service dog.

  • Welcome to Pets Stack Exchange :) You've linked to that site a couple of times in answers. Please make sure that if you are affiliated with that website, you disclose your affiliation.
    – Henders
    Aug 24, 2018 at 8:18
  • Never experienced anything unhappy in class all of a sudden he just started being very vocal with high pitch barking pulling and some growling. But ears are always up and hair is not up so I can't tell if it's aggression or excitement
    – Ksmith
    Sep 2, 2018 at 20:58

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.