Okay, first some info on our pup Jango. He is 9.5 months old and still intact. He is an WGSL. We got him when he was 8 weeks old. We have taken him to puppy pre-school, puppy kindergarten, and to basic obedience class. We just started a more advance OB class with a good trainer that has 2 WLGSD that she has titled in IPO. (she is the one that suggested that we wait on the bite work and focus on OB and tracking until he gets older:from a previous post) She is also the one that trained my wife and Jango in the basic OB class. I have two sons, 6 and 10 which he loves.
He is a wonderful dog, everything I had hoped for. He is friendly to other dogs, (strange and familiar), he ignores dogs that are barking at him when we go for walks, he is well behaved with strangers on the street, at parks, and when our house is filled with people. On the 4th of July I wanted to see how he would react to the loud noises. We live near a big high school and they have a big fireworks show. We can view them in front of our house. We live in a cul de sac and all the neighbors were out front watching the show, so we dared to venture out. To my surprise he did amazing. I walked him around to meet everyone (mostly strangers) he passed out kisses and sniffs. Everyone was commenting on how well he was handling the noise and how it did not phase him. We take him to all the stores with us that allow dogs. He lets people come up to him and pet him.
The issue that we are having is when he is with my wife, without me. Sometimes...only sometimes he get either fearful or protective. (most likely fearful due to his age) There has been 3 incidents that has me worried.
1. My wife and kids were at home (I was at work) and my son had a friend come over to our house. When the friend came over and rung the door bell, Jango does his thing to let us know when someone is here, barking and going to the door. What we do is tell him to sit and be quite. We don't open the door until he does. If he gets up then we close the door and tell him to sit again. the door doesn't open all the way until he listens. When he sits and stops barking I then open the door he will sniff them and then go back to doing whatever he was doing. Anyways when it is just him and my wife at home he will bark at the kid when the boy would get up or move suddenly. So my wife had the boys and Jango go out in the backyard and play for a bit. Jango was loving it, having fun playing with my son and his friend. But when they went back inside a few minutes later Jango started barking at the kid again. So my wife put Jango back outside. One other thing I what to mention is that this kids mom is the one that comes over during the day when we are at wok and lets Jango out and plays with him. After this happened she brought her son over to let Jango out and he did not once show aggression towards the boy.
2. This one is not a big issue with me, because it keeps my wife safe. My wife was at a park with Jango playing ball and this homeless guy walks up to my wife and Jango was having none of that. Hackles up and barking. The guy wanted to comment on how stunning Jango was. My wife was able to control Jango and the guy went on his way.
3. This one was interesting. My wife doesn't have the control over Jango that I do so she signed up for the basic OB class that I mentioned above. (Cuddos on her part for trying) She would be the only one to attend with Jango to this class. The first day of training was your typical OB class. The trainer had everyone in a big circle on a big field. She was coming up to everybody one by one to sign in, and when she approached my wife, Jango was barking and hackles up. The trainer said what any trainer would of, that we need to get better control of him before he bites some one. She immediately saw him as an aggressive dog. (Not true
) i hope. We told her how he normally behaves
and that this had only happened a couple of other times with my wife. So the next training session she brought one of her friends that also has a lot of experience with GSDs to see what Jango would do. Well, he absolutely love her. She walked up to my wife and Jango and his tail was wagging and he was giving lots of kisses. The trainer came up next and he was happy to see her to. (weird)
When I'm around I see none of the behaviors. He is MY dog, he has bonded with me the most. I do play with him, train him, feed him the most. I do have my wife and kids feed him, we all take turns. My wife does do some training and she takes him to the park all the time when I'm at work. And so, is it me, my wife or the dog, or all of the above???
I hope all this makes sense and hope someone can give some advise on what we should try. Sorry it was so long