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Old 10-20-2012, 10:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default GSD growls shortly after waking up

Hi there,

Our family has a 4 year old intact GSD male. We have had aggression problems with the dog since he was a puppy but the aggression has always be directed at other dogs or people. Around us he has always been gentle and very submissive. Unfortunately recently he has started to growl and raise his hackles at myself and my wife. This has happened a few times. It seems to occur mostly at evening and early morning and shortly after the dog is woken up. When this has happened I have commanded the dog to go to his crate and sort of chase after him until he does. After a few minutes he seems to snap out of it and is again his usual sweet self.

We are extremely concerned about this. We have a 3 year old and my wife is 4 months pregnant so we cannot have an unstable animal around.

Any suggestions or comments? We have him scheduled for neutering as the breeder told us that might help.

Thanks in advance,
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Old 10-20-2012, 11:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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First thing you need to do is take him to the vet to see if he is in any pain. Has he been in an accident, or maybe shot at by kids with bb guns, or maybe he has an injury or hip dysplasia.

And neutering is not an aggression cure.
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Old 10-20-2012, 11:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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What exactly is going on when he growls and hackles at you and your wife? What are you guys doing?
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Old 10-21-2012, 01:46 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Hi there,

Our family has a 4 year old intact GSD male. We have had aggression problems with the dog since he was a puppy but the aggression has always be directed at other dogs or people. Around us he has always been gentle and very submissive. Unfortunately recently he has started to growl and raise his hackles at myself and my wife. This has happened a few times. It seems to occur mostly at evening and early morning and shortly after the dog is woken up. When this has happened I have commanded the dog to go to his crate and sort of chase after him until he does. After a few minutes he seems to snap out of it and is again his usual sweet self.

We are extremely concerned about this. We have a 3 year old and my wife is 4 months pregnant so we cannot have an unstable animal around.

Any suggestions or comments? We have him scheduled for neutering as the breeder told us that might help.

Thanks in advance,
What have you done about his aggression issues to date? Has he seen trainers, behavioralists, vets? Was the breeder aware when he was a pup that he had aggression issues? Has he bitten anyone or attacked other animals? If so, at what age? It sounds (just on what you've said) that the dog has had a poor temperament since the beginning. I'd like to know more, though, before I offer any opinion.
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:52 AM   #5 (permalink)
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What have you done about his aggression issues to date? Has he seen trainers, behavioralists, vets? Was the breeder aware when he was a pup that he had aggression issues? Has he bitten anyone or attacked other animals? If so, at what age? It sounds (just on what you've said) that the dog has had a poor temperament since the beginning. I'd like to know more, though, before I offer any opinion.
When he has shown aggression to other dogs or people we correct him and we praise him when he does not. His first sign was when he was a 4 month old puppy and started to growl at someone when we were walking him at night. We talked to the breeder about this and she wanted to see him. He behaved normally so the incident was attributed to just his protection instinct.

He has bitten a dog sitter before and gotten into a fight with an older GSD we use to have. These happened at around 3 years of age.

Right now is totally intractable at the vet's office. He has to be muzzled and I have to forcefully restrain him while the vet examines him.
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:53 AM   #6 (permalink)
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What exactly is going on when he growls and hackles at you and your wife? What are you guys doing?
Absolutely nothing. We are not touching him or addressing him in anyway.
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:53 AM   #7 (permalink)
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This doesn't sound good.

The breeder said it was "just his protection instinct"-- I hate to tell you, but at 4 months that isn't there. That was fear.

Sounds to me as if this is a fear aggressive dog who needs to be evaluated by a behaviorist ASAP. With little ones around and another baby on the way, this could be a recipe for disaster.

Have him vet checked for thyroid issues, and get a pro to eval him.
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:56 AM   #8 (permalink)
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dont wake him up when he is sleeping , let sleeping dogs lie.... get him neutered... teach the child to NOT bother the dog when the dog is sleeping... when mine are sleeping i leave them alone, i dont like people waking me up , so why wake the dog up?

keep the child separate from the dog and watch the child around the dog....
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:57 AM   #9 (permalink)
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First thing you need to do is take him to the vet to see if he is in any pain. Has he been in an accident, or maybe shot at by kids with bb guns, or maybe he has an injury or hip dysplasia.

And neutering is not an aggression cure.
I'll bring that possibility with the vet. He does not show any signs of pain that I can see but I have noticed an awkward gait after I exercise him.

As for the neutering I do not have a lot of hope for a cure either. The research I found on the matter is contradictory but our breeder recommended it and, given his temperament, I see no upside to him being able to reproduce.
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:59 AM   #10 (permalink)
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dont wake him up when he is sleeping , let sleeping dogs lie.... get him neutered... teach the child to NOT bother the dog when the dog is sleeping... when mine are sleeping i leave them alone, i dont like people waking me up , so why wake the dog up?

keep the child separate from the dog and watch the child around the dog....
The child is three. You are not going to teach a 3-year-old not to mess with the dog. And if the dog is going off for no reason, he can be very dangerous.
Getting him neutered is *not* going to help. This is a temperament issue.
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