The new (rescue) GSD growls at my husband - Page 2 - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 12-11-2012, 08:36 AM   #11 (permalink)
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When we first adopted our 130lb male bullmastiff he kept growling at me at first. This went on for about 2 weeks. As a matter of fact I worked nights so I had to call me wife to come down and hold him because he would charge at me (that was before I knew it was a big bluff). Eventually I spent a whole weekend with him, walking him, playing with him and we became the best friends. He was definitely intimidated by men. I think your dog will snap out of it eventually. Patience is a virtue in situations like these.
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:29 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Well, we started the two week shut down. Had a great weekend but as the week progressed, her growling and barking became more frequent whenever my husband would even move around the house. Occasionally she would approach him, but very seldom. We had high hopes that we could work through this. Even had considered calling out a trainer to observe and work with us. Unfortunately, she made moves to bite him on Friday night and if she had not been leashed it would have been UGLY. Her fear seems to have moved to aggression & we took her back to the foster yesterday. It breaks my heart....as she was so sweet to me, but she's gotta get along with the entire pack. My hope is that they will find a single female to take her in.
Thanks for all advice.
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:40 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I'm so sorry. This is almost exactly what happened to us. The shutdown seemed to make the dog more fearful and that turned into lunging. We too took her back before something bad could happen.
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Old 12-17-2012, 10:44 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Just FYI, it's not the shut down that failed, nor did it "make" the dog more or less aggressive.
Shepherdmom, with all due respect, you had the dog @ a trainer who raved about what an awesome dog she was. The problem was in your home, for whatever reason, the dog wasn't comfortable there. It is likely no amount of integration through any method would work.

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My hope is that they will find a single female to take her in.
While this would be "ideal", at some point the dog has to see other people.

I don't know why some dogs get "broken" beyond repair but this may be one of them.
I do find a correlation between highly intelligent dogs and their likelihood to become unstable when life throws bad things their way. Herding breeds are particularly at risk where Labs (in general) and those type seem to breeze though more easily.
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Old 12-17-2012, 01:09 PM   #15 (permalink)
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It sounds like you made the right call, OP, as hard as it is. Just remember, that's the whole point of a 2 week trial...to make sure no huge problems surface in the home! She sounds like she will be a great dog for the right person and it is likely she will find a good home.
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Old 12-17-2012, 05:47 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I agree that she shouldn't always be fearful of men...as she will have to encounter them throughout her life if she is properly socialized. We had a couple of guys over the other week to watch a football game, and she didn't growl or bark at them at all. That's what makes me not so sure that just didn't like MY guy. I mean, dogs don't always like *everyone* so I think there just must have been some hang up with my husband. Either she attached herself to ME and didn't want him around, or she just didn't like him. Who knows. GSDs can be pretty moody. I have learned this from living with one for almost 4 years, but our agreement was that she had to get along with everyone in our pack. She could have liked me more than anyone else, and that would have been fine...but you can't attack one of us. Not cool.
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Old 12-17-2012, 05:59 PM   #17 (permalink)
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That's why we (in our rescue) strongly discourage that type of over-attachment that tends to come on when a new dog enters the household - the only way to address that is the 2week shut down or else to remain totally neutral and strongly yet kindly discourage the attachment.
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Old 12-17-2012, 06:01 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I completely understand....however, the way my schedule conflicts with my husband's, (he works second shift) there's a lot of one on one time with either of us. I think it's sometimes hard to try to eliminate favoritism, particularly when we're not all together except for weekends. I dunno.
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Old 12-17-2012, 06:04 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Well, it may not have prevented it...
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