Newly purchased GSD sometimes aggressive to my child - Page 3 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #21 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-24-2012, 12:24 PM
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I will not take the risk if I were you..
We can replace hundreds of dogs, but we can't replace our love ones life..

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post #22 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-24-2012, 12:59 PM
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Situations like these make me cringe for the child's safety. We can think of all kinds of excuses, reasons and treatment for this behavior. The bottom line is that he is a very dangerous dog to your child and that needs to be realized. It doesn't matter how he behaved at his previous home. I don't understand why you would even try and even still have him. You say they are always supervised together but you can never prevent a full attack as it happens in a split second.
I am not saying there is no hope for this dog, just not in your family. I am all for behavior modification to keep dogs and owner together but this case is different. My experience as a trainer in these cases is that people eventually have to rehome the dog anyways after an accident happened.
I wonder if you realize how much damage a large GSD can do.....
Please keep your child safe and therefore the dog as well and trust your parental instincts.

Last edited by wolfy dog; 12-24-2012 at 01:01 PM.
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post #23 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-24-2012, 01:22 PM
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before you make a decision, have this boy thoroughly evaluated by the best behaviorist and the best trainer (they are not the same), you can find. i have no children and i love, love, love these dogs. but, in the order of importance when it comes to safety, the child always has to come first. ordinarily i also am a big believer in everyone having the right to make their own choices and decisions, but i do have a bit of a problem here, since the child has no choice or say in things, and an accident could totally ruin the child's life. only you know what the right thing for you to do is. wishing you good luck and peace of mind. take care, wishing you safe and happy holidays!

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post #24 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-24-2012, 01:59 PM
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Honestly I say skip the eval and protect your child. If this was another dog he was at, or even a big kids (teens) or adult, I'd say work on it HARD. With a little bitty kid? Heck no.

It's not like we're saying take him out back and shoot him Ol' Yeller style, we're saying give him back to his breeder. No matter how hard that is, it's not as hard as having a disfigured kid for life because you chose a dog over him.

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post #25 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-24-2012, 08:19 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the advice of getting my son to get Niko to move for him by throwing him a treat. I had not thought of that.
There has not been any more episodes of that happening so far since the crate/ignore that I did to him.
Niko actually brought his toy to my son and laid it down at his feet, then went and got his bone and brought it to him.
My son is walking by him and petting him as he goes past with no signs of aggression from him now.
I still plan on contacting a trainer, but maybe they just needed to get used to each other and Niko needed to learn where his place in our family is. As I am typing this, my son is sitting on the couch watching tv near me, and Niko is bringing him his ball and dropping it in his lap because he knows my son will not pull it from his mouth and they are playing fetch. Boy does Niko love to play with his Kong ball. He would play ALL day long if you would throw it that long!! LOL
Just wanted to give an update and thank you all for your advice and opinions.
Hope you all have a merry christmas.

Last edited by lashon8; 12-24-2012 at 08:25 PM. Reason: added thought
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post #26 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-24-2012, 08:23 PM
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If you don't utilize a trainer right now, please please please read, understand and implement some "Mind Games" at the very least.

Mind Games (version 1.0) by M. Shirley Chong
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post #27 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-24-2012, 08:53 PM
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I wouldn't do the throw the treat to get the dog to move trick because there is something else going on . The dog would rush out scarf the goodie and then come back in a rush to bother the child .
That's a quaint picture of the boy sitting there tossing the toy and the dog bringing it back endlessly -- but it works because the boy is doing something for the dog, something that it likes. Now what would happen if the child or you asked the dog to do something it did not want to do , such as move , get out of the way ?
I think there has been to much trust and too much freedom for the dog too early . Until you get out there and you do some training to get a feel for the dog , you don't know him.
I wouldn't take chances .



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post #28 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-24-2012, 09:02 PM
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I will try not to repeat everything others have said. The majority have good advice backed by breed knowledge and years of breed experience. I myself have a 5 year old. I also have a 3 year old. All I can say is please, if you're intent on keeping him, follow through on getting in touch with an experienced trainer, preferably one who has experience with the breed and actually likes the breed. You'd be surprised to find there are some trainers out there that simply dont like certain breeds and it will show in their methods with that breed. Personally, I'm not a fan of hounds but I don't let that get in my way when I'm working with one. Not all trainers behave that way.

Niko sounds like he is a very good boy and you're lucky given his age. He could still be a holy terror. IMO, it's likely he needed to be reminded of his place in the "pack" but you should really keep a close eye on them. I would recommend getting your son involved in supervised training. Teach your son how to work with Niko. Example would be your son asking Niko to sit. Niko obeys the command. Your son tells him he's a good boy and gives him a treat or a pat at the same time as praise. Little simple things like that. If possible, when it's time for meals, train Niko to bring his bowl to your son. Help your son put the food in the bowl and then have your son put the food down and release Niko to eat. If you do that, make sure you teach Niko to stay a good 3 feet away at minimum when its meal time for safety and NEVER EVER leave your sons immediate side when doing this. It doesn't sound to me like Niko will be leaving your family any time soon so do everything you can to build a positive strong bond between your son and Niko. Always under supervision of course. I really wish you the best and for your sons sake, I hope Niko is as good of a dog as you say he is and really just needed to learn his place and what was accepted and not. Best of luck. Please get in touch with a trainer. Dont let that slip.

Also, do not step over the dog or skirt around him. Tell him to move. He needs to learn that even with your son, he is not allowed to lay in the way blocking the pathway.

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post #29 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-24-2012, 11:44 PM
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Originally Posted by carmspack View Post
I wouldn't do the throw the treat to get the dog to move trick because there is something else going on . The dog would rush out scarf the goodie and then come back in a rush to bother the child .
Why would he come back to bother the boy? I'm sure it is not the dog's goal to bother the child, and as you can see from the updates.. The dog is not bullying him.

The reason why I suggested the treat was because this might be resource guarding. Once they give something up (going after the treat) then they lost their chance.. If the doorway was so valuable that the dog would go get the treat and them come back to reclaim it from the boy... Then the dog wouldn't have left the doorway in the first place.

It is trading one thing for another, Niko gets a treat for giving up the spot he was laying and the boy gets to continue on his merry way. It's not like the child will be lingering in the spot.. Hes just walking through.

In an ideal situation, you wouldn't want the dog to resource guard at all or get dependent on a trade. But that isn't the case. I think OP has made it apparent that she wants to work with Niko and make things work..

Thank you OP for updating us on your situation.
How much does Niko like his crate?
There is something I want you to do..
Make his crate the most BESTEST place ever. Feed him in there, give him treats, chewies, etc. Create a command so he goes to his crate whenever you give the word. First start next to the crate and gradually increase the distance.. Then stand outside the door and ask him to go to his crate.. advance down the hallway.. Until he runs like a lunatic to that crate!
It may take many months to be able to do it.. But if your child could say 'Go to your Crate, Niko!' and that dog drops everything hes doing and runs to his crate and waits for his reward.. It is something invaluable. When my dog slipped out the door once and made a mad dash to the pasture with horses in it.. He ignored 'Come' 'Here' and my emergency recall.. But telling him to go to his crate made him turn on a dime and zoom back inside the house just as fast as he went out.

In addition to Mind Games.. Take a look at crate games too..

Best of luck and merry christmas.
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post #30 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-25-2012, 03:47 AM
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Keep the dog and the child separated or get rid of the dog. A large dog can kill a child very quickly. In order to safely have a large dog and a small child living together, the dog needs to absolutely adore the child and (or) have a crystal clear understanding of his place in the home. Having not raised the dog from a pup along with the warning growls I would not risk letting the two of them together. There are too many dynamics at play to take the risk of an attack on a child.
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