3 year male old GSD - Suddenly aggressive towards child - Page 2 - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 12-25-2012, 03:56 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by RowdyDogs View Post
Agreed with the others--full vet workup, keep the child and the dog totally separated until that can happen, if it doesn't find anything neuter and get a veterinary behaviorist or very good trainer.

Personally, I find his behavior very concerning and I think you need to ask yourself if you can ever trust him around your daughter. 9 years old is still quite small to have to deal with a dog with that serious level of resource guarding.

I do think you owe it to him and to anyone you might rehome him with to get a vet check at least--if his aggression is caused by a manageable condition, then manage it; if it is an unmanageable health condition, euthanize him.

I also think you need to consult someone who can see this behavior in person and give you professional advice. We can only give you so much help without seeing the dog.

This is a very serious issue and I hope you treat it as such. This isn't about "making friends" with your daughter--he could love her all the rest of the time but when he has something to guard, he will still behave like this. I hope you will keep them separated until you can get some professional advice, for everyone's safety.
Thank you. I agree. We have separated them all day in the house. Zero contact in kitchen etc. However, this is a very upsetting situation for us all. We will bring him to the vet as soon as they reopen. I have a strong feeling that this behaviour is brought about by his hormones, when trying to pinpoint the increase in aggression we both agreed that he has become very territorial (chasing birds in the garden, barking at people on his regular walks) recently.

If he is spayed is there a noticeable decrease in aggression levels? I am worried that him 'guarding' his bowl or the kitchen or a piece of furniture is now 'trained' behaviour and NOT solely down to hormones.

PS - We took them both on a walk today. He was his usual happy self. He nuzzled her, was happy to let her touch him. He was concerned when she went too far ahead on the walk. Normal. To me this signals he is guarding something or rooms in the house he believes are his.

Last edited by dannan2003; 12-25-2012 at 04:00 PM.
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Old 12-25-2012, 04:12 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Behaviors like this can be triggered by hormones, I tend to believe.
But training is essential to curb this; he should be more "tractable" when he's neutered and the testosterone is out of the way.

However...the territorial behavior is a result of a breakdown in leadership. Even if he's being an ass, and acting aggressive/territorial, YOU take the reins back.

You seem to be consistently misreading his behavior and allowing things that should never have ever been allowed.

He's not concerned she's "going too far ahead", he's pissed because she's leading and he feels he should be leading.

Have you looked at Mind Games and are employing them? Dogs like yours will take over leadership in the house because they can, because they feel nobody else is doing it.
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Old 12-25-2012, 07:12 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I think that sometimes people think that their current GSD will be like their last. All shepherds are different. Although you've just now seen the aggression, I have a feeling that this has been building up since this boy hit maturity. Too much freedom for him. He didn't 'just' start resource guarding, he's been allowed to 'own' things for awhile. (This is just a feeling I have, based on what you've posted) So although neutering him is a great idea... you've got work to do. You have to undo what you've allowed to happen. A trainer is needed ASAP, too! Although it *could* be a medical problem and I agree to have him checked out right away, I have a feeling it's all behavioral. To re-home the dog, IMO, is the wrong answer. Although, if you can't manage him that would be best. However, if you do re-home him, get him neutered FIRST. All it takes is a lack of leadership with the "right" shepherd, and you end up with a mess! Trust me, I did it with my first one! Quite a bit of work to undo if it's gotten really out of hand and your dog is very hard headed. Do you have a crate or kennel for him? If not, you need to get one. He doesn't get an inch. Not one. You need some face to face help to learn how to deal with him and become the leader. Internet advice is one thing... but you're way past that now. If he sensed fear off either one of you... well, he's going to use that. A lot of it is your mental attitude, and I don't expect a 9 year old who just went through this to have it. So keeping him away from her for now is a must. He may get a wild hair and challenge her over anything. You've got a list of things now that you've got to get done, but if you start right away, I do believe you can turn this around. Most bad dog behaviors are human errors.
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Old 12-25-2012, 07:35 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Jag View Post
I think that sometimes people think that their current GSD will be like their last. All shepherds are different. Although you've just now seen the aggression, I have a feeling that this has been building up since this boy hit maturity. Too much freedom for him. He didn't 'just' start resource guarding, he's been allowed to 'own' things for awhile. (This is just a feeling I have, based on what you've posted) So although neutering him is a great idea... you've got work to do. You have to undo what you've allowed to happen. A trainer is needed ASAP, too! Although it *could* be a medical problem and I agree to have him checked out right away, I have a feeling it's all behavioral. To re-home the dog, IMO, is the wrong answer. Although, if you can't manage him that would be best. However, if you do re-home him, get him neutered FIRST. All it takes is a lack of leadership with the "right" shepherd, and you end up with a mess! Trust me, I did it with my first one! Quite a bit of work to undo if it's gotten really out of hand and your dog is very hard headed. Do you have a crate or kennel for him? If not, you need to get one. He doesn't get an inch. Not one. You need some face to face help to learn how to deal with him and become the leader. Internet advice is one thing... but you're way past that now. If he sensed fear off either one of you... well, he's going to use that. A lot of it is your mental attitude, and I don't expect a 9 year old who just went through this to have it. So keeping him away from her for now is a must. He may get a wild hair and challenge her over anything. You've got a list of things now that you've got to get done, but if you start right away, I do believe you can turn this around. Most bad dog behaviors are human errors.
Hi, thanks you are right and the poster above too..

Its amazing really, we do lots of training excercises with him - sit, down, twirl around, wait etc , the morning all this stuff started my daughter was doing these training exercises with him.

Having spent the last 40 hours reading up about dog behaviour I can see some serious flaws in how we let him behave. He does not have a crate or kennel, just a plastic bed and blanket in the the kitchen.
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