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Becki 01-03-2014 09:12 PM

Need opinions on aggression
I have a GSD (possibly mixed, my profile pic is of her) female, approx. 6-7 years old, that has started to become aggressive more (slowly) over the past month. We got her on 7-04-12 and the vet then estimated her to be 4-5 years old. Over the past month, she occasionally would growl at my son (who's 3), myself, and also she growled at my mother in law for telling her to go lay down for chasing my cat. Then a couple weeks ago, she nipped at my son and then again today, she nipped my hand when taking her by the collar so I could put her in our den when we were leaving (she stays out in the room with a baby gate up, we've never kenneled her). I wasn't being mean whatsoever, just trying to leave the house so I went to grab her collar and she nipped me! She has never done that before. My mom suggested to take her to the vets and get her tested for thyroid problems, which makes sense because she also has a few other symptoms as well. Except we don't have the funds to do so until income taxes come back... Meanwhile, I don't know what to do because I can't have a dog that bites and growls as I have 2 young children and their safety always comes first. But I have a terrible fear of re-homing her because A. I love her to death, she's a part of our family and B. I don't want her to end up in a bad home as well. What would you do?

Loneforce 01-03-2014 09:25 PM

Take her to the Vet. She may be having some sort of medical problem.

middleofnowhere 01-03-2014 09:49 PM

Vet visit. Then examine the circumstances under which she growled (you do not want to end the growling - you just do not want biting - growling is communication). For instance what do you mean when you say you "grabbed her collar"? I would avoid doing that and use a command instead - for instance - teach her "In" as a "go into this area" command. I try to always reward compliance with "in" as well as using treats when I am training it. (One dog has "in" as a kennel command; the youngest's word is "load.") I would also make it so that people like your MIL did not tell the dog what to do.

Good luck with your girl. A mixture of new to you dog, young children, MIL can be hard to manage.

BowWowMeow 01-03-2014 09:58 PM

I would definitely get her to the vet and have full blood work and her thyroid tested. Perhaps your vet will let you make payments or you could apply for Care Credit? IF it is her thyroid it will get worse without treatment.

Also, what kind of training have you done with her? Is she on "Nothing in Life is Free?" That can help a lot! Does she have a safe space where she can get away from your kids? She may need that too.

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