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Old 04-20-2014, 04:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Help me understand please

I'm a new member to the forum, and this is my first post. I'm posting this hoping that someone here can help me understand something bad that happened with a new dog.

First, I've been round German Shepherds my whole life. I've raised them, lived with them, trusted them as devoted familily pets. I am not new to the breed.

One of my dogs is dying with a live problem, and my wife is recently diagnosed with a serious illness, so we decided to get another dog so there would be some overlap when the older one passes away.

We had the opportunity to take a 3 year old male, AKC registered and bred by a very highly regarded world-class Schutzhund breeder in Nashville TN. The dog had spend the past year learning tracking, and not Schutzhund. I really don't know his training history prior to that.

We had the dog for a week, and he was wonderful, a virtual angel. He obeyed perfectly, and got along with the other 2 dogs (Labradors) great. He was close, affectionate, he slept in the house next to my bed. Everthing was going great.

Then last Sunday, late in the evening, as we were going to bed, he was sitting next to my chair. My wife scooted over on the couch closer to my chair to show me a picture of him on her phone. And Bam! without warning, without a sound, in complete silence, the dog attacked her. I didn't even realize what had happened at first, and she didn't either. After she yelled, he let go, and then went in again to her leg. I yelled, threw the big recliner, yelling "no" and he let go, I got my pistol, and tried to get a shot at it. It ran away and hid in the bedroom, my wife screaming at me not to shoot it. So I locked it in the bedroom, then proceeded to wrap my wife's leg with paper towels and lots of duct tape to get the guts back in her leg and stop the voracious bleeding.

My wife is recovering, and we don't think she will lose her leg. I immediately took the dog away to a kennel when I got back from the hospital the next day.

Of course we are both just in agony, physical and mental, not understanding what went wrong. We loved the dog. He was sweet and perfect, never a single growl or hint of aggression the whole time he was with us. No history from the previous owner, and I can only just assume the breeder would never have released a dog with an agression problem.

This dog turned for no apparent reason, no warning, not a sound, and tried to bite off the leg of the woman that fed it. Does anyone have any idea what went wrong? Is it just simply true that the old wives tale about never being able to trust a German Shepherd is true?

The dog will never come back here, it's simply too dangerous. But we would like to have some understanding of what happened, if there is any.

Thanks in advance for reading through my story.

Garret

Last edited by scottgs; 04-20-2014 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 04-20-2014, 04:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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my first reaction. is your wife pregnant?
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Old 04-20-2014, 05:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Did you get the dog from the breeder or another party? If you aren't certain what type of training the dog has previously have, there is really no way to understand what was going on in the dogs head. Who has him now?
I'm sorry your wife was injured by him.
Curious to know the dogs pedigree.
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Old 04-20-2014, 05:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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my first reaction. is your wife pregnant?
Absolutely not pregnant. Why would that matter?
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Old 04-20-2014, 05:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The dog tried to protect you from your wife. She, probably, has approached you too quickly and inclined towards you - he read it as a threat to you. That fact that she fed him - doesn't mean much, many people think that their dogs should love them only because they are feeding them. Providing food is not the same as feeding treats for being obedient.
Schutzhund semi-trained dogs may bite people if these people remind them the decoy by certain behaviour, and in situations which remind the club sessions. Mainly they bite outdoor, some kids running with the sticks or something similar. In any case, Schutzhund dogs rarely show agression because they they are trained to play and expose positive emotions only. A Shutzhund dog is trained to bite the left arm and nothing else. A different story with a dog trained in Personal Protection. These dogs are trained to protect their owner from the person who can really harm the master, they should also recognise situations in which the harm could be done. They are trained to attack different body parts. And, they are trained tracking, because criminals tend to escape leaving the injured owner on the ground.
I think your dog was a PP trained dog, was meant to be sold as a PP dog, but they sold him to you. The trouble is - very few of PP dogs can make pets, unless they grew up in the family the members of which they were meant to protect.
Nothing wrong with the dog. But you can open a case against those who sold you a semi-trained dog in PP. He definitely was trained to attack in certain situations.
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Old 04-20-2014, 05:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Did you get the dog from the breeder or another party? ....
I acquired it from a trainer who had purchased it from the breeder. The breeder is a very well respected breeder and this he has a world-class pedigree.

As I understand, both the breeder and the trainer whom I got him from trained him for tracking, and not Schutzhund. He certainly enjoyed tracking everything he could when we went on hikes. He and my other dogs went out on several outings, and he was perfect with me, them and everyone we met. I even stepped on his foot once by accident on the trail and he was not aggressive, just yelped.
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Old 04-20-2014, 05:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Absolutely not pregnant. Why would that matter?
I'm sorry, I wasn't trying to be intrusive :C

In my experience, pregnancy can sometimes cause a person to smell differently to a dog. And I just thought that if this was the case, maybe the dog saw her as a 'stranger' and reacted this way. I've seen dogs behave strangely to an owner who has recently become pregnant.

I didn't mean to offend you.

I'm sorry you and your wife went through this and I hope your wife recovers quickly...you are in our prayers.
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Old 04-20-2014, 06:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I am so sorry this happened. It's impossible for any of us to tell you why the dog suddenly attacked.

I hope you will return the dog to the breeder and I hope the breeder will do right by the dog.
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Old 04-20-2014, 06:22 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I am so sorry this happened. It's impossible for any of us to tell you why the dog suddenly attacked.

I hope you will return the dog to the breeder and I hope the breeder will do right by the dog.
+1

I am very sorry you had to go through this, and I completely understand the impulse to search for answers.

But there's nothing any of us can tell you with any degree of responsibility or reliability over the Internet. Not in a case like this.
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Old 04-20-2014, 06:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
I acquired it from a trainer who had purchased it from the breeder.
PP dogs are purchased, trained and sold. Sometimes a trainer decides that the dog is not really suitable for PP, they are or too nervous, too shy, too agressive, or become too much attached to the environment they were trained in, but the training and keeping him costs. Some dogs are left with a broken spirit, bearing a terrible psychological damage while they are still puppies, some PP trainers use very cruel methods in training. Nontheless, go for the next dog, the trainer wouldn't waste his time. The best fate these dogs may face - they guard some industrial buildings at night, the worst - they end in a rescue centre.
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