I have a 2 year old German Shepherd who has been continuously growling at me when we have eye contact. I previously tried to work with him by training him with treats and it worked for a while, but his growling recently got worse and is mainly directed towards me instead of my husband. At night I am actually scared because his kennel, which we took the top off of is right next to the bed on my side, and if I have to use the restroom he growls at me. We moved his kennel to the end of the bed so that I will not be afraid of that anymore, but if I look at him he stares me down. I know having a stare down is challenging him, but until he submits and follows his commands of laying down and sitting up and handshake.. this continues. I do not want to be scared of my dog and I know they sense that, but I am not sure what else to do. Today, is the first day without incident and I played with him and had as much interaction with him as possible. I'm about to go home after work to sleep and I feel like I know he is going to growl. I need help! Hopefully, having more interaction and playing versus just training and exercising will help.??
You should seek out a trainer. Maybe he's resource guarding something. Maybe he's just being a brat. Get someone to help you find out why he is growling and then fix it. Do not ignore it!
No it is not bad advice. I don't understand why anyone would keep challenging a dog that is trying to communicate it is not comfortable with what is being done. Growling is the best thing a dog can do.
I'm not an expert with dogs by any stretch of the imagination, so please take what I have to say as merely a suggestion, and not authoritative.
It sounds to me like your pup acknowledges your husband as the "alpha" but the dog is trying to establish himself above you in the pecking order. If this doesn't get addressed then it can progress to something dangerous. Additionally dogs respond to fear. If he growls and you get scared then he knows he's in charge. If he growls and you stand your ground and immediately take control (verbally put him in a down stay) then he understands that challenging you is not acceptable.
My suggestion would be take time (all three: you, husband, dog) and work on establishing the pecking order, people > dog. Use treats and praise to reward good behavior, save the physical correction for only severe infractions. This process could take some time (potentially many weekends) and many many repetitions.
Again, I'm not a professional trainer, nor do I have much experience in the field. What I've told you above worked for me.
If you see no improvement contact a trainer to address the issue.
I have had him since a puppy... 8 weeks old. I do believe I need a trainer and I reside in San Antonio, TX. I know he identifies my husband as the alpha and I am not 100% positive he is trying to establish himself above me. Tonight after work I came home and gave him a usual treat when I do and then took him for a walk. When we finished I tried to play with him with a rope ball, but he shied away. He did a small growl (no teeth) I told him no and told him to sit. He sat and I tried another command but he went towards his bed. That's how tonight went after all the positive training and exercising and extra walk tonight went. I'm not sure if this is better or not?