MA: New Subj Line Male Fritz special needs (will stay with owner)
Our 97 pound 3 year old New Skete Shepherd bit a visitor in our yard on Friday night. Here's the e-mail I sent to the Monks of New Skete about which they met and gave us their advice this morning to euthanize;
Good afternoon Brothers;
Sorry about this development,very sad and disappointing time here. Fritz has grown up to be a 97 pound lovable,playful companion with serious issues that have been present since the first day we brought him home. On day 1 at 8 weeks old he showed that he would charge people,barking uncontrollably with hair raised like I've never seen before. He also showed himself to be a submissive urinator. Both behaviors continue. We contacted Julia and Br Christopher at 4 months old after attempting to get help with a local trainer/behaviorist who schooled us in use of a dogtra. Br Christopher spoke to me at length and referred me to another behaviorist near me (Cavalleto Canine).Of course in that public square evaluation,Fritz showed nothing of his natural tendencies. I gathered as much info as I could through books and other GSD breeders throughout the country. Fritz is a very weak nerved GSD who is extremely overreactive to non threatening stimuli. He is like a maniac with his barking when most people come to the door or the backyard fence. He will charge if not held in a down stay with verbal and dogtra control. He will not settle down until he gets to sniff the person and it doesn't matter how familiar that person is. At night if the family comes home in the dark,he will charge out the front door at whoever he can't recognize. Verbal scoldings or what he deems rough handling by the collar or physical blocking will result in weeks of submissive urination when approached to give affection or collar for a walk. Head down,body crouched.ears pinned. Very sensitive.
We walk and ballplay Fritz twice every single day in the local parks and bogs for approx 2 hours,sometimes more. Another dog accompanies us 75% of the time and he loves him. Other dogs he will challenge every time we see them til Fritz feels comfortable. Have to be very careful with dog introductions,though he has been significantly socialized. In the couple of occasions when his challenge has escalated,he will back down as soon as the other dog gives it back. He is non confrontational when competing for a toy or ball.
On Friday night January 1st we planned a backyard party for the opening of our backyard skating rink. We expected about 10 kids and 4 adults and it was semi lighted out back. 5 kids showed up early and Fritz went through the usual routine,barking like crazy til he got to sniff each kid. When they got dressed to go outside Fritz got frantic because he loves to go out with kids and just be with them. We went on the ice (Fritz is trained to stay off). He was highly stimulated,whining and running back and forth with a toy. I put him in a down at least 5 times and he just would lay there and whine and whine and when it got the better of him he would go back to running back and forth,repeat the process. After about 45 minutes of this,more people arrived and I was on the ice so a neighbor that Fritz is very friendly with had him in a down stay with me watching and he saw me. The woman who arrived came through the gate and spoke to my wife,Fritz is turned in the opposite direction 8 feet away,straining to see and whining. The woman then turned to leave and walked 5 feet and I saw Fritz suddenly jump to his feet,run at the woman in a crouched position extremely aggressively as if she were prey. He grabbed her by the upper back leg and shook his head,taking out one chunk of skin and ripping her pants to shreds. It lasted no more than a second as he was grabbed by my wife and dragged against his will inside the house.
With his temperament it finally appears he cannot be controlled by us beyond any mistakes in a household where kids and their parents regularly visit. Looking back,it's clear to us that he somehow fooled your puppy testers and socializers. I don't know how that happened as he showed very weak nerves from the very first day. Not the cuddly warm puppy,passersby could greet or pat.