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Thread: Trying to re-home my GSD but he is aggressive - what to do Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
05-21-2014 04:23 PM
Gwenhwyfair btw, the kennel looks like a big AKC show kennel. Looks like they are actively showing AKC and have lots of conformation champions. I've seen and been around AKC show kennels that have 18-20 dogs some in co-owner homes.
05-21-2014 04:16 PM
Gwenhwyfair Selzer did a very good post laying out the options and possibilities IMO.

Lots of good suggestions already.

All I want to add is I would crate him (make it pleasant if you can, give him treats, don't keep him in too long at first) AND crate him in a room that you can close and even lock the door. Not to be paranoid, just if you're not there you don't want one of these incidents to turn into a serious bite where skin is broken, especially with a child messing with the crate.

It sounds like you can manage this safely as you get more information and weigh the options. You came to the right place for guidance too.

I'm sorry you are going through this and I hope you find a way that he can live but be safe around people. Please keep us posted.
05-21-2014 01:41 PM
RebelGSD Well, German Shepherds are a herding breed and they like to keep order, including children with "disorderly" conduct. And he probably does not understand the relationship of your daughters with their boyfriends and does not appreciate strangers handling "his girls".
05-21-2014 01:33 PM
RebelGSD I am with selzer on this. GSDs are protective of their homes and people, some more than others. I rescued one who nipped the delivery guy in the butt and barked at people coming to the home. Very well bred dog. The owners had the appointment to have him put down. I took him in and he turned out to be the best dog. I had him for 4 years. Never had aggression issues with him. I think the dogs sometimes sense that the leaders are not strong (or not experienced) and take on the role of family protector.
05-21-2014 11:47 AM
Lilie
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Valentino View Post
If it is fear aggression, why would a dog so big and powerful feel threatened by children in our home?
Fear doesn't have to be the type of fear we would think. Like how I'd react if I suddenly saw a spider crawling towards me.

Fear in a dog can be more like the dog doesn't know how it's supposed to act. Not sure of what is expected of it. Therefore, it wants the trigger to go away.

Sometimes, a young pup will bark and behave in a manner that appears to be aggressive. And example would be when another dog appears. But in fact, what the pup is doing is saying, "I have no idea what to expect from this dog. I don't know if it's going to hurt me. I don't know what I'm supposed to do! So I'm going to bark and act as tough as I can so the other dog will go away."

Fear aggression can be dangerous in an adult dog. Because their reaction is much the same. They want the trigger to go away. Sometimes, instead of just growling and barking, they'll bite as well.

The theory is to teach the dog what is expected of it when the trigger is recognized. In your case, folks that come to your home. The question is can this be done safely in your home?
05-21-2014 11:34 AM
Baillif There are other causes for aggression particularly that against a dogs family unit besides fear. A lot of aggression I see here (the majority of it) is operant in nature, meaning the owners/ handlers unintentionally created the issue.

So who can say for sure without evaluating the dog?
05-21-2014 10:29 AM
Steve Strom Hey Michael, if it was me, I would completely disregard anything his 'breeder' is saying. Just think safety, no matter what. I think there's been more going on with him then you realized, biting people is the end result.
05-21-2014 10:13 AM
LoveEcho
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Valentino View Post
Thanks Susan. We either put Ritty in the yard or in a closed room. I do have a crate we can use and maybe he'd feel safer in the crate when people are in the house.

In discussions with the breeder, she has always said that I (mostly; my wife, secondly) do NOT know how to handle our dog. She's always said there is nothing wrong with Ritty, and that any problems with a GSD are because of the owner, not the dog.

If it is fear aggression, why would a dog so big and powerful feel threatened by children in our home? He has lunged at 8 year old boys - once I literally caught Ritty in mid-air by his collar. Another time he lept at a 12 year old boy who stepped back just enough that Ritty left a hole in his shirt in the middle of the chest.

Until we find a solution, I'll crate him.

Does muzzling a dog make it feel that it is untrusted by its owner?

Your breeder is full of crap and trying to avoid taking responsibility for producing sketchy dogs. I have a dog with severe anxiety issues and it has taken me a long time to accept the fact that that's his genetics- there's nothing I could have done to cause it, or improve it. Please, don't let the breeder make you feel guilty.


If he likes his crate, crating him would probably go a long way towards helping him feel secure. FA has nothing to do with his size vs. the size of their perceived adversaries but rather being unable to distinguish what is a threat and what is not. Kids can be loud, they look different, smell different, can be unpredictable. A dog who is unstable doesn't really process that the way a fundamentally stable dog does. I think that dogs who are unstable, when they feel forced into a leadership role, react out of fear because it is not a responsibility they are comfortable with- they don't want to be the leader, but they feel they have to be, and suddenly they have to react towards everything.
05-21-2014 10:07 AM
Michael Valentino
Quote:
Originally Posted by Susan_GSD_mom View Post
I agree. This dog COULD be handled and/or managed, by the right person(s). That's the key--the right person. If the OP doesn't know how to handle the situation, has doubts about his ability/experience/knowledge in dealing with this dog, then euth. is probably the best answer.

Until the decision is made, what's wrong with crating him when company comes? It's not solving the problem, but it would certainly keep people safe. Gatorbytes had some good suggestions also.

Susan
Thanks Susan. We either put Ritty in the yard or in a closed room. I do have a crate we can use and maybe he'd feel safer in the crate when people are in the house.

In discussions with the breeder, she has always said that I (mostly; my wife, secondly) do NOT know how to handle our dog. She's always said there is nothing wrong with Ritty, and that any problems with a GSD are because of the owner, not the dog.

If it is fear aggression, why would a dog so big and powerful feel threatened by children in our home? He has lunged at 8 year old boys - once I literally caught Ritty in mid-air by his collar. Another time he lept at a 12 year old boy who stepped back just enough that Ritty left a hole in his shirt in the middle of the chest.

Until we find a solution, I'll crate him.

Does muzzling a dog make it feel that it is untrusted by its owner?
05-21-2014 10:05 AM
LoveEcho I hope Gary or the breeder can help you out. Yes, the dog could probably be rehabbed or managed very carefully, but the reality is that that's just not a realistic option for many families.

OP, I'm so sorry you're going through this
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