I wonder what is the law in US about cruelty to animals? There must have been such cases in the court! Any good trainer would tell you that separation with his owner causes a terrible trauma for any dog. These poor dogs end in shelters, absolutely psychologically damaged. Nobody can train them any further.
The dog should never be blamed of being agressive, only human could be the reason. That is true even for ASTs. Many people who claim here that their dogs are non-agressive GSDs - simply do not realize that that is their nice personalities make their dogs so lovely. Sweet voice makes your dog sweet, it's easy. If there is a harmony in the family - dogs wouldn't bite children. The worst scenario - when the two argue in high pitched tunes, than, just wait, one of them would be bitten, if not both.
To fight agressiveness in agressive GSD is the most wrong thing to do. Instead - you fool him. If he is young, he will forget his bad experience, if treated nicely first of all. Your answer to all your questions is in the dog's hunger. Even if he is not much food driven, wait until he is very hungry. Feed him one of his daily meals out of hand for a week. By putting a tiny pieces on your palm train him to lick your open palms. Train him to receive a slice of cheese out of your mouth. Walking in the house make him following you by feeding one bit at a time some kibble. But, don't give it for nothing, ask him to sit, bark, etc. Avoid any forbidding commands, if you don't like something call your dog to yourself and ask to sit for a treat. Just agree with his dominance for a while, ignore his self-protectiveness. Agression in GSD is nothing else but outgrown fear, as the fear differs from agression only in amount of adrenaline in the blood. Your dog was abused, and it is not your fault.
Find a professional Schutzhund club and start obedience there. But... Don't tell them your story, it would scare them.
Last edited by David Taggart; 10-17-2013 at 08:15 PM.