follow up question re puppy aggression - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 01:10 PM Thread Starter
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follow up question re puppy aggression

Hey... I posted back in Sept about our new puppy who the vet said was showing some aggression at 10 weeks old. You guys had mentioned Bailiff and since I actually live near him, I took our little guy there for an evaluation and for a 2 week training session. Bailiff had said, while he does have a little "don't mess with me" edge, he is essentially a good dog. He was VERY well trained there and has been doing great... very obedient, well-behaved in the house, walks loose leash with me every day, no dog aggression and is fine with people passing on walks. Is starting to get uncomfortable if he is leashed and sitting and someone approaches (basically needs to be corrected to "stand down", and I also suspect he would try to bite a vet if she were doing something he didn't want. He just has that edge that he will need to be muzzled there. Is fine going there for socialization and is good, but if it's poking and prodding I'm pretty certain he would react negatively.) He is VERY much mama's boy, smart, expressive, and happy. He is most into me, rest of the family good, and everyone else he is pretty much disinterested. As another piece of info, I have 4 girls ages 6-14.

He is now 9 months old and I know that is definitely at play here. Over the course of the past month we have had 3 situations involving my children that have seriously concerned me. My youngest 2 don't really interact with him at all. My 11 year old has done treiball training with him and has been working with him a lot. He also tends to follow her around (will wait at the bathroom door for her, for example; sits at her feet when she plays the piano, always brings her his toys, etc.) But twice in the past couple of weeks he has - out of nowhere - snarled/barked/gotten in her face in an aggressive and threatening way. No bite. No warning growl. When NOTHING was going on. The house was calm, no food involved, no toys nearby, he was not sleeping, no guests or noise in the house, nothing going on, he hadn't just been tussling with my other GSD. She (my dd) talks to him all the time (gently and quietly) and both times had reached forward to pet him (just as she always does) and he went nuts (not really barking per se, sounds how he would interact aggressively with another dog, has that kind of quality to it). The 3rd time she was getting water at the kitchen sink to water a plant and he jumped up on his back legs (hiked front legs onto the counter) and made those same sounds again. Both times I was within a few feet and as soon as I moved toward him he bailed and peed on the floor because he knew.

I cannot even guess what the trigger was. There was nothing out of the ordinary and I saw no clue in his demeanor or body language before he went off. And it is odd that it is directed toward that daughter who has been so close to him. In both cases I was right there. They appear to be completely random and sporadic, but I cannot have my kids safety put at risk. If I had no children in the house I wouldn't be concerned, but I am wondering if this is that "iceberg" underneath the surface that bailiff alluded to. Predictable aggression is one thing (e.g. to strangers while on a leash) bc you can control it or avoid the triggers, but unpredictable, unmanageable toward a family member is another thing entirely.

As an aside, the tone of these tussles is similar to the types of things we saw when he was little. I am just really concerned that this will escalate. He is a very good boy 99% of the time but i never know when that 1% of time will be a problem, or if it will become greater than 1%. I also think a dog could maul someone one minute and seem fine and behaved the next, so I don't want the "majority of the time he's great" to make me naive about what might be going on.

would love you guys' thoughts once again! thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 01:18 PM
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In all honesty if it were me I would have been in contact with bailiff as soon as I became concerned. Without knowing the dog it is hard to evaluate and diagnose a dog over the Internet. Especially when a mistake could get a child attacked.

I MAY NOT BE THERE YET. BUT, I AM CLOSER THAN I WAS YESTERDAY.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 01:23 PM Thread Starter
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Yes... I am now concerned... I think when it first happened I was more confused and tried to rationalize it or assume that I had misunderstood the situation and that it would not happen again. But my girls are small (my 11 year old is not even 55 lbs.) They are petite and quiet kids. Our other shepherd (who is now 8) is not as obedient but she is like a gentle mule. I have never had to even think twice about this kind of stuff. But I cannot have a "wait and see" period and have someone get hurt.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 01:24 PM
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I'd recommend checking in with Bailiff. If at all possible to safely do so, get a video.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 01:50 PM Thread Starter
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I had thought of the video -- like, it would be perfect if I could do that --- But, the situations have been totally random and they only last a second or two. Literally no more than about 2 seconds (thankfully), so there is no way we could ever capture it.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 01:51 PM
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And take the GIRLS when you go back to Baliff with the dog, or make sure the girls are present if Baliff comes by your house. It's important!
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 02:16 PM
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Are your corrections still being effective? A lot of times a dog introduced to mild corrections really early on tend to develop insensitivity to those same corrections as they get older. Unless he's changed significantly since I last saw him he isn't a loose cannon. Something is perhaps out of balance though.

Maybe call Jen and set something up.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 02:22 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, the corrections are working for the most part. I don't feel as if he's been "desensitized" to them. And, i don't feel as if he's changed much (besides in size!) from when you've seen him. And when he has done this, he immediately knows (or behaves as if he knows) that he is going to get a correction... he moves away quickly in a submissive position (head down, etc.) I will give Jen a call.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 02:23 PM
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When I go to someone's house for problem dog( especially aggression), I always require that everyone that resides in house is present....that way I can read body language of dog interacting with family members.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 02:24 PM
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Are you still marking correctly or is he reacting like that when you move toward him?

You will walk when it is time to walk
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