Formal Training at the age of 11 months after a bite incident - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-21-2012, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
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Formal Training at the age of 11 months after a bite incident


I have a 11 month GSD. He is generally very good and easy going but he is too protective toward me. He will bite anybody even my family member if they talk to me in loud voice or try to hit me. He had this behavior since childhood, whenever anybody of us in family fight or talk loudly he will jump on us. Unknowingly we encouraged his behavior and we would show this to anybody coming to our home. I'd ask the visitor to hit me and my dog will bark at him.
Now this has become a problem for us. He wasn't formally trained. We just gave him normal sit, down etc training by over-self and it was never regular. So in a sense he is not trained well and has developed a dominance problem. He sees everybody at my family below him and won't listen to them. Few day back we thought to be a little bit strict on him so that he wud know who is master. So one day he was roaming around and I asked my mother to command him to sit. My mother hold his collar and tried to make him sit. When he resisted I yelled at him and he thought i was yelling at my mom. So he attacked her and broke of her skin and made deep wound which took like 3 weeks to heal.

After this incident we sent him to a relative. There they beat him and tried to suppress his dominance, but i thought that's not a good solution and i sent to a trainer who has like 40 -50 year of dog training experience. He was a trainer in military. He said it will take 3-4 months to complete his obedience training.

So i want to know will he listen to my family member after he completes his training or we will have to train him not to bite family member. Trainer says my dog will obey all our command but i still have some doubt. Becuase i think he will now listen to the trainer only and nobody else. Trainer is very far from my home so i can't take my family there every now and then. I don't have any dog exp and this is my first pet dog so please tell if this training is going to help in correcting his bad behavior toward my family?

We love our dog so much and that why we never hit him and gave him too much freedom, but now its cause problem ( !! is offline  
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-21-2012, 05:31 PM
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I would not have sent your dog away. The issue happens when YOU are there. How is this trainer supposed to fix this if you are not around? Also the issue sounds like it's more behavioral instead of obedience. I would take the dog back and find a behaviorist who can work WITH you on trying to fix this. Management is very important until the problem is worked out. Your dog has bite history so should always be muzzled when other people are around.


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-21-2012, 06:01 PM
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I know you came here for advice, but I am too sad after hearing about the family member beating him to offer much. Your family too sounds like it might be too aggressive with the yelling and family fights for the dog to be well adjusted at your home. Dogs need love, respect, and a calm and stable environment. They respond better to rewarding good behavior with treats or toy, positive reinforcement.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-21-2012, 07:48 PM
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You did not "give him too much freedom," you trained him to bite. None of this is your dog's fault; it is yours. I am sorry to be harsh, but it is true.

Your dog has a natural desire to protect you, which is fantastic! But you used it like a trick, asking everyone to pretend to threaten you so that he would show off his protective behavior. And now you are upset that he thinks everyone is trying to hurt you. Well, of course he thinks that! That is EXACTLY what you taught him.

I am glad you took your dog away from the family member who was beating him. Beating a dog is never the answer. This behavior almost certainly isn't dominance, either--you have taught your dog that everyone is going to hurt you, and he is trying to protect himself and his pack (you). That isn't dominance, it is survival--and the more he is hurt or beaten, the more he is going to think he needs to protect himself.

Sending the dog away will help the dog, but he will probably go back to his old behaviors once he returns to your home. YOU need to learn to handle him. Your dog is not a bad dog; he is a dog who loves you very much and is trying to keep you safe. You are the one who has screwed up here, and you are the one who needs training to fix it.

When he comes back from this training program, please look for a trainer to help you learn to handle your dog. You should avoid anyone who advocates hitting the dog or too much physical correction. If you cannot do this, please find a home for him with someone who can.

This protectiveness is only a problem because you have taught him to be that way. I hope you do not punish your dog for your mistakes any longer.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-21-2012, 07:55 PM
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Taking you literally... why is your family yelling and hitting each other? This is not a good environment. Forget about the dog for a minute--If your family is fighting this much, you need to get family counseling before bringing a protective dog back into the household. He must be very stressed out.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-22-2012, 12:50 AM Thread Starter
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Guys, when i said family member fighting , i didn't mean literal fight. I mean like we shout while playing etc sorry for choosing wrong word earlier, but the dog takes it as a fight.

We can work on his protectiveness towards me once he is back, but I didn't have time to train him at home as I visit my home only on weekends that's why i sent him to this obedience training program. Because i think before I can work on this issue he should be obedient enough to listen to us.

So could you please tell me if I'm thinking in a right direction. and I can't have any trainer visiting my home, that not possible in my home town as I'm from India and we have trainers only in big cities ( !! is offline  
post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-22-2012, 12:59 AM
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the dog takes it as a fight.
Yes. Because you trained him that way.
Beating him (which your relatives did) is only going to make things worse. The poor thing.

I don't even know what to say, either.
There's training techniques that may work but from now on, put the dog up when people visit; if he's out, get a muzzle.
If you guys are fighting, take it to another room or outside, or put the dog out for a break.
Many dogs normally get stressed when we get angry with each other.
You've taught him to be even more stressed, to attack his pack members.

He's confused and messed up
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-22-2012, 01:05 AM
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Unknowingly we encouraged his behavior and we would show this to anybody coming to our home. I'd ask the visitor to hit me and my dog will bark at him.
Now this has become a problem for us.

---- and it has become more of a problem for the dog - who is being beat into submission , and hauled off for training .



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