Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Albuquerque, NM
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.
The rowdy dogs:
Hector-2 y/o GSD (mix?) rescue
Scooter-12 y/o ACD/Border Collie mix
Bandit-8 y/o ACD
Wooby-14 y/o ACD
Abutiu "Abi"-ACD puppy and hopeful future SAR dog!