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KacieGSD 09-18-2019 12:48 PM

Urgent life and death situation!
My 6 year old female pure bred German Shepherd named Klio attacked my mom until she had to get stitches on her lips and puncture wounds on her arm. Klio, has been in our family since she was a puppy. When she was 11 months old at that time, we were in a very frustrating situation so I lost my temper and kept pushing her button and she punctured my hand so I guess I kinda deserved that bite especially in that type of situation. And another time she bit my mom was when she was relaxing in the space underneath the stairs and we usually let her up in our room when she sleeps so my mom bent down and lightly tapped to urge her to go upstairs and so... but then she growled in bit my mom's arm. The doctor says instead of bit it was more like mauled because she clamped down on her arms multiple times. And just recently, my mom wanted to kiss Klio goodnight especially since she looked so cute in that position, so tried to kiss her cheek. This isn't normal behavior for Klio, we always kiss her goodnight whether she's already in a deep sleep or not. However, this time, when my mom tried to kiss, her she just lunged at my mom and bit her lip and her arm. That was almost a week ago. I don't understand, what's wrong with Klio? She's especially nice to me. But my mom's the one that feeds and cleans her, the one that does the basic maintenance. And she never pushes my Dad even though he's the one that barely spends time with her. She's neglected of attention from us, we give her affection 24/7. But yesterday, I was petting Klio on the couch where she was exposing her belly to me so both my mom and I thought oh her guard is down and and she's calm. So, my mom tried to pet her so as she was getting closer to pet Klio, she started showing teeth and all of sudden lunged and was doing this growlish bark at my mom and chased her until my mom reached the stairs.

My dad wants to call animal control and give her away because we can't really trust her anymore. But if we do that, the only option that the animal control or any shelter would provide is being put down since she has bite history. Any suggestions? please.

David Winners 09-18-2019 01:26 PM

First, keep everyone safe. Limit physical contact. Keep mom away from the dog unless absolutely necessary. Get a muzzle (I like Baskerville) and use it. Keep a drag line (long leash without a handle on it) on the dog to manage it if it goes after someone.

Absolutely no kisses while the dog is awake or sleeping. No belly rubs in confined situations.

This is not an over the internet type situation at all. This was a real bite and you need a real trainer ASAP. If you post your location, you may get recommendations.

We can speculate until the cows come home about the motivation and temperament of this dog, but that won't help you in the way you need it.

Jchrest 09-20-2019 12:34 AM

Vet check, muzzle, and trainer ASAP. Not a petsmart or petco trainer, but a one on one trainer that knows working line breeds, and can come to your home to watch the family interactions.

If your parents or you cannot afford a one on one trainer, I would recommend rehoming the dog to an experienced handler. Someone who works the breed, and has experience with dogs who have a bite history. Make sure you check this person closely, you don’t want to rehome to someone who will use her as a bait or fight dog. Ask at local vet offices, they usually will take your information down and provide it to either experienced trainers, or dog handlers. I wouldn’t post a craigslist or Facebook ad, that’s going to attract the wrong kind of person. Also be upfront with the bite history of the dog.

Good luck, hope all works out for you!

Aly 09-20-2019 05:57 AM

How old are you, how old are your parents? Any health or mobility issues? I'm trying to construct an understanding of your household. I've no suggestions (other than to follow David's excellent recommendations). Until you decide to euthanize, call AC, rehome or attempt retraining, the primary goal should be to keep everyone safe. Do you have a crate and is she trained to use it? If not, I'd get one immediately.

Sunsilver 09-20-2019 10:32 AM


She's [not] neglected of attention from us, we give her affection 24/7.
This gives me a valuable clue to what's going on. If you give your kids unlimited affection, and don't set boundaries, are you going to wind up with well-behaved kids?

No, you will likely wind up with little monsters who think they can run roughshod over you and do whatever they want!

Same thing with dogs, especially a breed like German shepherds, who are bred to be strong courageous dogs who don't back down easily from a threat.

Another thing many people aren't aware of: DOGS DON'T LIKE HUGS!! Hugs and kisses are a human thing, and in dog language, they can be seen as threatening. When a dog wants to dominate another dog, it will put its head across the dog's neck. That's pretty much what you are doing when you hug a dog. Also, staring a dog in the eye from a close distance is seen as a challenge to another dog. It's what dogs do when they are getting ready to fight.

I second the recommendation to get a professional trainer, one that is used to working with German shepherds. Meanwhile, avoid close contact with the dog, and muzzle when necessary to avoid any more bites.

How is your dog with basic obedience? Will it come when called? Does it walk well on a leash without pulling?

And has anything changed in your household recently that might have caused her to act this way? A vet check to look for a physical cause for the aggression is also a good idea.

Rayyan Mir 09-20-2019 09:35 PM

I can speak out of personal experience that showering your dog with too much and unnecessary affection will result in a spoiled dog that doesn't see you as someone to respect or higher up in the pack, if you believe in the pack theory. Too much affection can develop an aversion to affection eventually. Make the dog WORK for your affection. I think the dog may see everyone as lesser, and therefore is very aggressive when he isn't in the mood (he's giving you a harsh correction telling you what he wants of you). He isn't going to think twice, because you're practically a puppy being annoying.

It's the blunt truth. You have to be a leader. Imagine if you raised a human child with affection alone?

Now I can't apply this to your case with complete conviction, but I say you should start giving this dog the silent treatment. Stop the kissing goodnight and the like. I believe eventually the dog will come to you and crave your attention. Perfect time to practice some obedience here and give the dog some pats after it complies.

Why do I say this? Well, a while ago I had a puppy that also had a similar attitude problem (albeit the bites weren't as 'intent to harm' but were still out of aggression ) and basically was very bossy; until I noticed she was very compliant and submissive with especially one member of my family. He was very scarce with his affections as opposed to the rest of the family who constantly gave her affection and little to no disciplining. I decided to start acting like him and over time my pup became more respectful and mindful of my wants. All in all, you are the boss, make them follow you, don't follow them.

crittersitter 09-20-2019 10:46 PM

You need to re-home the dog to someone experienced with GSDs and willing to accept the dog and establish leadership and the proper training or have her put down. Those are your only reasonable options IMO.

selzer 09-21-2019 12:17 AM

She does not try this with your father because he ignores her and treats her as a leader, and like the dog she is.

Frankly, I do not think she is wired right. It is one thing to bite out of fear or being startled, but it is another to show teeth, bite, and maul the person who lives with you and feeds you, and cares for you.

It does not sound like this is a new behavior, like she has suddenly developed rage syndrome or epilepsy or a reaction to medication, or even a brain tumor. It does sound like she sees your mom as more of an equal or even below her, and when she bends over her to "kiss" her, the dog is seeing that as a dominant-aggressiveness on her part.

Kissing a sleeping dog is crazy. Have you looked at the size of those mandibles? Do you like to be awakened by someone kissing you? If you do, then it still doesn't mean that ANY animal would like this.

Be that as it may be. I think your dad is right and this dog has done too much damage to be a family pet. I think you are right that sending it to a pound means euthanasia. Far too many friendly dogs are euthanized each year just for space, that keeping an animal that will cause medical bills to the people that will get it from the pound or shelter doesn't make sense. It gives a bad name to shelter dogs. And the right person will sue.

You've raised the dog for six years, the problem is yours. Either you find someone very experienced with GSDs who is looking for a project, with full disclosure. Or you find an excellent trainer and all members of the family are willing and able to follow all advice from the trainer. Or, as hard as it is, you make that visit to the vet and put her down, so that she does not bite anyone else.

I am sorry you are having this trouble. Maybe you can fix it. I would definitely try to find a good trainer. But rehoming her, I wouldn't do.

Jchrest 09-21-2019 12:29 AM

So so so much of this ^

atomic 09-21-2019 12:33 AM

This dog actively bit someone in the family, that provides food and love. There are so many good dogs out there needing homes, there’s no need to put up with man biters.

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