Agression towards 11 yr old son - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-29-2014, 11:54 AM Thread Starter
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Agression towards 11 yr old son

We got a Rescue, Bandit, a 1.5yr old black neutered GSD on Sat. Not really any problems with him. he knows a few commands.
very high energy dog.

Last night my son was taking a towel to dry him off from the rain when he started aggressively biting his ankles and tried to mount him, i was standing right there and grabbed his collar and Ben ran away and started crying, the dog started barking at him, i immediately put him in his crate and closed the door.

I was a little shocked at the whole thing...I have read through a few threads during my search but didnt see one quite like this, most were small kids but Ben is 11 and older than them.

I grew up with a GSD and have never really seen anything like this and am not sure how to proceed, should i give him back to the rescue?
I have a trainer to come evaluate the dog this Sat...
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post #2 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-29-2014, 12:09 PM
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Hopefully it was just overstimulation? I know my pup gets very excited when I'm rubbing him down when he's wet, and it could be mistaken for aggression - so I don't want to guess here. The best bet is having the evaluation, to see your pup. Did the rescue tell you anything about his past?
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post #3 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-29-2014, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
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Just that he was in a home with a small girl who never liked the dog from the start and the lady didnt want to give him up.

It could be a case of over stimulation... but wife and mine concerned is with my sons safety. He never broke the skin, but the barking after I pulled him off has me concerned about it...
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post #4 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-29-2014, 12:24 PM
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It might be one of those cases of "too much too soon" since you've only had him since Saturday and all of a sudden he's expected to integrate right into the family, with lots of excitement, your son crying...he's young, he's not settled in yet. I'd dial it back a bit myself, and give him time to adjust. The barking and mounting could have been trying to instigate play - but again, the evaluation will tell you more that my guesses will. Thank you for giving this pup a home, and a second chance. Maybe the "2 week shutdown" might be in order here?
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post #5 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-29-2014, 12:25 PM Thread Starter
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Yes i plan to take total control until i get the dog evaluated.
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post #6 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-29-2014, 12:34 PM
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I wonder how the little girl expressed her dislike?

Not excusing the barking - your son's running and crying could have triggered prey mode (?).

Biting the ankles - it may have appeared aggressive - is it possible the dog saw the toweling as play and decided to play his style. Again, not excusing but throwing out ideas.

Definitely keep a leash on your dog for easier control and monitor ALL interaction with your son

In addition to the trainer, more good links

Family Paws-New parent classes dog and baby

Mind Games or NILIF

Also, do a search on here for the 2 week shut down
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post #7 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-29-2014, 01:03 PM Thread Starter
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Well he started crying AFTER he attacked him, not during.
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post #8 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-29-2014, 01:16 PM
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I'm the only one who can have a towel or rag in my hand, without my GSD getting excited and trying to grab it. It's my sons fault for taking a hand towel and using it as a tug to play with since he was a puppy.

Have you tried handling a towel around your dog ? and see his reaction.

Dexter Bartolomeo -GSD (approx 3 1/2 years)
Fluffy Cornelius - Maltipoo rescue (approx 8yrs)
Squeezette Antoinette- Shih Tzu (17 yrs)

Last edited by Msmaria; 04-29-2014 at 01:20 PM.
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post #9 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-29-2014, 02:05 PM
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I agree, it's a combination of events. One little to much to soon. Remember dogs go through transitions as well. GSD imprint strong on handlers, so he is going through a new phase as well.
Coming out of a bath, could have had him overly stimulated, being with a younger child, could have engaged his pack dominance natural drive.
I had similar situation with my male GSD acting out towards my daughter, and he has been with us since 8 weeks. My daughter being 7 has naturally been jealous of my dog and me. So when it came to her going near me, as he was laying down near me, he would engage. (Growl- herd) I used the create. The best fix was actively engaging my dog in more training. Setting up firmer guidelines for him to follow. Once I did that everything was fine again.
Take your time- he is in new environment and you should set up relationship game/training with all in the pack
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post #10 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-29-2014, 02:13 PM
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While it's not clear what happened here don't be too quick to give the dog a pass. Have him THOROUGHLY & professionally evaluated. IF it wasn't play the situation is potentially very dangerous for both your son & the dog. IF it was play then the dog clearly needs serious training & to learn some manners.

Wyowolf, from your description, the dog's behavior at best was inappropriate & showed poor judgment. This doesn't automatically condemn the dog, but you need to find out exactly what is going on with him, how easily it can be fixed, whether you can expect him to be safe & predictable in the future.

Family dogs must be extremely stable, reliable & discerning. There just isn't much room for error, especially with large, powerful dogs such as GSDs. While GSDs are a protective breed that can/should show appropriate aggression when necessary, it is of the utmost importance that this aggression be appropriate as to time, place, situation & degree.

IF this dog isn't well suited to children it's a kindness to return him so he can have a chance at a sitution better suited to him. Remember, he must be reliable not only with your son but also with your son's friends.
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