At my wit's end, thinking of putting my aggressive GSD down + experience with Prozac? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 82 (permalink) Old 08-10-2017, 11:13 PM Thread Starter
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At my wit's end, thinking of putting my aggressive GSD down + experience with Prozac?

"The bottom line is that some dogs are so poorly bred that no amount of training or socializing is going to overcome the fears and ghosts in their heads. It's my opinion that these dogs should be put to sleep and the owner should make a bigger effort to pick a pup from sound parents the next time they get a dog."

- Leerburg | Dealing with the Aggressive Dog

The quote above is from Leerburg.com who seem to be very good GSD trainers and breeders. Very blunt advice above but it has resonated with me because it is so descriptive of my dog. "A few questions about aggression" thread that I posted a year ago...

https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum...ggression.html

Basically....

- got male 100lbs 3yo GSD fixed a September 2016....his aggressiveness hasn't subsided
- sometimes he gets along with other dogs but still occasionally snarls, barks, lunges at dogs AND people
- he always has his muzzle on when we are outside & we go on walks in an isolated area
- he has been through reactive dog training but it really didn't work
- as of 3 weeks ago he started 40mg a day of Prozac, although the vet said it takes up to 3 months to see its effects, wondering if anyone has any very specific advice regarding anti-depressants, dosage, when and if it worked, etc.

TL;DR: I've tried everything. Prozac is my dog's last chance at living unless his aggressiveness subsides. Thoughts & experiences?



EDIT: Also I have experience with GSDs and dogs in general. I know I shouldn't compare but my GSD who passed away never showed one shred of aggression and the only time he ever barked was to alert someone of danger. He actually saved another pets life but that's a story for another day. I really hate to put my GSD down but absolutely DO NOT want to wish I shoulda done so after he attacks someone.


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Last edited by puffswami; 08-10-2017 at 11:20 PM.
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post #2 of 82 (permalink) Old 08-10-2017, 11:30 PM
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Is he good with you and your family? Is this a situation where you could put him away when guests come over and just avoid putting him in situations to where he would be in contact with other dogs/humans?
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post #3 of 82 (permalink) Old 08-10-2017, 11:37 PM
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Originally Posted by thegooseman90 View Post
Is he good with you and your family? Is this a situation where you could put him away when guests come over and just avoid putting him in situations to where he would be in contact with other dogs/humans?
I wondered that too. Is it possible to completely manage him? He would live in his own little world.

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post #4 of 82 (permalink) Old 08-10-2017, 11:38 PM Thread Starter
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Is he good with you and your family? Is this a situation where you could put him away when guests come over and just avoid putting him in situations to where he would be in contact with other dogs/humans?
This is somewhat debateable. Is he good with the family & friends? Yes. Is he 100% guaranteed not to attack? Absolutely not.

My reasoning as that keeping him confined to an isolated life isn't pleasant for me or for him. My other GSD would go to bookstores, hardware stores, etc. without a leash. You could whisper to him to obey your commands but he was pretty aware enough not to get himself in to trouble. I had never formally trained him but if someone asked "Can I pet your dog?", he would look at me first until I said "Go say hi!". It was awesome.

This dog is basically left in his crate at home because he will look out the window and bark at passersby OR muzzled when outside. What kind of life is that? It is more or less like being in prison with trips to the prison recreational yard where he is walked alone. He has also broken a side small window in my car from barking & lunging at people walking by my car. It is unbearable inside the car as well as his muzzled-bark is still very very loud.

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Last edited by puffswami; 08-10-2017 at 11:44 PM.
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post #5 of 82 (permalink) Old 08-10-2017, 11:44 PM
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It wouldn't be so bad if you could go and let him run in the back yard, play fetch, and bond or something but if he'll just be locked in a crate 90% of the time idk that he would have a good life that way. Rehoming doesn't sound like an option, maybe someone who works with rescues would know. I'm positive if it was only dog aggression there would be a situation that works for him
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post #6 of 82 (permalink) Old 08-10-2017, 11:48 PM
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You mention never having formally trained your prior dog, but I am curious what training assistance you have sought with the current one? For how long? What methods?
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post #7 of 82 (permalink) Old 08-10-2017, 11:49 PM
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I guess it depends on the life. I only had to deal with dog aggression, with my previous shepherd. Even that made her a 'not go everywhere' kind of dog. She stayed home. She played in the fenced back yard. She was loved and, I believe, had a good life. But - she was very good with people and that made all the difference in the world.

I cannot imagine what you are facing. If he was good with you and your family, even in a restricted setting, I think he could have a good life. Regardless, your quality of life matters too. I am just so sorry that you are dealing with this. I wish I had some answers for you and wish you all the best.

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post #8 of 82 (permalink) Old 08-10-2017, 11:53 PM Thread Starter
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You mention never having formally trained your prior dog, but I am curious what training assistance you have sought with the current one? For how long? What methods?
I've went to obedience and reactive-dog classes with the current dog. He is great...unless there happens to be another dog or someone he doesn't like around then there is no holding him back really. Again he is 100lbs and lunges towards eye-level of people. He is also unusually tall on his hind legs so usually I just leave. The trainers would basically train him away from other dogs anyway. In his defense, he can be nice and get along but I wouldn't take his muzzle off around other dogs that's for sure.

I really seem to be badmouthing him but I know how the world works. Everyone is your friend until they have to sue you and I've tried every training remedy already. Except for Prozac which I never thought I would be administering. I hope it works.

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post #9 of 82 (permalink) Old 08-11-2017, 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by puffswami View Post
This is somewhat debateable. Is he good with the family & friends? Yes. Is he 100% guaranteed not to attack? Absolutely not.

My reasoning as that keeping him confined to an isolated life isn't pleasant for me or for him. My other GSD would go to bookstores, hardware stores, etc. without a leash. You could whisper to him to obey your commands but he was pretty aware enough not to get himself in to trouble. I had never formally trained him but if someone asked "Can I pet your dog?", he would look at me first until I said "Go say hi!". It was awesome.

This dog is basically left in his crate at home because he will look out the window and bark at passersby OR muzzled when outside. What kind of life is that? It is more or less like being in prison with trips to the prison recreational yard where he is walked alone. He has also broken a side small window in my car from barking & lunging at people walking by my car. It is unbearable inside the car as well as his muzzled-bark is still very very loud.
As to the bold, well given the choice between the death penalty and life in prison how many people choose death? Deaths kind of permanent or so I've heard, might want to see how he adjusts to life in prison before you make any permanent decisions.

As to the Prozac thing, my sister is a big softie for animals and took a Mini schnauzer through a breed specific rescue cause she was her last shot. They actually told her if you don't take her she's getting put down, talk about a guilt trip! The dogs on Prozac, still a nutcase, still wears a muzzle most of the time. But she and my sister have a deep bond and the rest of us have learned to deal with its behavior to a degree. It's not all roses and if the dog wasn't 20lbs it would be vastly more dangerous situation. No happy story here, but that's my experience.

Whats the story and current situation on this dogs training? Have you considered a board and train with a trainer used to hard aggressive sport dogs?
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post #10 of 82 (permalink) Old 08-11-2017, 12:03 AM
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I will be watching your prozac journey with interest. My daughter's 11 month old pitbull/heeler mix was just started on it this week, but for separation anxiety.


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