Help!! dog bit and not listening to daughter - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old 07-12-2012, 04:56 AM Thread Starter
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Help!! dog bit and not listening to daughter

Ok, Heres the deal- I am a single mom of a 10 year old. We recently rescued a 4 ish year old west German male from . He was only just neutured day before we took him home, which has now been just over a month. At first he seemed to want to be more around my daughter, then within a day or 2 really warmed up to me.

Now a month in and he's VERY attached to me, border line obsessive. He had no previous training, yes at 4 years old he did not even know sit. And yes I did try several different languages, nada. Now he sits, downs, goes to lay down on bed, working on stay and heel. My daughter has sole duties of feeding, letting out back in yard, giving treats etc, and when we go on walks she holds leash (with me right there to grab just in case) and he does walk nice for her at side, will 'focus' and not eat food til given ok command and will sit and wait until given ok to go outside for her.

However, he won't come or lay down for her, sometimes won't sit abut does it for me 100% and he stills prefers to want to be by me all the time, will follow me every where but not daughter, and will whine if he can't see me or if I go in another room and close door. The whole reason she is in charge of feeding etc was to prevent this, didn't work.

Recently, and twice now, I was in another room and he sat outside the door crying. The first time I told her to get him and bring him downstairs. Well next thing I know is I hear her yelling bad dog, no! I run out and her arm is red and instantly bruised, he bit her when she reached for his collar. He was immediately given a 'bite' by me and he turned and self submitted. He was put in crate for rest of night where he howled and whined literally non stop until morning when let out.

A few days later I was in the garage for a minute, he again came to the door and cried, my daughter forgetting about what happened before, or not thinking much of it since she was raised with big dogs her whole life, once again grabbed his collar to pull him away and stop the whining.. This time I heard a loud deep growl then cry. He again bit her arm, but this time added a growl afterwards. He was put in crate for 2 days (non stop whine and howling) with only potty breaks. Now- I work from home so am always here. And so is daughter for summer.

What I did was start ignoring him, stopped letting him sleep in my room (floor only) I gave no commands. Any attention was from daughter only. All commands and any treats from her only. And he slept in her room now. This was working, at first. He would play with her, come to her wagging tail and would love to be pet and scratched by her, would roll over exposing tummy while she brushed him etc. So after some time I started petting him again. Well that started the following me all around again, the whining and wanting to be with me. He was still nice to daughter, but would always try to get to me.

Well today she was opening his food to feed him and he was pushing in trying to get his mouth in the bag, she told him no and walked into him telling him back, he then barked at her. He does not see her as alpha at all and is telling us that loud and clear. Now I used to be an apprentice trainer and I used to successfully rehabilitate rescue dogs, but I admit this is only the 2nd gsd I have owned, and my last one was only for a year before she was put down for very bad hips, and she was 6 when I got her from an old trainer I worked with. My dog of choice that I always went with were akitas, who have a bad rep but I never had any aggression issues with mine and they always listened to both my daughter and I and treated us equally.

I have tried what all trainer advised, but it is not working but seems to be escalating. And there is a small time frame to fix this, I have a newborn due in 2 months. Now its not outright aggression, it seems so that's good. But it only happens when Im not in the same room so hard to correct, and no way will my daughter be allowed to correct without me there. Sorry for long post, wanted it all out there for best advice. Please any suggestions! Besides this he was been an amazing rescue lol, don't want to give him up, and daughter does still love and want him too, but with newborn don't want any chances if not fixed..
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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old 07-12-2012, 06:54 AM
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"Now its not outright aggression, it seems so that's good"

What? your 10 year old is in over her head. She has been bitten at least twice . Too many . What next . Each time her confidence goes down and the dog reacts with a bite more quickly.
I am asking myself was the rescue association responsible in releasing this dog to you.
Sits and downs are tricks for a treat . Obedience comes in the recalls , first time every time, and walking with manners , dog not in control .

Baby on the way -- and " I have tried what all trainer advised, but it is not working but seems to be escalating."
" He was immediately given a 'bite' by me and he turned and self submitted. " Whose idea of training is this? Watch out that you don't have retaliation from the dog . Very possible given the handler aggression to corrections or direction from your daughter.

Writing is on the wall -- this dog is not suitable for you or your situation.

You don't need the stress - raising blood pressure , not good for you or the unborn child . You don't need a premature delivery either .

I don't know what part of a situation that is wrought with tension, fear, frustration is "amazing".
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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old 07-12-2012, 07:02 AM
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Kids come first. I would not even think of dealing with this problem with a child in the house and one on the way. This is too dangerous. Return the dog.


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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old 07-12-2012, 07:28 AM
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I understand that you want the dog to bond with both of you, but the dog has clearly decided on you. It doesn't mean that he won't like your daughter eventually. You said both times he bit was when she grabbed his collar? Does he have an issue or sensitivity with his neck? Do you know if he lived on a prong before you got him? My dog barks at me when I tell her back, but she is only talking to me..GSD's have a very different way of communicating their thoughts. It does bother me that he has bit your daughter twice, but I think this is partly human error too. Do you know if he's ever been around kids even? I don't think that I would expect a 10 year old to be in control of a full grown GSD, my son is 20 and our dog prefers me over him, but she is loves him too. Good Luck!!

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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old 07-12-2012, 08:09 AM
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You got this dog from a rescue? Take him back. In no way should a ten year old have to deal with this kind of nonsense; maybe the dog was abused, neglected, or poorly trained before you got him but that is no excuse for biting a child. Personally, I have zero tolerance for dogs that bite children. There are many dogs in rescue that do NOT have aggression problems--do not spend any more time trying to "rehabilitate" one that is dangerous.
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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old 07-12-2012, 08:09 AM
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This is not a simple behavior -- I don't see how you can fix it with 100% confidence in 2 months.
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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old 07-12-2012, 08:13 AM
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What if it had been her face? I would never take this chance with children, I would return him, and make sure the rescue is aware of the bites and circumstances. I would also wait until after the baby to introduce another dog to the family.
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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old 07-12-2012, 08:21 AM
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Is biting your dog as punishment for biting a generally accepted method of training or rehabilitation? Is it effective? I don't understand.

And this right here tells me you need to let this dog go, before you bring your baby home...
Now a month in and he's VERY attached to me, border line obsessive
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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old 07-12-2012, 08:24 AM
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After the first bite, why on earth was there even an opportunity for the dog to bite a second time? Take the dog back-- this sort of possessiveness is not something you can deal with by "biting" or teaching him how to sit. You are not in control, and with a little one on the way it is a disaster waiting to happen. Please don't risk your children's safety-- this absolutely is outright aggression.
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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old 07-12-2012, 08:31 AM
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I would not and could not accept a dog biting one of my children. I also would not expect the dog to be completely obedient to my children either. My GSD's are one person dogs. They respect the family, but I am the ONE. Even the DH has trouble getting them to listen to him. If we are together and he gives a command, they will often hesitate and look to me before complying. I'll give the GO, and then they'll follow him.

On another note, I would not teach a 10 yr old to use any type of dominance control or training with this type of dog, i.e. collar grabbing. My kids all use positive methods. Calling the dog is done in a high pitch positive voice and they'll use toys, etc to redirect. Like to say, "Come play with me.". My personal experience has shown that dogs understand pack order in a house, and my pack understands that I am the alpha. They respect the kids because it is what I have taught, but absolutely NO corrections come from my children. But these are dogs I have raised with my family from day 1. You have a 4 yr old and you don't know how he was raised. I would not take the chance of this escalating into something far worse.
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