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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-14-2019, 05:01 PM Thread Starter
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New to GSDs

Hi! We rescued our 2yr old male GSD about 3 mo ago. He immediately picked me as his person. We fear he may have been abused by a Male in his past. He growls and gets agressive with my husband when he thinks he needs to protect me. Joined this group hoping tonget advise. We are Griffins 3rd owners in 2 yrs. We dont want to give up on him but we need advise. How do I get him to stop protecting me aggressively?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-14-2019, 05:30 PM
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Welcome to the forum and do post some pics of your new fella 😊

Folks much smarter and more experienced than I will surely address your concerns. Weekends tend to be slow for reasons unknown to me. If you don’t hear by mid-week you might consider posting your problem under Aggression. It is found under the larger heading of “TRAINING & BEHAVIOR OF THE GSD”

I was Miika’s #3 by the time she was 12 weeks old. They say 3rd times a charm and so it was for us (granted she was just a puppy, but she had no consistent home for about 4 weeks after leaving mom).

Keep us updated, and remember those pictures!


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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-14-2019, 07:33 PM
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Don't assume your dog was abused by men. You are probably correct that he is guarding you, treating you as his prize, what he depends on. We can give you advice on line but your best bet will be to find a face to face training situation. Find a trainer who is NOT all positive/ force free. You have to find someone who has a good balance of teaching your dog what is expected fairly and kindly but also firm enough to show your dog what lines cannot be crossed. An extra set of eyes will see things you will miss being in the middle of the situation, and help you with the timing of corrections and rewards and communicate with the dog more clearly.

If your dog is snapping and looks like he might bite, muzzle train him. Better to not let him bite because if he gets labeled dangerous that is a whole extra level of work you'll have to deal with. And for basic training if you have to tell your dog NO, follow it up with something he can do, and then follow that with praise. Let's use a behavior like counter surfing. If you dog puts his paws on the counter while you are working in the kitchen, you nudge him down and have him sit in a special spot, maybe a small kitchen carpet. I call those the yummy spot. It is the spot the dog must sit to get a tasty tidbit, no where else. So it would work like this...No, You cannot put your paws on the counter. Yes, you can sit on the mat. Here is your treat for sitting on the mat. (just make sure you have time between the time between the NO and the Yes, or they can string it together. If I go on the counter then sit on the mat, I get a treat.).

You may have to work something out like that. Hubby comes into the room. Your dog gives him the stink-eye. You tell him NO, go lay down. After a little bit you praise your dog while in the down. After a few days of that you don't reward for a down after a stink-eye but you do reward if he downs without the stink-eye...in fact, throw a little party! Let him know that makes you all very happy and life is good!
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-14-2019, 11:05 PM
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We dealt with a milder version of this...
mine also had a pretty extreme preference for me and would refuse to go out with husband, would stand guard over his ball if husband wanted to throw ball for him, growled at husband a few times, etc.

I asked a friend what to do, and she suggested that I have my husband participate more in his training/care.

We were able to change his opinion of my husband pretty drastically!
- Husband said "sit" and after my dog obeyed, my husband put down the dinner bowl
- I took him on most regular walks, but husband would bring him in car to awesome new locations!
- Encouraged husband to go run around in backyard with dog playing tag
The food, walks and play totally changed his behavior towards my husband and now he'll ask for pets from my husband...
I think husband is now accepted as "Owner #2".

And I totally agree that a good trainer, even just a session where he can observe your dog's behavior towards your husband, would be a big help! Ours was a pretty mild case ... I don't know how intense yours is.

Rumo ~ rescue shepherd/husky mix

Last edited by GSDchoice; 04-14-2019 at 11:09 PM.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 04:46 PM
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I agree with what someone else said. Have hubby feed him and do the fun things with him with you not present.
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