Need to rehome 8 year old white shepherd mix in Evansville, IN area - Page 4 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #31 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-14-2018, 08:54 AM
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Well let me elaborate... The OP acquired this puppy at 5 months of age. The dog lived with her and her family - without incident - until a year ago, so 6.5 years! Then her 3 yr old son attempted to take a toy away from a 7 yr old dog - who, of course, never showed a single sign of being a resource guarder ever before (hopefully you're getting my sarcasm here) - and got nipped, but without breaking the skin at all. The OP's reaction, they tried to rehome the dog until their other dog died and then changed their mind and kept him - but notice, no mention of training, no mention of working on the issue, only thing said is, over the next 10 months he seemed to get better.

Fast forward to the second incident, what could possibly go wrong letting a 4 yr old child try to take a toy near an adult dog with a resource guarding history while near his food bowl? No way that kid could get bit right? So the dog does as expected, with the OP within 5 feet, and now is condemned as an aggressive dog. It doesn't take a huge leap of faith to have predicted this outcome. And frankly, it falls on the human in charge to make sure these kinds of situations are avoided. Now, put him down? Or now teach him?
Tim...I hadn't responded here... because of this recent thread...Contemplating putting our GS down....and the way I believe it turned out. This thread was headed down the same path IMO....It was painfully obvious to me there was a lack of leadership and boundaries were never set for the CHILD and the dog. This hasn't happened over night--someone watched the signs unfold before their eyes and hoped it would go away...it didn't---so who likely pays the price ??.....the dog... I've said before and now once again---Good Parenting Skills & Good Dog Owners go hand in hand. I'm very very afraid that a trainer....even a Very Good trainer will not be able to turn this couple around and make them leaders capable of setting boundaries...I really hope I'm wrong but I'm fearful it's just too late in the game....and once again this dog who can't speak for itself...may pay the price
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post #32 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-14-2018, 09:44 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you to everyone for your responses, even the ones that make it seem like I am an irresponsible pet owner. I know not everyone knows the story completely, but I will say that this dog was adopted as a puppy from a GSD rescue. He has had training, was raised in a loving home with another dog who was also at the training, with a trainer that breeds Belgian Malinois and GSDs that are protection and police dogs. We worked with him and our other dog together as a couple way before we had children. We do our homework and have extensively trained him at home. Are we experts? Not by a long shot. Did we raise a purebred GSD that never ONCE got aggressive but in fact loved us more than imaginable? Yes. We teach our children boundaries and the dog has set boundaries as well. We protect him out in public with a muzzle. We do NOT let him run the house, nor do we let our son do whatever he wants to the dog. He has never climbed on, pulled, sat on, laid on, or disrespected either one of our dogs. He and our purebred were extremely close and wished the same for Aksel. Aksel is exercised, he gets love, he gets training, he is comfortable, he leads a good life. Please do not for one second think that I am not blaming myself for this, because I am. I feel like a failed owner, so you aren’t telling me anything I don’t know. Yes, for the first few years of his life he was our “child” and once a week he got to go be socialized immensely for hours at a time with his house mate and other dogs. He showed aggression towards other dogs there (not unprovoked and was corrected immediately.) The first incident with the toy... he was PLAYING with our son. Happy, running, allowing our son to throw the toy with him. The one second he lays down and my son thinks it’s ok to throw the toy again, he nips. After about 5-10 minutes of letting him pick the toy up after commanding him to drop it. Our son is a CHILD, but by no means does that mean he doesn’t respect dogs. It also doesn’t mean he won’t make mistakes at all either. Yes, that was our first warning sign but we have continued to work with Aksel on boundaries and not being aggressive. Our son knows to steer clear from while he’s laying down, while he’s eating. Aksel does not typically lay down where our children are because I’m proactive in not letting that happen. The second time, yes, I was right there and I did not realize (I was nursing my baby, sorry for tending to my child’s needs first) that Aksel had walked back into the room and that our son picked up his own toy, not the dogs, a couple of feet from the dogs food bowl. He was immediately removed from the situation and put outside while tended to my sons hand and has been muzzled around the children ever since. I want to keep Aksel safe, I want to keep my children safe. I am constantly on edge of where the dog is in relation to the children and I understand that maybe I slacked the last few months after having another child with his training and boundaries. He has never been left alone in a room with my children, muzzled or not. I will not be a statistic of inexperienced or neglectful parents or dog owners that allow their children to do whatever they want to a dog or allow the dog to be alone with the children. But I am human, and yes I make mistakes. But to say the dog is innocent is just not true in this case. He has been seen by professionals except for a behaviorist, hence why I’m even wondering if he would even be able to be “rehabilitated”. I know his triggers, I know his body language. He is my dog and I know him better than he probably knows himself.

At this point, we are not sure what we will do yet, but I thank you all for your input. I am again going to discuss my options with our vet since he knows all of the history and is a professional and GSD owner himself. I appreciate the criticism and the advice
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post #33 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-14-2018, 09:56 AM
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Don't let the criticism get to you. In reality, in life, kids are not robots anymore than dogs are. If a 4 year old was capable of always remembering to not go near a family dog that is eating, hey why not let him cross the street alone at age 4 too? Because you told him to look both ways, right???

That is exactly WHY rehoming a dog with these tendencies is so difficult and dare I say a "no no". We are human, and it is rare to find someone who is never around kids, small animals, etc. It takes one time, one forgotten gate, one door left open.

If I were you, if it is in the family purse, consult a behaviorist I would listen to the behaviorist and if you decide to keep him understand the risk you are assuming. Don't put that risk on someone else who may have him a few months then let their guard down, assuming "your kid must have done something because he is such a nice dog"..until they are proven tragically wrong.

In other words, this is on you. If there is risk to be assumed, it is yours and yours alone. If he needs to be euthanized, be there for him at the end. Personally, that size dog, I would not risk my kids. And when you talk about separating a dog, muzzling him around family..quality of life has to be considered as well.
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post #34 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-14-2018, 10:00 AM
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I have to wonder if the first NIP was indeed resource guarding or even aggression. Or was it a dog anticipating the play and grabbing the toy prematurely. I've had several bruises on my hands from exactly thst.

Get a trainer in the house to evaluate this dog before you put any more labels on him. No more playing with the babies. All feeding occurs in a closed and latched crate.

I don't think this dog is getting a fair shake from your description of events and not a single one of us is there to actually make an educated opinion. It's your dog. You'll do what you feel you need to. But if this were my dog, I couldn't sleep very well if I didn't have a trainer come into the house and give me a professional opinion.
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post #35 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-14-2018, 10:10 AM Thread Starter
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When he nipped the first time, he made an audible noise, half bark. I wish it was anticipation of playing, but it wasn’t. I have the number for the behaviorist and will be calling them to have them evaluate him to see if this is just his breeding or if it can be rectified. I do not want to put him down unnecessarily, hence why I came here for advice from other GSD owners. Comet, you have been extremely understanding and helpful, so thank you for that
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post #36 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-14-2018, 10:10 AM
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I have to wonder if the first NIP was indeed resource guarding or even aggression. Or was it a dog anticipating the play and grabbing the toy prematurely. I've had several bruises on my hands from exactly thst.

Get a trainer in the house to evaluate this dog before you put any more labels on him. No more playing with the babies. All feeding occurs in a closed and latched crate.

I don't think this dog is getting a fair shake from your description of events and not a single one of us is there to actually make an educated opinion. It's your dog. You'll do what you feel you need to. But if this were my dog, I couldn't sleep very well if I didn't have a trainer come into the house and give me a professional opinion.
Exhausting every option medical and training/behaviorist related was what really helped me when I was faced with it. It was still tragic and heartbreaking but at least I could sleep at night. This could be fixable, it could not be fixable. Let an expert with eyes on it tell you. The only thing I will stand by, going from a forum story without seeing the dog, is don't rehome a dog that has gone after small dogs and has bitten kids.
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post #37 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-14-2018, 10:11 AM
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I can't adopt him but I went through something similar. I do know some questions that will need to be answered though, so just a heads up.

What exactly happened that he bit your son? Did it break skin or bruise? If it broke skin, how bad of a break? Scrapes, deep punctures? There are different types of bites and different reasons. Anyone considering him will definitely want to know. Good luck, sorry for your family and Aksel that you are all going through this.
Regardless of how severely, he has already bitten a child. And now an additional child will be crawling around. To my mind, ANY dog that lays teeth on a child, even for pulling their tail, is a ticking time bomb. No one would want a dog like this. Do you realize how quickly an Akita GSD cross could kill a baby?.

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post #38 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-14-2018, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
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I feel like I should add that rehoming him is now off the table
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post #39 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-14-2018, 10:19 AM
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I feel like I should add that rehoming him is now off the table
Keep us posted, and very good luck to you with the behaviorist. It is very admirable the effort you are putting in to this, and the responsibility you are taking.

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post #40 of 42 (permalink) Old 03-14-2018, 11:01 AM
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Yes keep us posted, wishing you all the best and glad you are seeking a professional trainer to evaluate Askel.


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