We've come to a conclusion that we need to re-home our sable, unfixed male GSD who will be four in July.
Max is an all around great dog, other than the fact that he has aggression issues with strangers and other dogs. We've worked with two different trainers and continue to work with his aggression issues, but haven't had a lot of success.
Beginning at 8 weeks old when we brought him home from the breeders (known breeder in the area, not backyard), I began his training. It included socialization, night work, traffic/noise work, etc... At 13 weeks of age, I was walking him in our neighborhood and a neighbors dog ran out from behind a bush and attacked him. The dog picked him up and shook him several times before I could get him to release him. That may or may not be the cause...
I was married last year and my wife is petite at 100lbs... Max weights in at 105. Several times Max has pulled my wife to the ground while lunging at another dog while she was walking him. Last month, Max snapped at one of the children at our daughter's birthday party. Knowing his aggression, he was left out in the back yard during the party, but I let him in the kitchen which is gated, to see if he would listen to his commands while there was other people/noise in the house. I was in the kitchen with him monitoring him and I told the children not to go near the gates as he was not friendly. One of the older children decided to go up to one of the gates from the other side of the house and before I could get over to him, he was at the gate and letting the girl pet him. Then he snapped at her and grabbed her sweatshirt... the girl thought it was funny and said she had a lot of dogs, I on the other hand, did not think it was so funny.
Our back yard runs along the sidewalk, which is maybe 60 yards and we live in a busy family neighborhood. So there are always kids riding bikes, people walking their dogs, etc... which has made it all the more difficult to curb his aggression. It's to the point where when I tell him to leave it or come when someone is going by, he runs and picks up his tug to keep in his mouth so he can't bark... It's as if he knows he's not supposed to bark, but can't help it, so he tries to put something in his mouth to curb it. I really wish we didn't have a yard that's adjacent to a sidewalk... but one of my major concerns is that he'll figure out he can jump the fence if he wanted to and someone will get injured. On walks, I can get him to sit when there's someone jogging or riding a bike by, but not when there is another dog with that person. He used to play with our next door neighbors black lab all the time, but now even if he's being walked by house, he's aggressive towards him and his owner (which helped me during the first 6 months with noon potty breaks).
Other than the aggression issue, he really is a great dog. He knows his commands, sleeps in one of his crates (have one in our bedroom and also the living room). Has never chewed anything that wasn't his, which says a lot especially with all the toys my daughter has. He has a HUGE prey drive and little to no food drive. Loves his tugs and playing ball. Currently eating a combination of raw and Taste of the Wild. He absolutely loves water and his pool
And will even tolerate a bath. He's never shown any aggression towards my wife, daughter or I. I even had two roommates over the past few years which he was fine with after the initial introduction, it's just the stranger and dog aggression.
Max is part of our family... but I am really concerned with the aggression; especially now that our daughter is getting old and having friends over.
I contacted the breeder we purchased Max from and she said she is unable to take him. She stated she worked with aggressive dogs in the past and stated it may have to come down to putting him down... which is something I want to try and avoid if at all possible. I really don't think he's a bad dog, I just feel he would be better in a different environment (some place that doesn't have 30 people a day walking by).
I hate even posting this... as I said, Max is part of our family. But I can't ignore his aggression issues and risk that someone could get injured in the environment he's in now.