Long Haired Intact Male GSD in Connecticut - Page 2 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #11 of 36 (permalink) Old 10-08-2019, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by MineAreWorkingline View Post
It is hard to assess these types of things online but usually, the problem lies with a variety of innate traits of the dog in the hands of an ineffective owner. The German Shepherd is not supposed to be the right dog for every family but the perfect dog for the right family. I would not put this dog down. I would enlist the breeder's help in assessment and rehoming or I would locate somebody who truly is experienced in the breed and that does not necessarily mean a trainer that has five German Shepherds but somebody experienced with herding breeds and aggression and have them help rehome this dog. The dog should not pay with its life because it is in the wrong home.
That should be the breeder's job to help facilitate that but unless I am mistaken the breeder recommended to euth the dog
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post #12 of 36 (permalink) Old 10-08-2019, 06:41 PM
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If he is good with family, and not randomly aggressive, he can be rehomed, but it will take work. He is very handsome. Behaviorists, in my opinion are useless for the most part. If my dog was treated like that by a trainer, he'd bite him, too. It's not uncommon for a GSD to react to poor and unfair handling by a stranger with aggression. If the breeder can help with rehoming, I'd go that route.

It sounds to me like the OP has been getting bad advice from the people she's sought for help. Does anyone have a trainer recommendation in her area, so she can at least get the dog evaluated competently?

And to the OP, plenty of trainers will opt for euthanasia because they don't know what they are doing and it is easier for them. Don't go that route yet, at least give the dog a chance and get another eval.
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post #13 of 36 (permalink) Old 10-08-2019, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by KimJ View Post
Hi all: don't even know where to begin. Very long, sad story, will try to make brief:

I am looking for a home for my 2-year old (will be 3 in Feb), intact male purebred long haired boy Silas. Know this first - he is ... aggressive/potentially aggressive. I am going to copy and paste below here from other emails I've sent to various people to try to make this easier to describe his basic issues.

Sent this April, 2019 to potential trainer:
"Basically he’s been wary of other dogs and people since he was a puppy. Same terrified of other dogs so I just stopped trying to socialize him with them. He was OK with people until he was being mouthy at the vet and they muzzled him. When the muzzle came off he lunged at the vet tech, this was around seven months old. I then took him to a trainer last summer who was a nightmare: alpha rolled him, dragged him around Through an agility course on a leash when Silas was clearly terrified, etc. Very dominating. On the third session, Silas took one look at him and ran up and bit him on the arm, no growl, no warning. I stopped the training sessions after that. When people come over, I keep him outside. He becomes very agitated and barks but there’s times where it does seem like he wants to play. It’s very hard to tell if he’ll bite someone and obviously I don’t want take the chance as I think he might when they turn their back. I’m obviously very anxious around him whenever we encounter people so certainly he’s picking up on that. He’s extremely sensitive in general, I can barely even brush him. But of course, he can be amazingly sweet with me."

This trainer did come and evaluate him -- she said she could help him but that I would need to let her take him to her place for up to a month. She offered an EXTREMELY fair rate (under $3000) to do so, but sadly, I cannot afford it. She thought that perhaps he is not "fear aggressive" but seemed to react to *movement* as he was calm with her near (wisely, she did not attempt to touch him) but as soon as she moved, he reacted by lunging and barking. She did say that if he she (or another trainer) did not work with him, he probably should be euthanized.

On that last bit: I called his breeder earlier this year, described the situation. She was very kind as was I -- I'd been to the property and have full confidence his breeder did nothing wrong/are quality breeders. She was concerned he may hurt me someday (I'm female, 5.7, 117 pounds) or someone else and thinks he is unhappy/anxious, etc. She recommended putting him down.

My veterinarian agreed to put him down, should it come to that. (He still has not been to vet although we did work with him to wear a muzzle around the house. I am going to attempt to take him to vet soon for at least Rabies shot in new few weeks -- will see how that goes.)

He was evaluated by a PhD in Animal Behavior when he was a year old and showing these behaviors, March 2018. Key snippets from her report:

"To be up front from the “get-go” I have to say, and will say many times in this report that I find Silas to be a serious liability. My recommendations begin with safe management + training respectful behavior towards you and you son. I’ve included some information about managing Silas with strangers but we really can’t put the cart before the horse. He needs to listen to you in no uncertain terms and because he’s a super smart, albeit highly anxious dog, training will benefit him for a variety of reasons. If you want to keep him in your home, avoid being injured or getting sued I’d jump on the training bandwagon ASAP. I don’t care a lot about what you train him to do. I supply some general recommendations in the handouts and Training section below but we’ve got to get his youthful cheeky behavior on the home front under control. "
"his young behavioral history speaks more to me about a genetic fearful tendency than a specific issue with other dogs UNLESS he had some particularly untoward negative experiences very early on. I think he is insecure by nature and likely always has been. I’m going to toss this instinct out here in the middle of all my thoughts and tell you it crosses my mind more than once that you and Silas are equally excitable, emotional soul mates but that may not make you the best pair for the long-term. I understand you are emotionally and financially invested in Silas but you are going to need to make some significant changes in your behavior and emotions in order to keep him safe with you…said out of kindness and not judgment. "
"You really need to seriously work on changing your relationship if you want to safely keep Silas in your home. He seems incapable of adjusting his emotional state towards his presumed “enemy” or “competitor”. I do believe Silas views you as more of a resource than a guardian. I am sorry to be so negative over and over again, but Silas is a behavioral caution. You can’t travel. Boarding and pet sitters are not an option. Entertaining guests is a liability. Basically Silas holds you hostage. I understand behavioral euthanasia is not an option for you. I get that, I truly do, BUT I really wish you would consider reviewing your contract and contacting the breeder. OK. I’ve had my say….sort of… and I’ll move forward with recommendations as to how you and Silas can move forward to safely cohabitate."

So that's a bit of what's going on in a wordy nutshell. He is also on Prozac, has been for about 7 months, don't see much of a change. He continues to be WAY undersocialized and I accept full responsibility for that: this has become a vicious circle as I am afraid to take him out for fear he'll become reactive (and would YOU want to see a 117-pound woman in public with a lunging GSD??? Probably not. I'd fear she couldn't control him, rightfully so.) Also, full disclaimer, due to personal situations, I've been out of state nearly every weekend for past 8 months during which my 20-year old is home with him. I fully accept that this doesn't help the situation and am ashamed. I have owned one other GSD for 9 years before -- so I'm not a COMPLETE newbie but not the most experienced either.

Bottom line: there MAY be hope for him in home with experienced GSD owners. Or, I may have to face facts and eventually euthanize. But this breaks my heart.

I'm not sure how this works from here but should anyone be interested, of course I will have to be sure he will be safe. I did post an ad on Craiglist for about 24 hours a few months with a similar post and was horrified: received messages like "Don't give him to someone named "Ann," she is my aunt and already talking about duct-taping his mouth and breeding him!" and "Be careful, people will use your dog to train for dog fights." IT WAS HORRIBLE.

But here, we are GSD folks and ... I don't know. Maybe there's a chance for my poor boy to have a happy life somewhere.

Thank you.
When I read the bolded it makes me wonder if Silas possibly has average nerves, but lives on edge due to his handling and home environment? If the trainers assessment of you is accurate your emotions/excitability could be fueling some of what you see. I know cost is prohibitive at this point, however placing him into a qualified board/train may be the best option to get a fair assessment of Silas before deciding your next step.
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post #14 of 36 (permalink) Old 10-08-2019, 07:28 PM
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He's beautiful. But a beautiful potential killer is not cool.
I was always able to handle strong dogs at a light weight because I handle horses, but the older and larger I get the more strength I have because I'm still reasonably active. That's not the issue.
The issue is you have a beautiful aggressive, dangerous dog.

He feeds off your emotions and that causes aggressive behaviour. Some lines of dogs are not great. It may be something both of you are doing

The people in this thread will help far better than I could- just be careful, and best of luck. Don't give him away, it's not safe. Get some professional help, I implore you.

There are worse things than euthanasia, trust me on that.. If you cannot get a good safe reliable trainer...I'm really sorry...
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Last edited by cvamoca; 10-08-2019 at 07:33 PM. Reason: needed to clarify.
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post #15 of 36 (permalink) Old 10-08-2019, 07:37 PM
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I'm going to add that the fact Prozac isn't working...leads me down the bad genetics path, or there is another neurological possibility, as well as behavioural possibly. I really didn't read all the replies so I will now. Best of luck.
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post #16 of 36 (permalink) Old 10-08-2019, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Jax08 View Post
That looks like a west german showline. Have you contacted the breeder? That is really this dog's only option. You can not rehome a dog that has been designated a "serious liability". It's incredibly wrong on many levels and setting this dog up to live a life of **** in the wrong hands.

And - if you have a contract then you are legally obligated to return this dog to the breeder per the contract.
The breeder told OP to euthanize the dog. Which, I don't know if that is an answer a reputable breeder would give? I would expect a reputable breeder to ask for the dog back and then make that evaluation and determination after that. It sounds like breeder is not offering to take it back.

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post #17 of 36 (permalink) Old 10-08-2019, 08:52 PM
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OP - you are in CT. There are several really good IPO trainers around. You could throw a stone and hit one. CT, MA, NH. Many people on the east coast. I was just at a show this weekend with 30 trial entries and 70 how entries. So my question is - have you contacted a trainer that actually knows and understand GSDs? And what is his pedigree?

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post #18 of 36 (permalink) Old 10-08-2019, 09:26 PM
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Not sure about this info but sometimes neutering a dog makes it more manageable to some people..
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post #19 of 36 (permalink) Old 10-08-2019, 09:56 PM
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I had a Ridgeback foster that was aggressive toward young men. A young male trainer told me the dog should be put down. Two weeks later, the rescue had a list of people wanting to adopt the dog. Get a better evaluation before making a decision you can’t take back.
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post #20 of 36 (permalink) Old 10-08-2019, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by LuvShepherds View Post
I had a Ridgeback foster that was aggressive toward young men. A young male trainer told me the dog should be put down. Two weeks later, the rescue had a list of people wanting to adopt the dog. Get a better evaluation before making a decision you can’t take back.
Very much of this ^^^

I had vets and trainers tell me to put Lyka down, that she would never settle or have a good quality of life because she was too anxious and aggressive. I hit the trainer jackpot when I met my trainer Jake. He was a godsend for both of us. It wasn’t my first time working with an aggressive dog, or the first time I’ve owned a GSD, but it was the first time I had a GSD with these issues. I’m never afraid to say “I don’t know what I’m doing here, and need some help” when it comes to saving a dog. She lost all anxiousness, and all fear aggression with the exception of still being territorial in her yard, but that’s what I want anyway, people shouldn’t be coming into my backyard without permission, and if the multiple signs don’t clue them in that there is a bite dog out back, Lyka will get the point across to them. She has access to the doggy door, we don’t leave her out back, I just realized that’s what it sounded like.

Get a second opinion and reach out to some people that know working dogs, specially herding dogs, and even better, working herding GSD’s in particular!
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