6 Month Old showing slightly aggressive Behavior - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 04:54 PM Thread Starter
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6 Month Old showing slightly aggressive Behavior

We have had our first GSD, Shiloh, since he was about 2 months. He’s now 6 months and everything has been going pretty well. In fact before the last couple of weeks we had even started to kick the mouthing problem and he was being really good! About 2 weeks ago, out of no where, he started growling at us when we came near him - specifically when he is laying down and I go to pet his head or something. He will bear his teeth and growl. We thought he was in pain or something but after a trip to the vet, that’s not the case. Then we thought he could just be bored but after all the excessive we could give him it’s not that either. We started treating it as if it were a dominance thing (not allowing him on any furniture, being assertive with “No” when he growls, all of that). Things have gotten a little better but I’m just confused?? Is this normal angsty teen GSD behavior or is something seriously wrong???

PS I should add that he is completely fine around strangers and dogs on walks. Very well socialized.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 05:21 PM
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No, it’s not a normal phase for a GSD. Get a one on one trainer now to show you the best way to handle the breed. Which means, a trainer familiar with working dogs, and a balanced trainer that does positive reinforcement along with corrections when needed.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 05:47 PM
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If it's only when someone tries to touch his head could it be possible that he just never liked that?One of my dogs likes her neck and shoulders scratched but many times will suck away from a head pet.She will tolerate it when I check her ears or teeth but it was obvious as a puppy she doesn't enjoy a head pat.My gsd never liked it as a youngster either but loves it now.I'm not saying that's what is going on with your boy,just food for thought.If you think that is a possibility I can help with more information about desensitizing him.


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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 06:06 PM
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My dog never liked being touched on the head. It was pretty obvious from day 1. I used that to teach her to back up on command. The hand signal is me reaching out towards her head LOL! She's almost 3 yrs old and still air snaps and growls/barks when I have her back up...it's adorable I think and has become a fun game we play.

In all seriousness though, I've never had a dog of any breed who snarled or showed their teeth at me menacingly. To me it says there is a pretty serious relationship issue going on. And I agree you should find a good trainer to help you with figuring out why...

It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog. Mark Twain

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 11:39 PM
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Sorry, one more vote for the "something's wrong/behavior not normal" camp...

My dog has growled at strangers who pet his head while he's lying down. But if I pet his head, he flattens his ears and looks happy. Any attention from me is always accepted happily. He draws a very clear line between "my pack that I trust" and "strangers that I don't trust".

Hmm, I'm not sure about dominance theories but if treating him more assertively/keeping him off furniture is helping, I'd keep doing that? I'd also wonder if something happened recently that changed his attitude towards you (did you scare or hurt him, even accidentally).

Yes, maybe a dog trainer could help you to figure it out (they could come observe the behavior towards you and observe you and your dog together).

Rumo ~ rescue shepherd/husky mix
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