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post #21 of 81 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 01:34 PM
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Thanks Chip for your comment. My dog is back to "better" than normal to this point. We rubbed heads this morning and I brushed him until he fell asleep. I think he has been and probably is a fearful dog, when anyone approaches me or my wife the dog's hair stands up on the back of his neck and butt and he growls very aggressively. When I let him out into the fenced back yard he takes off like a jet with his hair standing up, I guess he thinks something might be out there. I have no intention of getting rid of him, I will work thru this. I raised my two previous GSDs back in the 60"s the same way I raised my current dog and they were both perfect loveable dogs. Again, thanks Chip. Richie.

Sharp-shy dogs can be attached to their handler and even be sweet and kind with children in the household. But don't be surprised if he bites you again, especially if something unfamiliar happens and I am sure you are cautious with him in public. Make sure your fence is very secure. I am not suggesting you put him down. Just understand the liability and responsibility you have with such a dog. If he is a sharp-shy dog, this is a temperament issue that no trainer can fix.
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post #22 of 81 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 01:37 PM
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@Richie - do you have a pedigree for this dog?

Please don't get stuck in the mindset of you will not get rid of this dog. You need to do what is right to keep you and your wife safe. That could mean rehoming him to a person who can handle him. Just start with an experienced trainer who can properly evaluate this dog and your relationship.





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post #23 of 81 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 02:00 PM
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8 week old puppies are not malicious the are do like to bite and some are more mouthy then others. I would go to vet and have full work up but this does sound like a temperament problem at three years plus of age they are mature for the most part and become who they are. It does sound like a temperament problem as the dog did go after you the owner. Powerful dogs must be trained well but they also must be sound and stable otherwise it can be a complete nightmare. Find a balanced trainer who has knowledge of this breed. I’m glad you are okay.


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post #24 of 81 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 02:56 PM
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@Richie

Contact these people. Dennis Vander Linde has been involved with German Shepherds for decades. They are in Cumming GA. Dennis is the Director at Large for the USCA helper program. This would be one of my first choices regardless of the drive (I know GA is a big state!)

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post #25 of 81 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 03:53 PM
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Twyla, I sent you a PM, thanks. Richie
I haven't received it. May have to resend it due to number of posts.
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post #26 of 81 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Richie View Post
Thanks Chip for your comment. My dog is back to "better" than normal to this point. We rubbed heads this morning and I brushed him until he fell asleep. I think he has been and probably is a fearful dog, when anyone approaches me or my wife the dog's hair stands up on the back of his neck and butt and he growls very aggressively. When I let him out into the fenced back yard he takes off like a jet with his hair standing up, I guess he thinks something might be out there. I have no intention of getting rid of him, I will work thru this. I raised my two previous GSDs back in the 60"s the same way I raised my current dog and they were both perfect loveable dogs. Again, thanks Chip. Richie.
Do NOT get stuck in this trap! All dogs are different. The little monster I have now has challenged me at every turn to learn new skills, master new methods and create new plans. And she's sweet as sugar in her own home.
I raised my Sabi girl with really little concern or effort and she was fabulous, out of the box perfect. I would not try that with most other dogs.
As far as the whole ALPHA thing, it's been debunked thoroughly and completely as @Jax08 said. I'm a pretty horrible owner, let my dogs away with loads of crap no one would condone, encourage things like couch vaulting and lap sitting but my dogs have rules and are well aware that I am the boss. Even when I had 20 or so dogs in my house there was no biting, fighting or destruction.
You are looking for firm, fair and consistent. You needn't be a tyrant, just set fair rules and make him follow them.
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post #27 of 81 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 08:00 PM
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I am an experienced German Shepherd owner but when I got my WL puppy, it was like taking on a new breed. I made some mistakes and I changed my handling methods a lot. I am still learning and can't wait to use the new things I learned on the next dog. The best decision I ever made was using a private trainer. My dog is now an excellent companion at age 3, but getting there tried the core of my patience. The breeder said he was a medium drive dog. He is not. I think what she meant is that he's not over the top on drive, but it's much higher than I expected or planned for. However, he is medium energy, which I also did not expect. So, the private trainer explained what I was seeing and showed me how to work with his drive rather than against it. He's now an amazing dog. I should also say he has never showed any handler aggression, but I had other problems and made a few mistakes that were mostly correctable. Please find a good trainer and do what the person shows you. You can fix this!
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post #28 of 81 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 08:15 PM
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Hi Tim, I appreciate your comment. First lets get something straight, you said ""But physically grabbing and/or holding your dog on his back as a means of communication is also not needed, nor is it productive!"" Where did you get that from?? I have NEVER done that to my dog, PERIOD.
Richie, I apologize if I misinterpreted your description, but I came to the conclusion I did based on this: "He was standing next to me so I reached down and slid my hand thru his collar, like I have done many times before, to scold him. " in your original post.

I did not intend to suggest you had or were abusing your dog, but again I read that statement to mean that grabbing your dog's collar to scold him is something you do and have done many times/frequently.

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I have NEVER mistreated my dog, I treat him like a human.
I get that you love your dog, and your dog loves you. But as others have mentioned dogs need leadership, boundaries, and to be able to trust you to be predictable and stable in all situations. Treating them like a human, not so much. In fact, treating a dog like a human IS mistreatment. It's not malicious or abusive or ill-intentioned, but it just simply isn't what they need or thrive on. Dogs need structure and limits and leadership.

Now @Sabis mom says, in a self-depreciating way, that she's a terrible dog owner because she lets her dogs do things that others may not. But I'd suggest that her approach is the epitome of good dog leadership! She has rules, but allows what she (and her dogs) like! Leadership doesn't mean stuffy, or rigid, or mean; it's more about being consistent, and fair but firm on those things that are rules in your home - like no chewing on my furniture, or eating stuff off the counter. Simple, clear rules, that are ALWAYS enforced. And again, not enforced by being harsh or mean, but by being authoritative in manner and insistent, and consistent. I personally don't ask my dog to do anything. If I say "do this", I never allow any dog to not do it, period. But like her, I have no problem with dogs having fun in or out of the house, and I leave them alone to do as they like the vast majority of the time!

Perhaps @Chip Blasiole was spot on when he suggested that your dog is somewhat sharp-shy. I personally did not get that from how I read your description. But that might explain why your dog reacted as he did, especially if grabbing his collar to correct him is not something you would usually do...he may have felt threatened.

Either way, a good, balanced trainer can evaluate the dog and view your interaction with him first-hand and give you a much better idea of how to proceed with your dog.

I wish you both all the best moving forward!
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It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog. Mark Twain

Tim
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post #29 of 81 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
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Richie, I apologize if I misinterpreted your description, but I came to the conclusion I did based on this: "He was standing next to me so I reached down and slid my hand thru his collar, like I have done many times before, to scold him. " in your original post.

I did not intend to suggest you had or were abusing your dog, but again I read that statement to mean that grabbing your dog's collar to scold him is something you do and have done many times/frequently.
""No apology necessary Tim."" Reading your comment sounded like my way of communicating with my dog was to throw him down on his back, which I have never done. I slide my hand thru his collar all the time, we sit and talk while I do this. Actually I should have made myself clearer, as he very seldom gets scolded. He has been the best he has ever been for the last week. Usually he thinks about any commands I give him and slowly does them, not today though, I put him thru his paces today at the request of my wife. To my astonishment every command I gave him, he did immediately, faster than ever before. I was amazed and told my wife as soon as she came home. She wanted to see for herself so I did it all over again and our dog did it again, kind of mad me proud.
Anyway, Tim I think we have cleared things up a bit. Thanks for your concern and information, I appreciate that. Richie.


I get that you love your dog, and your dog loves you. But as others have mentioned dogs need leadership, boundaries, and to be able to trust you to be predictable and stable in all situations. Treating them like a human, not so much. In fact, treating a dog like a human IS mistreatment. It's not malicious or abusive or ill-intentioned, but it just simply isn't what they need or thrive on. Dogs need structure and limits and leadership.

Now @Sabis mom says, in a self-depreciating way, that she's a terrible dog owner because she lets her dogs do things that others may not. But I'd suggest that her approach is the epitome of good dog leadership! She has rules, but allows what she (and her dogs) like! Leadership doesn't mean stuffy, or rigid, or mean; it's more about being consistent, and fair but firm on those things that are rules in your home - like no chewing on my furniture, or eating stuff off the counter. Simple, clear rules, that are ALWAYS enforced. And again, not enforced by being harsh or mean, but by being authoritative in manner and insistent, and consistent. I personally don't ask my dog to do anything. If I say "do this", I never allow any dog to not do it, period. But like her, I have no problem with dogs having fun in or out of the house, and I leave them alone to do as they like the vast majority of the time!

Perhaps @Chip Blasiole was spot on when he suggested that your dog is somewhat sharp-shy. I personally did not get that from how I read your description. But that might explain why your dog reacted as he did, especially if grabbing his collar to correct him is not something you would usually do...he may have felt threatened.

Either way, a good, balanced trainer can evaluate the dog and view your interaction with him first-hand and give you a much better idea of how to proceed with your dog.

I wish you both all the best moving forward!
I appreciate that Tim, thanks Richie.
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post #30 of 81 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by LuvShepherds View Post
I am an experienced German Shepherd owner but when I got my WL puppy, it was like taking on a new breed. I made some mistakes and I changed my handling methods a lot. I am still learning and can't wait to use the new things I learned on the next dog. The best decision I ever made was using a private trainer. My dog is now an excellent companion at age 3, but getting there tried the core of my patience. The breeder said he was a medium drive dog. He is not. I think what she meant is that he's not over the top on drive, but it's much higher than I expected or planned for. However, he is medium energy, which I also did not expect. So, the private trainer explained what I was seeing and showed me how to work with his drive rather than against it. He's now an amazing dog. I should also say he has never showed any handler aggression, but I had other problems and made a few mistakes that were mostly correctable. Please find a good trainer and do what the person shows you. You can fix this!
Thanks LuvShepherds, working on it. Richie
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