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post #71 of 81 (permalink) Old 05-23-2019, 03:10 PM
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As herding 50 sheep or hundreds of sheep the dog needs in the blood to do it. No doubt Max has it in his blood. It sure is not in my blood but I sure learned a lot when I did take sheep lessons I’m the big field. He would rather herd sheep then eat. It is easy to see when you have a dog as forward as he is that loves the work -no math equations there. 24 /7 herding sheep lol that would be his heaven as it would be for the dogs who herd sheep.
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post #72 of 81 (permalink) Old 05-23-2019, 06:23 PM
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Have you considered re-homing or seeing if the breeder would take him back? After having him for three years, I'm sure you feel bonded to him and hate to think of giving him up, but it might be the best thing for both of you. The attack on you sounds quite serious and likely could be repeated under the right circumstances with more tragic results. Ask yourself these questions. Do you fully trust him now? Did the attack affect how you feel about him in any way? Are you more hesitant to correct him now? Do you feel like you'll be able to establish leadership, because he sounds like the kind of GSD that absolutely requires a strong leader. Will you need to manage your life and his in such a way that he has no access to kids, neighbors, and other family members who might trigger an attack? An aggressive dog who attacks without warning like that is a major liability. How do the other people in your household feel about him, and do you think they are safe with him? I had a GSD like him who was aggressive with everyone and everything. He had Czech/DDR ancestry in his background. Serious working line dog that needed a job and a dominant leader. He was always testing us, was an embarrassment to take out in public because he would lunge and snarl at anyone who went by, and tried twice to attack my elderly mother, growled at my teen son, and once came after me. After he came at me, when I was the one who fed him, walked him, played with him, and worked on obedience with him, I was done. We took him back to the breeder. I admitted my limitations. I did not have the time (I work full-time) or the energy ( auto-immune disease saps my energy) to do the serious in-depth work that he needed. Once he was gone, I realized how much stress he'd caused our household. We ended up adopting a rescue GSD, probably show line, much lower energy level and super chill, sweet personality who is a delight to live with. If you keep him, which it sounds like you want to do, definitely follow through with getting a professional trainer involved. Even though he's been behaving better lately, this issue is unlikely to resolve itself without a lot of work and training.
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post #73 of 81 (permalink) Old 05-23-2019, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by flynbyu2 View Post
If he’s still intact, you might want consider having him neutered. That really took the edge off my 3 year old.
Altering a dog can actually increase aggression depending on the type of aggression. The first step is to establish what the the dog is dealing with - which requires an experienced trainer.

There are links embedded throughout the Aggression forum on this if you would like to research it further.
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post #74 of 81 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Chip Blasiole View Post
We must be talking apples and oranges. Maybe these knowledgeable people are talking about AKC herding with maybe 3-20 sheep and not a 24/7 test. True herding traits have to be carefully selected for and even with the best old breeders of GSD herding lines, they might get 1-3 dogs in a litter who could do the work well. So I don't think you will find any BYB GSDs with true herding ability. It is a genetic gift. A good herding dog needs the traits of total attraction to sheep and genetic obedience which is a willingness to please the shepherd and to accept the shepherd as the leader. Just like with schutzhund, the SV has ruined HGH resulting into a loss of valuable genetics. They lowered the standards just as in schutzhund. Now there are HGH conformation dogs that have nothing to do with herding and HGH performance dogs, much like the split between the German show lines and German working lines. Just as SV judges in schutzhund have largely lost the ability to know and recognize working genetics, SV herding judges no longer know about herding genetics/traits. I don't see any golden genetics for herding in any BYB dogs.
I do not agree that you won’t find any BYB GS with true Herding ability. BYB GS have the same genetics as so called reputable bred GS except that they haven’t been concentrated to exaggerate a certain aspect of the, color, angulation, drives, aggression, size, etc. The Herding instinct is a part of the breed that will always be present though it can be diminished by specialized breeding. But even specialized lines, that have been stripped of key components of the breed, will show Herding instinct in some cases when exposed to sheep. Jmo
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post #75 of 81 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 08:32 AM
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You can also contact Wallace Payne at South Metro Atlanta Schutzhund Club - he is in Sharpsburg, GA - south west of Atlanta. Based on his accomplishments I am sure he knows a thing or two about dogs and GSDs. Good luck with your dog.
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post #76 of 81 (permalink) Old 05-25-2019, 05:19 PM
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An annual exam does not test for everything. I had to get special tests for Riley to see why he kept losing weight and he annuals regularly. Tell you vet what has happened and ask what would cause that regular behavior to attack behavior. Could there be a medical problem to test like a brain lesion or tumor. I'm not sure what to ask but the vet will understand what you are trying to find out.

If there is no health issue, you MUST get an experienced trainer with GSD experience. GSD's do not normally bite. They are taught to bite. I'm not saying they are not protective. Some are but they are not attack dogs unless they are taught to be.

He may not be getting enough exercise to burn off his energy. That is so important. If they are bored they can be destructive. A kennel is a must and not a plastic one. You need metal and large enough for him to stand up and turn around in. If he can't, it's too small. Your trainer will help to to teach him to go inside and not be crazy when in there.

You must be a strong leader for a GSD. He is not your baby. You can love him to pieces but he has to know where he stands in the pack. Right now he is standing in front of you.

Not to insult you but not all people are GSD owner people. If you and a trainer cannot get him under control you thought think carefully about keeping him or rehoming him. Breeding is very important with a GSD and many backyard breeders or puppy mills just create puppies without any knowledge what traits they are giving the dog.

I do wish you luck. I would be very happy if you would come back to us through your post and tell us your progression and how the dog is now. I am sure you are not the only one that has needed to turn to a good trainer. Your experience could be of great help to others.

Please be aware, if you dog would have done that to another person and not you, he would have been put down with no option.
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post #77 of 81 (permalink) Old 06-09-2019, 04:50 AM
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Two issues. Your GSD needs to understand first, you are the leader of the pack. It would seem he missed that lesson at a very early age. Second, placing your hand, your body, your head over the top of the dog’s head and neck is taken as a sign of aggression. He was probably protecting himself. I agree with many of the posts here, you need to find a good trainer for both you and the pup.
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post #78 of 81 (permalink) Old 06-09-2019, 12:45 PM
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My rescue GSD has a shady past, shady genetics, and was used to pump out puppies every time she went into heat. No one could handle her when she was about 2-3, so they gave her to some 18yr old girl who breeds shady pups herself. Low and behold, she couldn’t handle her either after she dropped a litter. I took her in, and she was aggressive. Tried attacking me on a daily basis for the first 2 weeks. I came here looking for advice, and heard a lot of “give her up” and “put her down.” I’m sure I got in a few arguments with Chip over her. She was genetically broken, no one could train her, etc. I’m glad I have a bolt of stubbornness in me, and his arguments made me stronger in working to get her rehabilitated. She has worked through many of her issues, and work around some of them. I had to find that balance. She will NOT allow anyone into our home without acting aggressively, so when we know people are coming over, she goes in her room. Once the people are already in the house, she’s perfectly fine with them. I learned there are things that aren’t acceptable (lunging and trying to attack anyone near that she doesn’t know), eating off the counters (she was starved prior to me getting her), snapping half your hand off when offering a treat. I could go on and on, my point is, training AND management of traits (either genetic, or caused by her previous environment) that cannot be trained away go a long way. I still have her, and in all the years I did, she bit one person. Twice. That person was arrested shortly after I moved for serial rape, and the death of 1 teenaged girl. Take what you will away from that.

As for herding, I have to disagree with chip again. My poorly bred and poorly raised GSD herds like there is no tomorrow. Whether it be children, chickens, pigs, goats, or sheep. She instinctively knows what areas to nip at, and exactly how much pressure she can apply. We let her herd the animals, and nothing but joy shows through. We lock her up when the children outside as a precaution. She will run after them and nip their ankles, and won’t stop until the are all in a circle she can maneuver around. She’s been “trained out” of herding children, but it’s not something I would ever trust 100%, so we manage her in that situation instead so there is no setup for failure.

She’s now declining in health very quickly, and it’s heartbreaking, but I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. She became a very loving and obedient companion once I got her through her fear aggression. She is amazing, and taught me more about myself than about her breed.

OP, an incident like you described is pretty scary. For both you and your GSD. You just need to sit yourself down, ask how much time, money, and muscle you can put into training, and whether that is something you can afford (on all fronts, not just monetarily). If you can’t, it’s a happier life for both of you if you can put him in the hands of someone who can. A fearful dog is an unhappy dog, and an unpredictable one at that. Don’t let senior members on here bully you into thinking euthanasia is the only option. Like others have said, get a full vet workup, a great training, and have a come to Jesus talk with yourself to make sure you can and will follow through with the training at home, and make sure you both are getting a great quality of life in the end. I wish you luck, it’s a long and hard road, and emotional as ****.
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post #79 of 81 (permalink) Old 06-09-2019, 01:11 PM
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Excellent discussion here and excellent suggestions for this owner. I would just add, that in working with dogs that display aggression one must learn to read the dog's body language. They will communicate what they are feeling and planning to do, but they do so in their own way. I've had four GSDs and two of the four have bitten me. I've learned through experience not to back a dog into a corner. That in no way means that I am permissive; it just means that if the situation calls for it, a different tact must be employed. One of my shepherds, that will bite, hates to be reprimanded verbally. She knows if I'm going to fuss at her and if I were to grab her collar at such time, it could provoke her to snap. I suspect it was something like this that lead to the bite in the OP. I do think this dog can be trained and this owner can learn how to read the dog better so as to avoid such situations in the future.

Richie I would highly suggest you read this Susan Garrett blog and watch the video on Dog Body Language. It could be very helpful to you going forward.
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post #80 of 81 (permalink) Old 06-12-2019, 11:35 AM
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My GSD is 15 weeks old and was never socialized. I’ve had him home now for 4 days. He will eat from my hand treats but will not let me touch him. I can trap him and put a collar and a leash on him. I would like to take him outside. This action of trapping him and putting on the collar will be traumatic for him. Should I do it anyway or should I just give him more time without any pressure ?
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