Hello all! I am a new member to this group and a new GSD owner! We rescued our girl about a month and a half ago from the shelter. She is a 6.5 year old purebred GSD, 95 lbs and gorgeous beyond belief! She is EXTREMELY smart, listens relatively well and hasn't given us any problems at all. She does not bark at all when there is a knock at the door, she does not have food aggression or toy aggression.
Here are my questions for anyone with any suggestions for me... When we got her we were told she was good with kids and dogs. She is good with everyone
I have a 3 year old, an 8 year old and an 11 year old. She has been absolutely amazing with my kids. About a week ago my 11 year old was playing with our little one and she is a "squeaker" she tends to squeak when she's excited (it's her laugh) when she did this the dog jumped up and jumped on the couch and started licking my daughter all over, almost frantically, sniffing her. We immediately had the dog get down and I walked the dog to her dog bed and had her stay there. She was panting the whole time and would not take her eyes off my daughter. My daughter got up and went to her playroom and the dog proceeded to follow her and attempt to jump on the couch my daughter was on in the playroom. I didn't allow it and the dog stayed on the ground but was staring at my daughter. Since then, every time my daughter gets up, the dog follows her and has put her mouth on her forearms and calves. She hasn't bitten her at all and seems to be doing it so gentle that my daughter doesn't even know what's going on, I stop it immediately, but I am wondering is the dog being protective of my daughter or could she possibly be trying to dominate her? When my daughter gets up to walk sometimes the dog gets so close to her that her body is touching my daughters body. This isn't all the time, although it is happening more than I'd like, other times the dog ignores her completely. Most recently, my daughter got excited about a commercial in tv and let out an excited squeak, the dog jumped up and tried to repeat the above mentioned behavior but I got in between the dog and my daughter and the dog attempted to ignore me and push her way past me to get to my daughter, she didn't get past me and after about a minute of this she sat down in front of me but never took her eyes off my daughter. She doesn't growl, she doesn't bark. Her tail is down when she does this. I know and have taught my children how to behave around dogs and around our new dog, but I don't want my daughter to stop being herself all together.
Also, every time she sees another dog she pulls so hard on the leash that I have bruises on my hands and she barks. Her tail is wagging but I know that means nothing. Some trainers said she was aggressive, others have said she is reactive and not aggressive at all, I don't want to take the chance of taking her to a dog park if I am unsure how to read her body language just yet.
I have her scheduled for training classes which start in a few weeks. But I have had several consults with many trainers and have heard something completely different from all of them, so I'm a little confused as to what to think. I know to never leave the dog alone with my children and they are always supervised, but I don't think she is aggressive at all. She just follows my daughter very closely and has a tendency to "stare her down" while panting. I know to not let her dominate and I am working on having everyone in the house be seen as the pack leader to her. I'm wondering if anybody else has experienced anything similar to this and if there is something I should be doing or if it is nothing. Thank you in advance!!