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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Please - no judgments! We purchased a puppy from a breeder in Aug. He was four months old at the time, is almost 7 months now. Breeder had many positive reviews and we rushed into a purchase without doing the proper research on the breeder (dumb I know, but first purchase, first two GSDs we owned were rescues, we were grieving loss of our 9 yr old GSD to cancer in July). Dog has Czech/DDR lineage per pedigree on sire's side with many Schutzhund titled ancestor dogs. He appears not to have been properly socialized during the critical period before we brought him home. We have been trying to teach him manners. He is very smart, and will sit on command, is house-trained, and we have been working on the leave it command. He is also crate-trained. Very food-motivated, BUT has shown aggression (no actual bites so far), snarling, growling, lunging at visitors, other dogs. He's a big dog already at 64 lbs, very handsome, playful, but also intense, restless, and very high energy. He has a high prey drive and we fear for our cats' safety. He needs someone who can establish leadership with him. We had a professional trainer with over 30 years of experience at our house for a one- on- one training session. He did not like her correcting him and he went for her throat, nipped her chin. It was a warning more than an actual intent to bite I think. Obviously he could have done real damage if he wanted to. Trainer said he needs a very select person to re-home with, and hooked me up with a contact at our local Humane Society who has successfully placed another such dog with a Shutzhund trainer. But in talking to vet yesterday, if this person will not take him or knows someone who will, he will probably be put down if we turn him over to the Humane Society. He needs a home with no children (our son is 15 and he has been okay with him), no other pets, and a very experienced handler. Help! Breeder's father has expressed interest in taking him, but I'm reluctant to send him back there.
 

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Keep things calm and don't surrender him to the Humane Society or any rescue. They will either put him down or he runs a high risk to end up in the wrong home. Many don't know how to handle this type of dog. Do not fight this dog but check out NILIF treatment. Do not indulge in cuddling but kinda ignore him to make him more depended on you. Lots of play and exercise without putting pressure on him that he could fight you for. Despite her 30 years of experience as a trainer, she might not have been the right one for your dog. Look for one who knows these dogs. Where are you located? I am sure many here can help you find the resources you need or take him even.
 

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Can you reach out to a schutzhund club or other sport clubs? there is a chance they might be able to get a lead on a good home for the pup.
 

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Im very sorry to hear this, just seems like a trainer more experienced with aggressive dogs and more direction could help the situation but it seems like you are at your wits end. Not here at all to cast blame or judgement, but wondering how much exercise he is getting a day, both physical and mental? Have you looked into your local schutzhund club? Maybe giving him an out to put all that bent up energy and aggression to use in a more suitable environment, and you never know, if you still want to rehome maybe somewhere out there will like what they see in the dog (high drive and and a good bite are what people look for in sport dogs) and end up keeping him and titling him. If youre not 100% about the rehoming I would try a new trainer atleast one more time and stick with a schedule.
Remember at only 7 months hes still a puppy, a very big puppy, but a puppy.
 

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Please consider returning this pup to the breeder as soon as possible. A reputable breeder has far more appropriate contacts for placing a pup with this type of temperament than anyone else you may reach out to. Not all pups develop as expected and he obviously ended up in the wrong environment. He needs to be with an experienced handler--the sooner the better for him--before his behavior rewards itself and he escalates. Genetics can also play a huge role here. Natural aggression is breed appropriate, but some lines are known to consistently produce pups with either general inappropriate aggression or handler aggression. Some lines mature out of it and blossom in experienced hands--others grow INTO it and require lifelong management that is difficult and can become a huge liability. It will be easiest on him if he is raised from a young age by someone who understands what he is and how to deal with it. There is absolutely no shame in returning him. Sometimes even the most experienced breeder will have a pup that develops far differently than he/she expected at a very young age and fully agrees that a different placement is in the best interests of all

Good luck.
 

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There needs to be a proper research on buyers as well. Sounds like the breeder made a mistake placing the dog with you. Always breeders with many positive reviews from plenty of good dog people will take that dog back vs letting you kill it. The biggest hmmm flag in the post " He needs someone who can establish leadership with him." A high prey drive dog going to a cat home with a average or below working dog type owner is really a bad idea out of the gate. Correcting a dog you don't know in the dogs environment surrounded by the family on the first visit equals at least to me 30 years of sub par experience.

The dog needs a little bit more fitting home and handler it does not need to be killed because your in over your head. Give the dog back to the breeder or the breeders father unless there is real evidence the dog would be in harms way, it does not sound that way by the post. From the post most working dog people will not be challenge by this dog. Not trying to hurt your feelings calling it as I see it with the limited info presented.


Very much hope this dog makes it out alive.
 

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Fact is, 30 years of experience means little if it wasn't good experience and screen any so-called 'experts' carefully.

Pup needs to be in a new home, that much is clear. Pup sounds pretty typical of a teenage GSD. If the breeder will take him back, start there. I also hope this pup gets a second chance at life.
 

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OP, how are things now? Have you made any decisions, changes? My young dog Griff (10 months old), similar type from what I get from your post, is now shaping up nicely but I too have pulled out my hair when he was your dog's age. I wondered why in the world I ever got another pup or why I didn't get a Spaniel (kinda). There were times when I wondered if I even should put my name on his papers. I have 25-ish years of pet training/trainer experience, but never dealt with a strong dog like him as my own dog. With help of other trainers, his breeder and this forum he is doing well. You have to keep an open mind and take the advice from people who have been through this. We are not out of the adolescent woods yet, but it is now more of a maintenance/reminder level of training. And yes, my name and his are on the same paper!
Take an honest look at yourself: are you up for this challenge? If yes, get to work and find a capable trainer. If no, find him a home where he can thrive. Do not pity him. He should not be put down, just because he is too much dog.
 

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Perhaps if OP can post a region where they're located, people could suggest other trainers? Otherwise, I agree with returning the dog to the breeder. Do not surrender, 99.9% of local humane societies will not have any idea how to deal with a dog like that successfully.
 

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I know you didn't ask me, but NILIF is 'Nothing in Life is Free'. Requiring the dog to work for everything it gets. You want to eat your dinner? Sit and look at me and be calm first, then put the food down. Want to play fetch with a ball? Sit and wait, then I'll throw it. Want this yummy treat? Make the dog do a couple sits and downs. That kind of thing. We do this with our dog for 95% of any food or treats she gets. If she doesn't bring the tennis ball back to us, we don't throw it more than once.
 

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Please - no judgments! We purchased a puppy from a breeder in Aug. He was four months old at the time, is almost 7 months now. Breeder had many positive reviews and we rushed into a purchase without doing the proper research on the breeder (dumb I know, but first purchase, first two GSDs we owned were rescues, we were grieving loss of our 9 yr old GSD to cancer in July). Dog has Czech/DDR lineage per pedigree on sire's side with many Schutzhund titled ancestor dogs. He appears not to have been properly socialized during the critical period before we brought him home. We have been trying to teach him manners. He is very smart, and will sit on command, is house-trained, and we have been working on the leave it command. He is also crate-trained. Very food-motivated, BUT has shown aggression (no actual bites so far), snarling, growling, lunging at visitors, other dogs. He's a big dog already at 64 lbs, very handsome, playful, but also intense, restless, and very high energy. He has a high prey drive and we fear for our cats' safety. He needs someone who can establish leadership with him. We had a professional trainer with over 30 years of experience at our house for a one- on- one training session. He did not like her correcting him and he went for her throat, nipped her chin. It was a warning more than an actual intent to bite I think. Obviously he could have done real damage if he wanted to. Trainer said he needs a very select person to re-home with, and hooked me up with a contact at our local Humane Society who has successfully placed another such dog with a Shutzhund trainer. But in talking to vet yesterday, if this person will not take him or knows someone who will, he will probably be put down if we turn him over to the Humane Society. He needs a home with no children (our son is 15 and he has been okay with him), no other pets, and a very experienced handler. Help! Breeder's father has expressed interest in taking him, but I'm reluctant to send him back there.

No judgment at all! We have a 18 month old Czech lineage that we just had in a 3 week boot camp boarding program because we could not get a handle on his dog aggression. We also got him at 4 months, which I didn't know wasn't the best thing to do. He's the toughest GSD I've had, and he's my 4th. He's kicking our butt.

Don't put stock in what that trainer said or what your dog did. Your dog was protecting you and your house. Please post where you're located. There are trainers who board and train and could help you with him if you're interested. Best of luck to you.
 

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No judgment at all! We have a 18 month old Czech lineage that we just had in a 3 week boot camp boarding program because we could not get a handle on his dog aggression. We also got him at 4 months, which I didn't know wasn't the best thing to do. He's the toughest GSD I've had, and he's my 4th. He's kicking our butt.

Don't put stock in what that trainer said or what your dog did. Your dog was protecting you and your house. Please post where you're located. There are trainers who board and train and could help you with him if you're interested. Best of luck to you.
I'm sorry, but I disagree that this dog was protecting the OP or their house. That is not what was happening at all. The dog was reacting to someone giving it a correction, the only thing the dog was "protecting" was himself and I would call that reacting and not protecting.

To the OP, the best course of action would be to return the dog to the breeder.
 

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My young dog Griff (10 months old), similar type from what I get from your post, is now shaping up nicely but I too have pulled out my hair when he was your dog's age. I wondered why in the world I ever got another pup or why I didn't get a Spaniel (kinda). There were times when I wondered if I even should put my name on his papers. I have 25-ish years of pet training/trainer experience, but never dealt with a strong dog like him as my own dog. With help of other trainers, his breeder and this forum he is doing well.
I forgot to knock on wood and forgot that adolescence is not over yet. :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
OP here - many months later! Did re-home with breeder's father, and the last news I heard was that he was making progress in establishing leadership. Dog was acting aggressively with him too, but he is used to this kind of behavior from his daughter's dogs. So glad I sent him back, and many thanks for all the advice. I just could not handle him and the stress he caused. I have an auto-immune disease, my 15 year old son was not interested in working with him, and my husband works long hours. We just were not the right home for him. We recently adopted a 1 year old rescue GSD who is great with our cats and super chill (for a 1 year old : ) ). Our household is so much more peaceful now! Very happy with how it worked out.
 
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