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We got our German shepherd, Baerchen, when he was 8 weeks old, and when we first saw him with his brothers and sisters he would always wander off on his own. His ornery and independent tendencies started showing as he got older.

He has grown up with our 9 year old Australian shepherd, Mocha, who has aggressive, and over-protective tendencies. Mocha barks, growls, and sees everything as a threat and I'm afraid his habits are rubbing off on Baerchen.
Baerchen is now 8 months old. I have brought him to a hardware store my dad worked at several times and he was always happy to meet new people, never showed any aggression. However, when we take him for walks in the park or around town, anyone in the distance is perceived as a threat so he growls and barks. I have told a few people he is a puppy in training and that we are trying to socialize him, so then he would go up and realize that the people were okay and move on. Anytime he sees new people he does the same thing, and is even more defensive around small children. I do not want to risk him going up to these kids as I don't know how he will react.
Lately he has been growling at Mocha for reasons I am unaware of, and even growling at my dad who gets down to pet him, which Baerchen has never done before. :confused: He is also showing his independence by staying outside when we tell him to come in, sitting in the yard when we go for walks in the field, and not coming on command (which is an issue requiring more training). However, I do not want to lose control of him or have him become anti-social like Mocha. Would getting him neutered help lessen the aggression, or what methods of training can I use to stop his unnecessary growling and lack of obedience?
 

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I do not want to lose control of him or have him become anti-social like Mocha. Would getting him neutered help lessen the aggression, or what methods of training can I use to stop his unnecessary growling and lack of obedience?
You already have lost your control. Neutering will not get him trained. Take him to a class or a private trainer as soon as possible and make sure you do the home work they give you.
Avoid trainers that use forceful means. He needs to associate everything he is scared of with positive experiences. Book: The Power of Positive Dog Training from Pat Miller.
Avoid contact between Baerchen and children until you get the OK from your trainer.
 
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