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Our boy, Von Trex is 2 years old. He's a love but has some aggressive behavior (within past year) that concerns us. When I am in the backyard, raking or cleaning up his dog piles, he goes NUTS towards the rake or shovel. He's never been hit or threatened with these items and we're very kind and supportive towards him. When he goes into his NUTS mode, he runs around me, snapping, and barking. He's unfocused and I cannot reach him in any way. It's really quite scary and he's actually backed me against the wall. This weekend, after picking up his piles and putting them in a paper bag, I had the bag by my feet. I bent down to pick it up and he went nuts. I was determined not to get into a tug-a-war with him and stayed calm and used the corrective tones with him. Totally unreachable, he ultimately bit my arm when I tried to grab his collar. This was NOT a nip, but a bite. I'm still traumatized by this. Afterward, my husband and son (who he does listen to) were able to retrieve the bag but I was left with a nice injury (no stitches needed). I do not know what to do and now, I'm afraid him....though he lovingly follows me around the house. What do I do in this situation when he goes into NUTS mode? I love him so much. Kathy:(
 

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Hmmm, sounds to me like a dog with a lot of drive?? My female Gala is the same way, to her, it is all a game. Even when you grab the water hose she goes crazy, but it is not an aggression thing with people. Have you ever had this boy evaluated by a Schutzhund group? If no, I suggest you do. They will teach you how to control those drives. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The hose!!! Oh my...he goes crazy with the hose. How do I go about finding a Schutzhund group to evaluate him? Thank you for the quick reply.
 

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My dog is the same way with the hose, the vacuum and the lawn mower. The last time I mowed the lawn...she grabbed ahold of the front wheel and tried to carry it off. LOL But she will leave it if I tell her too.
 

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sounds like Zena. She tried killing our lawn mower a few times. She destroyed a couple of vaccuums (she's normally not destructive either). She enjoys stealing shovels and rakes from people when they're trying to use them. But she's never gotten so riled up about she bit anyone. I'm sorry you got bit but i too would suggest you have him evaluated at a schulzhund club. Its very possible he needs more exercise and needs to be trained around the objects he goes nuts. When i say trained around them, you want to start with teaching that behaving and focusing on you (in a good manner!) just near the object brings good things like tasty treats. then you can gradually move up until you're able to touch the object in question and he doesnt spazz. He needs to learn to listen to you and that he doesnt have a choice in the matter. Problem with that is going to be you've already shown him he's big and scary which in his mind has given him control over you and you're no longer alpha over him. When he backed you into a no escape route, that didnt help matters. I hope you get it all figured out. All else, you can also consult with an animal behaviorist.
 

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Thank you all so much! Your comments and suggestions have given me hope and some things to look into.
 

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Yes the lawn mower, vacuum and hose. Those are the big ticket attack items. THe hose is the worst. I have given up trying to water my flowers with the dogs out. I put them in the house and as soon as they see it through the window they start screaming and hollering.
 

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Every dog I have had goes after the vacuum and lawnmower. I put them out when vacuuming and inside when using the lawnmower. Dogs should not be outside anyway when using a lawnmower, things fly and they can get hurt. Chance has gotten better with the raking and other yard work. I give him a nice chew toy when he is outside with me while working in the yard. He used to get nippy and aggressive too and he once bit my ankle hard. Redirection. Best of luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Funny!!! I've lost more hoses as well!!! Amazing what quick work they can do to them. Trex's newest "toy" is a chunk of fire wood in our backyard. He's quit the whittler.
 

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Thank you all so much! Your comments and suggestions have given me hope and some things to look into.
You need to work with your dog to focus the drives and the crazy. So he'll still want to go after stuff BUT be able to listen to you (and not just your husband). A bite is a bite and is NOT acceptable.

But by 'not acceptable' I just mean you need to work with, train, focus and TEACH your dog the proper way to focus.

How many MILES of off leash exercise is this dog getting?

How many hours of training with you?

How much organized play time with you AND with rules so it's fun for both the dog and the human?
 

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Yea, sounds like a typical dog. Our baron (3 yo male GSD) also likes to attack our lawn mower. And also will try for any handled tool that we pick up and carry around him. Most of the time "Leave it" will work but every once in a while he really gets excited about "killing" the broom or rake or even a ladder and we have to have a serious "discussion" about his behavior.

A real PITN, but very normal.
 

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Kathy is asking about his Aggressive, Unpredictable behavior.. He's backed her into a corner, and bit her when she reached for his collar and I'm seeing some: that's 'normal, or typical' replies???? Reading that, it sounds like it's normal for GSD's to be aggressive and dominating to their masters...

However, I think alot of the things said such as him needing to be evaluated, and get more exercise, etc. are totally valid. My dog goes crazy over the hose and rake as well, and that's fine, that seems normal to me per GSD- but if he ever backed me into a corner and bit my arm...well, he would be in some serious trouble, that's for sure. It sounds like he has some dominance issues to me, he needs to learn that he is not the boss of you. I think you need to do LOTS of training with him, and learn how to be a firm handler in your relationship with him...each dog requires different training approaches so I would talk to a professional to evaluate him. If your dog is scaring you, he will be able to sense that and easily take advantage of you! I think if an owner ever feels threatened by their dog, they need to get some professional training help ASAP because that is not how dog/owner relationships should be.

Best wishes to you Kathy, I hope you can get everything figured out. Proper training tailored to his personality and to help you establish leadership will probably be just what he needs.
 

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I agree with others, get you and your dog into some professional training where you can both learn to channel and control the dogs drive. When you do start training, you should be the one to take the dog/handle the dog, not our husband or son, so the dog learns to listen to you. In the mean time, lock the dog up when you are doing anything that normally gets him so worked up.
 

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Max also loves to go after the hose, lawnmower and vacuum. I am guessing and since I was not there its just a guess. The biting you was probably from the fact he was so wound up that he grabbed the closest thing. A good trainer will help you correct him before he gets into that mode. You will learn to see the signs before he progresses to far.

Dogs have different drives, it sounds like yours has a high drive and they can get pushy if left to their own devices.
 

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Biting lawn mowers, vacuum cleaners, garden hoses etc. is only "normal" because so many dog owners either don't, or can't figure out how to stop the dog from doing the behavior. When you reach the point where your dog can't hear you, doesn't react to normal commands and can't be controlled he's way over threshold, and it can be dangerous. (as you found out with the bite)

Whether it's fear, aggression or drive,(I doubt it's drive) it resulted in a bite and that's the issue you have to deal with. He's also backed you into a corner, that's not good either.
If it were me I would call a behaviorist and have them do a home consultation where they can watch him in action with whatever seems to set him off. Exercise, building confidence, training etc. are all important but to really fix the problem you have to know if it's fear based, guarding, dominance, aggression etc. It definitely isn't normal.
 

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I don't think you need to be afraid of Trex - as other have said, he got himself riled up into a high state of frustrated drive, and no appropriate outlet - which resulted in a bite. Not sure if the backing you in a corner was aggression, he may have been trying to get you to engage him, and you backing up was an invitation to follow. Not having seen the event, don't know for sure, could have been aggression, but since his first outburst was directed at the rake, I would say that it was not directed aggression at you.

You have a high-drive dog with no appropriate outlet for his drives - as others have said, look into training, tons and tons and tons of excercise, and you need to step up and make sure that he listens to you too.

I would avoid putting him in situations where he may go overboard if you don't feel you can handle it - so I would go with the suggestion to keep him away when you are doing yardwork. My dogs will act the same way as Trex, but they have learned to control themselves and listen when I tell them to cut it out.
I also train in Schutzhund, so they get to direct their drives into positive and productive activities like tracking and obedience and bite-work. They are not aggressive, very sweet, happy dogs that love everyone, and even the cats.

So give your dog a job, he really needs one!
 

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my dog isn't allowed to go after the broom,
vaccum or the lawn mower. be very carefull with the lawn mower.
i don't mind the hose. my dog doesn't attack it but he gets in gear.
a couple of times my dog got a hold of
the hose. that hose became a sprinkler.

My dog is the same way with the hose, the vacuum and the lawn mower. The last time I mowed the lawn...she grabbed ahold of the front wheel and tried to carry it off. LOL But she will leave it if I tell her too.
 

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chewing on firewood is not good. splinters can get stuck in teeth or gums or worse somewhere in the gi tract. fresh wood is also not good...causes bloody, mucous diarrhea. just a heads-up.
 
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