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about 11 hours ago · #1
Aggressive GSD Puppy?
Hello,
I've owned two purebred GSDs before, both rescues. One was adopted at 1 1/2 yr and the other at 9 mo. They were awesome dogs, laid back, great with people, never any behavior problems. After our last fellow passed, we decided to try getting a puppy from a breeder. We met both parent dogs and brought a male pup home. He's been with us a month and is currently 5 months old. He'll be getting neutered next month. My concern is that he has acted aggressively with visitors at our house. He lunges, barks very aggressively, and I think he would bite if not restrained. He is unpredictable about it too. A friend of my son's was over and he was completely fine with him, and then the next time he visited, our pup acted like he was going to attack him. Same thing happened when my father-in-law visited. Fine with him first time and then vicious the second time. Any ideas why he'd act this way, and any advice? He's so different from our first two dogs.
 

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Puppies need to be taught how to behave around people, other dogs, traffic, kids, etc.,...they don't come preprogrammed knowing what "behave" means to you. Neutering won't help this. But training will. What do you do when your dog acts aggressively toward friendly visitors? How does your puppy act toward people away from home?
 

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Definitely a fear response. You shouldn’t have to teach your dog to not have this reaction at this age. I have a 5 month old right now and has never barked or lunged at a single person. I would consult a trainer ASAP.
 

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Over socialization can certainly cause a reactive dog. Seen it many times.
Agree. You can’t flood them. OP, you probably need a trainer to help you get through this. Look for a good balanced trainer (not positive only) who understands GSD. The earlier you can get this under control, the better. Don’t wait around and let this become behavior your puppy gets to practice over and over.

ETA: Is he crate trained? I would put him up in a crate where no one can bother him when you have visitors for the time being, until you can get help in person from a trainer.
 

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Hello,
I've owned two purebred GSDs before, both rescues. One was adopted at 1 1/2 yr and the other at 9 mo. They were awesome dogs, laid back, great with people, never any behavior problems. After our last fellow passed, we decided to try getting a puppy from a breeder. We met both parent dogs and brought a male pup home. He's been with us a month and is currently 5 months old. He'll be getting neutered next month. My concern is that he has acted aggressively with visitors at our house. He lunges, barks very aggressively, and I think he would bite if not restrained. He is unpredictable about it too. A friend of my son's was over and he was completely fine with him, and then the next time he visited, our pup acted like he was going to attack him. Same thing happened when my father-in-law visited. Fine with him first time and then vicious the second time. Any ideas why he'd act this way, and any advice? He's so different from our first two dogs.[/QUOTE]

Talk to your breeder. True aggression from a 5 month old puppy is very rare and play behavior from a puppy with proper GSD working dog temperament can be mistaken for aggression by people more used to pet dogs.
 

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Over socialization..... I can not even understand such a thing.... WHAT AM I MISSING HERE...
I think it’s really depends on the dog. Some can take whatever you throw at them and others require socialisation in smaller doses or it can become stressful.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
OP here. Thanks for responses. I'm definitely looking to find a trainer because I've no experience dealing with this kind of behavior. We are working on socializing him. He's been fine at PetSmart, on walks, at my mom and dad's house. And we are crate training. My son is 15, so only teens at the house, but I don't want him biting anyone of course. No worries about little ones though. Unfortunately (and believe me, I feel really stupid about this now) we didn't ask enough questions of the breeder. Our 9 year old GSD male had just passed away after a fight with cancer, and we rushed into this. Breeder told us, as we were leaving, that his background/lineage was Czech/DDR. I ordered his pedigree and he does have Czech in ancestry, and great grand dog was from Denmark, and sires before that all registered in Germany. So working lines apparently (lots of Schutzund titled dogs- I think they have to be to breed over there). So way more intense, high energy, and protection oriented than my previous two. Neighbors are police officers so I might check with them to see if they have any canine law enforcement contacts that might know of trainers that would be good to work with. On the positive side, he is smart, learning sit, stay etc fairly quickly, and is very food motivated.
 

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He could be acting aggressive due to being territorial. How is your other dogs react to his behaviour? Do they intervene? How does the pup behave around your other dogs?

5 months is indeed quite young for a pup to start acting that way. Getting a trainer who SPECIALISES in this breed/powerful breeds is definitely in order. Don't let your pup run the house.

You have to make the correction at the right time, that's why we need professional dog trainers to teach us how to deal with such behaviour.
 
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