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We have had Victor since he was 13 months old. He came from a training facility. His previous owner took him back after a year because she had lots of people in and out of her house and he was having to be crated all the time because he was always trying to attack people. We were told later that he actually bit service guys at her home.We knew he was protective but we did not know the severity of it until later. We being novices at GSDs did not know what questions to ask when we met with his trainers or what we were getting ourselves into. We found out later his mother was aggressive with people and went into a frenzy mode too. I wish to never speak with these trainers again because of their unprofessionalism. Victor's trainer yelled at us and told us to beat him and to put him to sleep when we called about his aggression issues later. He told us I don't want that dog back on his property. He also went back on his 6 month guarantee we had but I would never let Victor go back after the way the trainer acted. We have learned a lot about the GSD in the 7 months that we have had him. It is just myself and my husband and our animals. We chose not to have children and have made our animals our children. My husband is gone a lot so I am by myself most of the time. Victor is very protective of us especially me.Our problem is that no matter how much we introduce him to our family members that visit he tries to attack them. The same family members have had several play sessions with him but no matter what when anyone comes to our property he tries to attack them. We can not trust him with them because if anyone makes sudden movements he tries to grab them.Everyone is uneasy with him except myself and my husband. He has grabbed my nephew's leg and tried to with my niece but I pulled him back. We have used a prong collar, an e collar, we have crated him,he is still aggressive with people. He is super obedient does his commands well. He gets along with my cats,Jamie Lee,all of our pets it is just people he does this with. We just can not control him when people come over he will not listen to his commands if he was to dart out past me and someone was in the yard he would not stop. He goes into a frenzy mode and nothing will stop him from going for someone all his training goes out the window when he is in this mode. I have a lot more incidences with him but this is already long enough. Next is working with him with a muzzle on with his prong collar. By the way we live way out in the country so classes and trainers are not an option for us. This is something we are gonna have to do on our own. Any suggestions would be helpful!! We love this dog and we want to be able to have him included with family functions. Our family loves him but are uneasy around as he is unpredictable with people. Thank you in advance for your help.
 

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I understand how you feel, I have a aggressive dog as well. I got him almost 4 months ago and he is almost 2 years old. I cannot trust him with people or children. I'm trying to fix this but I dont know if I'm in it for the long haul. :(
 

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I understand how you feel, I have a aggressive dog as well. I got him almost 4 months ago and he is almost 2 years old. I cannot trust him with people or children. I'm trying to fix this but I dont know if I'm in it for the long haul. :(
Thank you so much for your post. It is nice to know there is someone else out there in my situation. We love him so much but we are getting so frustrated with him over this. He has had problems adjusting to Jamie too but we am dealing with those issues they are much less important than his people aggression. We were thinking about seeing our vet about him but we are afraid to medicate him(afraid of reactions)or have the vet want to euthanize him for his aggression but he is so unpredictable with people.
 

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Thank you so much for your post. It is nice to know there is someone else out there in my situation. We love him so much but we are getting so frustrated with him over this. He has had problems adjusting to Jamie too but we am dealing with those issues they are much less important than his people aggression. We were thinking about seeing our vet about him but we are afraid to medicate him(afraid of reactions)or have the vet want to euthanize him for his aggression but he is so unpredictable with people.
It's a difficult situation.

I dont want to be viewed as a quitter or someone who rehomes dogs but I do not have a bond with him, I feel like I tolerate him. I dont have the money for a good trainer. I have health issues right now that just developed and I have to take care of them. I honestly wish I never got him. I was misinformed about him, he became my problem and I dont know if I want to continue to work with him. :(
 

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Have you had a thyroid panel done?

To be perfectly honest with you, people aggression is not something that I give many chances over. You need professional help in order to work on this if you never have had to deal with it before, there are no exceptions to that. It may come down to the decision of keeping him away from people or euthanizing him.

He may never be comfortable with people in his home and you need to be really honest with yourself and if you cannot keep him and other people safe, you have a very tough decision on your hands.

Not to be overly negative but you need to be real about the problem you have. I hope that some experienced trainers come along and offer some insight on things you can do.

Best of Luck!

ETA: The use of harsh training tools like the prong collar and e-collar (especially if not under the guidance of a trainer) can actually make the situation worse. (I am not anti either of these tools btw)
 

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I just watched an episode of It's me or the Dog with an aggressive dog. I only caught the end of it, but it might help. It seemed low-stress for the dog and the family said she was progressing very well. I know it's not really what you're looking for, but if I can find it, I'll send you a link. It could be worth a shot. I'd try other people's suggestions first, since this was from a TV show, though.
 

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For me it's....

1) Is he worth it?

2) Am I willing to spend lots of money on him for trainers?

3) What if we get through all of this but I still am not bonded to him?

4) What if he does serious harm to someone?

5) What if he bites someone and I get sued?

6) Is my heart in this?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It's a difficult situation.

I dont want to be viewed as a quitter or someone who rehomes dogs but I do not have a bond with him, I feel like I tolerate him. I dont have the money for a good trainer. I have health issues right now that just developed and I have to take care of them. I honestly wish I never got him. I was misinformed about him, he became my problem and I dont know if I want to continue to work with him. :(
I don't think you will be a quitter or be viewed as a rehomer. You don't have a bond with him as we do to ours. I think sometimes you can try all you can and nothing ever gets through to some dogs. Hey we are both trying our best to help our dogs and I can tell you after to speaking to various people about Victor's issues that a lot of people would have gave up a long time ago on him. In the long run you have to do what is best for you and your family(whether it is furbabies,children or both). As far as what others will say about how you deal with your situation there are always gonna be people saying you gave up or you did not do the right thing and try to make you feel bad but in the end you have to know in your heart that whatever decision you make it was the best for you.
 

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I don't think you will be a quitter or be viewed as a rehomer. You don't have a bond with him as we do to ours. I think sometimes you can try all you can and nothing ever gets through to some dogs. Hey we are both trying our best to help our dogs and I can tell you after to speaking to various people about Victor's issues that a lot of people would have gave up a long time ago on him. In the long run you have to do what is best for you and your family(whether it is furbabies,children or both). As far as what others will say about how you deal with your situation there are always gonna be people saying you gave up or you did not do the right thing and try to make you feel bad but in the end you have to know in your heart that whatever decision you make it was the best for you.
Thank you, that is really nice of you. :)

I think for me the situation would be completely different if I actually bonded with or loved the dog. If I loved him then I would make a bigger effort with him, I would spend the money to hire a professional trainer. I feel like "Ok, he's here and I feed him and take care of him, I tolerate him but I dont enjoy him." It would be alot easier on me, my animals and my friends/family if I got rid of him. I could go back to focusing on Sinister only. I could go back to spending all of my time with Sinister and taking him everywhere like I used to.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Have you had a thyroid panel done?

To be perfectly honest with you, people aggression is not something that I give many chances over. You need professional help in order to work on this if you never have had to deal with it before, there are no exceptions to that. It may come down to the decision of keeping him away from people or euthanizing him.

He may never be comfortable with people in his home and you need to be really honest with yourself and if you cannot keep him and other people safe, you have a very tough decision on your hands.

Not to be overly negative but you need to be real about the problem you have. I hope that some experienced trainers come along and offer some insight on things you can do.

Best of Luck!

ETA: The use of harsh training tools like the prong collar and e-collar (especially if not under the guidance of a trainer) can actually make the situation worse. (I am not anti either of these tools btw)

That is why this is so hard for us because we are afraid he is going to hurt someone. I am afraid he is going to seriously hurt someone. We are afraid that we may have to euthanize him as it is in his blood.His mother was very aggressive with people and they should have never bred her. They were in it for the money. It is a hard situation for us but we recognize he is dangerous. I hope someone has some pointers for us.
 

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Thank you, that is really nice of you. :)

I think for me the situation would be completely different if I actually bonded with or loved the dog. If I loved him then I would make a bigger effort with him, I would spend the money to hire a professional trainer. I feel like "Ok, he's here and I feed him and take care of him, I tolerate him but I dont enjoy him." It would be alot easier on me, my animals and my friends/family if I got rid of him. I could go back to focusing on Sinister only. I could go back to spending all of my time with Sinister and taking him everywhere like I used to.
I completely understand. My family loves him but they are uneasy around him. The puppy(Jamie Lee) is great with everyone and she is so calm with everyone as we want Victor to be. Is yours aggressive with people too? Are you going to try to rehome or PTS? What are your options? I think if you have tried everything and just can't make this dog work then he has to go. Don't let anyone make you feel bad about it.
 

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I just watched an episode of It's me or the Dog with an aggressive dog. I only caught the end of it, but it might help. It seemed low-stress for the dog and the family said she was progressing very well. I know it's not really what you're looking for, but if I can find it, I'll send you a link. It could be worth a shot. I'd try other people's suggestions first, since this was from a TV show, though.

Thank you and anything I can get to help with this situation is appreciated.
 

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I completely understand. My family loves him but they are uneasy around him. The puppy(Jamie Lee) is great with everyone and she is so calm with everyone as we want Victor to be. Is yours aggressive with people too? Are you going to try to rehome or PTS? What are your options? I think if you have tried everything and just can't make this dog work then he has to go. Don't let anyone make you feel bad about it.
Yes, he is aggressive towards people. He is also toy/food/dog aggressive.

I dont want him to be pts. If there is a way to rehome him to someone that is a trainer or has worked with aggressive dogs and knows what they are getting into then I would rehome him to that person.
 

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Yes, he is aggressive towards people. He is also toy/food/dog aggressive.

I dont want him to be pts. If there is a way to rehome him to someone that is a trainer or has worked with aggressive dogs and knows what they are getting into then I would rehome him to that person.
Ok so you are in the same boat as us. Don't want to PTS but rehoming is going to be hard due to the aggression. I have spoke with someone who works with rescues(known her a long time,very animal friendly) and she also fosters and she said that no rescue is gonna want a people aggressive dog. I don't want to rehome the puppy but I am having a hard time dealing with both of the dogs. Victor requires all my time and it is hard to train with her so rehoming one has crossed my mind. The issue with that is if I rehome her and I have to in the long run rehome Victor or put him to sleep then I will have neither of them. I feel as if I try to rehome Victor he is gonna eventually seriously hurt someone. I don't want to pass his problems on to someone else as the trainers did to us.
 

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Ok so you are in the same boat as us. Don't want to PTS but rehoming is going to be hard due to the aggression. I have spoke with someone who works with rescues(known her a long time,very animal friendly) and she also fosters and she said that no rescue is gonna want a people aggressive dog. I don't want to rehome the puppy but I am having a hard time dealing with both of the dogs. Victor requires all my time and it is hard to train with her so rehoming one has crossed my mind. The issue with that is if I rehome her and I have to in the long run rehome Victor or put him to sleep then I will have neither of them. I feel as if I try to rehome Victor he is gonna eventually seriously hurt someone. I don't want to pass his problems on to someone else as the trainers did to us.
I completely understand you, his old owner lied to me about him. She said he didn't have any issues and that he was a great dog. I feel like a fool for believing someone that I didn't even know. I've tried calling and texting her but she wont return my calls or texts.
 

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Do you put Jamie Lee in a crate while you are trying to train Victor? That may help with his focus. Also, putting Victor in the crate while you train Jamie Lee. Don't neglect her just because Victor needs more attention. It won't hurt him to have an hour time out while you spend quality time with Jamie Lee.
 

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Leslie, have you already started to train Victor to accept wearing a wire basket type muzzle? If you have bonded to him and want to give him a chance, the first thing to do is start working on acclimating him to a muzzle. He can pant, eat treats, and drink with one on and it's a great way to ensure that people are safe while you are working with him. Don't treat it like a punishment, at first only have him wear it while doing low-stress things like training or eating treats.
I would join a list that has been amazing for me- it's called Positive for Reactive Dogs- Pos-4-ReactiveDogs : Positive Training for Reactive Dogs. Just searching through the archives, you can read about how people have worked with dogs that many would say are hopeless. It has been a great support for me and there are many knowledgeable members. Before you join, though, be forewarned that the list only endorses the use of positive methods (so don't post about the prong, e-collar, etc or you'll get a bunch of people telling you all about why they think they're awful).
It sounds like you are really committed to this dog, he is lucky to have found you.

Edit: the main reason I joined the list is because we discovered Regen is reactive toward small children and other dogs...and we plan to have kids while we have her.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Do you put Jamie Lee in a crate while you are trying to train Victor? That may help with his focus. Also, putting Victor in the crate while you train Jamie Lee. Don't neglect her just because Victor needs more attention. It won't hurt him to have an hour time out while you spend quality time with Jamie Lee.

We have a kennel in the back of the yard that I can put them in while I am spending time with the other one. It is behind the house so the other one can't distract the other. I give several sessions(training and free playtime) throughout the day with individual time and together time. Before dark I do training with Victor and tennis with him I have to tether Jamie to me or put her in the kennel because she will constantly run at his side biting him if I don't. I then after tiring him out work with her. She is not ball driven at all so that is why I don't play ball with her. I work with her training after he is tuckered out. Victor is awesome with his obedience training and Jamie is doing good as well. I don't think any of his problems are from not getting all the attention. He was like this before we ever got the puppy. It is just the people aggression that is the big issue. He is so possessive over me and my husband. He thinks everyone is a threat.
 

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He is so possessive over me and my husband. He thinks everyone is a threat.
Does he only act like this with you and your husband? It is only on your property?

Have you read the book Mine! by Jean Donaldson? If he is just possessive of you, then it may be resource guarding.

What does it look like when he is aggressive toward other people? Hackles up? Footing? Ear set? Charging or backing up?
 

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Leslie, have you already started to train Victor to accept wearing a wire basket type muzzle? If you have bonded to him and want to give him a chance, the first thing to do is start working on acclimating him to a muzzle. He can pant, eat treats, and drink with one on and it's a great way to ensure that people are safe while you are working with him. Don't treat it like a punishment, at first only have him wear it while doing low-stress things like training or eating treats.
I would join a list that has been amazing for me- it's called Positive for Reactive Dogs- Pos-4-ReactiveDogs : Positive Training for Reactive Dogs. Just searching through the archives, you can read about how people have worked with dogs that many would say are hopeless. It has been a great support for me and there are many knowledgeable members. Before you join, though, be forewarned that the list only endorses the use of positive methods (so don't post about the prong, e-collar, etc or you'll get a bunch of people telling you all about why they think they're awful).
It sounds like you are really committed to this dog, he is lucky to have found you.

Edit: the main reason I joined the list is because we discovered Regen is reactive toward small children and other dogs...and we plan to have kids while we have her.
A muzzle is the next step I am trying on him. I don't have a wire basket one as to they don't sell them near me. I have a cloth one right now to start out with.This is the type that was used on him at the vet also. I put it on him last night and he was not able to remove it. It allows for him to drink and pant also. I will have to try to get him used to it because he was very uncomfortable with it on. Thank you and I will take a look at the website suggested.
 
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