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Discussion Starter #1
Bo is my 19 month old male GSD. I originally ended up with him because he was people aggressive. I have a bit of experience with GSDs and aggression, but I have never met one like Bo. I was hoping there was someone on this forum that may be able to offer some insight. So here is the problem . . .

Bo hates meeting new people. He does well if the no look, touch or speak to rules are followed (some people foolishly think that because he is sniffing them, or licking their hand he wants to be petted, despite my warnings). If a new person shows him too much attention he will snap at their hands if they try to pet him (he recently started nipping ppls rears:eek:)
or if the new person is sitting when they show him attention he will put his nose inches from theirs and growl. He does not do this to every person he meets, it tends be anyone who does not ignore him.
Once he has accepted a new person they are his best buddy and, he will roll on his back for belly rubs and in general be huge love bug. He has never shown any hint of aggression towards me. I can roll him on his back, remove food from his mouth, clip toenails, clean ears, all of that jazz.
He has been to a good trainer and taken basic obedience and will be starting advanced obedience soon. The trainer seems to think his behavior issues are him taking the protection role a little too seriousley. He is very protective, my boyfriend (who I have been with since I acquired Bo) is not allowed to wrestle with me in Bo's presence. If Bo is in his kennel and sees us goofing off he will bark, growl and carry on. If he is outside of his kennel he gives my bf a cold stare and stalk menacingly toward him.
Other important factors are; I have had him for about 6 months, he has been getting controlled socialization (and is showing some improvement), as mentioned before he IS seeing a trainer, he has had a complete blood panel (CBC/GHP) all normal.
Any info or insight would be helpful!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That could be. I have known but nipping to be a fear response. However, when he is preparing an "attack" he does not "whale eye" (show the whites of his eye) he gives a cold stare and holds himself stock still for a fraction of a second. He appears very confident when meeting someone usually, he slow tail wags and sniffs them, it is usually after a little sniffing (occasionally a lick) he will decide to try to bite. Also, he will voluntarily get in someones face if they talk to or look at him if they are sitting. I think he is definitely being protective when is concerned with my bf and I's shenanigans.
 

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I think he is definitely being protective when is concerned with my bf and I's shenanigans.
Protection and resource guarding are two different things. What you describe about Bo is fear aggression. Mistakenly people thing that fearful dogs are always scared, hiding, trembling, tucking tails, and bite only when cornered.Well, some dogs do preemptive strikes and that's what your dog is doing, telling people to FO without thinking twice if these people are threat to him or not. Do people back off when he growls? If yes then his technique is working and is definitely effective making your dog in control.

At this point I would stop putting your dogs in situations when strangers are getting into his face, petting him etc. You need be in control of his world, not him, because his judgment is skewed due to weak nerves.
 

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At this point I would stop putting your dogs in situations when strangers are getting into his face, petting him etc. You need be in control of his world, not him, because his judgment is skewed due to weak nerves.
One of the people who's face he got in and growled at was the trainer, whom is a trainer of K9's. Bo was being friendly and rubbing the side of his body against the trainer while the trainer was sitting on a small platform before class began. All of sudden Bo put his nose several inches from the trainers and growled very deeply. Bo is an odd guy, he hates cheese but loves tomatoes. Go figure!
 

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From what you have described, your trainer concluded that he was being "overly protective". That may well be, but rubbing his body alongside anyone else's seems to me to be actually more of an attempt at dominance, not to be seen as a friendly gesture. If a lower ranking member of a wolf pack did that to a higher ranking member (such as the Alpha) he would be dealt with severely. I would be inclined to look for another trainer, I don't feel confident that this person has a handle on what's going on. Your dog is going to do some serious damage one day if you don't get this under control.

Please read the book that AgileGSD suggested!
___________________________________________________
Susan

Anja SchH3
Conor GSD
Blue BH WH T1 GSD - waiting at the Bridge :angel:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
From what you have described, your trainer concluded that he was being "overly protective". That may well be, but rubbing his body alongside anyone else's seems to me to be actually more of an attempt at dominance, not to be seen as a friendly gesture. If a lower ranking member of a wolf pack did that to a higher ranking member (such as the Alpha) he would be dealt with severely. I would be inclined to look for another trainer, I don't feel confident that this person has a handle on what's going on. Your dog is going to do some serious damage one day if you don't get this under control.
The trainer is actually the best in the state I live in (as far as I know), I have known him for a long time. I will not be looking for another trainer just yet. . . unless someone can recommend some good trainers in the great state of Maine that I am unaware of.:D
 

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The trainer is actually the best in the state I live in
It doesn't mean that "the trainer of K9s" is good for your dog. When you have a dog that doesn't fit in a box then you have to forget about bowing to authorities and taking everything they say as a gospel. It's your dog, you'll live with the consequences of whatever advice you decide to follow.

Please do read the suggested book, and many more in addition :)
 

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It doesn't mean that "the trainer of K9s" is good for your dog. When you have a dog that doesn't fit in a box then you have to forget about bowing to authorities and taking everything they say as a gospel. It's your dog, you'll live with the consequences of whatever advice you decide to follow.

Please do read the suggested book, and many more in addition :)
I don't take it as gospel. Its just slim pickins. Where I live, there are not many trainers to choose from. Even fewer who's methods I approve of. I am also an L.V.T. working towards a specialty in behavior so I am not a "layman". I also am not an expert and I know this (obviously, as I am seeking help from someone more schooled in behavior than I). :eek: I was just wondering what other people could offer up as ideas.
I will likely read said book as I am a book nerd and read stuff like that for fun! Thanks for the advice!
 

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It doesn't mean that "the trainer of K9s" is good for your dog. When you have a dog that doesn't fit in a box then you have to forget about bowing to authorities and taking everything they say as a gospel. It's your dog, you'll live with the consequences of whatever advice you decide to follow.

Please do read the suggested book, and many more in addition :)
I'm sorry you have so few options for training - that does make it harder I would guess. I have to say though that I have seen a number of posts on different forums from people who were using K-9 trainers for pet companion dogs and it wasn't working out. (BTW what was your trainers reaction when he started the rubbing up against him routine? My old trainer would have made him knock it off, and the dog would not have done it again - guaranteed.) I don't get the sense that this guy has strong leadership: he's getting away with nipping people, getting away with some serious intimidation, controlling how you and your BF interact with one another......... I don't see a fearful dog, I see one which thinks he's King of the Hill...
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Susan

Anja SchH3 GSD
Conor GSD
Blue BH WH T1 GSD - waiting at the Bridge :angel:
 
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