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I have a 3 1/2 year old Shepherd, possibly a black GSD though we aren't sure whether or not she is a mix.

This past summer we realized we may have a bit of a problem. While visiting family, we noticed she is showing signs of fear-based aggression towards strange men, such as family members she hadn't met before. This has never before been a problem.

When faced with new men, she is mostly ok when they are face to face, though perhaps a little more reserved than normal. Once a man has turned his back to her, she gets low to the ground, tail between her legs, and snaps at the back of the heels. This is not just one or two men, but any man she encounters that she had not met in the past.

We've tried everything we know of to try to break this habit, but we are new GSD owners and would like a bit of guidance.

Any tips? We really need help! We love our dog, but need to find out how to help her. :confused:
 

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Welcome to the site:)
Have you had a vet check done recently? Thyroid test would be a good start to be sure it isn't medically related.

Is there a GSD training club in your area? If not, find a worthy behavoirist to help you work on this issue.
Do you practice NILIF(nothing in life is free)? You can Google it for more info.
I would keep her on leash and not correct her if she reacts, but stop her before she can. The key to managing a reactive dog is reading their body language/ re-directing the behavior before it even begins.
Bring treats with you and keep the confrontations with men positive and build her confidence around them.
Michael Ellis has some good clips on aggressive behaviors, maybe view them for a better understanding of why she is acting out...
http://www.google.com/search?q=Mich...t:*&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&startIndex=&startPage=1
 

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i agree with the above, i would also never let her make the decision to nip the heels/feet when they are back to her or leaving from a visit.....either put her away when you know someone is leaving or have her onleash and walk her away at a safe distance, give her treats etc........hopefully she is food motivated..........

if you do go to a trainer or behaviorist, make sure they know what they are doing, unfortunately alot of people can hang out a trainer sign and don't have to be accredited in alot of states.........the wrong guidence can certainly make things worse...............all trainers/behaviorists are not equal thats for sure.........

you can also educate yourselves on fear aggression, counter conditioning practices, etc.........there is a wealth of info online..........

i don't think it would be a bad idea to get an evaluation from an accredited trainer/behaviorist they can guide you give you the tools you need to work with, then its up to you to use consitantly..........most likely most fear aggression is a lifetime management, but you can get to a more trustworthy spot through guidence and obedience........

debbie
 
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