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Discussion Starter #1
I can't tell you all how upset I am as I write this. Blitz, my 6 year old male GSD growled at me this morning. I raised this dog. He has always been an absolute love and I am just floored. In addition to wondering what would cause this behavior, I also don't want to react inappropriately to that signal, so I need your help from a variety of directions.

Here's what occurred. Normally when I leave for work, I shoo the pups outside and then open the dog door for them so they can remain in the master bedroom if they choose (not the rest of the house - just that room). I shooed the other two out but Blitz decided to run the opposite direction. I followed him and he next ran up on the bed and laid down. I thought the fur on his back raised a bit as I came toward him and feel like a fool to write this but I really dismissed it thinking that would never happen with me and that I had observed incorrectly. In retrospect, stupid denial.

This morning, the same thing occurred. The difference is that after he stretched out on the bed, when I went toward him he softly growled and his fur was up. I softened my voice and he sat next to me and gave kisses but was still reluctant to go out. After I walked outside, he did so but then tried to get right back in. I grabbed him without any sign of aggression on his part and closed the door so he could not go running back in. Outside, I told him to sit and as usual, he complied. When I had him "down" he appeared a bit reluctant but after a repeated command did comply. I have left him out for a bit and he seems fine. It has been over 100 outside for days but in CA in the summer, that's nothing new. Injury perhaps??

I have never had this kind of behavior from a dog I owned and Blitz is my number one best pal - and my first GSD. Any insight or help would be so appreciated. I will have the vet examine him just to be sure there isn't something medical going on as never, ever, before yesterday has he demonstrated this behavior to me or anyone else.
 

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First thing I would do is visit the vet. Maybe a UTI? my Echo acts very odd when she has a UTI, hiding behind furniture is a big one for her when she is in pain.

Something has him freaked out to where he does not want to go out. Is he reacting to any of the other dogs getting on the bed with him?
 

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Forgot to add, when Echo was in pain she did growl at me, but I know for a fact she would never bite me.
 

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i think he has something going on medically to be starting this out of no where but there really isnt no way for me to know just from reading your post whats going on. so i say its comes down to checking out all possiblities and narrowing it down. a vet visit would be the first and if nothing comes from that i would start NILIF with him. make sure he is getting along with the other dogs in the home when you are not around. perhaps observing through a window when they are out together. also something could be spooking him out there, maybe a neighbor? maybe the heat is getting to him? there are so many possible reasons for a dog to get moody, i hope you discover what it is. if its him pulling rank, offering the right level of leadership should get him back under control, and NILIF is a great structure for this reason. the best thing you can do until you find out just whats going on with him is to keep yourself acting as normal as possible so you dont put yourself in a position to be threaten by him [dont let him see uncertainly or fear coming off your face or body language]. keep the handling to a mininum and if needed have him drag a leash when you can so you dont have to take him from the collar if you need to relocate him. if he is moody with the other dogs, i would even keep him seperated from them as well.

i hope you get resolve soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you so much for the response. I would like to think that Blitz would never bite me either but frankly, I am so floored he growled that I now question that....I will be at the vet's Monday. I started reading Chris Wild's very helpful section on aggression and medical problems and suspect he has some discomfort of some sort going on. Many thanks again for offering your experience - it helps!
 

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I know I was shocked when Echo growled at me, first thing I did was put my hand on her to see if she would actually bite me...she didn't


Also when she gets a UTI she does not want to go outside. I have to bribe or drag her out. When you go to the vets take a first morning urine sample and a fecal sample with you. It will help speed things along.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Three Dogs - great advise re bringing some samples with me. and thank you for sharing your Echo story. We all know dogs growl and bite to demonstrate a variety of feelings - just feel so funny when it's your dog directed at you!
Angie, thank you for taking the time to write. I went out to pooper scooper and he seemed fine - wanted to play ball, etc. We played as usual and after I was done watering I let him come back in the house without the other dogs to see what he would do - came up to be petted and has stuck to me like glue.
One dynamic I have thought of is that several months ago, I adopted a female from a rescue. She is small but mighty and very pushy. Maybe she has altered his world more than I thought? She was very people shy and I have had to spend a lot of time with her getting her out of her shell. Do dogs even feel to that degree or if I am just reading too much into that?
Thanks again to both of you for the help. I will check back later to see if anyone else has anything further to add - most appreciated.
 
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