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My 1 1/2 yr old GSD (Diesel) has growled at my son before, but only when he was in his cage and only did it a couple of times. The other day we had just came back from a walk. Diesel was laying accross my lap and i was petting him, my son walked over and was rubbing him on his head and Diesel was letting him. My son stepped back away and said "Diesel's a good doggy" then Diesel growled at him and acted like he wanted to lunge at him but luckily i still had him on the leash and he couldn't pull away from me. I'm unsure on what to do now. My wife wants me to get rid of him and I think maybe I should. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.
 

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How old is your son? Not sure but it seems like Diesel thinks of himself as higher in the pack order than your son. It can be corrected with more training, depending on how old your child is.
 

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I would have Diesel off your lap and start practicing NILIF for a while. I am fostering a boy who after a month has attached himself to me. His true personality is coming out now that he is comfortable here He had no manners or training at all when we got him. Just housebroken and cratetrained. Neutered late Oct. Now, whenever my 16 yr son comes around he barks, growls. I was letting him up on the couch w/ me but no more. He will go into the foot area of the desk and when son comes around he growls. So no more of this either. I am having son give him treats, but son doesn't want to deal w/ this(typical 16 yr) Just trying to let the dog know that We are the leader, protector and not him is my goal til we get him into a forever home.
In your case, the leash may have had something to do w/ his reaction, what type collar was he wearing? Still NILIF should be stepped up, though. It may be just a growing teenage phase(Diesels), and to "get rid of him" would really benefit no one. Unless you see something you, yourself cannot manage. Maybe have your son walk him, feed him and be his caretaker for a while. Where would he go, you'd be passing on a problem without correcting it.
 

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It sounds to me as if your dog is guarding what he believes to be his. His cage, you. Does he do this with toys or food?

He may think his social status is higher than it is. You can work on this by controlling all of his resources and making him earn privileges. You can also let your son do some of his feeding. Your son can tell him to sit and wait while his food bowl is put down. If you are free feeding - (bowl full and available all day) stop now and go to 2 feeding times a day. Bowl is put down and taken away 10 minutes later whether the food is gone or not.

Your son can tell him to sit and wait at the doorway before he gets to go outside.

He is not allowed on furniture until he understands his pkace in your home

He who controls access to resources - the things the dog wants like food, outside, attention, resting places etc, is the guy with the upper hand socially.

If you feel like Deisel is dangerous use a muzzle. If you are that afraid of what he would do and you cannot or will not work with him, re-home him or put him down. Harsh words but if you let this continue and he bites (he may never bite) you may regret it.
 

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I think that Onyx'Girl and KathyW have given you some great advice, I too have a similiar situation with my 6 month old pup, she hates it ,when my stepsons who are 12 & 13 yrs, hug me. I have stepped up the NILIF as Onyx'Girl suggested and I have been having my step sons feed my pup and do some training with her as well, just like KathyW has suggested. It has helped immensely and done wonders with how my pup looks at my stepkids. It just takes work and time, I think like the others mentioned above, Diesel probably thinks he is higher than your kid, as is/was the case with my pup now. I also have my pup in a bunch of training with some wonderful trainers and the training has helped my pup out alot as well. I think your Diesel can work through this little phase, all you need is too work with Diesel, and have your son get involved and work with Diesel as well. It is a frustrating and scary situation, but if handled right I think it could be resolved, as I have seen in my own household.
 

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Originally Posted By: Rufnekwell sorry to be a noob but what is NILIF?
You are NOT a noob, we are bad about taking for granted everyone know things like this....


Stands for a training method called 'Nothing in life is free', more info on these sites:

http://k9deb.com/nilif.htm

http://www.mobilespca.org/Uploads/Documents/Training%20Your%20Dog.pdf

http://www.hsus.org/pets/pet_care/our_pe...techniques.html

http://www.pets.ca/articles/article-dog_nilf.htm

http://www.goof.com/~pmurphy/NILIF.html
 

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Certainly sounds like you have a pack structure issue on your hands. It is your responsibility as pack leader (if, in fact, you are) to correct and not tolerate that behavior. The good news is that your son should be old enough to assist with the solution. Others have offered some good advice. I would advise having your son work with the dog in obedience training - giving sit and down commands... lead the dog on walks, etc. Practice NILIF... but correct the dog immediately and sternly any time that behavior is demonstrated.

Good luck!
 
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