German Shepherds Forum banner
1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone.

Looking for some advice.
We have an 18 month old GSD, intact male, living with us since he was 8 weeks old. He has always been very docile with everyone in the family and spends most of his days with my wife and 9 yr old son, and loves playing and going on walks with them. They have been involved with training since the beginning and both feed him frequently to strengthen the bond.
However, recently we had two episodes in which he started growling at my son for no apparent reason. Both of these happened while the dog was laying down but awake and perfectly aware someone was approaching (not a case he has been startled). The most recent one happened just now while I was petting the dog and my son approached at walking speed and the dog was aware of his presence since he got in the room. When my son got closer the dog locked his stare on him and started growling. No food or toys in immediate vicinity. Not very loud and no barking, but a clear growl.
I can’t imagine what has changed and I’m getting apprehensive with this situation.
Any ideas on what I can do to stop this behaviour, or what might be triggering the dog?

Any help very much appreciated.

Dog Dog breed Carnivore Fawn German shepherd dog
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you very much. Just talked with my son and he doesn't remember anything. I'm fairly positive he would tell me he he knew. When they play together it can get a bit rough with tug and some chasing and all that, but nothing that I would imagine to be perceived as threat by the dog. We came out of a large park just after (not dog park) where we were running around a bit and throwing a few balls and they were the best of friends.
I'm more thinking in line with resource guarding, and will definitely try your suggestions. Would collar corrections help at all if I see him staring or start growling, or do I risk making it worse?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quick question, how exactly did you respond to each episode?
First episode happened with my wife, so I can't give details. On this second time, I was kneeling by the dog petting him, and as soon as the growling started my son stopped, dog got a very firm no, and I held to his collar with my hand, just in case he would lunge. Then I asked my son to continue walking and pass by us without petting him. Everybody stayed in the room. After some minutes I took him to his crate.
Anything I should have done differently?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Does he understand look or ignore? Give a command he knows that would require him to break the focus and then correct for not following the command. You don't want to create a negative association with your son.

We taught ours ignore, which means quit focusing and look away.
He gets leave it, but for objects. "watch me" could work.

Would intensifying the training with my son help at all, with me correcting if he doesn't follow the command?
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top