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I agree firm corrections are very much needed at times especially with younger dogs, and if you do them right they’ll remember well into adulthood and you won’t be fighting a 90lb+ dog later on. I’m curious what type of corrections people use, I know people aren’t always comfortable discussing these things on here, but if anyone is I’d appreciate it just so I know the corrections I would give or have given aren’t revving the dog up or sending the wrong signals.
 

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While I don’t believe in putting strict rules in place like Slam described here, I do think this situation sounds like a dog that’s needs to be shown the error of his ways. A hard stare that I knew was going to lead to an attack, I would come off the top rope to let him know is unacceptable. I wouldn’t allow any unsupervised interactions. I would be ready to respond at all times while they were together until I knew it was under control. I also will say the dog might be better off in a different home.
When a pet family owns a dog like this rules have to be in place. Dogs like this respond to strong leadership and consistency. That applies pretty much to all dogs. I don't know but I assuming you work a dog in sport? The 2 second rule is pretty standard for a competitive dogs or working dog. It works just as well with pet dogs. IF a dog hasn't started to sit within 2 seconds of being the command the dog is probably not going to do it. It is a fairly straight forward dog training principle, not strict just a way to have control and order with the dogs we live with. Also, we are giving advice to people on the internet where we haven't seen the dog, how they handle the dog or how the dog will respond. Growling at a family member, especially a child is inappropriate for any dog. Even more so for an 18 month old GSD. "Coming of the top rope" is ok for someone that knows how to handle an aggressive dog, and I do not disagree with that. 95% of the people on dog forums do not have aggressive dogs nor have they ever had to correct a dog willing to bite. Many would not be able or willing to snatch up an 80 lb GSD and handle the dog with out getting seriously hurt. Fortunately, the vast percentage of GSD's are not willing to seriously fight or want to bite a person for real.

I completely agree with not having any unsupervised interactions. It also goes with out saying that the owner needs to be ready to respond at all times until this is resolved. Being ready to respond at all times is how my daily routine is, it becomes second nature. The dog I am working now is relatively easy compared to my previous working dogs, he is probably the most social dog I have worked to date. Yet, I am constantly evaluating his body language and temperament when I am out in public with him. Accidental bites in my line of work are not a good thing. This is what this owner will need to do, be constantly vigilant when dealing with this dog.

To be clear, this is not a one and done situation. One really effective correction will not fix this problem forever. This is a situation that will re occur with out proper maintenance and ownership / handling.
 

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@Carter Smith it very much depends on the individual dog's temperment what correction is needed to make things clear to him/her.For instance a dog that tends to be very sensitive or timid could feel so threatened and afraid of a hard correction that he could get worse. Feeling defensive and needing to protect himself. A hard confident dog that wants to be in charge needs to understand that he does not make the decisions, the "boss" does.
I think the disagreements start when people don't take temperment variations into account or assume that since they've owned two or more GSDs in the past that they are all about the same. I've owned five and they've all had some similarities and also some distinct differences.None of them were resource guarders though I've had a couple of other breeds that were.They each required a different approach.
 

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The thing is if you put yourself in a position to fight the dog, you need to make sure you are in position to win that fight.
No worries on my end.

If you have the right relationship with even a serious dog, respect will win the day. That's just my experience, others have had much different dogs perhaps. That Rottie was a buck twenty and plenty serious. I had a Rottie bitch at the time too at a time when very few people even knew what the breed even was and way before they got popular.

But if my dog growled or bit at my kid or granddaughter, he'd be reminded of the pecking order in a hot second; if he wanted to take it to a fight, there'd be a fight he wouldn't forget. I just highly doubt it would go there with the dogs I've owned.
 

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Agreed. You growl/stare down/snap at my child, or any child, in my world and you are going to get a "come to Jesus" correction that leaves NO doubt in your little doggie brain that it is absolutely your last day on earth if it happens again.
This is one of those things that is the lesser of two evils. This is not a time for owners to be sensitive or forgiving. Dogs that bite kids end up dead or worse, and kids that get bit, well that's just bad. So one well timed, memorable correction and everyone is the better for it.
Perhaps that's how I should say it :cool:
 

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The dog growled but didn't lunge or bite. So with the help of a good trainer, forget the positive only, treating training it cold work. But you have to take this seriously. At least he warned. I would not punish the warning or he may resort to bite right away. I assume the dog has gotten away when he was still so cute and lovable. Their brains are wired to climb the ladder,.
This is what came to mind for me. If you punish the growl, you could end up with a dog that goes straight for the bite without warning. I would think you’d want to address why the dog is giving a warning in a situation that is inappropriate. If the growl is a result of resource guarding, address the resource guarding. I’m not a trainer so these are just my thoughts.
 

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No worries on my end.

If you have the right relationship with even a serious dog, respect will win the day. That's just my experience, others have had much different dogs perhaps. That Rottie was a buck twenty and plenty serious. I had a Rottie bitch at the time too at a time when very few people even knew what the breed even was and way before they got popular.

But if my dog growled or bit at my kid or granddaughter, he'd be reminded of the pecking order in a hot second; if he wanted to take it to a fight, there'd be a fight he wouldn't forget. I just highly doubt it would go there with the dogs I've owned.
You have to know your strengths, If Gus had come at me in full fight mode, I’d have been in trouble. Not all dogs are equal.
 

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I had always heard not to punish the warning like wolf dog said. A warning growl is better than a sudden and unexpected bite. But I am far from being an expert.
It doesn't mean you ignore a growl. It is powerful information to you from the dog that things are way out of line. Immediately apply the NILIF treatment and be strict, fair and consistent. Remember that he was successful when you told your son to walk away. They have a good memory.
If you do things right you will probably be ok. But now you have seen his intention. That means: no rough play, no tug no hugging and never have him be alone with the kid. He is not your furry sweetie like you saw him at 8 weeks. For new owners: treat your pups like the adult you want them to be. The only cute thing about a pup is the looks. But they are wired to grow up and they watch us to see what their opportunities are to get to the top. I think that's where the foundation for this problem lies .
PS: sorry for the annoying spelling checks earlier.
 

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This is what came to mind for me. If you punish the growl, you could end up with a dog that goes straight for the bite without warning. I would think you’d want to address why the dog is giving a warning in a situation that is inappropriate. If the growl is a result of resource guarding, address the resource guarding. I’m not a trainer so these are just my thoughts.
I think you address both.
But no way I'm letting the growl go without communication or you've default allowed it
 

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You have to know your strengths, If Gus had come at me in full fight mode, I’d have been in trouble. Not all dogs are equal.
That's why I stress it's just my experience. If a dog comes at you in full flight mode as in prepared to take you to the ground, you have other issues to worry about than how to correct a wayward growl. If you're afraid to correct your dog and deal with the consequences when necessary, it's not the dog for you imo. Were you ever afraid of Gus? Not respectful of his potential but afraid? I'd guess not.

As Slam said, none of us can see the specific dog or the situation in which it lives or the handler skills or a myriad of other things.
 

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Carmspack Gus
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I think you address both.
But no way I'm letting the growl go without communication or you've default allowed it
Aside from the growl which is the dog’s only way to tell you what is happening is not ok with the dog, what did this dog do wrong?
Seems like a fine line, correct the growl and in this situation may be resource guarding, it will continue because the resource guarding is not being addressed. The dog will either continue growling when guarding the owner or, stop growling which may lead to a bite without warning as the reason for the growl has no been dealt with.
 

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I’m not entering the corrections discussion and whether that’s right for this dog and this situation. But if it’s resource gauarding, you should consider teaching the dog where to put the energy. Kid approaches, tell the dog to get a toy.
Calm but forceful “knock it off, go get a toy” eventually turns into the dog feeling jealous and then getting a toy himself.
 

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Aside from the growl which is the dog’s only way to tell you what is happening is not ok with the dog, what did this dog do wrong?
Seems like a fine line, correct the growl and in this situation may be resource guarding, it will continue because the resource guarding is not being addressed. The dog will either continue growling when guarding the owner or, stop growling which may lead to a bite without warning as the reason for the growl has no been dealt with.
I can't repeat it any other way:
Address both (of course you want to discern the reason) but I'm not letting that growl slip while I try to decide if it's resource guarding or him trying to assert his own pecking order or maybe he's not feeling well or there's a chew toy nearby or I can't figure out why and never will....
 

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I can't repeat it any other way:
Address both (of course you want to discern the reason) but I'm not letting that growl slip while I try to decide if it's resource guarding or him trying to assert his own pecking order or maybe he's not feeling well or there's a chew toy nearby or I can't figure out why and never will....
Without being in the house to observe, it is difficult to know what the cause is. More experienced people would be able to identify quickly and go from there. We are making guesses for the OP.
 

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Without being in the house to observe, it is difficult to know what the cause is. More experienced people would be able to identify quickly and go from there. We are making guesses for the OP.
Absolutely. I thought I'd been very clear on that several times.

"That's why I stress it's just my experience.
As Slam said, none of us can see the specific dog or the situation in which it lives or the handler skills or a myriad of other things."
 

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Absolutely. I thought I'd been very clear on that several times.

"That's why I stress it's just my experience.
As Slam said, none of us can see the specific dog or the situation in which it lives or the handler skills or a myriad of other things."
I don’t know what the right direction would be for the OP. I don’t have a ton of experience with training so my posts are more about what my instincts would be which may be right or wrong. I’d be curious about how David Winners would do.
 

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I don’t know what the right direction would be for the OP. I don’t have a ton of experience with training so my posts are more about what my instincts would be which may be right or wrong. I’d be curious about how David Winners would do.
Same as anyone, you can't say definitively without a ton more information we can't get from an online post.
You can give generalities from your own experience. David would be able to give better advice after probing a bit more but still not complete.
 
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