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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Has your dog EVER growled at you? What did you do? How did you handle it immediately and in the long term? What if the dog redirected and nipped your hand when you reached over to handle him while he was in an excited state?

Immediately - I'd imagine there being a swift and harsh correction from a certain set of owners while others might ignore it and handle it in the long term (management)

Long term - I'd imagine stepping up NILIF, removing access to privileges such as furniture, beds, toys, etc. make the dog understand he must earn everything again.

And yes, I ask because my dog after 3.5 years of displaying no handler aggression did just that. We just got our IPO2 2 weeks ago upstate NY and the relationship seemed so good... No big deal, I imagine I just need to nip it in the bud... but could use some advice
 

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For myself, it would depend on the circumstances. Your dog has earned his IPO2 just 2 weeks ago and now this is happening. I think it could be stress from all the training and work to get the title. He could be so charged up that he is overreacts. I would ease up. Do fun things with him - let him have a vacation from training - take him for long easy walks - let him sniff - if you have a safe area to let him off leash - do so. Also I would be concerned if the action was due to pain, if he had strained something , or a possible illness.
 

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Has your dog EVER growled at you? What did you do? How did you handle it immediately and in the long term? What if the dog redirected and nipped your hand when you reached over to handle him while he was in an excited state?

Immediately - I'd imagine there being a swift and harsh correction from a certain set of owners while others might ignore it and handle it in the long term (management)

Long term - I'd imagine stepping up NILIF, removing access to privileges such as furniture, beds, toys, etc. make the dog understand he must earn everything again.

And yes, I ask because my dog after 3.5 years of displaying no handler aggression did just that. We just got our IPO2 2 weeks ago upstate NY and the relationship seemed so good... No big deal, I imagine I just need to nip it in the bud... but could use some advice
I guess the first question I would ask myself, is whether he knew it was you. Was it just a reaction to touch?
Did he stop when he saw it was you?

Or did he look at you and react?
 

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I don't know if this helps but about a month ago mine is 11 months old we were on a walk it was dark and I accidentally stepped on her back foot she turned around and growled/nipped me, I was in shock and I screamed "no"!! But honestly she kinda seemed like she didn't know it was me. Now, about a week a go we were taking a walk it was light out, again I step on her foot she turned around looks at me and keeps walking no nipping no growling like nothing happened. I doubt your own GSD would want to actually hurt you, but if they did maybe check with the vet? And sense you just did IPO give it time and see


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When you say your dog was in an excited state, what exactly was going on? Did he growl at the same time? Is it possible that he was just being mouthy because he was excited and you misinterpreted the nip? Or was he intent on nailing you specifically? I have too many questions to give any worthwhile advice, and I'm wondering if it was a true bite or the heat of the moment.
 

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If this hasn't happened before and it sounds like you have a good relationship, the context of what happened may make a big difference in what you heard/saw/perceived. What you saw may have just been a lack of control/over excitement thing that you just need to work thru and learn how to manage to calm him or have him learn to gain more self control.

Often hard cause we want the excitement, we want the drive and the whoohoo, but then also having the dogs learn to immediately cap that when they maybe were having fun is just more teaching/learning/training as a stage they just have to work through.

I'd be aware, try to backtrack to figure out the context, but would NOT freak out and change everything at all. If normally he's fine, I'd go back to normal for a bit and watch him.

Don't rule out a medical issue, it's amazing what a bit of pain and soreness can do to make our dogs appear to behave suddenly different.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
It was heat of the moment thing. He was on the balcony. The neighbors came home. He was excited and agitated at the same time. Not barking, but started pacing restlessly. I came out to the balcony and called him over. Usually he comes right back, this time ignored me.

I came over to pick him up (he wasn't wearing a collar so I just grabbed him by the skin - don't panic it's a light grab so I can get a handle on him. I've done this a million times. I also specifically trained for this when he was younger - grab by the top of the neck gently, reward, and have him allow me to lead him by the skin. Again, I can assure you it was a light grab that we've done a million times). He turned around while growling, nipped my hand, was a gentle nip - neither skin was broken nor did I even feel any pain. Saw it was me, let go.

He made a mistake, but the thing that bothers me is he is always clear headed. Even in protection. I came and handled him before when he was under stress and he was always a thinking dog. Never overloaded, never redirected aggression towards me, not even a nip.

Anyway, like I said on my OP, no big deal. We all make mistakes. With that said, I want to nip this sort of thing in the bud. Of course, he's always wearing a collar now with a tab when I am home (for now, I'll stop having wear the tab when I am home soon enough). It might be excused by a lot of people saying that it was an accident, and that's fine. I like to have higher expectations of myself and my training. So if that happened, it means a mistake was made by me along the way. Just wondering how others might handle such a situation.
 

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Honestly, if this happened to me (just going by my interpretation of what you posted) I'd totally forget it. I'd think that the growling was vocalization and the nip was a mouthy gesture. But that's just my take. I'm also a scruff-grabber, and I prefer that to grabbing a collar because it's more hands-on and intimate. Again, just my way of doing things, lol. But if you think this was more of a problem, at least you have some good resources at your training club to consult with.
 

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I can understand your concern. It is does sound like redirection and that he was excited. He did stop when he saw it was you. I would practice with having him on his leash when the neighbors come home - then you can correct that way. I would have him drag his leash around the time they get home - then do the come or heel command - that way I could pick the leash up and turn quickly -he would have to follow.
 

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If this hasn't happened before and it sounds like you have a good relationship, the context of what happened may make a big difference in what you heard/saw/perceived. What you saw may have just been a lack of control/over excitement thing that you just need to work thru and learn how to manage to calm him or have him learn to gain more self control.

Often hard cause we want the excitement, we want the drive and the whoohoo, but then also having the dogs learn to immediately cap that when they maybe were having fun is just more teaching/learning/training as a stage they just have to work through.

I'd be aware, try to backtrack to figure out the context, but would NOT freak out and change everything at all. If normally he's fine, I'd go back to normal for a bit and watch him.

Don't rule out a medical issue, it's amazing what a bit of pain and soreness can do to make our dogs appear to behave suddenly different.
Yes.

I just did a thing on dog bite prevention last night with college students. Doggone Safe - Home has great info that I used, along with some other sites, but they talked about the dog in a state of high arousal. I compared it for the kids with the reaction that people have when watching a really exciting game on TV and someone walks in front of the television - the response that everyone has towards them - swearing, throwing things, pushing them, etc.

I am not a grabber ever, unless it's some kind of emergency, but regardless, I would work on associating that move with a positive thing - food, toy, slowly and in steps. Because if I was locked on something important and someone came near, I'd use my arm to wave them away, but if they got physical with me, I would probably be more forceful. Not saying I would be right in doing that, and we certainly don't want our dogs thinking they can react in any way they wish, but agree that it is a learning experience and something to look at, as MRL has said.
 

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Jean's post made me realize that there may be another issue here. Your dog was high in drive because the neighbors were coming home. He paced and was very agitated as you explained it. Considering that, I would want to prevent the build up in such a situtation. I would work on redirecting him - calming him when the first signs of nervous behavior were starting. What I would be worried about, is not so much the nipping at me, but that his behavior of becoming so worked up when the neighbors are coming home, is not appropriate for the home, for the IPO field yes, and I would be concerned about that .
 

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Could you of hit a sore spot or something?

If it is out of character for him I would look into a medical issue - a scratch, a sore, a bite of some sort that you grabbed and pinched?
 

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I must be lucky, none of my 5 dogs has ever so much as looked at me side ways.
Even the GSD when ive had to break up his fights on numerous occasions (when he and I was younger) has never turned to bite me, or when hes in pain (hips) etc

so i dont know hw i would handle it,
 
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