German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 31 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi there, this happened a few minutes ago, and I decided to sign up here and get to the bottom of it.
I was trying to fall asleep on my couch, with my GSD Kasper.
Kasper is almost two years old, 104 pounds, and I have had him since he was two months.
I was laying down and repositioned, and I looked over my shoulder to ask Kasper to move his paw, and I gently touched it. He then growled at me and bit at my leg as a warning, so I immediately jumped off the couch as did he. He walked away and is now sleeping outside my door.
Any ideas why my best friend of two years would do that?
:help:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,828 Posts
It's possible that he's hurting or more likely he's deciding to assert his dominance over you. The fact that you did nothing about it except watch him walk away makes me think the second option and this has been building for a while.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,135 Posts
I'm no expert, but I think that by going away, you reinforced his behavior. He wanted you to go away and leave him alone, and that's exactly what you did.

You might want to start implementing NILIF (nothing in life is free), because this could possibly escalate....

As I said, I'm not an expert, so take my advice with a grain of salt and wait for the more seasoned members to come along. I'm glad that you didn't get hurt, though.

Oh, and welcome to the boards! How unfortunate that this has to be your first post, though. :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Seeing how I am fifteen, and Live with my parents, my Dad has alway been the disciplinarian.
I have however had this happen before, in other areas, and held him down until he showed submission, but in this case, the positioning of him and I was a sure fire way to being bitten.
He has bitten my brother on another occasion, but it is irrelevant.
I don't want to make him sound bad, as this is my first post with him.
He is an amazing loyal dog, he sleeps with me every night, he plays with me, he protects me, but the random signs of aggression need to stop.
Kasper is also very protective of us, he needs to be caged when strangers come, or else he will attack, this is what also concerns me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,135 Posts
I would say start NILIF training. You could do a search on here for it, there are some good links posted around here on it. Sounds like he could really benefit from that. I don't think that him biting your brother in the past is irrelevant.

What is his temperament like? When you had to hold him down, was he afraid? He could be biting out of fear or many other reasons.

You should probably get a behaviorist to analyze his behavior so that you guys can all get a training routine that would work best for him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
As mentioned, he doesn't like strangers.
My brother goes off to college, he's 20. When he comes home every few weeks or months, Kasper doesn't always recognize him. He bit my brother after he thrust a treat into Kasper's face.
When I held him down, he will look at me with shame in what he's done, because he "seems" to know if he id a bad thing.
We have a trainer through Bark Busters training, but the problem is our trainer can't come near him, haha, and we have to do the training.
I will do a search into NILIF training, thank you.
Any other advice would greatly be appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,828 Posts
What you are doing is called an alpha roll and is one of the best ways to get bitten plus it doesn't do anything as a correction. Do not do this, ever.

It is not irrelevant that he bit your brother and now you. He wants to attack any stranger that comes to your home and wants to bite your trainer. This is not funny. Your dog is dangerous. Period.

I don't know if your dog is fixable or not at this point. Do you exercise him? Has he been socialized? Has he ever been to dog school?

Your description of your dog is just like the pitbull next door that has been terrorizing me and my dogs since August. I knew it was a matter of time before that dog bit someone and most likely savage someone badly; sure enough, he bit the FedEx guy a couple of weeks ago after he had been invited in the house and right in front of the family. They promptly put him down. This was not the dog's fault; it was totally the family's fault for not socializing, training, neutering, not watching, nothing. I am unbelievably relieved the dog is gone as it was deadly serious about wanting to get through the fence to kill me and my dogs.

I know you say you love this dog, but he needs some very serious professional help before he hurts someone badly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,135 Posts
This was not the dog's fault; it was totally the family's fault for not socializing, training, neutering, not watching, nothing.
I'm sorry, but not neutering does not make a dog aggressive. Ozzy is not neutered and is not aggressive, along with many dogs on this board.

Didn't mean to pick that one part out of your post, but I hate when people blame lack of neutering for specific behaviors.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
He will not bite me, at least it will take A LOT to provoke it. I have had my hand in his mouth when he has growled, as stated, he won't bite me.
I understand he is dangerous, but he is controlled, at least in my view.
He is exercised occasionally, but due to this winter storm in CT not it the last week or so.
He was not socialized well, he is my first dog, and my Dad third GSD, but I don't view my father as the training type.
He doesn't want to bite my trainer, and I apologize for that nervous "haha" in my last post, please, I understand he isn't funny.
He is fine outside the house, on streets, in parks, others houses, all but my house.
He is very territorial. He is also neutered.
Please view my album of pictures I just uploaded of him.
Thanks,
Seth
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,135 Posts
He may not bite you if you stick your hands in his mouth, but apparently if you provoke him the right (or wrong) way, and messing with his feet seems to be a trigger, you may very well get bit one of these days.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,135 Posts
When I held him down, he will look at me with shame in what he's done, because he "seems" to know if he id a bad thing.
That look of 'shame' is actually fear.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
He may not bite you if you stick your hands in his mouth, but apparently if you provoke him the right (or wrong) way, and messing with his feet seems to be a trigger, you may very well get bit one of these days.
I actually have a game I play with him, with his paws.
That never is the problem, it seems more when I touch and awake him.
His paws may seem to be, but in this case aren't the trigger.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,649 Posts
Hi Seth,

Welcome to the board. You have gotten several excellent suggestions:

1) Do not ever force your dog to submit to you by alpha rolling him.

2) Begin using Nothing in Life is Free with him and get your entire family on board.

3) Exercise his mind and body every single day. We get lots of snow and rain and hail and all of the same kinds of weather you get there in CT here in Buffalo. I take my dog out every single day though for at least 2 hours. I also train him every single day and play with him inside every single day. This is extremely important for a dog like yours.

4) Territorial aggression can be carefully managed.

Keep asking questions!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Thank you all for the help.
I think I'm going to go to sleep for now, I have School (Maybe) tomorrow, and it's 2:51am here, haha.
I'll check again in the morning and so on and so forth.
Thank you all again for your suggestions, I will carry them out to the best of my ability.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,828 Posts
He then growled at me and bit at my leg as a warning,
Yes, your dog will bite you. He bit your brother, wants to bite strangers, your trainer can't get near him, and you say your dad isn't doing much training-wise. This situation will only get worse and right now your dog is letting you live in his house, not the other way around. You don't know if the next time you try and get your dog to do something he doesn't want to do will be the time he really bites you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
The difference between who he has bitten and who he hasn't is obvious.
He has never bit me, I have spent all my time with him for almost two years, I've even slept in the cage with him when he was crated. I do everything with him. My brother is a stranger and never spent time with him, he pushes Kasper out of the way when he sees him. My Dad is finally coming around to him, and spends time with him only as necessary, since he is retired and watches Kasper while I'm at School. He has gotten better, and this is not a random one time thing. He has gotten much better since the past, so I can't see him getting worse. This type of this only seems to happen once a month.
Anyways, there is a thought looming in my head about head trauma, and if you would like, I'll tell the story of how he smashed a hole in my wall with his head about a year ago, and I'll put up pictures tomorrow.
Could it be that he is traumatized from hitting his head HARD against a wall by accident?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
627 Posts
Kasper,
#1) Welcome to the board and thank you for seeking help about this situation.

#2) as someone who works in the field of law in CT, you have a MAJOR issue on your hands. Although CT generally follows the theory of "one free bite" that does not actually mean that the bite is free. You can still and probably will be sued. Which means your parents and their home-owners insurance will have to pay for an attorney and any judgment that is rendered against you. Your dog will be labeled a dangerous dog, and if he bites another person he will probably have to be put down.

#3) at your age I know that having a super protective dog feels like its the greatest thing ever. I have been there myself. My old collie was super protective and extremely dog aggressive. When I was a teenager I thought it was awesome, and found it funny that other people didn't understand him as well as I did. Now that I am older I realize what a dangerous situation I had on my hands. What is done, is done. You now have the ability to not repeat my mistake. By hiring a trainer you are taking a good step, but if that trainer is afraid to approach your dog, I would suggest finding a different trainer. Your dog already knows that he doesn't have to respect your trainer. Find someone who is experienced with aggressive dogs. You can also do some training yourself. If he is not aggressive on walks, take him to more populated areas and let him see other people. Make sure you are total control of him at all times. Then over time have friends come into you yard, keep him on a leash and give him treats when he does not act aggressively. You can slowly work your way into having people come into the house when he is inside. Lots of treats, lots of love, and a steady training regiment and you can get through this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
669 Posts
I'm sorry, but not neutering does not make a dog aggressive. Ozzy is not neutered and is not aggressive, along with many dogs on this board.

Didn't mean to pick that one part out of your post, but I hate when people blame lack of neutering for specific behaviors.
I am going to happen to disagree with you there Konotashi. I, who have been working with dogs for many years have seen many behavioral problems due to the fact that males are unaltered. And its funny, that when owners finally realize that after getting Fido fixed, how that changes things for the better, in most cases. I find it frustrating when people preach to not get their pet or any others fixed. If you do not have a breed worthy pet. Get them fixed. Why? Unfortunatley, Joe Public isn't as responcible as most members here are. And they add to overpopulation of unwanted animals, and or animal bites, behavioral problems, etc. Most start with good intentions, but never follow thru, because of work, school, kids, you name an excuse. So now Fido is on the backburner because the excitement of having a pet is done, move to the next excitement. I hope you understand that most people are not looking to breed, or show there dog. They want a nice pet. With all due respect, I know you are kind hearted and your intentions are to help. But I believe more education on speutering should be more "gospel", than encouraging people to leave there animals intact.:D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,135 Posts
I am going to happen to disagree with you there Konotashi. I, who have been working with dogs for many years have seen many behavioral problems due to the fact that males are unaltered. And its funny, that when owners finally realize that after getting Fido fixed, how that changes things for the better, in most cases. I find it frustrating when people preach to not get their pet or any others fixed. If you do not have a breed worthy pet. Get them fixed. Why? Unfortunatley, Joe Public isn't as responcible as most members here are. And they add to overpopulation of unwanted animals, and or animal bites, behavioral problems, etc. Most start with good intentions, but never follow thru, because of work, school, kids, you name an excuse. So now Fido is on the backburner because the excitement of having a pet is done, move to the next excitement. I hope you understand that most people are not looking to breed, or show there dog. They want a nice pet. With all due respect, I know you are kind hearted and your intentions are to help. But I believe more education on speutering should be more "gospel", than encouraging people to leave there animals intact.:D
I always encourage speuter to the general public, but I'm just saying - neutering won't magically fix the problem. I know it will for some dogs, but it won't always. Like here, he said his dog is neutered. It's training that needs to be implemented, not a medical procedure.
We have a neutered Frenchie that displays a lot of 'intact' male behaviors, such as being territorial, marking, dominance, and he does not typically get along with other males.
 
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
Top