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Discussion Starter #1
I had an earlier post on Jake my rescue.

He is getting too aggressive. At first it started when he jumped on top of me on my bed the other night. I thought perhaps it was a territorial issue and that he had seen Chloe get on the bed at times.

He started the "mouthing" thing with my daughter and me and made me even more caution but thought perhaps it was in play.

Well today, he started the mouthing on my hand and it got worse. I had him on leash and he got my leg. Kept gnawing on it, broke skin, tore my pants. I was dragging him all the way into the kitchen, on my leg, to get weinies to distract him. I gave him two and was able to throw the rest in his kennel to close him in there.

I know dogs can smell fear but how do you not fear when a huge dog is chewing on your leg? He could do this to one of my girls or worse.

I feel awful as I wanted to save him and have spent money on nothing and know they will probably put him to sleep.

He obviously needs someone alot stronger to deal with this. I noticed over the weekend he barked and would not stop, when my hubby raised his voice around the house. He has been through something with his past owners obviously.

Ugh, I feel awful!
 

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I'm sorry to hear that Jake is having problems. Can you explain more when you say he "got your leg?" What were you doing when he grabbed you? What was he doing? How was he reacting when you started moving with him attached to your leg? Do you have a trainer who can assess his behavior to determine whether it is aggression or something else?
 

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Can you explain a little bit more about how he got your leg? Was it the ankle, calf, etc? What was his demeanor? Was he growling, etc? Have you read up on NILIF? Sounds like he is playing with you, but doesn't know any boundaries.

I'd also really try to get him to deal with the crate. For the sake of his HW status, he should be resting a lot. You've only had him a week or so, right? That is often the hardest part. I've wanted to give up on dogs after a few days, but had to remind myself that they are just as confused as I am.
 

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do you really want to return him, or are you responding to the emotions of the moment? take a day or so to make this decision; in the meantime, keep him crated unless you're taking him out on a lead;

he may have been playing, or testing, or being truly aggressive; i can't tell enough from your description; i will tell you if it's the latter two, he will need a strong, experienced handler; but, there are alternatives to returning him for euthanasia; some are using a good muzzle until you establish yourself as alpha, enlisting the help of a trainer who's accustomed to handling a dominant dog and working w/him (schutzhund trainers and cops are used to this type of dog and many freelance training dogs on the side); is he neutered? if not, he needs to be asap; also, you can ask your vet to cut his canine teeth down some so that he can't do any where as much damage when he bites (they saw the 4 teeth to about 25-50% of their original height and then dremel the rough edges; no pain to the dog; it's done while he's sedated and intubated; it's safe and can have an incredible effect b/c you're no longer afraid of him and can better handle him when he challenges you)

first though, you need to determine the reason for his behavior; i would suggest that you temperament test him; search canine / dog temperament testing on your computer and you'll find a variety out there; i know that i've seen one on a rottie website;

here are three test sites that i like:

http://www.nrta.com/breedforfoundation/temptest.html

http://www.pbrc.net/temperament.html

http://www.malinut.com/ref/write/paws


test him and see what you're dealing with ie dominant or aggressive, or maybe neither; the first months w/a rescue can be very difficult and trying for both dog and owner, hopefully these tests will help you make a more informed decision

good luck
 

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the dental procedure i described is often done on big cats who have a lot of contact w/humans and it's done for the human safety factor; forgot to tell you that
 

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I'm sorry this is happening. Are you clear to him that 'mouthing' is not allowed? I could be wrong (forgive me if I am) but I'm thinking this is not a dog you clearly feel that you are the boss of. I would think with many of the rescues establishing dominance over the dog would be very important, especially when the dog is showing problems with this. He's only been a part of your family for a very short period of time so its likely he doesn't understand any boundaries yet. I cringe as I write this, mostly because if it were ME whos the say how I would react, but try not to give him treats to get him into his crate....to him you just gave him a big "GOOD BOY" after he bit on your leg. It does sound like he is playing more than anything but if he's taking this too far I could see where it would be a problem with any children you have. I wish you the very best. I like the ideas of getting a trainner. I really like the idea of establishing dominance over him and teaching him his role in your family.
 

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Just another thought, if you do have to give him up can you take him to a non-kill/low kill shelter instead of the one you got him from?
 

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The behavior you're describing doesn't sound like aggression to me. I could be reading your description wrong, but it sounds a LOT like what I went through when I brought Cash home from the shelter. 80lb, about 1 year old, and no boundaries at all. He constantly had to have a part of someone's body in his mouth and would jump on the bed, couch, or whatever piece of furniture we were on.

Have you contacted a trainer? Some trainers will work with rescues for a reduced rate, especially if they are in danger.
 

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I could be wrong also, but kind of sounds like he wanted to play and just didnt know its not appropriate.. my rescue which i've only had 3 weeks has grabbed on my leg with her paw wrapped around it a few times (also she did this to my daughter) but when I told her no she stopped right away. When they dont know any better, anything is a potential toy.. LOL
 

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As many of us have said, I think we need more details.

I evaluated a 9 mo gsd mix last winter. I spent an hour with him and he spent that entire hour try to grab onto me and pull me around by his mouth. He was constantly jumping on me, biting at my face, etc. If I moved he grabbed me. If I hadn't had heavy duty winter clothes on he definitely would have ripped my clothing. I took him outside and he had unlimitless ball drive.

He had no boundaries (the very nice young couple who were rehoming said they thought he would "grow out of it"). It certainly wasn't aggression but it certainly would have been scary to most people. I advised that they adopt out to someone without young children and who had experience training high drive, big dogs. I suspect you were seeing something like this, but again, it's impossible to know without more details.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Wow, Thanks for all the feedback.

It started when I leashed him to take him out to potty. He mouthed my hand, no biggee. But when we got back in, he got weird and started biting my leg. He did cause two bleeding puncture wounds on my calf. I tried to not show fear but thought by going and getting weinies it would distract him off my leg. Thankfully, I had pants on or it would have been worse. I am more afraid for the kids although I was afraid at the moment since he is HUGE and had no one around to help me had he gotten worse.

He had pulled that one incident of jumping on top of me on the bed over the weekend which I found weird too. I think he wants to be dominant and was showing me that. I guess his size makes me fear him because he can do so much damage. I talked to the vet after this happened today with my leg, and he says put him to sleep.

I took him back to the shelter BUT because I live in the county and not the city, they would not take him back. This was told to me when I got him, that they would take him back if there was any aggression....being that I have children. They changed their story today. But, they had to report the bite SO now he has to be quarantined for rabies. I had to call the county and thankfully, we can quarantine him in his crate and a muzzle for the ten days otherwise it costs alot per day. Then he goes to the vet to make sure there is not rabies. GOD I HOPE NOT!

Well now my hubby hates him but I got to thinking that if I can work with him with the muzzle, during the ten days, it may help him. Otherwise, the county had said they would take him free and euthanize him since there is a bite report.

I just have fear right now so do not know how to handle him off the muzzle, etc. How to teach NILIF is he is muzzled. I'm afraid to take it off for feeding, etc. I don't even know how to fit a muzzle correctly, lol.

I hope I am making the correct decision on keeping him in quarantine. He will have to wait until night when hubby is home to feed him. I am just too fearful right now....although I know it sounds silly to some.
 

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This sounds like a dog who's looking for attention.
When he had your leg, didn't you grab his muzzle to open his mouth?

This dog has just gotten out of a shelter a couple days ago (!!), has been neutered and is just starting to feel better now. He obviously was never taught any manners and just doesn't know any better.
I would treat him like you would do with a pup: don't reinforce the behavior by giving attention to him when he mouths, but re-direct the behavior by giving him appropriate things to chew on. Start basic obedience at home and include your daughter.

However if you're not comfortable or are scared of him, maybe it would be better to find a more suitable home for him through a rescue org. Please don't bring him back to a shelter though and tell them (likely wrongfully) that he's "aggressive".
 

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Discussion Starter #16
No, I did not grab his muzzle like I would a puppy or even Chloe. He is HUGE and I was alone when this happened. I did not know what to do.

I think a muzzle may help and see if he changes for the better during the quarantine.

Again, he cannot be neutered until his cough is better.
 

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In another post you mention a wound...a wound the vet would not stich...a wound your other dog opened up again on him...where is this injuiry???
 

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I think a muzzle may help and see if he changes for the better during the quarantine.

It would certainly take off some of the tension in you guys- understandably. But I hope the muzzle doesn't hinder his coughing.


BTW, rabies can take many months to show. The only way to confirm rabies is by opening & examining the brain. So I don't really know what the vet is looking for- foaming at the mouth?? But the chances of him having rabies is very very low, so I wouldn't worry too much.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Yes he had a wound on his face. The shelter said a pittbull and GSD attacked him and he didn't fight back. Strange.

Anyway, the vet said because of the way the wound was, or too old, he could not stitch it so we have been giving antibiotics orally and cream on it topically.

My famale accidentally made it worse, in playing, so I kept them separate 24/7 after that incident.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Rabies takes that long? Its the county AND the vet saying ten days. That's scary....

I doubt he has rabies and the county did say since he got his rabies shot last Tuesday, the day I adopted him, that it would help IF he had been exposed during the bite to his face from the other dogs.
 
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