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My dog is a 4.5 month old female. We have successfully completed puppy kindergarten where she did well but was obviously nervous. I have taken her out near people and have maintained a level of training and expectation. I noticed that she was developing a fear reaction of lunging and barking especially at men (strangers). I called a private behaviorist and have an appt. For this coming Thursday. THE PROBLEM....today she actually barked, lunged and bit. Please before we get into bloodline and all that....I am new to this breed and maybe didn't ask all the right questions but that being said I am a good and responsible pet owner. I love my dog. But...I cant. Take a r idk that she will harm someone. Is this problem fixable or should I be looking for a new home for her or God forbid....should she be put down? My heart is breaking.
 

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Too soon to tell if it is fixable. It probably is but wait for the behaviorist. Anyone here would only make a guess, if at all.
 

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NO..she should not be put down...she's still a baby!

Wait for the behaviorist. Did you get good references for this person? Experience? Make sure that it is a positive based trainer. No alpha rolls, yank and crank methods.

Ask about LAT, BAT theories. I think she's probably a bit fearful and then going through one of the fear stages on top of that.
 

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What is LAT BAT? The behaviorist believes in positive reinforcement although no clicker. She comes very recommended. Also, the dog shows no alpha dog tendency, no guarding food or toys etc. She is submissive to 7 lb Pomeranian. Loves the kids and tolerates anything the do. She doesn't even have landshark behavior anymore. I just don't want her to hurt someone because she is afraid.
 

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Resource guarding is not an alpha dog tendency. LAT and BAT are behavior modification techniques that help fearful dogs.

I would just wait for your meeting with the trainer. We could come up with 1001 different theories but nobody here is eval'ing her in person.

Don't let her close enough to bite anyone. If someone is coming, move off to the side and put her in a sit or go the other way. Once they make contact, they gain confidence. "I lunged and bit and the scary thing went away"
 

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If anyone else has had this problem and was able to successfully overcome it please let me know what you did to address it. Thanks
 

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If anyone else has had this problem and was able to successfully overcome it please let me know what you did to address it. Thanks
I have a fear aggressive dog that we are slowly succeeding with. While Woolf's issues have a very different beginning then your dog's, the reaction was the same - the jumping, lunging, snarling, growling, barking. I can say that now, he does not get into the dramatics like that any longer. We have seen 2 different trainers, interviewed even more before finding the behaviorist we are with now. Some of the trainers we spoke with went so far as recommending he be pts, we didn't, that wasn't an acceptable solution. He is now meeting selected strangers, actively seeking to be petted by them and we have had some say there is no way that Woolf has a problem. He is tolerating 'some' dogs now without reacting. It is a slow process but it is working.

Your pup is a baby, at this point to even consider pts would be way to early. Locate a behaviorist and have him evaluated. Be sure they are familiar with and have worked with GSD. Ask for past AND current clients, talk with them. Ask what their dog's issues were, was the training successful, are they happy with the results. Be sure YOU are comfortable with the trainer as well. They will be training you to work with your dog.

It could be something such as you need training and upping your leadership style or it could be genuine fear aggression. It will take a complete commitment from you to succeed.

Keep us here updated as you work through this.
 

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No, don't even consider putting her down. She hasn't had a chance to live and learn! Consider how many dogs that even "work" on tv and movies. Many were terrors that were rescued from shelters because the owners could not handle them. In the right hands they were wonderful. Your dog is still so very young. GSD's require good training so try to find a good behaviorist to work with. I just hired another one for similar problems, but I love her dearly and I have to understand my dogs potentials and limitations. Please hang in there. These are great dogs! They are worth the effort.
 

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My puppy of exactly the same age as been fear aggressive, but she's not been in a situation where she saw no choice but to bite. My puppy has a problem with old men at the moment, but we're working on it.

What were the circumstance of the bite? Did someone approach her and ignore her warnings? Did she actively go after someone? If she was cornered and had her warnings ignored I can understand why she would bite.

Definitely have a look at the BAT training, we've only done it a tiny amount and it's worked wonders. We still have a way to go, but I think I know how to handle her and what I should do now when she shows me she is afraid of someone.
 

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Oh I just have to agree with what Jax said there. We are MANAGING Winter's fear aggression. It still surfaces sometimes, like today. I have no idea why all of a sudden she growled and raised her heckles at a dog on the park, when she was playing with a group of 3 or 4 dogs! I thought she had got over her fear of dogs completely, obviously not :(
 

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I took her out on her leash tonight and brought hotdogs. Our neighbors were at the corner talking...of course she barked and acted terrified. I crossed the street and when she came and stopped barking I praised and treated. She was able to sit and lay down about 15 or 20 feet away with no negative reaction. Two kids started towards us, I asked them not to and not to make eye contact with her. She got nervous but I praised and treated her whe she did not bark. We were able to walk past them to our house with no reaction. We are meeting the behaviorist tomorrow. I am much more hopeful today. Thank you all for being so supportive. I truly am dedicated to helping her to be a confident safe dog.
 
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