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Hello everyone. My name is David and I am the owner of two beautiful German Shepards, Blitz and Sasha. Blitz is male and Sasha is female. They are both black and tan, papered, 3 year olds. I am writing this with much pain in my heart as I have to make a decision about Blitz, who is behaving aggressively. This weekend my wife and I rented a dog friendly cabin with the plan to hike and snowshoe with our pups as we often do. After a morning hike, we arrived back to the cabin and went outside to the little fenced yard. We did not know there was a maintenance staffer in the yard. The dogs saw him first. Blitz bit him once on the leg and then jumped up and bit his arm before my wife had the chance to control the dogs. The maintenance staff was not badly hurt, but did have one puncture that broke the skin. Of course, the incident required the manager of the cabins to call the police to file a report. Blitz is currently quarantined for 10 days as this is the requirement by the city. A court date is set in the beginning of March.

Unfortunately, this was not the first time Blitz has shown aggression. A little more than a year ago, Blitz and Sasha were playing off leash when a jogger went running by. The jogger went to pet Sasha, and Blitz interpreted that as a threat. He bit the jogger once on the arm. A police report was filed and he was quarantined for 10 days. That was the first incident of this nature. Since that time we have been very cautious with Blitz: we take the time to introduce him to visitors, he is on a leash whenever he is in a non-enclosed space, and we have worked very hard on training him. Aggressive behavior is not something that we take lightly. Unfortunately, as the aforementioned incident suggests, he still needs more work. He needs someone with the time and understanding of how to address aggressive behavior that we don’t have.

We have owned Blitz since he was four months old. He has never been maltreated nor trained to be aggressive. We make sure he gets plenty of physical exercise, good nutrition, and play time. He is a very happy boy who is very obedient, smart, and loving. He aced his obedience programs and has certificates to prove it. Blitz is papered from a reputable breeder and all his vaccines are up to date. His aggression obviously stems from protection - though it is misplaced.

My wife and I are both full time students. We do not have the finances, the time, or the skill to provide Blitz the training he required. My wife and I agreed after the first incident that we would continue to work with him and take necessary precautions. We have tried to the best of our abilities and failed. Now, we have come to the conclusion that we can not keep him. The last thing we want to do is euthanasia. He just needs a home that understands how to work on aggressive behavior. We are actively pursuing adoption and I am asking for your help. Any suggestions you can give us would be much appreciated. The majority of the rescues will not take him since he did bite someone. I am willing to drive him anywhere in the United States and upon request would be more than happy to provide paperwork, pictures, and video of our beautiful GSD.
Please see my pictures!

Thank you in advance for any help and suggestions,
David
 

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First... how did he get close enough to bite the maintenance guy? I'm not really asking, more so telling you that you obviously slipped up on controlling him there... that should never have happened. (p.s., the dogs shouldn't be the first ones out the door)

His aggression is coming from fear. Blitz is clearly operating in defensive drive in both those cases, and its not out of some sense of over-protection. You absolutely do have the time to fix the issue and you are certainly capable of addressing it yourself. I run two companies of which one I also fill a full time position at, studying for a captains test, am in grad school full time, and I still find time to train my dogs for a few minutes every day, and twice a week at a facility. Its not easy... I'm training my dogs thursday nights from 9pm to midnight... but if I can find the time (for 2 dogs mind you), you can too. You probably just need some help in understanding your dog better. He needs you to work on building his confidence up. Confident dogs do not bite people... they are calm, cool, collected, and clear headed. They can understand what is a real threat, and what is not. A jogger approaching with an offer of a pet on the head is not a threat. Remember that when a dog is overloaded with stress it only has a few ways to react such as avoidance, submission, fight or flight. You know which one your dog has chosen as it has been very effective for him so far. There are a large variety of techniques for building up a dogs confidence and getting him out of defensive drive and into prey drive, bringing his level of stress down (and you are probably currently adding to his stress when you begin "stress loading" in anticipation of a problem when he starts getting antsy at someone and inadvertently accelerating his stress loading), etc.

You need to proceed *extremely* carefully as someone is going to get hurt, and you are very close to losing your dog to the the authorities. The dog really doesn't need to end up in another home that doesn't know how to deal with the issue. Unfortunately if you offload the problem its probably not going to end well for him.

Hope the advice is useful, though it is undoubtedly not what you wanted to hear :(
 

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Since this is his second offense, I would strongly look into speaking with GSD rescues around your state or nearby states. He needs to be relocated with a professional ONLY!!! This is if he is granted that liberty. Second offense biters, unfortunately, are rarely given the opportunity to be rehomed; though, if you can possibly find a rescue group that can take him in, maybe the court will give him a second chance. Its asking a lot for someone to take in a fear aggressive dog, but its not impossible. I wish you and your family the best.
 

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I really think the best thing for HIM, is to remain with you, and you put in the time & effort & research to correct the problem. Professionals are likely not going to be very interested in taking in a dog that needs work to get him back to level unless their sole intention is to fix him and re-home him... which is a lot of effort from a stranger... and quite simply the vast majority of people are not knowledgable enough to fix the issue
 

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Hi David,

I live in the sticks of East Tennessee and would be happy to give Blitz a new home. I am retired and have the time and patience to work with him.

I have a 2 year old female German Shepherd dog and have been looking for a playmate for her. Thru a dog trainer she has had basic obedience training and I have read a few books on dog training, so I have a good idea of how to work with him.

I purchased 'Elly May' thru Sequoyah German Shepherds http://sequoyah-german-shepherds.com/ and have had her back there. Tho she only knows me on a limited basis, I am sure the owner (who is her Vet) would give me a referance. I am also sure she would help me with Blitz, since she gives free training lessons to people who have purchased their dogs thru her.

I am from the City of Philadelphia and living in the country is still new to me. 'Elly' is a very good dog, however her 'alarming response' is not as good as I would like. A second set of ear would really help. I owne 2+ acres and was planing on putting up a small fenced in area, as soon as I found another German Shepherd. I will give him a loving / safe, abuse free home and please note, I do not plan on breeding them.

If you are close by and think we could work something out, please let me know. You may reach me at [email protected]

Thanks, The Packman

After thought: I'm on my 15 year of soberity...I tell that to anyone I can
 

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Welcome to the board. Blitz is not being protective, as already mentioned, he is fear aggressive and it is a very serious thing. Blitz should NEVER be allowed to be off-leash even in an enclosed area because, as you have realized now, you never know when someone is going to be walking in.
Passing "your problem" on to someone else is NOT the answer. No rescue will take him having two bite history. And you will still be liable even if you pass him on to someone else.
 

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Welcome to the board, David. As others have mentioned, he is fear aggressive. This can absolutely be worked out with some education for you and your wife. He may never be cured of his fearfulness of strangers but he can certainly be managed.

Since this is his second offense, I would strongly look into speaking with GSD rescues around your state or nearby states. He needs to be relocated with a professional ONLY!!!
A rescue is not an option is this case. I don't know of a single rescue that would be able to take on this kind of liability. I do agree with the second sentence that if you are set on placing him, it needs to be with a professional that can provide you with references on being able to deal with a dog that has a bite history.

I would be very cautious about anyone offering to take Blitz knowing his bite history. I would definitely get references (both personal and a vet) and would want to know how they think they can help him.
 

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Hi David,

I live in the sticks of East Tennessee and would be happy to give Blitz a new home. I am retired and have the time and patience to work with him.

I have a 2 year old female German Shepherd dog and have been looking for a playmate for her. Thru a dog trainer she has had basic obedience training and I have read a few books on dog training, so I have a good idea of how to work with him.

I purchased 'Elly May' thru Sequoyah German Shepherds http://sequoyah-german-shepherds.com/ and have had her back there. Tho she only knows me on a limited basis, I am sure the owner (who is her Vet) would give me a referance. I am also sure she would help me with Blitz, since she gives free training lessons to people who have purchased their dogs thru her.

I am from the City of Philadelphia and living in the country is still new to me. 'Elly' is a very good dog, however her 'alarming response' is not as good as I would like. A second set of ear would really help. I owne 2+ acres and was planing on putting up a small fenced in area, as soon as I found another German Shepherd. I will give him a loving / safe, abuse free home and please note, I do not plan on breeding them.

If you are close by and think we could work something out, please let me know. You may reach me at [email protected]

Thanks, The Packman

After thought: I'm on my 15 year of soberity...I tell that to anyone I can
While its very noble of you, I think you may have the exact same issues and struggles, and with a fear aggressive dog this will go bad for an innocent bystander. He would already have much higher stress being in a new place with new dogs and a new handler
 

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Wait... the title changed. Do BOTH dogs have aggression issues?
 

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Why would an Admin change the title of my post? I am new with forums but that seems strange....Can I edit this? Sasha does not have aggression issues. Only Blitz.
 

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I understand everything you are going through. My boy Victor is extremely people aggressive. He is not fear aggressive like yours though. His aggression was passed to him through his bloodline.

It is a daily battle with these type of dogs. You can't put them into social settings like other dogs. They have to be managed carefully. You can't rehome your boy because you don't know if he is going to harm someone in the long run. I don't know about your boy, but mine does not deal with stress/new surroundings well and I can imagine changing owners will be too stressful for him. No rescue is going to take your dog because he is a liability.

My Victor can't be rehomed. He has bitten in the past. He has not gotten the chance to bite again so far that he has been with us. He either stays here with us or he has to be put down. I can't take the chance that he will hurt someone if I rehome him. I am not saying to give up on your boy there are many things you can try to manage him. I am currently trying products recommended to me on my thread:
http://www.germanshepherds.com/foru.../147312-progess-victor-people-aggressive.html

You can read through it to get some ideas. Good luck!:)
 

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I understand everything you are going through. My boy Victor is extremely people aggressive. He is not fear aggressive like yours though. His aggression was passed to him through his bloodline.

It is a daily battle with these type of dogs. You can't put them into social settings like other dogs. They have to be managed carefully. You can't rehome your boy because you don't know if he is going to harm someone in the long run. I don't know about your boy, but mine does not deal with stress/new surroundings well and I can imagine changing owners will be too stressful for him. No rescue is going to take your dog because he is a liability.

My Victor can't be rehomed. He has bitten in the past. He has not gotten the chance to bite again so far that he has been with us. He either stays here with us or he has to be put down. I can't take the chance that he will hurt someone if I rehome him. I am not saying to give up on your boy there are many things you can try to manage him. I am currently trying products recommended to me on my thread:
http://www.germanshepherds.com/foru.../147312-progess-victor-people-aggressive.html

You can read through it to get some ideas. Good luck!:)
We all want to believe that our dog is just exhibiting his natural tendencies, but a dog that is aggressive to strangers where it is not appropriate *especially* if they have ever bitten someone that wasn't aggressive to them, is absolutely fear aggression. If you look at any number of professionally worked bite dogs, military dogs, etc, they are calm and non-threatened by random people. Unless it is infact YOU that are scared or suffer anxiety around strangers and the dog is playing off your body language
 

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We all want to believe that our dog is just exhibiting his natural tendencies, but a dog that is aggressive to strangers where it is not appropriate *especially* if they have ever bitten someone that wasn't aggressive to them, is absolutely fear aggression.
Hunter, you are missing a bit of back story in this case. Victor's parents were aggressive and his sibling (owner is also on this board) is aggressive. In this case it is genetic and started young - a bad breeding plain and simple. The poster is not delusioned into thinking that he is just doing as dogs do and wasn't making excuses for his aggression, she is working with him with the resources she has available.

(and I swear I am not following you from thread to thread...)
 

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Come on, Jamie! You are a stalker...we know you are! But everyone should have someone to follow them home, sift thru their trash, and make them feel special! :rofl:
 

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Hunter, you are missing a bit of back story in this case. Victor's parents were aggressive and his sibling (owner is also on this board) is aggressive. In this case it is genetic and started young - a bad breeding plain and simple. The poster is not delusioned into thinking that he is just doing as dogs do and wasn't making excuses for his aggression, she is working with him with the resources she has available.

(and I swear I am not following you from thread to thread...)
I post alot and have strong opinions so I don't mind a little push back :) I have high confidence

Obviously my responses are made soley on whatever I'm responding to, so I can accept that that is probably the case. I can't help to have a knee-jerk reaction to anytime people say "oh he's just protective" or such, either making an excuse or totally unaware of whats really going on. Because of the consequences of people who don't realize it and fix it effect all of us, and if I lose my GSDs because of some stupid breed legislation because a thousand idiots couldn't responsibly own their dogs, I'll be rather upset

I always take the time to try to address the problem when I see it. 90% of the time I'm spot on, but of course there are cases (like above) where I'm wrong. Can't be right all the time :) Also, I just have to constantly fight the battle with ignorant people (not here) who find out my dogs do a lot of bite-work and are first and foremost acquired for PPD duties, who assume that a dog that knows how to bite is aggressive or dangerous. Its counter intuitive to the average person, but a well trained schutzhund or ppd dog is much more predictable and safe around people than a "oh he's just naturally protective is all" dog.
 

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At any rate, as of this morning I'm a lifetime member so you're all stuck with me now
 

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I can't help to have a knee-jerk reaction to anytime people say "oh he's just protective" or such, either making an excuse or totally unaware of whats really going on.
That really gets under my skin as well. Truthfully, I believe very few dogs are being protective especially before maturity. I agree that inappropriate aggression is generally fear. (I think that is from another thread) So far, I've like what you have posted.
 
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