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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I am very new to this forum. I just got a 3 year old GSD. He came from a home that he was very protective of. He is a beautiful dog and I want to make this work but he is growling and wanting to bite me. I cannot get him out of his crate yet. I have only had him for a couple hours now and I do not know how to go about this. How do I get him to be ok with me. I am not sure if it was a good ideal to take him when he was such a watchdog for the other family. Does anyone have experience with this and have you had this to work out ok. Thanks.
 

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He is fearful. Open the crate door and completely ignore him. Feed him, potty him, ignore him. Here are a couple links to read while you are ignoring him: Nothing in Life is Free
http://www.bigdogsbighearts.com/2_week_shutdown0001.pdf

Does he have a collar on? Have the previous owners versed you on his history or was he a rescue/stray situation?

I would put a martingale collar on him with a line(with no handle) and don't grab him by the collar but use the line to guide him. Talk softly, don't use frontal body language, sideways approach, no eye contact and don't bend over him. He is afraid and his first instinct is to fight because fleeing isn't an option(yet).
Hope you have a secure fenced in area and a collar that he can't slip(martingale)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
How do I open the door and let him come out when he is growling at me, wont he want to bite me?
 

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Do you have anything really yummy like cooked chicken or hotdogs? If so, I would break that into tiny pieces and walk by his crate, say his name in a friendly voice without looking at him and toss in a couple pieces of the food.

When you say "watchdog," what exactly do you mean? Gsds are naturally protective but if he is growling he is protecting only himself so, as onyx'girl said, that is fear.
 

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Ok, gave him turkey, he growled at me while eating it. By saying Watchdog, I mean he guarded and protected his previous owners. How long does it take to usually get a dog use to a new owner when not a puppy? Do not know anything that was bad in his past, the owners seemed very good with him and he is very healthy they just could not keep him any longer.
 

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Maybe he is crate reactive? How did you bring him home? Did the previous owners bring him to you and put him in his crate? At some point have you handled him?

I would start with using his name. Walk by his crate, say his name and drop him a treat. Don't look at him at all. Ignore him. Other than that.

He may be crate protective. Some dogs feel vulnerable in the crate and get reactive.

He may be a different dog out if the crate. But you are not going to get anywhere if you are scared if the dog. My bet is that he is freaked out. If he had a good home and nice family, it's all gone now. He has no idea what is going on.

When the house is calm and quiet, I would open the crate and walk away. Let him come out and IGNORE him. If he comes near you, drop a treat and say his name. But ignore him otherwise. Don't try and make friends just yet.

GSD bond hard and usually quickly, so once he figures out his new world he will settle. But you can't expect him to be lovey right away.

Good luck.

If you are truly scared of the dog, call the old owner and have them come over to get him out and take a walk with them around the neighborhood, then have them leave and you walk with the dog back into the house alone. Walks are amazingly bonding.


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I think you need to call an experienced trainer to come out immediately. Or call the owners to come help you. We cannot give advice over the Internet without seeing this dog. Opening the crate and turning to walk away could potentially give him a chance to bite you No one here knows how severe or real his aggression is without seeing him. Please get his previous owners or a trainer over immediately.


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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the advice. I did not open his cage because I was making for sure he feels comfortable with me and knows that we are going to love and help him feel secure here. Feeding him treats and turkey gave him a little information on this. He let me sit by his crate and just looked away and then back and forth for a bit. Really think he just needs me to accept that time will help him understand. I am being anxious since I know why he is here. He does not know why.
 

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Yess :) he has gone to the bathroom and doing sooooo much better. So excited I cant stand it!! He is actually going in and out of the crate when he wants contact, the contact is just looking at us and checking us out still. He is eating food and just beautiful, ugh, I am in love with this wonderful animal!!:wub:
 

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I'd still read the links I posted above....you need time to get to know each other. Congrats on the progress so far!
 
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