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I have a 1 and a half year old German Shepherd. My in-laws live with us in part of the house. I got the dog when he was a puppy he's loving caring he listens to me with no issue and respect me. But the past 6 months he keeps attacking my in-laws and I don't know what to do. He lunged at my mother-in-law gouged arm out and lunged at my father-in-law and gouged his hand pretty good after they tried to correct him for him biting the carpet. I don't know what to do I don't want to give him up but I don't want to see him injure anybody. The dog has been socialized since he was a young puppy strangers he's sweet as pie he listens to me but for whatever reason he doesn't like my in-laws. He went away for a month for training with professional very well-respected trainer in my area which cost me nearly $1500. He's well-fed I exercise him constantly he's loved and cared for not mistreated I'm just a lost what to do. I'm a grown man pretty much sitting here in tears and don't know what to do. I lost my other dog to cancer I don't want to lose another one.
 

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Your dog is at an age where he is maturing and becoming more serious and aggressive. I would absolutely separate him form your in laws and anyone else unless you are there. He clearly doesn't respect them and has learned he can push them around with aggression. I would like to know how they corrected him as well? I'd also like to know how bad the bites were?

If you want to keep this dog, you are going to need to step up and take control of this dog. The dog needs to learn that inappropriate aggression will not be tolerated. This includes growling, barking, lunging, dirty looks and of course biting. Your in laws should not be trying to correct or discipline your dog. Your dog has won twice already in these little battles and he now knows that he can win if he becomes aggressive. This will only get worse if you do not take the right corrective action right now.

You have a responsibility to your in laws to keep them safe from your dog and you have a responsibility to your dog. If it were me, they would never be alone together, nor would this dog ever have the run of the house unsupervised.
 

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Crate or manage your dog when the inlaws are around. That's the only solution. He's trying out behaviors, and aggression is in his "toolbox" now, so he'll use it again.

Tell your inlaws only YOU should be correcting the dog. Make it very clear. No touch, no talk, no eye-contact between inlaws and dog for now. This isn't unprovoked aggression, but it is inappropriate. That is up to you, the owner, to correct.

If you can, finding a GOOD trainer may help work as you work towards a solution. Careful, though, and do your homework if you go this route. From what I've seen there are unfortuantely more unskilled/bad trainers than good. A bad trainer will do more harm than good.
 

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He has a prong training collar on it with a small lead that the trainer told us to use. When he does something wrong you pull down and correct him.
 

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The Mother-in-law got 12 stitches. I work with him constantly day in and day out. I just talked to the trainer he's going to come to the house and observe next week. He said in the meantime go back to crate training let him out to eat and go to the bathroom then put him back in the crate. Let him earn to time out of the crate
 

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I have a 1 and a half year old German Shepherd. My in-laws live with us in part of the house. I got the dog when he was a puppy he's loving caring he listens to me with no issue and respect me. But the past 6 months he keeps attacking my in-laws and I don't know what to do. He lunged at my mother-in-law gouged arm out and lunged at my father-in-law and gouged his hand pretty good after they tried to correct him for him biting the carpet. I don't know what to do I don't want to give him up but I don't want to see him injure anybody. The dog has been socialized since he was a young puppy strangers he's sweet as pie he listens to me but for whatever reason he doesn't like my in-laws. He went away for a month for training with professional very well-respected trainer in my area which cost me nearly $1500. He's well-fed I exercise him constantly he's loved and cared for not mistreated I'm just a lost what to do. I'm a grown man pretty much sitting here in tears and don't know what to do. I lost my other dog to cancer I don't want to lose another one.
This is a tough situation, especially if your in-laws don't interact with the dog much and/or don't like the dog, or if they are not used to Dogs in general.

As others have mentioned, for now I would supervise any interaction your dog has with your in-laws, so you can prevent any further biting! This can be on or off leash, depending on your dog's obedience level, but it is important to stop allowing it to continue!

Anytime you allow a dog to practice an unwanted, and in this case dangerous, behavior for that long it becomes much more difficult to change that behavior. I suggest you find a GSD experienced trainer to work with you and your in-laws at home.
I'm curious though, did the board-and-train seem to help initially?

The best you may be able to hope for is to get his obedience to a point where he'll tolerate them and stop biting. You can't force a dog to "like" someone, but often they can be trained to behave appropriately.

The thing is, lots of dogs don't tolerate corrections from outsiders well. So it's important for the in-laws to learn boundaries as well. And this is especially true if they are not an active and integral part of your lives, as the dog might not view them as family. And even if he does, he may never tolerate corrections from them. Some dogs are just that way...

My previous dog would bark and growl at anyone she didn't know well who tried to tell her what to do. Then she'd show her teeth if they pressed it or approached her too closely...she never had to bite to get the point across though! If she knew them well she'd just ignore them and look at me if I was present, usually comply if I was not present. But she definitely would not take instructions from a complete stranger ever...
 

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They grew up with dogs they love dogs they owned 3 German shepherds in the past. When I was talking to the trainer today he thinks the dog just has pent-up frustration because they just ignore him and they won't interact or play with him. he thinks that's part of the problem how true that is I don't know I'm not a dog trainer
 

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The boarding and training helped immensely he was a brand new dog when he came home. I kept up with the rigorous training that the trainer wanted me to do with him I do it every single day. The trainers highly experience with German Shepherds
 

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I would find a good local trainer and have them work with yourself, your wife, and your in laws in this dogs training. If the in laws live there with you and your wife. They all need to be able at some point to step in and tell this dog to knock it off if needed without getting mauled. How is this going to happen? I am glad you asked! A good local trainer working with all of you and the dog in person. Not going to be fixed over the internet or by sending the dog away for training. Post your location. I'll bet someone on here knows a good trainer that can work with your family and dog.
 

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They grew up with dogs they love dogs they owned 3 German shepherds in the past. When I was talking to the trainer today he thinks the dog just has pent-up frustration because they just ignore him and they won't interact or play with him. he thinks that's part of the problem how true that is I don't know I'm not a dog trainer
This is not a case of "pent up frustration". Your in laws do not interact with him and he does not see the need to respect them. They are not not anyone he feels he needs to listen too or respond too. He lacks respect and is becoming an adolescent and thinking for himself. They scolded him or corrected him and he felt their behavior was inappropriate and he corrected them.

That is the issue, this is not a bite out of frustration. It is a young dog maturing, getting some testosterone and showing them he is not going to tolerate that behavior from them. A dog biting out of frustration is a completely different thing.

To be fair to your dog, this is not unusual behavior for a male GSD. Nor, do I necessarily see it as a really bad thing. It definitely needs to be corrected and managed. It does mean that you have your work cut out for you. All of my male dogs would have bitten anyone other than me or my wife for correcting them. If he is wearing a prong collar with a tab, you can be sure he will tag them again if they try to use that to correct him.

I would probably bring your in laws to the next training session. Let your in laws meet your trainer and have them discuss the issues with your dog directly with the trainer.

Good luck.
 

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I think leaving him in the crate most of the time is going to lead to pent up energy, which is certainly not going to solve the problem. If he doesn't have productive ways to expend that energy it could even make the problem worse. Personally, I'd rather have him on leash with you when he's out of his crate. You control him, you correct him if necessary, you reinforce the correct behavior. Putting him away doesn't really teach him anything, it just avoids the issue.
 

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If I were the in-law(s) I would move, assuming it is your house. But if that doesn't happen, never give the dog and your in-laws a chance to be in the same area when you are not present. Do they respect your boundaries?
He knows that biting works and that is on his hard-drive. I would never trust him with your in-laws again, training or no training.
Change trainers are yours doesn't have good insight in behavior when he talks about pent-up energy. Lots of dogs have that and never bite.
He bites because he knows he can with them.
 

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He considers himself higher in the pack than your in-laws. As such he will coexist with them, but he will not take correction or even sometimes direction from them. The problem is that you cannot transfer pack position once it has been attained by the dog if they are young adults( 10 months or thereabouts). The in-laws have to take the leadership role either through training or stronger methods. Usually, this is difficult to achieve, because dogs don’t reason as people do. Some dogs are content to be submissive to all humans in the pack, others try to reach highest status in pack family they can.
The only possible solution I can suggest, is if thein-laws take the dog through obedience training with a very skilled trainer. I deal with this situation quite often....if the in-laws can learn to handle the dog then over time they POSSIBLY may be able to resolve this issue,( but frankly if the dog gave one of them 12 stitches), then the dog may be more than they can manage.....then separation ( either permanent or in house whenever you are not around) is the only solution.
Just my two cents!
 

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Yikes- I have to question this trainer if he advises the dog wear a prong collar with a tab and let anyone correct him. Remember, a prong can be used to activate a dog, not just to correct. If a correction is not done properly, the dog gets more amped up, not less. Prongs are a nice tool, but not my go-to for correction in the house.

OP- years back I went to a so-called "expert" in shepherds, the guy is still in business somehow. I am ashamed to say I didn't walk out there after 10 seconds, and instead gave him 20 minutes. But that was all I gave him. This trainer would have absolutely gotten into conflict with my dog to the point of getting bitten... that was his style. He outright said this to me, showing me his scars proudly. That is when I left. Some trainers have only one tool in their toolbox- the prong, and a few other rote measures, and they not only do not work for every dog, but they certainly don't work for everyone who comes in contact with that dog, particularly if the people do not like the dog, are afraid or angry at the dog, or don't know what they are doing. The inlaws should absolutely not be yanking on the prong again.

Corrections certainly can be done properly, but this is a hands-on lesson you need to have with a skilled trainer. The forum is not the place to go into details on this.
 

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I agree with most everything others have posted here, but I have to ask a couple questions also...

Did you send your dog to a board-and-train because of the aggression he was showing to your in-laws, or did that start later?

Was it on the advice of your trainer that your in-laws ignore the dog? And they are still doing this after being in the house for 6 months? Also, do you, and your wife for that matter, get along well with her parents, or could it be that your dog is picking up on some tension there? I have to ask because that seems like either could be a likely reason your dog may view them as he does! Obviously, it's not something you need to respond to on a public forum, but dogs do pick up on things like that, and sometimes act on it....something to think about.

That being said, I can't imagine ignoring a dog I live with for 6 months...it's typically advice that's given for initial meetings, but not something I'd expect to continue beyond that!

In your original post you said he has been doing this for 6 months. Are the recent injuries to your in-laws the only injuries? What other signs or bites have you seen prior to this?

A bite requiring 12 stitches is not anything to fool around with! As @Slamdunk said, it's certainly not a frustration reaction! But to give your trainer the benefit of the doubt, confusion and frustration at being ignored for a prolonged period could contribute the the way he views your in-laws in terms of pack dynamics.

You guys need to really be clear in explaining things to your trainer when he/she comes. And don't be afraid to find someone else if the advice youre getting doesn't work, or doesn't make sense!

in the meantime, definitely avoid having the dog lose around the in-laws, both for their safety and your dog's! You're going to have to deal with your dog's behavior whether or not your in-laws move, because now as someone mentioned earlier, biting is in his tool kit for situations he finds either uncomfortable or unacceptable. Either way, it's going to take some effort to change that mindset. Good luck, and please keep us posted!
 
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He went to the board and trainer just to learn better manners on walking on a leash. He had no issues with my in-laws prior prior to they played with him etc. He's a family dog we all got him together so they have to be able to correct him from time to time. It's mainly my mother-in-law he doesn't like and I don't know why.
 

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This is not an issue that a "board and train" will fix. This requires a good trainer that can train you and your in laws to handle and train your dog.

Your dog is going to need a firm, fair handler who can properly correct the dog. Your mother in law does not have the dog's respect and clearly will get bit again if she tries to correct him. Find a trainer that can handle aggressive GSD's and is not afraid of getting bit. Let that trainer show you how to properly correct this dog for inappropriate aggression. Avoid the "animal behaviorists" they are going to be of little use.
 

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He went to the board and trainer just to learn better manners on walking on a leash. He had no issues with my in-laws prior prior to they played with him etc. .
This, to me, is a bit creepy....so after he went to board & train, is when he began to bite?
Is something about the training method turning him into a more tense wound-up dog?

What about associating your in-laws with positive things, like could they feed him sometimes, call him and offer a treat, throw a ball.
Maybe he needs a "softer" environment/training method overall so he can become a more relaxed confident dog.

Like, instead of physical correction, what about sharp verbal "No", making loud noise, spray of water, etc.
Then they don't have to get too close to him and physically handle him...
Shepherds seem to be smart sensitive dogs, I don't think the majority of them need to be handled "hard"...
(your dog might indeed be one of those, but I don't know him).

Lastly, I agree with everyone that inlaws and dog interaction needs to be controlled / managed!

Hopefully someday scene could be like this: He chews on carpet. Inlaw stands up, says sharply, "No!". Dog's ears go back, he looks like it's the end of the world. He goes and lays down (or Inlaw can say "Place!") Inlaw gives him a chewy or a toy, few kind words. Then dog thinks: 'Chewing is fine, just don't chew the carpet! '
 
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