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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Munchie, any idea what the dog's bloodlines are? You can PM me if you don't want to post publicly. (We aren't allowed to say bad things about breeders on this board, due to possible liability.)

I am really curious to know what sort of bloodlines would produce a nightmare like this dog!
I'm doing my best not to mention names because I didn't want to cause the owners more problems. I know the wife has the papers and pedigree, I'll gently ask if she can share them. She can't even say the dog's name right now without bursting into tears... I'll pm you if I get it.
 

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Thank you!
Poor woman! 馃槬 I can't imagine waking up to find my dog had killed and eaten another one of my pets!

Okay, maybe if I left my cat and a bird loose in the same room... but that would be asking for trouble!
 

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There are no 鈥榳olf like鈥 qualities in any dog breeds. It isn鈥檛 just GSD but any breed for that matter. I feel bad for the family and their GSD but that wasn鈥檛 normal.
 

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No, it is not what the breed has become.

Attached photo is my then five month or so puppy (now 2 1/2 yrs.) chilling at work in my downtown office. She has gone there any number of times, met and been petted by all of the staff.
No crazy health issues either. No compulsive digging or tearing at wounds or hot spots. Our younger male, same/same. He has also gone to work with me. Gone to Tractor Supply; Lowe's Building Materials; Pet Smart; Bass Pro Shop. He can be a little more reactive than the female, but nothing even close to what your describe.

At our club, we've seen a lot of people with new puppies in the last year and a half. Some have more drive than others, some are more laid back, but I've not heard any horror stories along the lines of what you've posted.

Despite its appearance, I do not believe the GSD is any closer to a gray wolf, timber wolf or any other kind of wolf, than say, a Chihuahua is to the same wolf.
The DNA is incredibly close for ALL dogs to their wolf ancestors, but thousands of years of domestication has made them very, very different.

As a side note, my late brother had a wolf hybrid, cross with an Alaskan Malamute. Not my cup of tea, but the animal was not overly reactive. A bit of a resource guarder with food, but it lived around smaller animals without incident for its entire life.
 

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Well, I refer to my current dog as my little genetic nightmare and she has never done any of that.
So no, not normal and not acceptable.
I did own a working line female that I got at around two who liked to chew holes in herself. Medication and a stable environment fixed it. She had been abused a bit, and not nicely treated for most of her life when she came to me though.
 

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Wow. Definitely not normal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
I would prefer the long story. This story starts with 鈥渦nstable neurotic mess鈥 and the OP obviously strongly dislikes the dog. The breeder placed a 8 wk old puppy in a home with young kids and newborn and another dog, it obviously was a very bad mismatch and things went very wrong. Can you share the dog鈥漵 pedigree and the lines? Without it it鈥檚 hard to say +anything except that right now it鈥檚 a sad and not normal situation for the dog and the family.
My reply- I am biased because what happened and how they were treated after by this person is the most screwed-up thing I鈥檝e ever witnessed. If I hadn't heard it myself i'd assume they were lying. I have my opinions but they鈥檙e not nice. I'll try to get the lines for you.

Owner reply- I am an ACO with a vet and AKC handling background, specializing in fear aggression and rehabilitation for almost 15 years. I have been around, trained and rehabilitated dogs and always had a multi-dog household from breeders for personal reasons. I sought out a breeder with what appeared to be good temperaments due to their supposed involvement in therapy dogs. My husband is a disabled veteran which is why we went with him, dogs bred for therapy dogs in theory had good stable temperaments - and I admit german shepherds are a breed I am not directly around much of as they are often transferred to a breed-specific rescue immediately to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands or homes. What I can say is that the fear reactive shepherds tend to be the ones only I can handle or catch so work sends me in first.

When I sought out this breeder I informed them of my home, our family, our dogs, their temperaments, our needs and wants, and explained what knowledge I had as well as the knowledge of the breed. I asked on more than one occasion if we were the right home for a dog of this breed because of stereo types about the breed. I didn鈥檛 want to set the dog up for failure, nor set the dog up to fail. The breeder assured us that we were a good match and also stated they would personally pick our puppy to guarantee the match.

First time we went to the property we met a sweet male who loved to play fetch, not the father. We did not meet the parents at that time. The second time we met the puppy and its mother. The owner kept the two apart and every time the pup approached the bitch he redirected her immediately or instructed someone to pick the pup up. We never met the littermates or father. I dismissed this, assuming the mother may just be snappy due to weaning as the dog was very responsive and attentive to the owner though the dog did ignore us completely. The daughter of the breeder then admitted that another dog from a separate bloodline had attacked and killed its housmate. All the breeder complained about was the fact that the former owner of said dog wanted their money back which was in their contract. Again I dismissed this as they assured us the dog in question came from a separate bloodline plus I did not know all the facts or witness the event so it was a he said she said.

For the first year the dog learned quickly and was busy, acting normally and growing/playing appropriately. The only thing I noticed that was weird was the pups obsessive licking of the other dogs mouths. Sometimes even shoving her head inside the other dogs mouths. I'd need to redirect or remove the pup before one of the three other dogs snapped as the pup ignored growls and other warnings that it was enough. We would redirect with a toy, or put the pup into a sit or work on a new trick. There were no problems with the children then. First time I did the pups nails we did have a battle that I won, and I would consider the dogs reaction normal as we introduced a nail grinder. The dog was rewarded for positive behavior only and we waited through the temper tantrum to begin again with firm no and treats.

At a year old she was displaying very good attentive behavior and we began working with a herding dog trainer in order to give her an extra outlet which she responded beautifully to. When our daughter was outside she would circle her, watching the fenceline (Our neighbors let their dogs wander and she would fence fight with them. I don鈥檛 consider this a negative behavior as she redirected perfectly and listened when I said leave it.) and follow after her. It was honestly beautiful to watch them walk around with the dog watching over our daughter. Mild pacing had begun so we began puzzles and food hunts as well as frequent runs, assuming she needed more. Trail tracking was introduced (She wasn鈥檛 to interested) as well as flirt pole toys (She loved it).

At around a year was when she began to chew her dewclaws. I did her nails and the next morning woke up to her chewing and obsessively licking. The nail in question was assumed to have been cut to short despite no sign of blood so redirected and again engaged in games and tricks, food hunts ext- During the day she was fine and redirected well. At night she chewed off her dewclaw until the bone was exposed and had begun licking the other dew claw. The vet was involved since it started and we did multiple tests after plus put the dog on anxiety meds. We ended up needing to remove the dewclaw which we did. She wore an e-collar and easily escaped it. We ended up taping a traffic cone to her head to keep her from licking the stitches. She ended up scraping the stitches across the top of her crate at night and managed to open the wound. Due to her age the vet couldn't put her on certain meds or sedation and ended up giving mild meds to try and calm her. It worked for three days before she grew accustomed to the meds and continued to go after the wound. PVC pipe was applied to the leg and we succeeded in letting it heal only for her to begin licking and chewing at her other dewclaw. We applied the same PVC pipe and cone while the other foot healed and it resulted in her somehow managing to strip a piece of skin off her leg. At a loss, the vet suggested cayenne pepper and no bite spray and warned me that she would NOT spay the dog (We always waited until a year to spay/neuter to let our dogs mature properly. I think that was a mistake.) out of fear that she would find a way to gut herself. It worked and every time she ignored her legs we rewarded her with treats. She then began chewing at her hind end.

As an ACO I do have a flea exposure here and there so our dogs stay on revolution. We assumed maybe fleas? But the vet found none. Again, in the night while in her crate she chewed a hole into her hip. This time we applied cayenne pepper and sometimes she鈥檇 still lick it but otherwise allowed it to heal. This is the weird part. The dog was eating two full meals a day with nupro vitamins, two pumps of salmon oil added in and a raw egg with treats throughout the day to keep her occupied (her hunts and tricks). I mention this because after the chewing incidents, the dog began pacing. And pacing. She had a "track" as we called it, through the home. We would redirect and once our game, walk, run, puzzle, trick or training was over she'd pace again. We began opening the slider to give her all day access to outside and inside. It became a challenge to keep weight on her as she was literally running it off. Even at night she began pacing, sleeping for about 4 hours at a time. We began crating her at night and we'd wake up to find her sitting upright and alert. It was odd. Like she only napped here and there then was wired awake.

She was always very calm and well behaved when placed in her crate at night or on trips to the store. She was never left in the crate while we were home, it was never used as a punishment and simply as a place to wait until we returned from whatever quick trip we took since I work from home. She never showed signs of stress or attempted to escape, dig, or stress inside it either.

By two years of age her pacing was a jog, no amount of games, walking or redirecting could pull her out of it, like she was obsessed. The licking of the dogs faces was still an issue at this age which was becoming odd. She would wait for them to yawn and shove her head inside their jaws to lick at their teeth and tounges and would not back off until I called her off. If the other dog snapped before I noticed it happening she would scream and cower in submission just like a puppy would. Then when they were outside she began gluing herself to their butts, following them around and sniffing longer than I鈥檇 say was necessary or that I鈥檝e seen normal dogs do. At this point we had to be on top of her 24/7 with redirects and commands or her eyes would almost glaze with her focus on pacing. We had a boston who had seizures once and his eyes would do the same thing. It was very wierd.

Training with the herding instructor had to halt as she'd begun biting the sheep she was working with, acting untrained off leash and panted the whole time we were away from the house. We needed to return to basic training as she was beginning to ignore commands that she'd been following to a T, and sought a behaviorist who specialized in obsessive behavior as recommended by our vet. At this point, she grew worse but maintained a form of stability and redirected so long as I kept her in my line of sight and and didn't allow the dog to get away with anything unreasonable. No beating, starving, shocking, chaining, crating (other than at night) was done or that would clearly make the issue worse??? (?? Is that a training method???How is that even a question??) The dog had a hard time keeping weight still and the vet assumed it was due to the nonstop pacing habit that she had developed and prescribed anxiety medication. I should've known this wasn't normal, but every time I updated the breeder they assured me she was acting appropriately so I assumed it was just the breed or that I was doing something wrong. I admit, deep down I knew something wasn't right, but I wanted this to work and she was so young that I just kept telling myself that I had to wait until she was five as that's when dogs tended to settle. That she just needed to mature completely or something first like I was assured.

For a while, we maintained at that behavior. Redirecting treats, puzzles, walks, treadmill, runs and steadily increasing training from the behaviorist. I thought she was doing ok since she redirected so fast and responded so well. She was loyal, she was attentive, she responded to me. She began to nip my oldest when my child was running, and so I redirected both of them. Told my daughter to stop running and triggering the herding instinct, and redirected the dog whenever she began to follow my oldest around which she did frequently to prevent any possible issues. The breed can be mouthy, I never thought it was a sign of anything because she listened so well. SHE LISTENED.
I assumed it was the herding instinct which we had been working so changed my child's behavior. After that, we end up where we are now.

My husband decided I needed a break from home. So we went out to the beach during a quiet time. We left in the afternoon, put her in her crate with a kong full of peanut butter and hid a bunch of treats under the bed for her to dig and find, then came home in the evening. I was unbuckling the girls when my husband told me not to come inside. I鈥檝e repressed the event. And all I will say is that yes she physically consumed my lap dog.

I don鈥檛 know what I did wrong. I followed all the normal steps and she was so young that none of this made sense. I鈥檝e raised, shown, trained, handled and rehabilitated all sorts of breeds and I can鈥檛 figure out where I went wrong. We have a 7 year old Catahoula, a 10-year-old Siberian husky (Who we crated in separate crates while we were away so she wouldn鈥檛 feel alone) and had a 6-year-old dachshund who we allowed to stay loose who are/were fat, lazy, happy dogs. I just don鈥檛 understand. And yes, the wolf comment and being unable to guarantee a dogs temperament after two years old were exactly what we were told by the breeder, who now assures us it was our fault the dog acted the way it did. But I don't know what we could've done differently...
 

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My heart goes out to the owner. No, not normal and its shameful how the breeder has treated the situation and got them second guessing themself as a dog owner. This dog lost the genetic lottery and that the owner persevered thru 2 years of challenges with incredible diligence to have this kind of ending... 馃槶
 

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My reply- I am biased because what happened and how they were treated after by this person is the most screwed-up thing I鈥檝e ever witnessed. If I hadn't heard it myself i'd assume they were lying. I have my opinions but they鈥檙e not nice. I'll try to get the lines for you.
Owner reply- I am an ACO with a vet and AKC handling background, specializing in fear aggression and rehabilitation for almost 15 years. I have been around, trained and rehabilitated dogs and always had a multi-dog household from breeders for personal reasons. I sought out a breeder with what appeared to be good temperaments due to their supposed involvement in therapy dogs. My husband is a disabled veteran which is why we went with him, dogs bred for therapy dogs in theory had good stable temperaments - and I admit german shepherds are a breed I am not directly around much of as they are often transferred to a breed-specific rescue immediately to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands or homes. What I can say is that the fear reactive shepherds tend to be the ones only I can handle or catch so work sends me in first. When I sought out this breeder I informed them of my home, our family, our dogs, their temperaments, our needs and wants, and explained what knowledge I had as well as the knowledge of the breed. I asked on more than one occasion if we were the right home for a dog of this breed because of stereo types about the breed. I didn鈥檛 want to set the dog up for failure, nor set the dog up to fail. The breeder assured us that we were a good match and also stated they would personally pick our puppy to guarantee the match. First time we went to the property we met a sweet male who loved to play fetch, not the father. We did not meet the parents at that time. The second time we met the puppy and its mother. The owner kept the two apart and every time the pup approached the bitch he redirected her immediately or instructed someone to pick the pup up. We never met the littermates or father. I dismissed this, assuming the mother may just be snappy due to weaning as the dog was very responsive and attentive to the owner though the dog did ignore us completely. The daughter of the breeder then admitted that another dog from a separate bloodline had attacked and killed its housmate. All the breeder complained about was the fact that the former owner of said dog wanted their money back which was in their contract. Again I dismissed this as they assured us the dog in question came from a separate bloodline plus I did not know all the facts or witness the event so it was a he said she said.
For the first year the dog learned quickly and was busy, acting normally and growing/playing appropriately. The only thing I noticed that was weird was the pups obsessive licking of the other dogs mouths. Sometimes even shoving her head inside the other dogs mouths. I'd need to redirect or remove the pup before one of the three other dogs snapped as the pup ignored growls and other warnings that it was enough. We would redirect with a toy, or put the pup into a sit or work on a new trick. There were no problems with the children then. First time I did the pups nails we did have a battle that I won, and I would consider the dogs reaction normal as we introduced a nail grinder. The dog was rewarded for positive behavior only and we waited through the temper tantrum to begin again with firm no and treats. At a year old she was displaying very good attentive behavior and we began working with a herding dog trainer in order to give her an extra outlet which she responded beautifully to. When our daughter was outside she would circle her, watching the fenceline (Our neighbors let their dogs wander and she would fence fight with them. I don鈥檛 consider this a negative behavior as she redirected perfectly and listened when I said leave it.) and follow after her. It was honestly beautiful to watch them walk around with the dog watching over our daughter. Mild pacing had begun so we began puzzles and food hunts as well as frequent runs, assuming she needed more. Trail tracking was introduced (She wasn鈥檛 to interested) as well as flirt pole toys (She loved it). At around a year was when she began to chew her dewclaws. I did her nails and the next morning woke up to her chewing and obsessively licking. The nail in question was assumed to have been cut to short despite no sign of blood so redirected and again engaged in games and tricks, food hunts ext- During the day she was fine and redirected well. At night she chewed off her dewclaw until the bone was exposed and had begun licking the other dew claw. The vet was involved since it started and we did multiple tests after plus put the dog on anxiety meds. We ended up needing to remove the dewclaw which we did. She wore an e-collar and easily escaped it. We ended up taping a traffic cone to her head to keep her from licking the stitches. She ended up scraping the stitches across the top of her crate at night and managed to open the wound. Due to her age the vet couldn't put her on certain meds or sedation and ended up giving mild meds to try and calm her. It worked for three days before she grew accustomed to the meds and continued to go after the wound. PVC pipe was applied to the leg and we succeeded in letting it heal only for her to begin licking and chewing at her other dewclaw. We applied the same PVC pipe and cone while the other foot healed and it resulted in her somehow managing to strip a piece of skin off her leg. At a loss, the vet suggested cayenne pepper and no bite spray and warned me that she would NOT spay the dog (We always waited until a year to spay/neuter to let our dogs mature properly. I think that was a mistake.) out of fear that she would find a way to gut herself. It worked and every time she ignored her legs we rewarded her with treats. She then began chewing at her hind end. As an ACO I do have a flea exposure here and there so our dogs stay on revolution. We assumed maybe fleas? But the vet found none. Again, in the night while in her crate she chewed a hole into her hip. This time we applied cayenne pepper and sometimes she鈥檇 still lick it but otherwise allowed it to heal. This is the weird part. The dog was eating two full meals a day with nupro vitamins, two pumps of salmon oil added in and a raw egg with treats throughout the day to keep her occupied (her hunts and tricks). I mention this because after the chewing incidents, the dog began pacing. And pacing. She had a "track" as we called it, through the home. We would redirect and once our game, walk, run, puzzle, trick or training was over she'd pace again. We began opening the slider to give her all day access to outside and inside. It became a challenge to keep weight on her as she was literally running it off. Even at night she began pacing, sleeping for about 4 hours at a time. We began crating her at night and we'd wake up to find her sitting upright and alert. It was odd. Like she only napped here and there then was wired awake. She was always very calm and well behaved when placed in her crate at night or on trips to the store. She was never left in the crate while we were home, it was never used as a punishment and simply as a place to wait until we returned from whatever quick trip we took since I work from home. She never showed signs of stress or attempted to escape, dig, or stress inside it either. By two years of age her pacing was a jog, no amount of games, walking or redirecting could pull her out of it, like she was obsessed. The licking of the dogs faces was still an issue at this age which was becoming odd. She would wait for them to yawn and shove her head inside their jaws to lick at their teeth and tounges and would not back off until I called her off. If the other dog snapped before I noticed it happening she would scream and cower in submission just like a puppy would. Then when they were outside she began gluing herself to their butts, following them around and sniffing longer than I鈥檇 say was necessary or that I鈥檝e seen normal dogs do. At this point we had to be on top of her 24/7 with redirects and commands or her eyes would almost glaze with her focus on pacing. We had a boston who had seizures once and his eyes would do the same thing. It was very wierd. Training with the herding instructor had to halt as she'd begun biting the sheep she was working with, acting untrained off leash and panted the whole time we were away from the house. We needed to return to basic training as she was beginning to ignore commands that she'd been following to a T, and sought a behaviorist who specialized in obsessive behavior as recommended by our vet. At this point, she grew worse but maintained a form of stability and redirected so long as I kept her in my line of sight and and didn't allow the dog to get away with anything unreasonable. No beating, starving, shocking, chaining, crating (other than at night) was done or that would clearly make the issue worse??? (?? Is that a training method???How is that even a question??) The dog had a hard time keeping weight still and the vet assumed it was due to the nonstop pacing habit that she had developed and prescribed anxiety medication. I should've known this wasn't normal, but every time I updated the breeder they assured me she was acting appropriately so I assumed it was just the breed or that I was doing something wrong. I admit, deep down I knew something wasn't right, but I wanted this to work and she was so young that I just kept telling myself that I had to wait until she was five as that's when dogs tended to settle. That she just needed to mature completely or something first like I was assured. For a while, we maintained at that behavior. Redirecting treats, puzzles, walks, treadmill, runs and steadily increasing training from the behaviorist. I thought she was doing ok since she redirected so fast and responded so well. She was loyal, she was attentive, she responded to me. She began to nip my oldest when my child was running, and so I redirected both of them. Told my daughter to stop running and triggering the herding instinct, and redirected the dog whenever she began to follow my oldest around which she did frequently to prevent any possible issues. The breed can be mouthy, I never thought it was a sign of anything because she listened so well. SHE LISTENED.
I assumed it was the herding instinct which we had been working so changed my child's behavior. After that, we end up where we are now. My husband decided I needed a break from home. So we went out to the beach during a quiet time. We left in the afternoon, put her in her crate with a kong full of peanut butter and hid a bunch of treats under the bed for her to dig and find, then came home in the evening. I was unbuckling the girls when my husband told me not to come inside. I鈥檝e repressed the event. And all I will say is that yes she physically consumed my lap dog. I don鈥檛 know what I did wrong. I followed all the normal steps and she was so young that none of this made sense. I鈥檝e raised, shown, trained, handled and rehabilitated all sorts of breeds and I can鈥檛 figure out where I went wrong. We have a 7 year old Catahoula, a 10-year-old Siberian husky (Who we crated in separate crates while we were away so she wouldn鈥檛 feel alone) and had a 6-year-old dachshund who we allowed to stay loose who are/were fat, lazy, happy dogs. I just don鈥檛 understand. And yes, the wolf comment and being unable to guarantee a dogs temperament after two years old were exactly what we were told by the breeder, who now assures us it was our fault the dog acted the way it did. But I don't know what we could've done differently...
I sent a PM. Have her call me if she's ok with that.
 

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Thank you so much for responding. There is no question in my mind now that the dog had a genetic disorder, and the family worked so hard to help her鈥 It would be always painful but easier to accept if the dog were outright aggressive or fear aggressive and dangerous but the dog had good times too, just mentally ill and unstable, a ticking bomb鈥 I understand why they tried so hard to make it work, they saw that good girl still inside of the changing dog, and they loved her鈥. I am so sorry for the owners, they did nothing wrong and went above and beyond and now have their hearts broken :(
 

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Thank you so much for responding. There is no question in my mind now that the dog had a genetic disorder, and the family worked so hard to help her鈥 It would be always painful but easier to accept if the dog were outright aggressive or fear aggressive and dangerous but the dog had good times too, just mentally ill and unstable, a ticking bomb鈥 I understand why they tried so hard to make it work, they saw that good girl still inside of the changing dog, and they loved her鈥. I am so sorry for the owners, they did nothing wrong and went above and beyond and now have their hearts broken :(
Breaks my heart when a great family tries so hard with a problem dog.
 

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same sex aggression, up to killing another female in the home is not that abnormal. Eating that dog would be abnormal. Chewing her toes off sounds way off. But I have heard of shepherds having their tails docked because after being injured they could not leave it alone. I would have thought that kind of injury would come from being stuck in a box and ignored for days at a time. For a dog that spends only a limited time crated and has outlets and human attention, is incredibly concerning. Not normal at all for GSDs. I am sorry you are having this much trouble with your dog.
 

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Long story short- dog was bought at 8 weeks as a family dog to a home with two known small children. One of which was a newborn. was a neurotic unstable mess that by age 2 chewed its own toes off (At night when owner was sleeping) and chewed a hole in its own hip despite multiple outlets of mental and physical stimulation during the day, skin scrapings from vet and humidifiers/flea treatment/food changes exc. Needed to be medicated just so the wounds would eventually heal. Toes needed to be amputated due to self-destruction and dog managed to rip stitches out (At night) despite multiple sedatives, bandages and collars to the point the vet refused to spay the dog out of fear it would gut itself at night. Dog was seen by two vets, medicated due to dog struggling to keep weight due to constant pacing and panting, was also seen by one behaviorist and a trainer who helped train and guide the dog-savvy owner to try and work with the dog due to young age. Dog puzzles, food toys, long walks, tried mill for rainy days, 3 acres to run daily and multiple stimulating food hunt games were played throughout the day. The Dog was loose with owner except at night as the dog continued to pace at night.
Dog needed to be kept under tough physical control 24/7 by owner who worked from home, and they succeeded in doing so. The dog responded to them and their commands. Was 50-50 with people and only responded well to the wife when they allowed strangers into their home and on occasion would become reactive regardless, resulting in the animal needing to be put away. Training wise- the dog healed (the command) well, was responding to wordless commands, long downs, sit-stay though struggled with off-leash training. By age 3 dog broke out of a metal crate while owners took a trip to the beach for the first time since purchasing the dog and it attacked, killed and ate the family's 13 pound 6-year-old dog who it had never shown signs of aggression towards in the past.
Breeder claims this is normal behavior and that their lines temperament can't be guaranteed after two years old because of "wolf-like" qualities that are commonly found in the GSD breed- despite originally selling the 8-week old dog as a loving intelligent family pet to a home with two young small children.
That's the short version. Understandably no one can truly comment on this dog without working with it themselves. I get that, but is what the breeder said true? Is this really what Shepherds are like now? All the ones I've been working with don't seem like this which is why I wanted to reach out and get opinions on the information I can provide.
I can probably get questions answered by the owners as well.
That is definitely not "normal" behavior. But it makes me question how much exercise and mental stimulation the GSD actually recieved. Most people don't realize exactly how much work it actually is to train a healthy and stable shepherd. It is definitely possible that the genetics were miswired....but it's also possible that the dog needed a bit extra of everything (was it a working breed?) and the owners didn't realize or weren't willing to put the extra work in. My first shepherd was a shock! Completely different than any dog I ever owned. I thought I was gonna die the first 5 months he was home with me. He bit, pulled my hair, was agressive with everything and everyone. Long story short ...he was so intelligent and sensitive that he needed more than the average dog. Once I figured out what and how he needed...he did a 180. It's very easy to blame the dog and bad genetics....buy there really are NO BAD DOGS. There are only limits to how people train. Also, I have seen multiple videos of GSDs that self mutilate. It came down to not giving the dog what it truly needed. All people are different....just as are all dogs. I can absolutely say, if I didn't change everything I did with my shepherd, he would have been dangerous to dogs and humans and even himself. Now? He takes pleasure In being helpful. He fetches my shoes, socks, shirt, jeans so I can get dressed.....he gets my keys when we need to travel, carries the food and water bowels and then brings them to me when feeding is done.... everything I drop, he picks it up and hands it to me .. he is SO smart and just wants to help. What I'm trying to say is....what you expect from one dog....the next can't live up to. There are NO bad dogs. Only faulty training. I wish German shepherds weren't so popular. To own a dog means to love it and give it everything it needs to thrive....not just what you are prepared to give.
 

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That is definitely not "normal" behavior. But it makes me question how much exercise and mental stimulation the GSD actually recieved. Most people don't realize exactly how much work it actually is to train a healthy and stable shepherd. It is definitely possible that the genetics were miswired....but it's also possible that the dog needed a bit extra of everything (was it a working breed?) and the owners didn't realize or weren't willing to put the extra work in. My first shepherd was a shock! Completely different than any dog I ever owned. I thought I was gonna die the first 5 months he was home with me. He bit, pulled my hair, was agressive with everything and everyone. Long story short ...he was so intelligent and sensitive that he needed more than the average dog. Once I figured out what and how he needed...he did a 180. It's very easy to blame the dog and bad genetics....buy there really are NO BAD DOGS. There are only limits to how people train. Also, I have seen multiple videos of GSDs that self mutilate. It came down to not giving the dog what it truly needed. All people are different....just as are all dogs. I can absolutely say, if I didn't change everything I did with my shepherd, he would have been dangerous to dogs and humans and even himself. Now? He takes pleasure In being helpful. He fetches my shoes, socks, shirt, jeans so I can get dressed.....he gets my keys when we need to travel, carries the food and water bowels and then brings them to me when feeding is done.... everything I drop, he picks it up and hands it to me .. he is SO smart and just wants to help. What I'm trying to say is....what you expect from one dog....the next can't live up to. There are NO bad dogs. Only faulty training. I wish German shepherds weren't so popular. To own a dog means to love it and give it everything it needs to thrive....not just what you are prepared to give.
You didn鈥檛 read the long story version. The owner literally put in a lot of work. The dog probably has severe mental problems. The op is not new to working breeds and professionally worked with dogs. I believe it鈥檚 post #28
 

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That is definitely not "normal" behavior. But it makes me question how much exercise and mental stimulation the GSD actually recieved. Most people don't realize exactly how much work it actually is to train a healthy and stable shepherd. It is definitely possible that the genetics were miswired....but it's also possible that the dog needed a bit extra of everything (was it a working breed?) and the owners didn't realize or weren't willing to put the extra work in. My first shepherd was a shock! Completely different than any dog I ever owned. I thought I was gonna die the first 5 months he was home with me. He bit, pulled my hair, was agressive with everything and everyone. Long story short ...he was so intelligent and sensitive that he needed more than the average dog. Once I figured out what and how he needed...he did a 180. It's very easy to blame the dog and bad genetics....buy there really are NO BAD DOGS. There are only limits to how people train. Also, I have seen multiple videos of GSDs that self mutilate. It came down to not giving the dog what it truly needed. All people are different....just as are all dogs. I can absolutely say, if I didn't change everything I did with my shepherd, he would have been dangerous to dogs and humans and even himself. Now? He takes pleasure In being helpful. He fetches my shoes, socks, shirt, jeans so I can get dressed.....he gets my keys when we need to travel, carries the food and water bowels and then brings them to me when feeding is done.... everything I drop, he picks it up and hands it to me .. he is SO smart and just wants to help. What I'm trying to say is....what you expect from one dog....the next can't live up to. There are NO bad dogs. Only faulty training. I wish German shepherds weren't so popular. To own a dog means to love it and give it everything it needs to thrive....not just what you are prepared to give.
it's great that you were able to rehab your dog but it doesn't mean that every dog can be turned around. Please be more empathetic to the OP. How many dogs, difficult dogs especially, did you work with?
 
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