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Hello,

I have a pure bred German Shepherd that is about a year old. The dog came from breeders with a good reputation, but has since shown bad signs of aggression. He will snarl and growl at all members of the family and will try to snuggle with us minutes later. He is very selective of who he let's approach him and will growl and bark at any guests at the house. It has gotten so bad that we have to put him in his kennel when guests come over. It seemed to be at it's worst Monday when he bit my mother drawing blood for no reason, and I was wondering if there was anything we could do besides putting him down? Thanks for any help

Edit: To clarify he is very loving 90% of the time and gets along with the family and loves to play and snuggle
 

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is this a new behavior or one that has been getting worse over time? If it's relatively new and sudden you might want to see a vet, maybe he is in pain, if its been accumulating over time, it's probably something else. How was he socialized as a puppy?

Is there some common thing that is triggering these responses that you may have overlooked that might be scaring him? Ie., maybe a person has a hat on that day and you don't realize thats what the trigger is, then they casually take it off and he "snuggles with you minutes later".
 

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This is a behavior that has been getting worse over time. It doesn't seem to be anything in particular setting him off other than general aggressiveness. He was around other dogs quite a bit as a puppy and while he played rough it seemed he was overall fine. The problem is that he will just snap for no reason
 

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Do you have access to a canine behaviorist?
Can your breeder give you any information?
You may have to think about putting him down if the vet can't find a physical cause.
 

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Did you recently have him vaccinated?
I would work on the NILIF and of course vet check is the first thing. I'd also talk with the breeder about this, they should have insight into the lines and how to manage your pup.
 

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does he only get aggressive in certain rooms? if so he could be possessively guarding those rooms. he also sounds dominant. a dominant dog can love members of its pack but not respect them. meaning they cuddle when they want and when they dont agree with something, they try to put those members in their place (below the dog). they could play tug and have fun one second, and the next turn aggressive when they are over stimulated. also when he plays with other dogs does he put his head on their shoulder trying to force them to be submissive? thats another sign of a dominant dog.
 

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It's possible this dog is giving a lot of signs before he bites. All the barking and growling are exactly that, warning signs that this dog is not happy, and he could be quite fearful. What was the circumstance surrounding your mother's bite ( if you don't mind my asking)?
 

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You are way way off from needing to put the dog down. Has the dog had OB training? How many people and what ages are in your home? What is your daily regiment with the dog? Do you have other dogs? Has anyone in the home struck the dog? These things are extremely difficult to properly diagnose over the internet, a trip to the behaviorist would be the best thing you can possibly do.

The one truly aggressive dog Ive encountered did not warn before it bit, it just bit people. If your dog is warning you before it bites, then there si something that it is fearful/protective of and he is telling you to stop before he bites.
 

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Take the dog to a very experienced German Shepherd trainer or obedience trainer and get an educated opinion ...if you have access to behaviorist especially one with experience with aggression, then go there, lastly, if you have a SCH or bite sport club near you, you might go there. You want to determine causation of aggression so as to try right remedy. Aggression in this breed is usually the result of breeding, upbringing, or health issues. Most experienced trainers or behavior people can readily recognize cause and then either help you or send you to where help will be available. Good luck!
 

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Like others have suggested, a vet visit is in order first.

We had an aggressive eposide with our Jake at 10 months old with our dog walker that had been coming into the house since he was 9 weeks old. They were outside in the front yard doing business and she claims he just jumped up and bit her. I had him at the vet the next day ... couldn't find a medical explanation.

We did work with a canine behaviorist and without the cooperation from the dog walker at best we could concluded that there must have been a trigger that the dog walker didn't pick up on that caused Jake to be fearful or nervous. We worked with the behaviorist for several sessions and have not seen anymore aggressive behaviour from Jake.

We also took Jake off commercial dog food and consulted with a canine nutritionist to formulate a homemade food, which has resolved the digestive and allergy issues he was having.
 

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first you need to have a thorough vet check, to make sure he does not have a neurological problem which causes him to be Jekyll and Hyde with your family (for no reason) "He will snarl and growl at all members of the family and will try to snuggle with us minutes later." , " is that he will just snap for no reason " and it is getting worse , assuming that no one was taunting him or winding him up . " He is very selective of who he let's approach him and will growl and bark at any guests at the house". Then you need to be even more selective and keep the dog away from your guests .

after that -- take Cliff's advice "Take the dog to a very experienced German Shepherd trainer or obedience trainer and get an educated opinion " someone with hands on experience .
 

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You may have to think about putting him down if the vet can't find a physical cause.
Can people please stop suggesting having dogs put down over the Internet?
It is grossly irresponsible.
Remember, folks this is the Internet. You were not actually there. There is a lot of information lost along the way and there are too many instant Internet experts.
Suggesting for people to see behaviorists, trainers and veterinarians is great!
Anyone implying any dog should be put down solely through Internet chatter is idiotic. You can't bring life back once it is taken away.
 

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Can people please stop suggesting having dogs put down over the Internet?
It is grossly irresponsible.
Remember, folks this is the Internet. You were not actually there. There is a lot of information lost along the way and there are too many instant Internet experts.
Suggesting for people to see behaviorists, trainers and veterinarians is great!
Anyone implying any dog should be put down solely through Internet chatter is idiotic. You can't bring life back once it is taken away.
amen
 
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