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I am not sure if i am even posting in the correct place but here goes. I just got an 11 mo old German Shepard. We have inly had him for two weeks. He has taken up with my 14 yo daughter and become very protective of her to the point he is starting to scare me. I went to hug her today and his ears stood up, he growled, showes be his teeth and snipped at my hand. I have two smaller kids and I really dont know what to do. I know i did not do enough research b4 buying him. My question is this. Is it too late for me to have professional help with his aggression? He is usually very sweet but in the back of my mind I keep thinking once a dog is aggressive can they ever be trusted?
 

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I don't think it's too late, but certainly late in coming. Best to get a trainer familiar with the breed like cloudpump said ASAP. Also look into doing a two week shut down.
 

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No it's not too late to get a professional trainer involved. I highly recommend it. I wouldn't wait given he is showing aggression for what ever the reason. At 11 months this is still a young GSD and needs proper, consistent training.

Now: You said you "bought" him. Did you by him from a breeder, Craig's list or other internet ad or did you adopt him from a rescue/shelter? Did you get any history on him? Why was he given up/sold? Knowing these thing will help us help you.
His growling, baring teeth and snapping is absolutely unacceptable behavior. There is a dog adjustment period program called the "two week shut down" that has worked for many when acquiring a new dog that is older. You can search for on here or google it to learn more about it.

Until you have him evaluated by an experienced trainer (preferably one who works with GSD's and working breeds NOT Petsmart) you need to keep away from the kids unless there is strict supervision and the environment is controlled. This is the internet and we don't know your dog so we can only give basic guidance to get you headed in the right direction. That said, what you described doesn't sound like he is being protective. It sounds like resource guarding and that has to stop. I can't say strongly enough you NEED to find an experienced trainer ASAP.

If you give your general location we can help you find a good trainer in your area.
 

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Your dog has attached itself, for whatever reason, to your daughter. SHE needs to tell him that the behavoir is not acceptable! And you do too! If he's scary at 11 months, just imagine later on! Nip this innapropriate behavior in the bud...do it NOW! If you don't you'll regret it later on... A good trainer is a great idea, but talk to your daughter. You two need to be on the same page on this. Don't allow this behavior to continue, or you'll have a bigger problem shortly! Just tell him "NO"!
 

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To be more clear, your daughter needs to tell him no, in no uncertain terms! No.
.not acceptable period. Do that enough times and he'll get it. Then hire a trainer to help you with other stuff...
 

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So I can feel the backlash even b4 I post but I did get him off craigslist. His previous owner stated that she had him since 8 weeks and they did not socialize him bc they wanted a protecter. They told me they got him from a breeder and his dad was a k9 police dog. They stated he has never bit but is intimidating. He was very intimidating when we met but within 5 mins was in our laps, doing tricks and being very affectionate. I did try to contact them after the incident which happened again this morning but they are completely ghosting me which has me worried that maybe they were not 100% honest with me. They said they needed to rehome him bc they were moving to Texas. I feel like I can't rehome him in good conscience bc what if he attacked someone. I def don't want to take hin to a shelter bc they would put him down I fear. He is such a smart dog. He learned how to use a dog door within mins of being at our home. I live in SC. I have never owned a large dog and honestly do not even know where to start to get help. I do know not to go to Pet Smart. I really do want to keep him but I know he can sense my fear now and I am not sure how to move forward.
 

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It doesn't matter where you got him, he's there now. He's a new dog to you, you really don't know what you have in him even if he came from a highly regarded breeder. He needs to be carefully managed, not allowed so freedom to be in a position to make these kinds of decisions about who he likes or doesn't. He bit you. With all due respect to Tim, DO NOT HAVE YOUR 14 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER TRY TO DISCIPLINE THIS DOG OR CONTROL HIM. This was not a good choice for you Amy, having no experience at all. Does he have a crate? You need help, but in general you slow everything down, settle them in over time avoiding conflicts like the one you posted. You observe him, and he learns about you. ETA, I see you posted crate pics.
 

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Sounds like he is resource guarding your daughter. I would limit his access to her and would hire a trainer who can teach you how to safely provide leadership and develop a bond with the dog. If you are frightened of him, he can sense it. I would look for a trainer who has experience in IPO/Schutzhund, other dog protection sports, or police K9s. Maybe I am overprotective, but I would NOT let my kids try to discipline a large, unruly dog--maybe if there was an experienced person right there monitoring the dog and ready to intervene, but that doesn't sound like your situation. If the dog is snipping at you and growling, you should have a good trainer at your side before you attempt to correct him, especially if there's no one in your house who is experienced with GSDs or dog-training. In the meantime, I would keep things calm and avoid situations that stimulate the dog's aggression (like cuddle time on the couch with your daughter). Shame on the previous owners if they knew about this issue and let him go to a family with kids. :( I'm wishing for a happy outcome when you get some guidance from a trainer. Please keep us updated!
 

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My two cents: keep him leashed inside and outside to have control and out of reach of your daughter. She should not interact with him until he acts appropriate. You need to do that.
He basically needs to go to a behavior ER. Do not allow your daughter to discipline him; it is dangerous to everyone involved. This behavior doesn't have anything to do with socializing; it is a hierarchy problem within the group.
Get him off the furniture, feed him away from all the kids and make him wait for his food. Hold the bowl up and lower it when he sits. He gets up? The bowl goes up. Wait for another sit etc. In the meantime don't say anything but let him figure it out. Read up on 'Nothing in Life is for free'. Give it an honest try with a good trainer but keep in mind that he might not be safe to stay in the end. Especially your daughter needs to keep an open mind with your guidance. If this is "just" a hierarchy issue, this could be fixed but you need more help than we can give you here. He is an adolescent and many of them at this age show bratty behavior. I am not minimizing this however; he shows that he needs serious help. Remember to NOT give him access to the kids until he has shaped up. The more leadership he gets, the more he will feel secure.
Susan Clothier, a trainer and GSD breeder: a new dog has a three questions: Who is in charge here? What are the rules? and Where do I fit in? If you don't give him the answers he will fill in the gaps.
 

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What does resource gaurding mean? What are important keys to finding a solid trainer?
He considers your daughter his property. She is on the same level as his food and toys and YOU should stay away from all this goodness or else ...
(This is what the dog 'thinks'). If not addressed it wil get worse to the point that you cannot walk by him, not sit in HIS favorite chair, not touch his bowls etc.
 

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What does resource gaurding mean? What are important keys to finding a solid trainer?
He considers your daughter his property. She is on the same level as his food and toys and YOU should stay away from all this goodness or else ...
(This is what the dog 'thinks'). If not addressed it wil get worse to the point that you cannot walk by him, not sit in HIS favorite chair, not touch his bowls etc.
How is he in the presence of your other children?
 

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What does resource gaurding mean? What are important keys to finding a solid trainer?
"Resource guarding refers to a dog displaying behavior (growling, snapping, etc.) intended to convince other dogs or humans to stay away from a particular treasure or “resource.” The resource can be food, treats, toys, a place (a bed or favorite chair), or occasionally a person," from https://yourdogsfriend.org/help/resource-guarding-growling/ .

Kudus for you for looking for a trainer! I think you said you're in South Carolina. Perhaps, if you list the nearest big town or city, someone can recommend an experienced trainer in the area. I would look for a trainer who is involved in protection sports like IPO/Schutzhund because he or she has worked extensively with GSDs or similar breeds, is less likely to be intimidated by them, and may be more prepared to deal with aggression issues. Unless they have demonstrable experience with GSDs, I would probably avoid positive-only, pet-dog trainers as they may or may not be equipped to deal with your issue.
 

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Get a trainer today. Have your daughter involved with his training. This is serious and can easily become dangerous. With the right trainer you can stop it now.
 

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For time and safety sake, if I were you, I would either post the county or town you are in so members can suggest one if they know of one or you can google trainers in your area and post what you found for an opinion. You can always find out why that trainer would be a good one as you are searching for one.

And no, your dog doesn't love her and has not yet bonded to her. He has just found a human that exudes safety in an otherwise unknown, confusing situation. He's going to guard that comfort zone with all he has. He has shown you what he is able to do and how he is going to do it. Listen to him and get a trainer.
 

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I’m not sure he is resource guarding. You have only had him 2 weeks. You don’t know his history. You have several children. Rescues can become extremely attached to their new homes after a lot of upheaval and loss. They are also sensitive to nuance. I don’t want to put you on the spot and you don’t need to answer, but think back to what happened just prior to his behavior toward you. Was there any tension? An argument? It’s possible something someone did was perceived by him as a threat toward your daughter and he wanted it to stop. Even if it wasn’t threatening, he may have assumed it was, so he reacted.

I had a similar experience with a GSD foster, who started to go after one of my children. Fortunately, I knew how to interrupt and stop it safely, firmly, but gently. I began working on the dog seeing all family members as equal to one another and it worked. I’m not going to explain how because that isn’t something for the Internet. You need someone in your home watching and helping you. Or you might need to rehome the dog and find a different one who can handle normal family interactions.
 

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Get a trainer today. Have your daughter involved with his training. This is serious and can easily become dangerous. With the right trainer you can stop it now.
This!!....I missed the part of him showing any aggression toward your children, so I don’t know if that is issue. But I would have 14 year old involved. He growled and nipped at you from what I read...he didn’t bite you which is good. The good news is that at eleven months he is still adolescent and a good trainer will show you how to establish boundaries, consistency, and proper nurturing so as for him to find his right place in your pack. A good trainer should also be capable of reading the dog so that he can tell you if he will never be a good fit into your pack. The good news is I find with proper training and support, with an eleven month puppy, most situations can be put in order. Good luck!
 
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