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I don't even know where to start, I'm so devastated and need help desperately! We brought home our 7 month old male in January and things were progressing very well until about 2 months ago when he started acting very aggressively towards strangers. By aggressively I mean full out lunging, showing teeth, foaming at the mouth, barking nonstop. I could not redirect him no matter how hard I tried. I took him to a trainer who works with GSD's, he bit the trainer, the trainer recommended shock collar training. All other trainers said in no way to use shock training on him. I then contacted and started working with a behavioral modification specialist. She gave us very specific training to work with him on reconditioning. Then he got out of the house a few weeks ago (my fault, I know, I'm still sick about it!) and attacked a jogger, bit him, drew blood, it was horrible! His aggression continued to escalate. Last week we took him to another trainer 3 1/2 hours away to board for 4 weeks (he has worked with GSD's for 40 years, trains for SAR, has worked and been successful with aggressive dogs) we felt this was our best shot at reconditioning him. We received a phone call 2 days ago that completely broke my heart. His recommendation is that if he were to come back into our home (we have 2 young kids), something horrible could and would happen. He feels that there is nothing we can do to change him, that he wired for high prey drive and cannot be in a home with more than one person. He had another GSD trainer he works with assess him and she came to the same conclusion. He is very high drive and extremely aggressive. He said he cannot and will not work with him. I contacted the breeder and she said she can't take him back, she has too many puppies. I don't know what to do! If I can't find a home for him, he will have to be PTS. The trainer said he could potentially work well in a military setting or with one person that is very experienced in high drive, working GSD's. How do i find such a person?

Sorry this is so long. I love this dog so much. He is so sweet with me, just a goofy lovable boy. I am also angry. I was very specific that I wanted a low drive family companion. This is not what I got. Please help! I can't imagine having to put down this baby but I don't know what to do!
 

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what a heartbreaker!

First and foremost, you have to put your children first. Do not try to put this dog back into your home.

Do you have a vet that knows German Shepherds? If so, get their opinion and reassurance that is isn't a health issue.
 

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Could you please PM the breeder and pedigree?

I'm very sorry. Sometimes dogs just aren't wired right.
 

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Before I got to the end of your post I was already thinking military or police if it's not medical. I would start looking into that and get a complete check up and blood work done to make sure.
 

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I also would not take bring this dog back into your home.

What about your trainer? Would they be willing to keep/place him? Maybe they know of someone who would be interested in him..

Placing him with some inexperienced is not an option, if you can't find someone experienced (and i would stick with your trainer for help with that), unfortunately I would put him down, to much of a liability.

Your breeder since they won't take him back (because "can't" isn't an excuse),,may be able to help/direct you to someone experienced.
 

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Where are you located?
 

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So the dog is about a year old, high drive, aggression and no control work training....if he can be pronounced physically sound, donation to a larger police department with certified master trainers (usually NAPWDA certified) may be a possibility. I don't know where you are located....many bigger towns and cities have K9 departments and may have the ability to work with and a need of a dog with this type of drive...they may be able to train focus and control.

I would also be interested in his pedigree if you would not mind PMing it to me

Thanks

Lee
 

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I'd be curious about the pedigree also.

this doesn't sound good "I contacted the breeder and she said she can't take him back, she has too many puppies"

what did the dog display until that "two months ago" when in the public and dealing with people? What changed.

Seems like you've run the gamut of what is generally recommended, a trainer, a behavioural specialist, another trainer who called upon another for an opinion.

If one of them concluded that he is wired for high prey , then did the dog show you this while he was in your home. Did you play ball with him.
One comment was that he was wired for high prey and so cannot be in a home with more than one person . There are many, many , high prey dogs living wonderfully in active big family homes and high social contact .

I don't think a police department would take on a dog that has already had so many wrongful bites. The dog still has to be social . His usefulness would be severely limited .

If the dog is medically well , he may be able to be placed in some high security use , one handler . Even there the dog would have to meet hip clearances .

Keep a record of where the dog has been while not in your care, in case you have some sort of litigation from "the jogger" that he bit and drew blood on. The trainer that he bit sort of expects stuff like this as part of his work .

curious to see the outcome .
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I do wonder what you mean by foaming and if you have had this dog at a vet recently with these descriptions?
Yes, he's been our vet, he's up to date on all his shots. By foaming at the mouth I mean he will get so worked up, his saliva will pool up in the corners of his mouth and foam up and/or drool quite a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I'd be curious about the pedigree also.

this doesn't sound good "I contacted the breeder and she said she can't take him back, she has too many puppies"

what did the dog display until that "two months ago" when in the public and dealing with people? What changed.

Seems like you've run the gamut of what is generally recommended, a trainer, a behavioural specialist, another trainer who called upon another for an opinion.

If one of them concluded that he is wired for high prey , then did the dog show you this while he was in your home. Did you play ball with him.
One comment was that he was wired for high prey and so cannot be in a home with more than one person . There are many, many , high prey dogs living wonderfully in active big family homes and high social contact .

I don't think a police department would take on a dog that has already had so many wrongful bites. The dog still has to be social . His usefulness would be severely limited .

If the dog is medically well , he may be able to be placed in some high security use , one handler . Even there the dog would have to meet hip clearances .

Keep a record of where the dog has been while not in your care, in case you have some sort of litigation from "the jogger" that he bit and drew blood on. The trainer that he bit sort of expects stuff like this as part of his work .

curious to see the outcome .
Honestly, I am not even sure I completely understand what high prey drive really means. He is completely obsessed with playing catch. And I mean obsessed. When there is a tennis ball around, he will not focus on anything else. He would play ball all day long if we let him.

The strange thing is, is that he would seem to calm down for a bit once someone new was over but then something would always set him off and he'd go into lunging, crazy barking mode. It got to the point where we were basically prisoners in our own home. We couldn't take him any where and couldn't have any one over. That's not fair to him and to our 2 young kids that couldn't have their friends over. I was terrified something would happen to a child which left my husband and I constantly on guard.

We are very lucky the jogger didn't come after us, well not yet any way. I honestly don't think I would have been as nice about it as he was! I would never, ever forgive myself if something happened to any one else so for that reason, he will not come back into our home.

The trainer said he could not be in a family home because it is his determination that he can only be attached to one person. He said it in a more formal way, I'm just so sad and overwhelmed that I can't remember exactly how he worded it. I'm taking his word for it though and will not even consider trying to place him in a family setting.

I will keep track of where he has been, thank you for that advice.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
how does he behave at the vets' and is the vet aware of your dog's issues .
Yes, our vet is fully aware of what is going on. We have to have a load of treats with us and have to bring him in the back door so he has as little people contact as possible. It's very scary and emotionally and physically draining. We haven't been able to weigh him in awhile because I'm afraid to do anything extra with him there.
 

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First, get a good muzzle and use it. The safety of the people around the dog is paramount, especially in close contact situations.

Contact Vohne Liche Kennels and see if they will evaluate him for work. They are always looking for dogs with high prey drive. They are in Denver Indiana, not too far from your location.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
First, get a good muzzle and use it. The safety of the people around the dog is paramount, especially in close contact situations.

Contact Vohne Liche Kennels and see if they will evaluate him for work. They are always looking for dogs with high prey drive. They are in Denver Indiana, not too far from your location.
He is kenneled at the trainers farm and is not around anyone except the trainer. I'm calling the kennel now. Thank you so much for that recommendation! I hope it works. I just got off the phone with the behavioralist and she has her doubts that he would pass the initial testing but it is totally worth a shot in my opinion. I'll do anything to try and save my boy!
 
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