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Hi I'm new. Well here's the story. We bought our white GSD 2 years ago. The litter of pups were breed by a vet so we trusted them. The pups were supposed to be shipped off to the Far East for protection I think. The contract fell through and we saw them at 4 months. We asked if the dog would be suitable for us as we have children and have never owned a GSD before - they assured us that we would be fine and if we had any problems we were welcome to come back.

Our dog is bred from a mother who is show KC registered and the father is from working European background.

Anyway the pup hadn't had any vaccinations so we had to wait another couple of weeks before we could take her out.

The first time we tried to walk her she wouldn't budge an inch. We tried many different techniques but she just wouldn't walk down the street. We were obviously quite concerned as we realised that she needed socialising as she was getting old now. We couldn't make the dog walk. I have never in my life come across this before. No amount of cajoling for three weeks would move her.

I took her to dog training when she was properly immunised and I had to carry her to the class. This was really bad as you can imagine she was quite big by now.

The classes did help but still no walking along the street. Also if I did manage to get her to go on a walk somewhere away from the house she would just bolt back and go under the car after a couple of metres.

We called the breeder back to tell them about our problems and they offered to give us another dog half price as this would help her. I told them I didn't want the dog but they wouldn't let us return her.

In the end we bought a Jacairn to help get her moving. This worked and she would walk no problem with the other dog! Not what I'd bargained for when buying the dog! Anyway they started fighting before too long and sadly had to re-home the Jacairn very sad about that as he was a lovely dog.

Anyway sorry for long post cut story short she is very sharp and will snap and lunge all the time at people on walks had a couple of incidents where she has gone for people off lead + on (not bitten anyone properly though thank God). Now on lead when anyone around.

Not sure what the best way forward is with this dog. We paid a lot of money for her from what we thought was a reputable breeder and have been put off GSDs for life! Please help. ps she is soppy around all the family and has never once shown any aggression towards us totally different dog at home.

Just want to know if this it typical and what you would do in this situation.

Apologises again for such a long post.
 

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We had a similar experience with an adult rescue GSD mix that was lovely with the family, but stressed and fearful of anybody else. She was a big dog and at 2 years old we were facing the prospect of having to manage her aggression for 10+ years. We spent a lot of time and money trying to change her behaviour around other people, but in the end we came to the agonizing decision to have her put to sleep. She was dangerous and I felt that the hard decision was also the responsible one.

Our experience didn't put us of the GSD breed, but I will never take on another adult rescue, she was too damaged and it was too heart-wrenching, especially as she bonded so well with the family.

I can't really help you with your situation, but it sounds similar to ours and that's what we did.

I know some people won't agree with our decision, and if I felt it were relevant here I would go into detail about her behaviour, background, the monumental efforts we made and how sad we were when we decided to have her put to sleep. But that's not relevant now. What I will say is that even though we missed the lovely side of her, we didn't realize until she was gone how very stressful having her had been for all of us. Living with the constant worry that she would bite someone was dreadful and I don't envy you your situation.
 

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Thanks for your reply Charlie. That is sad to have to put your dog to sleep. I'm sorry to hear that. It's true not a day goes by when I don't think about what should I do with the dog. I do really like her but as you say it is difficult to live with a dog that is so sharp with everyone. I have 3 children so the house can be hectic so I feel like I'm constantly monitoring the door in case one of their friends calls by. Also not sure I would be able to re-home her. I don't know whether I would be able to put the dog to sleep as she is so loyal. I do worry that if she got out somehow whether she would bite someone on the street or if a child managed to climb into our garden somehow. I feel that I am constantly watching her and as you say that is pretty tiring and stressful.
 

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I too euthanized a dog at 3.5 yrs due to aggression. I bought him from a breeder, and he was fear aggressive. I tried everything, even medication. Even though he was the sweetest dog with me, he was so hard to manage and handle. Not fair to anyone. It was heartbreaking.

As far as your dog.... ive never been a fan of white german shepherds. With so few registries (largely outside of canada) allowing them to show or compete, I find the number of "reputable" breeders breeding them is next to none. Mostly back yard breeders out to make a quick dollar by selling "rare and beautiful" white german shepherds. I know some on here will disagree because they are lucky and have the odd good white german Shepherd, but I strongly believe that most of them have extreme temperament issues like what you describe due to poor breeding. And its really sad for the dogs. Just like my luther, animals with temperament faults should NOT br bred.

If someone was breeding and selling REAL german shepherds for personal protection work, very unlikely they would be using white dogs.

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This is looking bad. Not what I expected. We had talked of putting her to sleep but not seriously. I'm now concerned - are you saying to put her to sleep because if she escaped she could bite someone: or because she is too difficult to handle? Also the kids would be heartbroken as their dog died; we just re-homed the Jacairn and now looking at putting this dog to sleep: they will be traumatised.
 

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Im not saying that. I am saying many times weak temperament is genetic. Add to the fact that she was older when you got her. Understand that many of these problems can never be FIXED, only managed.

I would look at some SERIOUS training. Not large chain corporate training. A good trainer with experience with both working dogs and aggressive dogs. Contact local schutzhund clubs or german Shepherd clubs for recommendations.

There is medication that can be looked at if training isnt completely effective. Prozac for example, etc... not the most ideal, but be realistic that you have a large liability on your hands. A potentially very dangerous dog, and you have children. You need to do what you need to do to protect everybody, and protect your own dog.

I NEVER want to tell someone online to euthanize their dog. That is an innapropriate call, none of us have seen the dog, the way you handle, the training you've done. I again just want to be realistic, an aggressive dog is a large liability and SOMETHING needs to be done, more training, or medication (or there are some good calming natural supplements, like lavender oil), or rehoming to a more experience home, or euthanasia.

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sounds like your dog needs rules and training. from the sounds of it she's kinda doing her own thing from lack of direction. not sure she is a case that should be PTS.

are you continueing training classes, or a private trainer? it takes alot of time and patience to work on this. a BIG commitment and a top priority. i believe it can be worked through with the right steps if you are willing to put the time in. shy sharp dogs are difficult and probably will never be 100% trust worthy, but you can improve things dramatically with training and direction, these types of dogs are never allowed to make their own decisions you need to make them. believe me i know because i have one of those.............who has dramatically improved with lots of time, training, and the right professional trainers, etc.
 

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Hi Debbie, my husband spends a lot of time training her. In fact all his spare time is taken up with this. Also when he is not there I do some with her too. Believe me he spends ages researching the right tecniques. We are definitely very pro-active with her. The only other thing we are going to do is take her to a GSD club and see how she is there. Even though we are not experienced GSD owners we have carefully looked at how to train them etc so not leash aggressive.
 

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Thanks Anubis you have given some very good advice and I will definitely look into the medication and try to get a recommended trainer. I don't want to keep spending money on her if she essentially won't change. She is definitely under control and isn't allowed to do whatever she likes around the house. I never leave her unattended especially around the children. We are consistent handlers and don't allow the dog to take over.
 

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good move taking her to a gsd club. hopefully there are people there who can help. is there a quailified trainer there, or just GSD people getting together to train. thats good you are working with her, but honestly i think you need someone objective to see how you are handling her. sometimes we cannot see what we are doing that some else qualified can see which can make a huge difference. more times than not someone else takes the dog and walks with them without you and they do not react, because the source of why they are reacting is removed. maybe the leash is to tight, maybe its a bit of fear and protective stuff, maybe its just practiced behavior.
 

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Yes I think you're right getting some other people to see how we are handling her may be good - but in all honesty I don't think we are doing anything wrong. Do you have another
dog with your shy dog Debbie? I would really like to get another dog and was wondering if I should get a bigger breed dog. I'm sad to think of the next 10+ years with a dog like this. Maybe I would feel better about her if I had another stable shepherd. What do you think?
 

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none of us seeks out a dog like this, it is a big responsibility and requires consistant work and training. and you always have to be aware of your surroundings. i do have another dog with my shy sharp dog, but i had her before he came. honestly no sure adding another dog for you right now is a good idea, i think you should put 100% into the dog for a few years and maybe with time and age things will get better where you can add another. adding one right now would take time away from a dog that needs alot.............just my opinion ...............you really do have a responsibility and a commitment to this dog first. not that you would rehome since its not easy to rehome this dog, but better to do it if you don't think you can commit to helping her. i do detect some resentment in your words "hating to be stuck with a dog like her for 10 plus years" resentment and negative feeling most definitely rub off on her even though your not aware of it. so think long and hard.................i know you can work with it if thats what you really want to do to keep her and make things better.
 

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Yes I think you're right getting some other people to see how we are handling her may be good - but in all honesty I don't think we are doing anything wrong.
Im going to stop you right there. Not only have you never handled another german Shepherd, but now your first german Shepherd sounds very fear aggressive. Although you may not be doing anything wrong, I highly doubt you are doing everything right. Fact of the matter is you don't have the experience or knowledge when it comes to training a dog like this. Sounds like you're doing everything you can, but you cant be expected to know how to handle this on your own. Obviously you cant or the dog wouldnt be to this point. Thats no offense to you, it sounds like you're trying a lot harder than many would. But please understand you need an experienced trainer to help show you how to handle a dog like this. The BIGGEST mistake you will make is assuming you know what you're doing and you have the ability to properly train and handle a dog like that without the help of an outside trainer.

Do you have another
dog with your shy dog Debbie? I would really like to get another dog and was wondering if I should get a bigger breed dog. I'm sad to think of the next 10+ years with a dog like this. Maybe I would feel better about her if I had another stable shepherd. What do you think?
Luther grew up with zeke, but we had zeke first. Zeke is a DOLL and very well behaved. Luther loved zeke, but zeke did not help luther behave. In fact I feel they got pack mentality when they were together and egged eachother on. Each dog was easier to handle separated from the other.

Dont get another dog until you have the one you own under control.


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Yes you are right we should definitely get experienced shepherd owners to help and trainers to advise us how to manage the situation in the best way for the safety of everyone. What I meant was that this dog was way off when we got her and although we may be doing the odd thing wrong I really don't think we could have affected her behaviour that dramatically.
Do you think there are certain lines that are just more wired and suitable for protection and maybe she would be seen as quite a good dog. The dogs were going to the military in Malaysia they don't like the black and tan ones. I am just wondering whether they specifically bred them to be sharp for this reason.
 

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Hi Basha
I am so sorry this is happening to you.
But, I think your first concern should be for your children. Dogs (any dogs) can destroy a face for life (or worse), with painful surgeries involved. It only takes one moment if you look away. And if you are already not comfortable with this dog around your children, this is something to take into careful consideration. The heartbreak of re-homing is easier than an accident for life.
Best of luck to you and your family.
Mom's
 

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Hi, no I am comfortable with her around the children she has never shown any aggression towards them. I just wouldn't leave a dog with that potential stable or otherwise alone with my kids.
 

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Yes you are right we should definitely get experienced shepherd owners to help and trainers to advise us how to manage the situation in the best way for the safety of everyone. What I meant was that this dog was way off when we got her and although we may be doing the odd thing wrong I really don't think we could have affected her behaviour that dramatically.
Do you think there are certain lines that are just more wired and suitable for protection and maybe she would be seen as quite a good dog. The dogs were going to the military in Malaysia they don't like the black and tan ones. I am just wondering whether they specifically bred them to be sharp for this reason.
No...she is not a good protection dog by anyone's standards. She is fearful and lashes out. Protective dogs only protect when necessary, and they are genetically stable and therefore know exactly where that line is. Your first signal of her not wanting to walk and just freezing up means that she wouldn't have made a good protection dog. You don't want to have to teach a dog how to do every day normal things...including walking on any surface that's thrown in front of the dog.

What it sounds like happened is that that the vet/breeder threw together two extremely wired/driven dogs. Instead of balancing the genetics out, they wanted to go all out and create something like the parents or even "better" than the parents. This tends to sometimes create very drivey dogs that are unstable fearful.

I'm never one to recommend PTS over the internet without seeing the dog. But the last thing you should ever do is rehome this animal. Throwing your problems onto someone else (and the risk associated with it) isn't something I could live with. I would also be very mindful of someone that is "excited" to have a dog like this for "protection" because they are probably going to be alright with the dog making a mistake or two when it comes to biting another person.
 

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No...she is not a good protection dog by anyone's standards. She is fearful and lashes out. Protective dogs only protect when necessary, and they are genetically stable and therefore know exactly where that line is. Your first signal of her not wanting to walk and just freezing up means that she wouldn't have made a good protection dog. You don't want to have to teach a dog how to do every day normal things...including walking on any surface that's thrown in front of the dog.

What it sounds like happened is that that the vet/breeder threw together two extremely wired/driven dogs. Instead of balancing the genetics out, they wanted to go all out and create something like the parents or even "better" than the parents. This tends to sometimes create very drivey dogs that are unstable fearful.

I'm never one to recommend PTS over the internet without seeing the dog. But the last thing you should ever do is rehome this animal. Throwing your problems onto someone else (and the risk associated with it) isn't something I could live with. I would also be very mindful of someone that is "excited" to have a dog like this for "protection" because they are probably going to be alright with the dog making a mistake or two when it comes to biting another person.




The reason why I haven't re-homed her already is because I didn't think it was fair to pass the problem onto someone else. That is why I re-homed a lovely stable dog to keep this dog. It is a shame that the breeder didn't feel the same or at least refund us our money. It is not that common in the UK to euthanise dogs unless they have actually bitten someone quite badly. People would prefer that a dog was taken to the dog's home first. I think this thread has made me even more confused.:confused:

To ask again: if after taking the dog to a professional trainer + GSD club she still has this fear aggression would you keep her? To be honest if it wasn't for the kids she would have gone 6 months ago.

Also if I have to muzzle her when out for walks it kinda defeats the purpose of having her. I like to walk on my own and feel safe.
 

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Without seeing and observing the dogs behavior - no one can really honestly tell you to euthanize her or how dangerous she is. While your report of her behavior is useful, it is not 100% complete - there are many small signs and cues that an experienced person can read...and no one is going to be able to really give a total concise report of any dogs behavior in a situation like this!

I applaud your responsible attitude....the worst thing in the world to do with an insecure dog is to pass it on to someone else....the dog will be confused and the behavior can escalate....and frankly, few people want this kind of an issue. Is it managable? Only you know what level of commitment and management you and your family are willing to do.

But this is definitely poor genetics. No way is it any one's "fault"...that vet should be kicked soundly in the buttocks! To breed such poor temperament and then not take any responsibility for it!!!!!!

I have said it before, and will say it again - just because someone is a vet does not make them 1. a good breeder or 2. a nutritionist. I spent many years with vets - 4 years at vet school with ex, then working with him, and with/at friends practices. Some of the worst breeders I have seen have been vets!!! One I know breeds Dobermans - the first one she got was a male was Kimbertal lines - over sized and fearful - she bought a female from a "farm breeding" to breed to him! No OFA, no von Willibrands tests - sells the pups to clients (mostly a farm vet)....have seen a few - a disaster....but everyone raves about what a wonderful vet/breeder she is....she used to have Goldens, and had as many Lab x Golden litters as purebred because the dog would go out alone while in heat....

BTW - love your screen name....my imported Belgian GSD came with that call name! Never saw it anywhere else before

Lee
 

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Older dogs that have problems like this take time lots of time. You can't put a time limit on training. They can sense your emotions of your angry, tense, fearful, or anticipating something bad happening they can sense it and it will rub off on them and you will in turn make them tense or fearful.

I rescued a 4 year old gsd a year ago and we have had a lot of on going problems fixed some and had more pop up. It is on going on training him and getting is trust. It takes alot of time you can't give up. I have another dog that I have trained all kinds of stuff and I thought I knew everything. I have did probably hundreds of hours of research and watching training videos, but no one knows everything and not every technique will work with every dog, but you cant try one technique one or two times and say well that didn't work.

If you are walking her and you are constantly looking to see if there's a dog ahead or a person somewhere or wondering when she's going to go nuts you are not relaxed, so how could she be. You need to walk calmly not clench the leash for dear life hold on it loosely relax your shoulders and breathe. Try not to think about walking think about something happy. You need to bond with her. To me doesn't sound like you have bonded with her or really care much for her.

Defiantly you should get her into training with a very experienced trainer and stick with it.
 
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