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Hi Guy I recently adopted a 11 month black gsd (75% gsd, 25% labrador) and I'm his third owner now. He's fur and strong very tall and strong bones very healthy according to his veterinarian so all good news except...

Around ~5% of the time when touched by people other than me (the owner) he let out a growl and/or some 1-shot barks and medium head movement toward the touching person.

Also does the same when people come towards him and try to cross his path and avoiding him too closely (sometimes with a stare, sometimes not)

Never bitten anyone though people get scared... he's a big 75 pounds black and muscular GSD.

Looking forward to exchange with you guys!!

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HI and welcome!

11 months and on his 3rd owner? Could you elaborate on where you got him (shelter, rescue, private adoption)? What do you know, if anything, about his past homes? Do you know why he has been rehomed so many times at such a young age? How long have you had him?
Do you know if he has had any formal training? I would strongly recommend that you find a reputable, balanced trainer. In the mean time there is no reason any stranger should have the need or be allowed to pet your dog. Just say no to requests and stop anyone who tries to pet without an ask.
If these are people coming into your home then I would crate or put the dog up in another room while you have visitors.

He is still young. With bonding and training these behaviors can likely be managed or eliminated altogether.

Oh and Nice looking dog!
 

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Wow thanks for such fast reply!

Actually got him from Facebook. The girl was having him since it's early years (photo below) from an old lady she told me. Can't tell you about the old lady. But as for the girl I had it from she had him and another dog (a young & energetic looking husky) but she was about to give birth to a 2nd child so it was too much on her and husband so they sold me the dog and big cage for 380$

He was 11 month when I got him on may 2019, I had to redo his base vaccins cause the last owner didn't made the second dose quick enough. Is that a tell of some neglect elsewhere, you tell me. But he had already known his name, sit down, decent crouch and was clean. Only unclean once when sick and once from too way too much water before bed.

I worked on having good sits, crouch, super good stays (1min + without seeing me) choosing which hand/cup for treat brain games, mush, haw, gee and slow for rollerblading, very brilliant and strong mind. Can learn stuff under 5-10 reps very strongly. (got heel very very fast) I trust him enough to be let free when going in wild Canadian forests and so far always comes back even from deer chases. Only thing I can't stop is mouthing, that mother will lick and put in mouth for attention and play. So sometimes it's get rough and I'm on clear that I don't want him putting theets on humans for any reason. But he keep at it.

In any way it's a genuinely good pup and I plan on keeping him and his training in order.

But for that part where I originally posted about his somewhat aggressive / bark / unexpected & unwanted play behaviours it's the only downer I have with him and it's a big one because...

Only from his look he usually scare people away from him so when he get a chance to get trusted by showing good behaviours at someone who's kinda scared of dogs, and miss his chance of being allowed to come back only cause he scared someone with with a bark and a head move for non-obvious reasons it really bugs me. I deeply feel his potential but that I won't understand.

As for my reaction when he's aggressive I'd say a loud "no" usually to be noticed immediately, but sometimes he holds the stare with the person he barked on so on that I'll extend the "noooooo" until he looks at me and show some excused ears.

If there other info I'd be glad to help helping my gsg!

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So he is about 19 months old now. Way to old to get away with being mouthy. I would continue to discourage with corrections. Play stops if he gets bitey, redirect with a command (sit, down, place, etc) then praise like crazy for the desired behavior. He sounds like he's being a typical adolescent pushy boy that needs continued guidance with manners. Again a quality trainer is highly recommended. Practice focus on you. Use treats or a favorite toy. When you see him acting like he's going to start starting at another dog or person get him to look at you. When he does treat him or give him his toy for a few seconds. A small tug works well for this. In time you fad away the toy and give praise. Good boy, yes...whatever you choose.
I don't think you need to be loud in verbal corrections just use a firm confident voice. On leash the verbal no with a leash pop of the collar if he is acting ill mannered.
I'm sure others will pop in and have more good advise for you to help you and your boy with behavior training.

On a side note: I'm pretty sure the picture of the puppy you posted is not a picture of the dog you have as a pup. I could be wrong but I have never seen a black and tan pup with tan on it's chest like that turn darker as it aged. It's a mute point just an observation. Your boy is very handsome and looks like a very nice pure bi-color GSD to me. I don't see lab mixed in there but what do I know. Without papers a DNA test is the only way to tell for sure if you are ever interested in knowing for fun.
 

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Welcome and congratulations on your dog, he's handsome! I'm with springbrz, the puppy photo is not the same dog as the older photo. If you were told that was him as a puppy they lied!

On the mouthiness, YOU have to decide what's okay and what isn't. I personally have found that it's a bonding, very friendly thing that dogs do, almost like humans holding hands, when a dog holds your hand in their mouth - gently, of course!

But many people suggest making a hard and fast rule that no teeth on human skin is okay.

I disagree with that approach for several reasons, but the point is YOU have to decide! If you'd like me to explain in more depth, PM me, or ask me to PM you if you don't yet have the PM privilege, it takes more posts to enable the option.

If you choose no teeth ever, then you just have to be consistent in telling the dog! If you aren't sure, the dog won't be either!

On the visitor/stranger trying to pet your dog thing...just stop allowing that! Make no mistake, the growls and head movements are a prelude to a bite. Stop putting him in that kind of situation!!! If you don't, he WILL bite someone, no question! Just a question of time...
 

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Around ~5% of the time when touched by people other than me (the owner) he let out a growl and/or some 1-shot barks and medium head movement toward the touching person.
Simple solution here. Stop letting strangers pet him as he clearly doesn't like it much. Teach him to ignore people instead, then progress to a polite hand sniff and that's it. All he has to learn to do is mostly ignore folks and if they insist on saying hello, they get the dog-to-human "handshake" which is a quick hand sniff.

So, part of the 5% of the time reaction to strangers may have more to do with the people trying to pet him. From reading these forums for a while, reading other accounts by GSD owners, and my own experience...GSDs are very sensitive to the energy humans give off and the subtleties of human body language. I believe it's part of their threat assessment method. Sometimes you'll run into a person that you won't personally see exhibiting "strange behavior", but your dog will. Maybe they're nervous. Maybe they're having a bad day and are tense. Maybe they're just naturally wound-up people and don't have a calm, centered self. Maybe your dog just doesn't like that stranger for one reason or another just like we don't like certain people on first impression.
 

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That puppy picture is not the dog you have pictured as your dog. So I would disregard anything you have been told about him by his previous owners. He also looks from your pictures to be a Bicolor GSD, so the Husky bit may not be true either. He is a beautiful dog. My guess is you got a lot of dog for your 400 bucks :)

Priority now is to find a good balanced trainer, preferably one with specific breed focus on working breeds. A great way to get recommendations for such is to reach out to your most local IGP (or some still using IPO) club. Or you can post your locations and some will maybe have suggestions from this forum. If you haven't neutered him yet, hold off on it. It can sometimes cause behavioral changes and you are way better off letting a good trainer get a full picture of him.

Good luck, and keep us posted!
 

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Salut Mathieu!

Félicitation avec ton chien! Si jamais vous êtes dans la région de Montréal, je vous suggère fortement l'entraineur John Bayreuther. Je suis en accord avec les autres qui disent de ne laiser pas les gens flattent ton chien quand il est incomfortable.

I think that you need to recognize his body language (before he barks) and to tell the person to cool it and your dog isn't part of a petting zoo. I agree that hand sniffing should be offered before any petting.
 

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Thank you all for the responses. It's heartwarming to see all thoses kind messages 👌

As for the suggestion I do realize that I'll need a certified trainer to help me with this big boy. He's clearly a challenge I did not expect. I'm 24 and it's my 2nd dog. The previous being a golden retriever the challenge is now far different!

John Bayreuther seems to be a good renowned trainer. I'll look into that.

I really did notice my dog accute sense of peoples mood. He's really reacting much more with people that feel unsafe around him.

He could really have this ability Kyrielle told about (feeling people energy and react accordingly) except that now he feel people that are uneasy with him as potential threat to keep an eye on.. Which everyone can agree is a ticking time bomb that need to be addressed with a good GSD trainer.

On a totally different basis guys, I adopted the dog while I'm piling money for mortgage living at my dad's house with yard and all. But he recently made a new girlfriend after long years alone and now they want me out before the summer 2020. I don't have yet enough money for a house and I can't find any rented place that could accept him. Too big and scary dog with his un-perfect behaviour that landlords don't want.. Trust me I've been trying since 3 month. Times running out.

The previous owner told me she could have him back if I can't find a solution to keep him. But it feel so wrong to let him go back after almost a year. Don't want this pup to go through this again. It juste feels so wrong but maths don't work financially.. Any thoughts on that guys? The previous owner was a good one I can sense but.. Can he really go this again. If not, what do I do..
 

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Your dog could benefit from a more experienced owner but I sense you prefer to keep him. See if someone who owns their own home with a fenced yard might want to rent out a room to you and your dog rather than looking for an apartment.

I agree the puppy is a different dog. Your dog looks purebred, and is probably not a mix. My dogs don’t get near strangers unless it’s my idea and they are comfortable with it. Mine are more social than most but also have some reserve, so I never push them into social interactions. It’s not necessary.
 

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You have 6-8 months to change his reactions. Get a balanced trainer who can properly assess and start working diligently in training. You don't need a backyard; I live in an apartment building but am out 4-5hrs/day to give him the outdoor time so he's always relaxed at home.

If you don't end up going with John Bayreuther www.canadak9.ca, then here are some questions that I would ask when interviewing a trainer (I went through lots of bad trainers who took my money and now know what I should be looking for):
1) What dog(s) do you own now? Have you owned a GSD? How familiar are you with GSD?
2) What competitions have you done? Have you titles dogs before?
3) What is your training background? Which kennels have you trained with? Which training school did he/she attend?
4) What training methods do you employ? (Stay far away from positive-only trainers or science-based trainers. They're just cliché words to say they don't have official training.)
5) Ask for references of past GSD clients
6) Do not believe trainers who tell you that you need a package of 8 classes
7) Halti does not work

Good luck!
 
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