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I have a nine month old male Czech German Shepherd. His mother is 75% is Jerramy the rest is Czechoslovakia. I’ve always wanted a German Shepherd and did a lot of research and decided that the working Line appeared to have more solid temperament, nerves and less health problems. It was also convenient because the importer of the dog is also the trainer. I wanted a good family dog around my three children who are six, 10 and 14-year-olds. I also wanted the dog for protection , or a deterrent because I live in a nice area and there is a lot of break-ins for property crime. Overall, the dog is a wonderful dog with obedience. We have done a little bit of protection in terms of agitation and chase. he recently developed significant prey drive with tennis balls playing fetch. He appears to have a low threshold for reactivity. He is very protective. We have always noticed that he guarded his food since about 14 weeks old. He will growl and snap without making contact. The trainer used prong correction and also Exchange with high-value treats when he was a young puppy however the progress was not acceptable and he recommended leaving the dog alone when he eats which we have done. We are not experienced a German Shepherd owners. Recently we travel to our summer home and noticed that he started guarding toys. My daughter and I were in the garage sitting and my daughter decided to pet her dog while he was laying down with a toy and after about a few minutes he turned around and snapped at her without making contact. I came down on him like a Ton of bricks . We also recruited a police officer canine trainer to work with the food aggression since we thought our previous trainer did not give us good recommendations to handle it. He’s pretty good with the release command while he’s got a bone or food and he will release toys on command however, it’s hard to rely on my six and 10-year-old to be consistent with these commands. He also had a stick in the backyard and I walked up to him and started petting him and he turned stiff and showed some teeth . I corrected him and he had slight redirection on the leash. He will also growl when you touch him when he’s eating. We are currently not giving him access to toys and he releases stuff that belongs to us on command. We are exchanging chicken with bones during his meals by throwing them in his bowl but he still turns stiff when you touch him but he’s not growling or snapping. I know what you are all thinking . Why would I buy a dog like this with three young children that are crazy in the house. No matter how hard I try, I don’t trust the dog around my children. The trainer said my dog showed great discretion and not biting my daughter and I have a great dog. I find this unsatisfactory. I have also had other trainers come by and everyone recommended rehoming the dog. I am very Confused on what to do because on one hand he’s a great dog with obedience and protection of the home but I don’t seem to be able to get over resource guarding risks in my head with the potential bite of my family members or friends that come over. By the way he loves all children and all human beings. Any suggestions
 

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No toys or food around ever when the kids are home. Don’t allow the dog to go near the kids toys, don’t allow the kids to eat when the dog is out. Feed in the crate and strict rule with the kids not to go near the crate. Keep crate locked not just bolted when you can’t supervise. And put crate in another room where the kids won’t bother him. just take proper precautions because kids are kids. Don’t trust how good your kids are or the fact that your boy loves them.

This dog has given fair warning many times of what his perceptions are so it’s time to make sure that there are no opportunities for mistakes until you get this sorted out. It sounds like a combination of temperament issues and perhaps mis handled training. Also, you may have put too much emphasis on your needs for protection and not enough on your needs for rock solid temperament when you spoke to the breeder. Or it is just a mismatch through no one’s fault.

But it doesn’t sound like this dog is a good choice for a first time owner with an active young family.
 

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There are many threads on here with excellent advice on resource guarding.Try the search function on here or even Google "resource guarding German shepherd" which will pop up other discussions on this board.
Basically what almost always happens is the more you try to correct the dog,the more he feels the need to guard.Give him zero reason to feel anxious and it almost always fades away.Feed him in his crate or in another room and don't bother him.Call him to you instead of approaching him to trade up for another toy or high value treats- then give him back the toy or stick immediately.Playing 'two ball' also reinforces the concept.Throw a toy,when he brings it back and drops it,toss a second toy.He always ALWAYS gets something when he gives something.
This has always worked for me.It sometimes takes a week and with some dogs it takes months.Get your kids on board to help,they will enjoy two ball and learn to always call and never take,always give:)
 

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I am so sorry that you are dealing with this. You got a dog to protect you and your family and now you have to protect yourself and your kids from the dog.

This is not some starving dog off the streets where it's understandable that he would be a little tetchy about his food until he learned that he always gets enough food.

Your dog has totally wrong genetics to be a family dog.

The problem with management--like crating when eating, keeping toys away when the kids are around, etc.--is that management always fails. One of the kids pokes his fingers through the locked crate while the dog is eating. A neighbor kid tosses a ball into the yard by accident while your kids are out with the dog.

For your sake, your kids' sake, and the dog's sake, I would find this dog a good home without kids. Is his breeder a decent, responsible person you can return him to who would do this?

If he nails one of your kids, the doc you take the kid to will be required by law to report the bite to animal control, which will then land on you like a ton of bricks. The dog could be hauled off to some cesspit of a dog pound and killed by strangers after a two-week quarantine.

And if he bites someone else's kid, you could also be facing a huge lawsuit.

It's just not worth the risk.

You also might look into getting a family-friendly, calmer Malinois from Ruidoso Malinois for protection:

http://ruidosomalinois.com/

In my experience, she is completely honest about her dogs and will tell you right away if a dog is not good for your situation.

Good luck, and I wish you all the best.
 

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I have a nine month old male Czech German Shepherd. His mother is 75% is Jerramy the rest is Czechoslovakia. I’ve always wanted a German Shepherd and did a lot of research and decided that the working Line appeared to have more solid temperament, nerves and less health problems. It was also convenient because the importer of the dog is also the trainer. I wanted a good family dog around my three children who are six, 10 and 14-year-olds. I also wanted the dog for protection , or a deterrent because I live in a nice area and there is a lot of break-ins for property crime. Overall, the dog is a wonderful dog with obedience. We have done a little bit of protection in terms of agitation and chase. he recently developed significant prey drive with tennis balls playing fetch. He appears to have a low threshold for reactivity. He is very protective. We have always noticed that he guarded his food since about 14 weeks old. He will growl and snap without making contact. The trainer used prong correction and also Exchange with high-value treats when he was a young puppy however the progress was not acceptable and he recommended leaving the dog alone when he eats which we have done. Huge mistake on the trainer's part. The prong color would have only made things worse.At 14 weeks old, when this issue exhibited itself, hand feeding would have been the way to go. A resource guarder needs to be desensitized. He needs to learn that you only give and never take away. And you definitely do not punish. Higher value treats would not be necessary. Hand feeding, along with obedience enhances the bond and encourages trust between human and dog.We are not experienced a German Shepherd owners. Recently we travel to our summer home and noticed that he started guarding toys. My daughter and I were in the garage sitting and my daughter decided to pet her dog while he was laying down with a toy and after about a few minutes he turned around and snapped at her without making contact. I came down on him like a Ton of bricks . Coming down on him like a ton of bricks will not help. A resource guarder tends to guard EVERYTHING. Now you know he guards toys. Put the toys away. Expect him to guard whatever he has. Tell him drop it, or leave it, before you approach him.We also recruited a police officer canine trainer to work with the food aggression since we thought our previous trainer did not give us good recommendations to handle it. He’s pretty good with the release command while he’s got a bone or food and he will release toys on command Why are you asking him to release his food or bone? They are his. You gave them to him. Leave him alone. If it's his toy, leave that alone too. He should only have to release things that are not his. Otherwise, you are just playing games that are going to make his resource guarding worse.however, it’s hard to rely on my six and 10-year-old to be consistent with these commands. He also had a stick in the backyard and I walked up to him and started petting him and he turned stiff and showed some teeth . I corrected him and he had slight redirection on the leash. He will also growl when you touch him when he’s eating. If he has something in his mouth, assume you need to tell him to drop it, before you touch him. Of course he growls if you touch him when he is eating. I thought you said you were leaving him alone while he eats.We are currently not giving him access to toys and he releases stuff that belongs to us on command. We are exchanging chicken with bones during his meals by throwing them in his bowl but he still turns stiff when you touch him but he’s not growling or snapping. Again, stop messing with him, while he's eating. There is no need to exchange food, bones, or throw anything in his bowl. Just stop.I know what you are all thinking . Why would I buy a dog like this with three young children that are crazy in the house. No matter how hard I try, I don’t trust the dog around my children. The trainer said my dog showed great discretion and not biting my daughter and I have a great dog. I find this unsatisfactory. I have also had other trainers come by and everyone recommended rehoming the dog. I am very Confused on what to do because on one hand he’s a great dog with obedience and protection of the home but I don’t seem to be able to get over resource guarding risks in my head with the potential bite of my family members or friends that come over. By the way he loves all children and all human beings. Any suggestions
A resource guarder can be desensitized and reconditioned to learn to trust you. He needs to learn that you will NOT take his stuff away from him. That is why he guards it. He fears you are going to take it. If you do, you prove him right and all trust is destroyed. IMO, you can never completely rehab a resource guarder. I know. I have one. He was resource guarding at 12 weeks. You can never, ever let your own guard down with a resource guarder. You cannot forget and unthinkingly grab something away. So yes, he might do better in a home without children. Otherwise, it is imperative that you allow no room for accidents.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you. I have a lifetime temperament warranty for return. I have watched all the videos on resource guarding and I am willing to try it for months if needed. I just think the dog genetically has a low threshold for reactivity and feels threatened. He definitely wants to fight other dogs and this morning my neighbor was walking by and the dog reacted going towards my neighbor until I grabbed him . Because I am very OCD I want to make sure I exhaust all my options, I am having a animal behaviorist PhD come by tomorrow for an evaluation. I will let you know what she says
 

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No matter how hard I try, I don’t trust the dog around my children. The
This is the only thing you said that stood out to me. Kids are my line in the sand. Good or bad, right or wrong you have a right as a parent to be concerned about your children. It doesn't matter if others see it your way or not, if you don't feel that your children are safe, rehome the dog.
 

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Wow, this is really tough! :-(

I personally would find it hard to live with the mental stress of making sure everything is put away, and making sure that one of my young kids did not do something like pick up his ball while he's within sight.

Since your dog's alternative is not Death at The Shelter, but is rather a return to his breeder, I would be very tempted to do that...
and try for a proven, gentle family-friendly dog if I ever got another one.

I also agree with the "desensitization" method rather than corrections...today our dog was drinking and my daughter stood close by him and poured more water into his bowl while he was drinking, and he ignored her. He knows that the only reason we ever approach his bowls is to put water in or to put food in, so he feel totally unthreatened and will just keep eating/drinking even with our hands close to his bowls. We don't pet or touch him while he's eating/drinking...why should we? There are 23.75 other hours of the day when it's easy to pet him and play with him, we don't need to bother him while he's eating and drinking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Appreciate your story of your resource guarding dog. The problem is I don’t know what he may guard and what if my kids happen to want to pet him if he has a “pencil “ next to him. It’s very hard to watch my kids and the dog all the time
 

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This is my brutally honest take. This dog is too much for you. You need a watch dog, who barks when something is off. You have a formidable dog at your hands that is probably better suited for more serious protection work and less suitable as a dog with young kids in an inexperienced home. He needs a home where he can thrive. I also have questions about the trainer. Don't see this as failure but as a lesson. There are nice, laid back GSDs around. For most petty criminals it is sufficient to be deterred when a dog has upright ears and barks. I don't rely on my dog for actively protecting me. She might or might not. But her looks are enough. A hard criminal will shoot her first, I am sure. I just decided not not be worried or scared but use common sense.
I would return the dog before he is worse or bites so you can enjoy your peace and harmony.
 

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Yes he is a formidable dog. I wish more thought about placement would have taken place for a family dog/ protection dog. I think I got the first pick of the liter. I told them my house is busy and loud with kids and deliveries like the New York stock exchange . I was told they would find a dog with medium defense and prey drive. Surprisingly, the hectic household doesn’t phase him, but he’s always alert and ready to go. He gets serious quick. My friend was by a few weeks ago and was pissed off at a Wells Fargo bank teller and he was describing his interaction with the teller and telling the story to me in an angry way. My dog looked at him and started growling. I said no and it was over. We still speak that way to each other and my dog accepts it. My trainer did always tell me “ you need to train your dog down “ . I now think I know what he means
 

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There are a couple of things that your pup has going for it right now. He has not bitten anyone yet. He is young. Your trainer saw something in this pup and took note that even though the pup snapped, he purposely did not connect.
Your breeder sounds like you can return him.

All of the above makes for the best position for this pup to find another more suitable home.

And then there is the down side, he is in the hands of a busy mom who is new to the breed. There are learning curves for all new owners and often times huge time consuming curves while learning how to work through the issues. How much time do you really have to devote to this pup. When your kids have to get to a sports practice or boyscouts ect or come home and surprise you with mom, I need you to do.......by tomorrow because coach called a special team meeting. But you had already sched a training session for your pup. Who gets put on hold? The pup will because a pup is not your child.

Your willingness to give it your all and exhaust all options is admirable but if you do decide to try to train and work through it, , as you do, the pup is getting older, more methods being tried that may or may not work or be what the pup needs and as he is going though that he is also going through the “teen” stage where typically they test boundaries. His “came up the leash attempt” says to me he is already at that stage.

My personal opinion, I would contact his breeder and tell him/her what is going on what he has demonstrated (especially his attempt to come up the leash) and that you don’t feel you can trust this pup and keep your kids safe at all times. He /she probably has trainers or is a trainer herself, knows her lines and the best way, method to work the pup through it. Imho bringing in a behaviorist who may or may not know the breed or the lines would be at a disadvantage. Especially since there is still the possibility that even with more training, you will still need to manage to some extent even if successful and end up returning the pup anyways.

I just remember how incredibly busy I was with my three. Often times having to change into my supermom suit to get all three to their clubs, sports, drs appts. That’s the physically challenging stuff, then there’s the mentally challenging things like the teen years, sibling issues, issues with peer pressure. I can’t imagine dealing with all that and trying to work through my own boys da/reactivity, teen months, training etc. I would have been a mess no good to anyone and he, don’t even want to think about where he would be at if we had gotten him at that time.

Where does this pup who has some serious needs of his own fit in. How committed you want to be often won’t coincide with how committed you realistically can be. Your children need to come first.

Let yourself off the hook, I think you pup will do fine if put in the right home. I think your breeder is in the best position to find that home. By what you just described, he sounds like he has good/maybe great potential.

Sorry so long winded. I just got caught in a slew of thoughts.
 

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Rehome the dog, or the children.

That dog is more dog than you can handle, and is unsafe for your children. The best thing for the dog, and your family, is to return him to the breeder. They can generally work with the dog and place them in a home that fits the dogs needs. Because at this point, neither the dog, or your family is getting what they need.

As others have said, using a dog for home protection is a lark. Unless the have been extensively trained in PP. invest in home security systems and don’t rely on a dog to do it for you.

We have 3, and I would never expect them to prevent someone breaking in or harming me. I think they are a deterrent for someone wanting to do a smash and grab, but someone bent on robbing you or harming you are not going to be intimidated by a barking dog.

Just my 2 cents.
 

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I just wanted to add that my resource guarder is now seven years old and much, much better than he used to be. Still not perfect and never will be. In addition, my resource guarder is a 30 pound hound mix. My shepherd doesn't have a mean bone in her body.

My kids are grown. The youngest was 14, when we adopted the resource guarder. The dog was always manageable, because I didn't have young children. I expected my older kids to understand respecting the dogs' threshold. Were my kids young, this dog definitely would not have been a good fit for our family. As others have said, "Kids first." There is no shame in admitting your family and the dog are not a good match. At the end of the day, you both deserve better.
 

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Yes he is a formidable dog. I wish more thought about placement would have taken place for a family dog/ protection dog. I think I got the first pick of the liter. I told them my house is busy and loud with kids and deliveries like the New York stock exchange . I was told they would find a dog with medium defense and prey drive. Surprisingly, the hectic household doesn’t phase him, but he’s always alert and ready to go. He gets serious quick. My friend was by a few weeks ago and was pissed off at a Wells Fargo bank teller and he was describing his interaction with the teller and telling the story to me in an angry way. My dog looked at him and started growling. I said no and it was over. We still speak that way to each other and my dog accepts it. My trainer did always tell me “ you need to train your dog down “ . I now think I know what he means
And this dog is ONLY 9 months old. This is just the start. Fasten your seat belt! Have you realized your liability? Is he included in your home owners insurance? Be wise. I think you know what to do based on this last post.
 

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This dog is young and would likely thrive in a serious working home. Best to do it now before a real bite happens and a difficult decision needs to be made. I have seen even experienced trainers rehome a dog that they could not handle or just didn't enjoy dealing with. A female likely would have been a safer decision. This dog likely would do best in a very structured training oriented home. Everybody wants a good protection dog but the qualities that go along with that don't fit into every household.
 

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Thank you. I have a lifetime temperament warranty for return. I have watched all the videos on resource guarding and I am willing to try it for months if needed. I just think the dog genetically has a low threshold for reactivity and feels threatened. He definitely wants to fight other dogs and this morning my neighbor was walking by and the dog reacted going towards my neighbor until I grabbed him . Because I am very OCD I want to make sure I exhaust all my options, I am having a animal behaviorist PhD come by tomorrow for an evaluation. I will let you know what she says
Here's my advice - call your breeder. This is not the right dog for you. You needed a nicely balanced dog and a dog with a high amount of Czech is not that dog. The Czech working lines were bred to guard the border. High suspicion, high fight. I love them. But I WANT a working dog.

Second, skip the PhD and find a trainer that trains these dogs. Find a police department K9 trainer or a Schutzhund club trainer.

click on the regions for clubs
https://www.germanshepherddog.com/events-new/
 
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