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My GSD dog, Baron he's 7years old
he's been through alot. my family and I (my mom, myself and my aunt) were recently evicted from our home and were forced to find housing in several different motels over the last 1 1/2 years. Baron, my GSD has been fine for the most part in terms of acting well behaved around strangers up until a few months ago when he unexpectedly lunged at a black man that was walking next to us after I had taken him to the bathroom
Mind you, before this, he'd stayed at many other motels and had even been in confined spaces (an elevator) with many different kinds of people and NEVER showed aggression then even was good enough to allow people to pet him
now for some strange reason (since about february/march 2016) we are still staying at motels at weekly rates and haven't been able to find a permenant home/apartment yet. he was in a stable environment for the majority of his life. he has bitten 2 people and has gotten his rabies. He's not a bad dog it just came on suddenly and neither my mom nor myself has been able to figure out what caused him to go after the guy (he was african-american) but he's been around many different races of people throughout this entire time of moving from one motel to the next. I realize that this type of ever changing environment is not healthy for any dog who needs routine. But besides this, he has in the past been given the task of being a guard dog. but that was over 5-6yrs ago before we were evicted from the house we were living in. He was used to the lifestyle of having a consistent roof over his head. he has never up til now shown any indications of aggression but does have severe dog aggression that was never enforced by either my mom or myself. but he was always tolerant of strangers until those two instances. anytime we move into a new room he has always (since the first instance in (april 2016) he's not been able to be around people. we are at a loss of what to do about this. we are worried that he may not be able to go anywhere with us. I live in Knoxville,TN and he gets along pretty well with our other dog, stella who is a 2 1/2-3 year old terrier/amstaff mix. he has grown to tolerate her well, except for certain times. I am wondering what the best scenario is to try and alleviate the problem and keep him from acting this way
we got him from a breeder in dandridge,tn back in 2009 but the breeder told us that his litter (baron and his other bros and sisters) were his first attempt at breeding GSDs. The father was a guard dog and the mother was fearful of strangers
I have tried to acclamate baron (probably not in the most appropriate way) to different kinds of people whenever we have been staying at these places. my mom and I are constantly stressed and I think baron and our other dog stella have started reacting to our behavior please help!
we cannot imagine having to give him up at all. despite everything he's a well behaved dog he's just got some issues that need to be worked through
 

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If this is new behavior, I would have a vet check him out for any medical issues. I am a bit confused. You said you were 'recently' evicted, but that you have been forced to find housing in several motels over the past 1 1/2 years. That would make the situation not so new.

I'm sure your living arrangement is confusing to the dog. No doubt, the stress you and your Mom are feeling doesn't help. It is a sad, difficult situation all around. In a perfect world, you could keep your dog in your own home, where things were stable and not changing. I believe, under those circumstances, your dog would be very easy to manage. He would have not need to constantly meet new people. As it is, you really are between a rock and a hard place. I fear that Baron is going to cause serious issues for you.

I have no answers for you. I just wish you all the best with Baron.
 

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From now on, I'd keep in mind he will bite and I'd make sure you don't put him in a position where he can. I'm sure you're right about his behavior and your stress.Just like your situation has become harder on you and more stressful with time, it can be the same with him. I'd think about how you are reacting to different people around you and how it effects your actions and feelings, even if its subtle. While you're being careful for your own safety, remember how it translates to him and can change his perception of whats a threat and what isn't. At this time, working through things would probably be better if it was just managing him and keeping him at a distance in public places, or maybe even a muzzle.
 

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Sounds like you guys have had a pretty ruff go of things as of late ... so sorry and I hope it gets better for you. The dog thing ... best term is "unpredictable." "We" termed them "bubble dogs" here, dogs than need a "protective bubble" around them to be safe in public. No big deal you just need to "show" him ... how you expect him to behave in public. You did that "first" and then you can "correct him" as required if you see him "think" about making a "poor choice!"

Since the dog has bitten people in the past .. you need to up your game, don't allow people to get close enough to him to get bitten. Use a muzzle if need be for awhile and do this:

Leerburg | Who Pets Your Puppy or Dog

Keep people out of "space" and don't "give" him the opportunity to make "mistakes." That's part one ... part two ... train "Place" that trains "calmness" into a dog and teaches him to "Chill" the heck out! Again the dog need not interact with "starngers." That and "Sit on the Dog" the goal with that wold be to find a place and "Sit" and "people watch" with the dog "No meet" and greets again keep people away that would be your job ...his job would be to "sit and not act like a fool!"

Doing that is here:
Boxer Forum : Boxer Breed Dog Forums - View Single Post - Fearful, Anxious or Flat Crazy "The Place CommanD


And since you said "Dog Aggressive" you can teach him to "Ignore other dogs" details on that are here.:
Teach your Dog to ignore other dogs. :) - Boxer Forum : Boxer Breed Dog Forums

Those are the high points from another post and putting them all together you have this.:
http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/7837361-post12.html

Sometimes ... "less is more." Welcome aboard and as always ask questions. :)
 

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So sorry. That is a tough situation, for you and your lovely dog. He likely is stressed, and you, and everyone around him.
I don't have training advice (I don't have the kind of knowledge you need), but to keep everyone safe in the meantime (including him), I would get him a basket muzzle and train him to like wearing it. That way you won't be adding stress, and may actually reduce it, if you use it in situations where you are worried that he might bite again.
Here's how I would do it.
Buy hotdogs, and slice them lengthwise as thin as possible (may quarter strips).
Push one skinny end of the hotdog through the grill of the muzzle, and let Baron nibble the hotdog strip through the muzzle, he'll have to put his nose into it to get down to the end. If he's shy of that, you can push the strip up through the muzzle to make it easier. Keep repeating until he is very happy to be fed the hotdog (or other treats) through the muzzle, then start practicing putting the strap over the neck, and then attaching the muzzle. Go in slow baby steps and he'll think wearing a muzzle is the best thing in the world because it means extra special treats. Then you can use the muzzle when you think it will help keep everyone safe, but Baron won't mind wearing it.
Also, try to take note of situations where Baron feels safe and cozy and see if you can make them part of a daily routine.
I hope you find training advice too.
If you can't afford training (and I'm guessing in your situation this might be difficult), check a local Humane Society and ask about canine outreach programs. Canine Outreach is designed to help people keep their dogs, rather than finding new homes, they may offer classes.
& Chip's post is worth a good read. Lots there too, but I'd be working on de-stressing as much as possible too, which sometimes means changing my own behaviour (ie, when I'm stressed, I might act out, slam a door, stomp instead of walk, raise my voice, get very quiet & tight-lipped, hold my breath, etc....finding out what those things are and changing them can also help a stressed dog de-stress).
Good luck and may all things get better.
 

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So sorry. That is a tough situation, for you and your lovely dog. He likely is stressed, and you, and everyone around him.
I don't have training advice (I don't have the kind of knowledge you need), but to keep everyone safe in the meantime (including him), I would get him a basket muzzle and train him to like wearing it. That way you won't be adding stress, and may actually reduce it, if you use it in situations where you are worried that he might bite again.
Here's how I would do it.
Buy hotdogs, and slice them lengthwise as thin as possible (may quarter strips).
Push one skinny end of the hotdog through the grill of the muzzle, and let Baron nibble the hotdog strip through the muzzle, he'll have to put his nose into it to get down to the end. If he's shy of that, you can push the strip up through the muzzle to make it easier. Keep repeating until he is very happy to be fed the hotdog (or other treats) through the muzzle, then start practicing putting the strap over the neck, and then attaching the muzzle. Go in slow baby steps and he'll think wearing a muzzle is the best thing in the world because it means extra special treats. Then you can use the muzzle when you think it will help keep everyone safe, but Baron won't mind wearing it.
Also, try to take note of situations where Baron feels safe and cozy and see if you can make them part of a daily routine.
I hope you find training advice too.
If you can't afford training (and I'm guessing in your situation this might be difficult), check a local Humane Society and ask about canine outreach programs. Canine Outreach is designed to help people keep their dogs, rather than finding new homes, they may offer classes.
& Chip's post is worth a good read. Lots there too, but I'd be working on de-stressing as much as possible too, which sometimes means changing my own behaviour (ie, when I'm stressed, I might act out, slam a door, stomp instead of walk, raise my voice, get very quiet & tight-lipped, hold my breath, etc....finding out what those things are and changing them can also help a stressed dog de-stress).
Good luck and may all things get better.
Aww "muzzle conditioning" oversight on my part.


A muzzle need not be a "permanent solution" but it does allow the "OP" to take the dog out and about "safely" finding to find people to ignore.

The goal is not to allow to people to "interact" with the dog because he can't bite ... the goal is to show him what "normal" interaction with people looks like, the dog's "job" is to stand "calmly by and "observe."

A muzzle can help the dog and the "OP" relax while "working on this," when the dog "understands that everyone" is not out to get him, then the use of the muzzle can be dropped and a minor leash check or a down command should suffice, if required. :)

I don't know that the "OP's" behaviour is a problem??? But yeah changes there if needed cold not hurt. :)
 

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I don't know that the "OP's" behaviour is a problem??? But yeah changes there if needed cold not hurt. :)
No, nothing indicates that, except that all critters under stress will behave differently (and humans are just another kind of critter). When going through a really stressed time (aging/dying in-laws/elder care issues), I got my dog so upset she had blood in her urine. Vet asked, do you (meaning me, the human) have any stress in your life? Yep. I knew that I couldn't change the stress, or how I was feeling, but it turned out there where some obvious behaviours I could control, and I did, and lo and behold, dog cured. So when humans are stressed, and the dog acts up, it's one place to look that 'might' be a quick or partial fix.
 

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No, nothing indicates that, except that all critters under stress will behave differently (and humans are just another kind of critter). When going through a really stressed time (aging/dying in-laws/elder care issues), I got my dog so upset she had blood in her urine. Vet asked, do you (meaning me, the human) have any stress in your life? Yep. I knew that I couldn't change the stress, or how I was feeling, but it turned out there where some obvious behaviours I could control, and I did, and lo and behold, dog cured. So when humans are stressed, and the dog acts up, it's one place to look that 'might' be a quick or partial fix.
Aww I see ... thanks for "expanding." :)

That would fall under the "Calm and Assertive, Leadership" category. Good insight ... thanks. :)
 
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