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We have an 8 yr old female GSD that acts like the Mom, a 5 yr old female that is a sweetheart, a 9 year old male Maltese, who stays away from everyone and quietly growls if approached. the others just ignore him. None of them are dominant at all, but the 8 yr old is somewhat in charge by default.

Then we have a 7 month old Male who has been sensitive and timid from the start. Barking at nothing outside, scared of other dogs. Very sweet, but doesn't wag his tail or greet us, which we found odd from the start. Prefers to be alone.

I think we may have made some mistakes with him from the start. He is very attached to my husband, follows him everywhere. He is in a good, but noisy daycare usually most weekdays. The daycare was started about 6 weeks ago to socialize him because he seemed really cautious and uncomfortable with other dogs.Maybe that has overwhelmed him. I don't know.

But in the last 2 weeks he has started getting aggressive with our other dogs, to the point that he has to be on a leash to be in the house. He is especially aggressive if we give the other dogs attention or affection. He barks, lunges, and tries to attack them. Other times he has been calmly walking by them with no issue. We notice no trigger other than attention focused on the others instead of him
We feel unsafe in our home which is untenable. Once it got severe we have put him on leash when he's with us all, crate him at other times, and have made sure he is outside by himself.

We called the breeder and he said either surrender him back to him or get extensive anti-aggression training for him.

I thought I'd run it by the forum, since I have always gotten such great advice here...

Thanks in advance for any advice. We are heartsick about the idea of returning him, and at the same time know we need to protect our other dogs.
 

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Daycare is the last place to socialize an already troubled dog. Since the breeder will take him back, I would return him without any doubt and call it a lesson. Better a sharp emotional pain for you than having to bury your little dog or any other. I am sure many of us have had mismatches in the past and learn from them. It is a steep learning curve. Please do him, your dogs and your family right. Take care. I know how difficult this is.
 

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Return him and wait for a more stable dog. I would wait to replace him until you are down to one or two dogs. Daycare may have increased his dog aggression but it may have come out anyway. He needs a different environment.
 

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My dog too has dog-aggression since we got attacked by another dog (both him and I were attacked.) Since your other dogs has already formed their place in their pack, if your dog coming in hostile that's what happens. If you're not prepared for a vigorous (anti) aggression training, then I'd say return him... That kind of training takes a long time and a lot of money. I know it myself cos I got through it. So if you think he's worth it then get professional training... If not, the breeder seems to be willing to take him back.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The breeder will take him back, but certainly not in exchange for another dog. We'll be out over $4000. I know of a really good anti-aggression board and train, but that will probably cost about the same.The heartbreaking thing is that there is such a sweet side of him. He has been great with our grandchildren, But I don't know whether to trust that anymore.
Today and tonight he was fine outside with the other dogs, and mostly fine indoors other than 2 episodes of sudden lunging and barking aggressively if one of them walks near him.
It's such a sad situation..the puppy was specifically to help my husband get over the death of his father, and for months that seemed to be working wonderfully. He loves him. Then, all of a sudden, this happens. It feels like another death for my husband.
Thank you for the advice and the kind words. We still haven't made a decision. We think we'll talk to the trainer and decide then.
 

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4K? This is crazy! I used to be a breeder and all of my pups with their parents being CH’s/ breed specific health clearance (OFA’s, cardiologist eyes and what not) potty and crate trained by 12 w.o- that’s when they were picked up. I never charged more than $1500 for show quality pups and the one that had already had 9 points towards his CH-$1800.
The contract specifically said that I would take my pup back at any age/ any reason.
 

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You paid $4k for him? And his temperament wasn't sound? I assume he's a WGSL for that price. Get a good trainer. There is no need for board and train. Get a good trainer to come into your home and work with the dogs. And yes, my guess would be the mistake in sending him to daycare to flood him with other dogs who, because he is timid, may have pummeled him. Dogs in your home do not need to play and interact with dogs outside their pack. Zero reason to do that. That is not what socialization should be.
 
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