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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
For a bit of history, my 5 year old shepherd (not full German, likely more French like beauceron) is amazing. Absolutely man's best friend, great temperament, unbelievable with children and with a brief introduction great with strangers as long as we are.
Now to the issue and question.
From day 1, 5 years ago now he has not been good with my dad, legitimately growls and barks at him. It's the weirdest thing, my parents will stop in for a visit and Buddy is completely on edge and just paces around without ever coming within 10 feet of my dad. And my dad tries and has owned dogs and is super friendly and fun, heck I'm pushing 40 and he's probably my best friend. We hang out on a regular basis but buddy just won't accept him.
Has anyone here had any experience like this or any insight whatsoever?
 

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Do any of your other male visitors seek for attention from him? If so, how does your dog respond to it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
He's awesome with other male visitors, he freaks out with excitement when father in law and brother in law or neighbours pop in.
I initially thought it may be buddy recognizing that my dad was the alpha over me (his alpha) but I can't add that up because he's so good with every other males.
 

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Any chance something happened inadvertently between your dad and pup? Accidently being stepped on, tail caught in a closing door and such? could your dad be unsure of him, but not openly said so? If your dad is leery of him, your pup will pick on this even if you don't. If nothing stands out your pup may have developed a negative association with your dad that could have gone unnoticed too.
 

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Does your wife get along good with your dad?

Often male dogs attach themselves a little more to females, and if your wife is anxious or otherwise upset around your dad, the dog could have a negative feeling and be feeding off of her tension.

I'd be more inclined to believe that a dog would be taking cues from the person he lives with, than that he would have animosity toward someone because they appear more alpha than his leader. If you believe the alpha stuff, then if the dog sees you as alpha, he lets you decide who is ok and who is not ok, and if someone is more alpha than you, than he would be in that person's pack. Only if a more alpha person was showing aggression toward the dog's pack leader would the dog feel any need to act aggressively. However if the dog reads anxiety or tension with a pack member around an outsider, the dog very well may act protective or fearful of that outsider.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the input folks. I suppose something could have happened at a young age that buddy remembers and none of us know about, or even before we got him and he recognizes a similarity with my dad and someone from the past.
My wife and dad get along great, and there certainly is a strong bond between her and buddy. She was off work for the first few months when we got him so they had a lot of 1 on 1 time and she took care of all the early training sessions.
 
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