Is there any hope for my dog. I love him to death and he loves me a lot too. But he has a big problem. He only likes my family and a few of my friends. Otherwise he will try to hurt or attack everyone else that approach me. I want to have someone help me train him so I wont have to worry about him hurting someone. But how can I get him trained if Im afraid he will hurt the person trying to help. Is there any chance of him not hurting anyone that he doesnt know. They only people he doesnt go after are people that he has known seen he was a young pup. He is almost two and I thought he would grow out of the stage of aggression but its been worse and worse. Now I cant even let a stranger pet him or walk near him. He use to be the dog that listened when he was off the leash, and could be brought to the park with all the kids to play. what has gone wrong? could this be because his mom refused to do anything with the pups in his litter at 4 weeks old? If it is can he change?
It's hard to say if he will change or not, since his aggression started as a puppy. The best thing is to catch it right when it starts. The longer it goes on before the problem is approached, the longer and harder it is to change him. I'd suggest a behaviorist to get to the root of the problem (sounds like he's over protective) and obedience training.
What a surprise, a Shepherd. A behavorist/trainer, with good experience in Aggression needs to come in and see the dog in action. Cause there are so many different reasons for his need to use aggression. They will design a daily treatment plan. Early socialization, with many different people and animals, and good meetings, is a must between the ages of 8-16 weeks. If an owner fails to properly socialize a dog, especially a shepherd, the animal is unable to handle different life situations, that he is unframiliar with. **Thats the difference between a domestic dog, and a wild one, Socialization, to live and interact in our society. The most dangerous animal is one with a small amt of exposure to humans.
Sorry to hear about your dog. German Shepherd Dogs are known for such aggression. There was a chapter in my Doberman book that told a tale of a Dobe with a similar problem. The owner was advised by everyone save one person to have this dog put down before it hurt someone, but the final advice was to find a police department to take the dog for use as a canine officer and it was the perfect solution, and this dog went on to make several apprehensions and was an excellent K9. I know you are hoping for a solution so you can keep your dog, but this may be the only way for this magnificent animal to have a real shot at life. Please do consider this option, and best of luck to you. I would concur with the information on early socialization, and your window of time seems to be closed.Again, best of luck and let us know what you do. we care.
Please do not generalize aggression problems to any certain breed.
I have seen people asking for help with aggressive puppies on here frequently, and not ONE of them was a working type breed.
From the bare bones description, I would say this puppy
1) left his litter too soon 2) the Breeder made another mistake by removing the bitch from the puppies around 4 weeks, when bitches typically begin training and disciplining puppies. People, when the bitch starts growling at and disciplining puppies at these ages, PLEASE, do NOT isolate her from her puppies!!! They need her guidance to learn about keeping the den area clean, how to respect their alphas and elders, etc. 3) I then believe this puppy was poorly socialized, and/or rewarded in SOME way for his aggression. Maybe it was funny when he was a pup. Maybe it was ignored. For whatever reason, he is getting some sort of reinforcement for it, or it would not continue. 4) I also suspect this dog is intact and has had no formal training (big surprise) And finally, 5) I expect this dog lives either outside, or is chained a large part of the time. I would not think that he is a housedog.
You need professional help if this dog is to remain a viable member of your family, and you need it now.
If the dog is not neutered, do it NOW.
If he is tied, STOP doing that, NOW.
I would make sure this dog got enough exercise that he was tired in the evening, and that he ate good food.
Just to let you know, Redyre_Rotties , my dog's mom was hurting the puppies and wouldnt let them near her so it wasnt the breeder fault for taking them away. He was taken care of my me when his mom ignored him, he was cared for and was socialized with everything. He went everywhere with me everyday until he started hurting ppl. He is only outside if im not home and inside the whole time I am home. He even has his own room to sleep in including his own matress. He had been socialized to everything and everyone you could think of so dont think he is one of those dogs that are tied to a chain all day and bark and dont get touched until there feed. I just thought I'd let you know that.
my dog used to be like this what i found helped me by first putting a mussel not a hard one one that harnesses the head and can be pulled on the dogs mouth to stop him/her from biting, then when you have the confadents with that between you and your dog, they don't like it but its better in the long run for you as well as dog slowly bring the dog to attention of others around not to close but closer enough so he can't get to them be patiant it will take time but you will get there in the end tip bit him every time he goes passed without fuss.the only problem if hes not seeming to accept it then only option is the forses before the down fall of putting him down. at least in your own mind you have given your dog the chance . it worked with mine she's a very pleasent dog to take out now . remember in the end who is top dog in your dogs eyes hes top dog hes doing his job you must let him know you are boss, also when training him this way a good harsh no when hes doing wrong and a jurk on the mussel . fingers crossed for you and good luck
The longer you wait to see a trainer (preferably one that specializes in aggression/behavior issues) the more difficult it is going to be to correct the problem. You said you took him everywhere with you as a pup, did you allow him to interact with the people you encountered, he really does sound as though he was not adequately socialized. But, that's water under the bridge, you need to deal with the issues you have now.
If you are still friendly with the breeder, you might want to ask what the temperment of the bitch/sire was like and how the rest of the litter turned out. Your trainer will want that information. Dogs that are removed that young from their mother often develop serious behavioral issues...what the breeder labeled "hurting" was probably discipline.
It's a sad situation that it's gotten this far, but if you act quickly and follow the trainers instructions exactly, you might have a chance in controlling the aggression.
I'd definently buy him a soft muzzle. Our Jack Russell mix is very aggresssive, but when he has a muzzle on he doesn't growl or try to attack people. I don't know about the socialization problems. I would work on teaching your dog not to be alpha. If you can't find any good info. on it e-mail me and I will send you some information. [email protected] You need to seek the advice of a behaviorist or experienced trainer. Your vet can put you in contact with someone. Let us know what happens. German Shepherds are wonderful dogs, I hope he gets better.