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Canine Behavior/15 month old GSD male


Hi, I have a 15 month old black GSD named, Kaiser. I just want to state that i have called every trainer in my area and no one is willing to work with me, they tell me that he can't be helped and it breaks my heart. I have even contacted out of state trainers and literally everyone just basically shuts the door on me.

I'm 29 and I currently live at home with no financial stability to move out.. My problem is, he attacks my mother constantly. ( though we have had him since he was a pup and he was perfect as a puppy, we got him as a family dog). He attacks her mainly when she is sitting down in her recliner..he doesn't like her moving, as in if she has a itch and she scratches herself, or if she picks anything off the table, or if shes eating,  he lunges at her snarling and growling. He has bit her and drawn blood, and every trainer who i have talked to says they can't deal with a dog that as drawn blood, even when i say me and my mother and father are willing to work as much as possible to help the issue no matter what it may be. I did however find one trainer who said he was willing to work with us, but he is 200 dollars an hour, which is a little steep, and i know kaiser will need many sessions.

I know you can't give me any magical answers, but i was wondering if i could pick your brain on why he can be perfectly fine with me, i can do anything in the house without him attacking me, but my mother can do nothing, no movements, sometimes even when she starts to talk he gets agitated. It makes no sense to me, i don't claim to be any type of dog expert, i am no dog whisperer, but its so strange to me that she can take him outside and play with him and he's fine with her, as soon as she brings him in he goes after her. He has always let her play with him inside too, but last night she was playing with him with his toy while she was talking on the phone, and he attacked her...( he doesn't like her holding the phone either). Its driving me crazy and i fear i will have to put him down.

If this were my dog, the first thing I would do is train him to accept wearing a muzzle.  Sometimes, dogs take to "herding" a family member (meaning they either prod them to move, or they stop them from moving) and the muzzle would at least protect your mom from injury while you try  to address his behavior.  The one I like to use is the Baskerville (because you can insert treats) and the protocol I use to teach the dog to wear it is this:

If he wears a muzzle, he's not hurting anyone, and you will have time to work with him.

If he is breaking skin, he doesn't have good bite inhibition, but there are levels of that.  If a dog is at 2, or maybe 3, on the Dunbar bite scale, the prognosis for behavior modification is much better than if he's higher.  Also, if he's a good learner in general, it's better.
I would want to use a positive trainer - in aggression cases, I do NOT recommend any form of physical correction or any of the harsh training collars (meaning NO choke, prong, or shock).  If you have been using them, please let me know, as that may have some bearing on why your dog is aggressive.
I would suggest doing some background checking on the trainer you have selected to make sure that none of those methods will be employed. (Training is an unregulated industry). If you want to let me know where you are located, maybe I can make a referral.

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Anne Springer, B.S., Dip., CAPCT


I am happy to answer questions about: dog behavior and training, therapy dogs, training disabled dogs, training recently rescued dogs, and managing off leash play groups.


Professionally involved in teaching private and group lessons, and doing behavior consultations. American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen Evaluator, Therapy Dogs, Inc. Tester/Observer. Special interest in pet/elder issues, and in therapy dogs.

Truly Dog Friendly Association of Pet Dog Trainers International Positive Dog Training Association Therapy Dogs, Inc.

Gloucester Times Cape Ann Beacon Ipswich Chronicle Beverly Citizen Salem News

Bachelor's Degree in Psychology, Cum Laude. Diploma in Dog Obedience Instruction, Graduate of NY School of Dog Grooming, Certified Advanced Pet Care Technician - American Boarding Kennels Assn., Certified Pet First Aid & CPR, American Red Cross

Awards and Honors
2002 Caregiver Award from the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, for Pawsitive Connections Program (pet/elder issues)

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