No fear

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No fear

This is a discussion on No fear within the Introductions forums, part of the DogForum Community Welcome category; Hello All, I've had Mac, my 4 month old german shepherd son, for a little over 2 months. He's a really good boy and deserves ...

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Old 05-12-2010, 01:17 PM
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No fear

Hello All, I've had Mac, my 4 month old german shepherd son, for a little over 2 months. He's a really good boy and deserves a good Mom. I came to this site to get advice from other parents and share experiences that may help others. My goal is to be the best mom possible so that Mac's life is the best it can be.

Mac is a baby...a quite tall 40lb baby that like any baby puts everything in his mouth. Today I opened his mouth to see what was in it and he growled and bit me hard. He actually scared me. I grabbed him and put him in this crate.

He's only 40lbs now but he will probably be 100 plus within the next year. I don't want to be afraid of my dog. I want him to be part of everything we do. He's our son. What should I do?

Mac's Mom

Last edited by Cvissers; 05-12-2010 at 01:26 PM. Reason: clarify
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Old 05-12-2010, 02:04 PM
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I would start to teach him the "drop it" command. You can do this by trading an item (I start with a toy) for a higher value item (I use treats). Most dogs will drop the toy and take the treat. Tell him to "drop it", offer the treat, and then tell him yes/click/etc. (whatever you use as a marker-a signal to let the dog know he did what you asked). Once he has learned what "drop it" means then stop offering the treat. Only give him his reward after he has "dropped it."

You will likely need to work at this for a long time. If Mac cotinues to guard from you, you will need to train him to drop items of higher value on command. For example, asking him to drop a big biscuit for a piece of chicken. The traded item will need to be of higher value than the item he already has.

Until he has learned and is reliable, I would always be prepared to offer a really great reward for giving up a found item.


There will likely be others here with more advice! They will also probably be able to explain much better than I can!

Good luck and welcome to the forum!

Last edited by kmes; 05-12-2010 at 02:06 PM.
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Old 05-12-2010, 10:27 PM
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welcome!

I ditto the above advice, basically word for word LOL....trade trade trade.

I know its hard, but if it happens, try to not react by punishing him, this will increase the anxiety and make him guard more generally They guard because they are insecure



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Old 05-13-2010, 11:20 AM
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Hi All, Thanks for the advice. We've been working on "drop it" and "leave it" at puppy training and he was doing great. And, up until yesterday, I was able to pull his mouth open to scoop things out of his mouth.

A few minutes ago he was laying on the couch next to me and I handed him a toy and he growled and snapped it from me. Never ever did that before. What if this is just the beginning of agressive behavior. I'm really worried.
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Old 05-13-2010, 11:24 AM
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Ok, I'm feel like an idiot. I should have mentioned that I took Mac to the vet yesterday. Could that make him feel "insecure"?
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Old 05-13-2010, 11:27 AM
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Now I'm afraid to hand him a treat because I don't want to put my hand near his mouth. Sorry to keep whining but I feel like the entire dynamic between he & I has changed and I want to change it back!
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Old 05-13-2010, 05:41 PM
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I pulled my head out of my butt and realized that if Mac feels threatened or insecure its because I'm not making him feel safe. I reread the advice and spent the entire day interacting with Mac patiently and calmly. Its time for me to stop talking and start reading. Thanks 2 you both.
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Old 05-13-2010, 07:28 PM
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I definitely think working with "drop it" or even "trade" whatever word you want to use will help. Giving him something valuable in place of a toy or something he should not have should help as well. Could he be being vocal? Are you sure it is growling to protect?
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Old 05-13-2010, 07:40 PM
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Pawz, Your kids are so cute. Thanks for taking the time to reply to my question. I'm not sure that the growl is protective. I've read a lot of information & advice on this site and I'm convinced that my demeanor needs to change.
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Old 05-13-2010, 07:44 PM
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oh why thank you

I would just start practicing what offered advice you liked and see where it goes from there. Keep us posted and always ask if unsure! I did, and I learned so much Welcome btw as well, we look forward to getting to know you and your lil guy
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