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Hi everyone,
This is going to be a bit long because I have a lot to explain. I have three dogs, one small mutt that stays inside most of the time, a german shepherd, and a rescue dog that like to spend most of their time outdoors because the weather is always nice where I'm from. When we first adopted the rescue in the summer of 2018 he and our gsd didn't get along too well, mostly because our gsd hadn't been properly socialized. After some work though they became best friends and would have no problems with each other, other than the occasional possessiveness over a toy on the gsd's part. Our rescue however never showed any aggression other than when he felt threatened by the gsd. Something came up though and the dogs didn't see each other for a couple of months and when they were brought back together they hated each other, more so than the first time, it has been a while now and they get along great again, playing and sleeping together all the time. The problem is whenever I or someone from the family shows up. The gsd will get super possessive and instead of running up to greet us like he normally does he immediately tries to find the rescue and attack him, once he has actually bitten him and drawn blood. He isn't possessive of the other dog though and they can all play together if left alone. What do you guys think would be the best way to solve this problem? I don't want to have to keep them separated and need to be able to play with them both at the same time and go on walks with them together again, i will do anything it takes to get them to be friends again when I'm there. Do you guys have any suggestions?
 

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In the books this is called "resource guarding". If you Google that then it will bring up a number of websites that will help you understand better what is happening.

There is a decent book I can recommend to get a better grip on making a plan. Link here.

If you're like I am then you'll end up reading this book twice because it is written incredibly ostentatiously, to the point of being pedantic. On the first reading I spent a fair amount of time trying wrap my mind around her manner of writing but once you clue in and can read past the thesaurus then the information is actually very good. Despite being a "meaty" read it's well worth your time and it's the best book I know of on the topic.

Try that. The good news is that you don't need to live with this problem. If you have any follow up questions then I'm sure people here will try to help you.
 

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It does sound like resource guarding. If it happens when a family member shows up, is there anyone already with the dogs who could prepare for the arrival and separate them until the person arriving has greeted the GSD?

If not, I can't think of an alternative to keeping them separate, because if you aren't with them, you can't control the situation.
 
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