He'll growl a warning at them, and if they don't back off, he snaps at them. He has never severely bitten anyone...I'd put him down if he did that- but he has left red marks and bruises on two different men
pretty much my girls story. If she severely bit someone she would be put down asap. She doesn't growl though, just body language.
A Thundershirt might be viable option for anxiety
she's not super anxious. Sensitive, yes, and she will get fearful in the right circumstances, but she's not a high axiety dog. It will go from totally relaxed to "OMG, HE'S going to EAT ME!!!!". At home she's a couch potato.
Dogs have incredible memories and they can be scarred. You MUST keep her from being forced to react.
I agree, to an extent. She is scarred. I can't cover every conceivable base, all the time. I can't always stop some idiot from approaching her, or somebody from walking through the door. I can try to foresee them happening, muzzle her and keep her locked out side. The one that happened the other day was surprising. I have been carefully supervising her interactions with the bo's husband for a year and a half, since the first incident happened. She has not had an issue with him since, and he has stepped over her in confined spaces before. It didn't dawn on me that she would have an issue now. So did I do it? Yes, I could have had her muzzled, or moved her to another location, but it didn't dawn on me, I thought I had done my homework.
its becoming apparent that she is likely not going to 'get better', and that confinement, muzzles and constant supervision are her only hope of keeping her from biting anyone.
1) Talk to and work with a professional dog trainer who has experience with GSD's and fear biting issues
I have a shelf full of books and dvds, I've talked to several trainers and I belong to forums as well. I have not found a trainer in my province that can help me, or even really has anything positive to contribute that I haven't already tried. Its frustrating.
2) Keep her on a leash near you or train her to heel you off leash at all times.
I can do this.
3) Find the dog a new home with someone who understands her issues, is willing to deal with them in the way she needs and is home more often than you are.
can you honestly see this happening? I've thought about this before. She would fit in perfectly if I lived in the country and had a spouse willing to pay some of the bills. As it is I live in the city, board and work a lot. Who would be willing to take on a large, fear aggressive dog? There are so many being thrown away every day, put down, turned into shelters, abandoned on the highway. I really don't think anyone would take her.