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Territorial and Child Aggressive German Shepherd, Labrador Retriever X

I have a neutered 4 year old German Shepherd, Labrador Retriever mix I have had him since he was 6weeks old about two years ago my house was broken in to and since then he has been very protective of me and the house he has bit 2 people that tried to pet him over the fence and drew blood . I have a three-year-old child that lives with us and the dog has to be muzzled when the child is home he has nipped him twice but did not draw blood. I just want my dog back to normal before I have too put him down because I know no one will take him. PLEASE HELP.


Hi Jay,

Over the years I’ve noticed that herding breeds crossed with retrieving breeds often have enhanced desire to protect territory that seems to kick in about 18 months of age and certain handling precautions are required such as no unsupervised time in yards or at window and ongoing clarity in the dog’s mind regarding its status regarding household relationships. The aggression towards your child is unlikely to be related to anything of a territorial nature. It could be some confusion as to household relationships or early socialization issues. I would have to know more before I could speculate or advise.


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2 thoughts on “Territorial and Child Aggressive German Shepherd, Labrador Retriever X”

  1. I have a 9 month old German shepherd. He is about 80lbs now. From the ages of 3 to 6 months old, he walked on a leash, sat, came when you called. He was fixed when he was 6 months, they said this calms them down…it made him more high energy. Since that time he has gotten even bigger and now he barks at everyone. He mouths but doesn’t bite to break skin or hurt you usually to take him outside. If he wants out in the morning he comes in the room grabs blankets with his mouth and pulls them all off the bed! . Any dog walks infront of the house and he loses his mind. We have been taking him for daily long walks (a few KM’s) starts out pulling and then at the end stops and walks normally. He barks at other dogs that is not new, I have always pulled him onto the grass and kept distance and he was fine… Today when on the grass at the park, he took off after the dog so hard, I fell and as I am pulling back on the leash. He was literally dragging me across the grass as he is gagging from the collar likely choking him. IT was like something you saw in a comedy. It seems like the bigger and stronger he gets… the training goes right out the window. He is highly intelligent because we had him trained as a puppy by 3 months old… Now he is crazy, very noisy but not aggressive… (yet) Do you do Board and train? I think he needs more training than I am capable. If you do not do board and train is there any you would recommend. I have had dogs all my life and trained them no problem…. This one is a beautiful muscular, handful and I am not ready to give up on him because when he is not crazy out in public he is a sweet boy who loves attention…

    1. Hi Laura,

      Technically, the collar isn’t choking him, you’re choking him by putting him and yourself in situations he’s not yet ready. I’m willing to bet that what made him more high-energy was not his neutering. Almost guaranteed it was training and living with a Ferrari-breed/personality as if he was a mini-van. I have no doubt that he’s ‘highly intelligent’, however, keep in mind that a human child with an IQ of 140, can end up in jail just as easily as university.

      For what it’s worth, historically, the feedback I get from people that try the board and train is that either the dog comes back at best, only marginally better and unsustainably addicted to treats or the method used during the board and train produced results but was a harsher approach than agreed to, or the dog’s owner would want to continue with, and so the results dissipate.

      You can do this, you just need some driving lessons more appropriate for a Ferrari. I believe I can provide you with help. Send me an email ([email protected]) if you’d like an overview of what I’d recommend.

      – John Wade (

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