Anonymous asked in PetsDogs · 1 month ago

Why is my dog suddenly aggressive towards my sister ?

So we’ve had our german Shepherd, male, since he was 2 months and he is now 4 years old. He has never shown aggression to any of us and has always been super loving. One day my sister came home from work (she works at Starbucks) and he just started growling at her and started walking closer, eventually lunging at her. He would do this every time she came from work so we figured it was the coffee smell. But then one day he did it out of no where again. He’s very on and off with her. He can be fine with her the whole day and want her to pet him, but then in the middle of it, he’ll switch up. It is scary because he has never done this before to any of us. We all love him so much, and none of us have done anything to hurt him. My sister would spend lots of time with him and take him out on walks. Why is he doing this ? Will this pass ?

6 Answers

  • J M
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    I assume he is neutered. How does she behave toward him? 

  • 1 month ago

    Often when there is a new behavior like aggression, there could be a medical reason behind it.  I would take him in to see a Vet for a wellness exam rule out anything health reasons.  If he checks out fine at the Vet, he could be going through a temperament change for some reason.  Rule out health first & go from there.

  • Maxi
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    This is not something he is not going to grow out of and the first thing you need to do is get the dog to the vets for a health check up to see if there is any medical reason, many vets will have an animal behaviourist they work with which the vet can refer you to if medically the dog is OK and even if you contact a behaviourist directly they will first tell you to get the dog vet checked to eliminate medical reasons.

    In the time being my suggestion would be EVERYONE in the household practice NILIF FOR ALL AND ANY CONTACT, so 100% of the time and sister doesn't talk, look or touch him at all, so completely ignore him, so if he comes to her and demands petting, she just gets up and walks away, do not give in to any 'demand' he makes ALL attention from anyone should be at their invitation, not at the dogs demand

  • 1 month ago

    I agree with Jojo.  This is SERIOUS and you need a professional.  I WARN YOU: .."a growl is a BITE that has not YET landed".

    Her possible theory is reasonable, but you do need somebody (first-hand onsite) to help you and it MUST be sorted out before the dog starts biting your sister, if he has not.  IMO, you need an animal behaviorist (if you can get one) vs just a trainer.  Call your vet or the closest vet school and ask for some references.

  • What do you think of the answers? You can sign in to give your opinion on the answer.
  • Jojo
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    This is something you need to get hands on proffesional help with. No-one who is miles away on a dog forum and cannot see your dogs body language and the way your sister interacts with the dog etc etc, can help much with a complicated problem such as this one.

    A hands on dog behaviorist can ask the appropriate questions and notice things we cannot. 

    It MAY be a dominance issue, but that`s just a random guess. 

     Many Years ago I owned a male GSD from and at 4 years of age he was fully mentally mature, and his attitude towards me changed and he would growl at me if I dared to command him to do something. He viewed me as below him in status. 

    I know that now, after many years of dog training and owning GSD`s , but did not know anything about hierarchy at that time in my life.

    Your dog MAY view your sister as the lowest in the pecking order, and will try and order her about. But just guessing. 

    Source(s): GSD owner for 57 years.
  • 1 month ago

    My dog does it to strangers and ppl who've touched other dogs. 

    So... either he can smell another animals scent on her or he doesn't recognize HER scent. Could be disguised by the coffee.

Still have questions? Get answers by asking now.