Aggressive/protective 2 year GSD

Posted by C-Goakes
Feb 22, 2008
Hi there

My parents (in their 60's) have a 2 year old GSD. He is a marvellous animal in many ways, extremely intelligent and very, very active. Due to the fact that my parents are not that young and the GSD (Rocco) is very, very strong and extremely confident, hard headed and determined, they battle to control him on a leash. The real problem is that Rocco is very protective over all of us (myself included) and behaves very aggressively towards strangers. When strangers come to visit he "tolerates" them but if they come (especially men) near myself or my mother he growls. An even more problematic issue is that he sleeps in the bedroom (or sometimes in the passage) and allows my father to get up during the night and then come back into the bedroom, however when my father gets up in the morning (before my mother) Rocco remains in the bedroom with my mother. As soon as my father comes back to the bedroom Rocco gets extremely aggressive with him to the point that my mother has to take him and put him outside. I do understand that he requires some serious training, but as explained, my parents are not strong enough to control him and I do not live close enough to them to be able to assist on a regular basis. I guess I would just really like some insight into what the problems could be related to. His aggression towards my father may be because (as a result of diabetes) my father has a bit of a temper and may appear to be fairly aggressive as well. We have also decided (as per a suggestion made on the forum) to stop Rocco from sleeping in the bedrooms.

Another behaviour issue (not a real problem but rather an interesting behaviour) is that Rocco tends to suck on blankets, mats or towels as if his life depends on it. I am not sure what this relates to, perhaps anxiety?

We are contemplating neutering him.

Your help will be much appreciated.
Posted by Blue
Feb 27, 2008
Please see:
As I replied to your posting there .