How do I stop my dog growling and biting his paw when he scratches?

just adopted Max 2 days ago. He's a 1 year old, 80 pound German Shepherd with a history of being neglected and abused. Yesterday he started growling and biting his back paw whenever he scratches. He is also starting to show some aggressive towards us with food and his rawhide bone. He's had a rough, confusing couple of days. Meeting his new family (myself and my 2 adult daughters, and our other dogs. A 14+yr old shepherd/husky girl,and an 8yr.old male Irish setter / +++? mix. Getting neutered and going to his new home all within 2 days. Am I just over reacting or is there cause for concern?

Asked by Member 1098461 on Mar 9th 2012 Tagged food, aggression, selfbitinggermanshepardrescue in Behavior & Training
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Yes, you have cause to be concerned. No, you are not over reacting.
New Member, please post this in the regular forums in the Behavior & Training Forum. Better yet, open a free account so we can see pics.
Many more details are needed to best help you & we can only post once in answers. Forums can be a running dialogue. Plus some very experienced members can help you out.
Yes..he is under a lot of stress, so the paw chewing could be a stress reaction..soothing himself. The resource guarding could escalate if not dealt with.
You should try to hire a behaviorist...not a trainer...who can come & assess him. They look for triggers & can help form a behavior plan for you & Max.
It could be fear based, or it could be teenage bravado. He might be going through his second fear stage & need a guiding hand through it. It might just be learned behavior, or it might be his true colors coming through. That is where the behaviorist can help you.

Member 904338 answered on 3/9/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer