Our little Hans is a package of awesome. He will be 10 weeks in a couple of days and aside from his first night terrors and diarrhea he has been thriving and growing. We are crazy about him! He is a really good boy at night, sleeps in his crate next to our bed and lets us know when he needs to go pee. He is still going about every 3.5 hours but that's ok, we know he's a puppy who can't hold it. I also let him have water until about 8:30 pm. He is also already the smartest dog I have ever owned and is so eager to learn new things. Unbelievably trainable.
We've had him for a week and a half and in that week he has been to the vet, had about 20 people come to our house to see him (no children yet but a newborn baby came over so he's experienced the baby cries and screams). We've also taken him to Canadian Tire (a hardware store) where I carried him around while he flirted with the cashiers and shoppers and yesterday he went to Walmart and stood at the front entrance with my husband while I went in and picked up a few things. He's had a puppy date with my sister-in-law's Bichon puppy. That went really well at the end but in the first 15 mins or so he was initially very cautious (almost looked confused as to why this white fluff was in his living room), then basically running up to her and sniffing, then running back to the kitchen, then to her then back. He didn't seem like he was terrified and his tail was wagging but I don't think he really knew what he was "supposed" to do either. Then he just pounced on her back and away they went happily chasing each other for an hour. No aggressive behaviour at all.
He doesn't run towards strangers or leap up and give them kisses, etc. At Walmart he was very brave but I would also say suspicious UNTIL they give him kibble at which point he's sold.
When people come to the house he is also cautious in investigating. He'll come up to them slowly and sniff around, happily take treats or kibble from them and on occasion lick their faces. He's different with my parents who come to let him out and play with him at lunch - he basically adores them. But after he initially greets new people and nips at them for a minute or two, he's pretty aloof and happy to go back to one of his blankets and watch from a distance or chase a toy around on his own. He's much more affectionate and playful with us and follows us EVERYWHERE and has to sit at our feet wherever we are. But he doesn't like to be picked up or carried (he liked it the first day or two only) and fights to be on the ground.
I think this is all correct for a GSD...a big part of the reason we went with this breed is because we wanted a dog that was independent and a bit aloof, very athletic so he could join my husband on his distance cross country runs when older, and not one of those needy lap dogs. No offense meant, I know a lot of people love them but my husband and I aren't huge fans and they just aren't a match for our personality. So in that sense I am thrilled with Hans' personality.
But a couple of people who came to visit noted how when they saw another friend's puppy, they were jumping into their laps, giving kisses, slobbering over them, wanting to be held and cuddled, etc. Thing is these puppies were a Golden Retriever and a Maltese! So to me that's a totally unfair comparison. I know I should probably just ignore it, but I wanted to get reassurance that Hans is as he is supposed to be!
Sorry for the length...