I got a 5, now 6 month old GSD 3 weeks ago. He has adjusted well to my house and everything, but I was worried about him because he is very, very shy with strangers.
I began taking him on walks, and he started hiding behind me or refusing to move, he would just freeze in place with his tail between his legs. This was with people that were completely ignoring him. I started by standing and letting him observe the people, I said nothing at all to him.
He now generally is able to walk past people without much issue, he even often sniffs them. His tail stays in a neutral position now. He even will take treats (that I provide) from strangers if they are gentle and allow him to approach. He would completely refuse to take treats from anyone but me before.
Sometimes though, he still freezes up or hides behind me around strangers. This is most often with men. I also noticed that he watches children in an alert fashion and I am not sure what to make of it. His tail is always down neutral, but still.
I am wondering, am I doing the right thing for him? Will he always be nervous, could he become a future fear biter? I just don't know what to make of it. His parents were fine, and liked strangers. He is having a hard time. What should I think of it? I want to do everything I can for him but I also do not want a possible fearful dog on my hands, as I do not have the experience to fix it if it turns in to aggression.