Protective or fearful? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 120 (permalink) Old 04-08-2011, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
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Protective or fearful?

Just curious.

How do you tell the difference between a dog being protective and a dog being fearful?
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post #2 of 120 (permalink) Old 04-08-2011, 03:40 PM
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A fearful dog is protecting himself, while the protective dog is protecting you?
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post #3 of 120 (permalink) Old 04-08-2011, 03:47 PM Thread Starter
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lol. Simple but to the point, and obvious.

The reason I posted is because, I have posted about situations with Shadow in the past and had varying responses. Now that Shadow is that wee bit older, I think it has become more obvious when she is scared or unsure and when she is warning someone, "that's my family back off!".
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post #4 of 120 (permalink) Old 04-08-2011, 03:49 PM
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There's more to it than this but very simplified:

A fearful dog is reacting to a non threatening situation or thing.

A protective dog reacts to an actual threat. (this can include a perceived threat by you if you are actually scared).

Jamie

Raven (GSD) - December 8, 2007
Kaiser (GSD) - November 2009
Holly (GSD) - March 24, 2011

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post #5 of 120 (permalink) Old 04-08-2011, 03:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsdraven View Post
There's more to it than this but very simplified:

A fearful dog is reacting to a non threatening situation or thing.

A protective dog reacts to an actual threat. (this can include a perceived threat by you if you are actually scared).
Exactly.

Is the dog reacting to a random person walking up to the car or near you on a walk posing no threat and it causes a reaction? If that's the case, it's probably fear.

Is someone threatening or yelling at you and your dog intervened? If that's the case, it's probably protection.

To be honest, if you're not sure, I'll bet 99% of the time it's fear.
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post #6 of 120 (permalink) Old 04-08-2011, 04:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucy Dog View Post

To be honest, if you're not sure, I'll bet 99% of the time it's fear.
That's how I feel too.

Leah
Niko: American Showline GSD 5 years old
Rosa: American Muppet Dog (GSD/Border Collie mix) 5 years old
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post #7 of 120 (permalink) Old 04-08-2011, 04:20 PM Thread Starter
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I never said I was unsure.
I was just curious about what others said.

I also don't think you can say that "if your unsure 99% of the time it would probably be fear" only because, a lot of posts I've read here the owners have been sure their dogs were being protective when in actual fact the dogs were probably scared.
Now I'm not sure if that all made sense, lol.
I'll try again, maybe it should just read "99% of the time, dogs reacting aggressively is a fear based reaction as opposite to being protective".
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post #8 of 120 (permalink) Old 04-08-2011, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow's mum View Post
I'll try again, maybe it should just read "99% of the time, dogs reacting aggressively is a fear based reaction as opposite to being protective".
Yeah... exactly what i meant.
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post #9 of 120 (permalink) Old 04-08-2011, 04:27 PM
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Okay, I understand now Shadow's Mum.

Here's my relatively uninformed opinion on protectiveness versus fear...

Actually, I don't even think I can dare comment since I have never seen either of my dogs act in a way I felt was protective. I don't know what protectiveness looks like, to be completely honest.

Leah
Niko: American Showline GSD 5 years old
Rosa: American Muppet Dog (GSD/Border Collie mix) 5 years old
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post #10 of 120 (permalink) Old 04-08-2011, 04:38 PM
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Owners think its protectiveness because they have a GSD and when it starts freaking out and barking they believe its protective and awesome, when in reality their dog is scared of whatever it heard or saw and is trying to make a bunch of noise because it's unsure. People get a GSD puppy, after reading how protective they get, and expect it to come naturally when in reality its something that comes out much later in life, or has to be taught to the dog.
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