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Old 11-03-2012, 06:43 AM   #11 (permalink)
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protective can be mistaken alot for fear response. amazing how many people say my gsd is protective when in truth they are fearful and unsure and acting out of just that. definitely a liability if this is the case., a stable protective dog would be confident enough to knw if there was a real threat.
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Old 11-03-2012, 08:51 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Pets4life, I didn't say a fearful dog won't make a guard dog, I said the dog will need lots of training and the owner will need lots of training to make a guard dog.
A fearful dog might make a good guard dog in some peoples minds. BUT and it is a big BUT, because of their fear, they make "decisions" based on fear, not a sound mind that can tell a real threat from a perceived threat.
If a dog is reacting out of fear, there is nothing to make them realize that an adult delivering a package on their property is just delivering a package, not breaking into the house. If a fearful dog is "allowed" to make their own decisions, they won't decide a child is not a threat also.
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Old 11-03-2012, 12:54 PM   #13 (permalink)
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OP, I don't have very much experience when it comes to strangers entering my yard, so although I've had many GSDs, this had only happened to me once. Your dog isn't even 2 years old, and when my incident occured my dog was just over a year. My dog came to work with me every day, and he was very well socialized. But when the person entered my property, my dog reacted that same way yours did. Hackles, barking, rushing up (I won't say lunging, because he wasn't jumping) and I wasn't upset that he did it. I was very upset that someone would enter my property unannounced though! This dog eventually became a Therapy Dog, so he obviously liked people. But to just walk into his yard and expect him to be the friendly dog that he was on visits? That's one of the reasons I prefer a GSD, to discriminate between a social visit and an intruder. Intruder, as in "intrusion", as in, "What the heck are you doing in my yard?" I'd get a lock too.

ETA: By the time this dog matured, he could enjoy sitting on the porch and watch the world go by. He didn't run down the driveway barking at people when they came by, he sat where he was. But he did treat the front area entirely different from 'his own back yard.'

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Old 11-03-2012, 09:34 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I heard them perfectly well. He's of good stock, he just needs more socializing. If I hadn't had serious doubts about the behavior I wouldn't have included the two previous incidents and I sure as heck wouldn't have signed up to ask. Truth is, I was told by someone I know IRL that too much socialization would make him unguarded around strangers. Now I know they're full of it.

This is a failure on my part, something I have to step up to correct. I know you didn't intend anything by it, but if you have trouble with people "hearing" you, it may be how you say things. Calling him a "huge liability" kind of ticked me off, even though I knew what you were saying.

Thanks for all of the input. Now I know what I need to work on.
How do you know he's "of good stock"? I don't know if you know this, but even 2 "good" GSDs can be bred together and produce not so good offspring. Do you have the names of the parents? The reason I said that I hope you hear them is because I've run across many, many people who insist that their dog is being "protective" when it's obvious the dog is afraid. It's unfortunate, because the dog could use help in managing those behaviors but won't get it because the owner won't acknowledge that the dog's displaying fear. You can be angry about the "huge liability" comment, that's fine. I had a bigger liability for 7 years than what you're dealing with. I was angry, sad, afraid.. a whole range of emotions that never stopped. That dog came from 2 titled German imports and was a total head case. Her issue wasn't fear, either... just random attacks on various people that had no rhyme or reason.
You really need to have your dog evaluated. That will give you a clear idea of the issues and how best to work on them. I don't think that just taking your dog out around people is going to solve the problem. The only place worth going is to somebody that has a lot of experience with shepherds and their specific issues. There are WAY too many fear aggressive shepherds out there. It very well may be nothing that you've done or didn't do. It may be a genetic issue that would have happened whether you socialized your dog to death or not. I'll be very interested, though, in knowing who the dam and sire are.
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Old 11-04-2012, 01:06 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rion View Post
I heard them perfectly well. He's of good stock, he just needs more socializing. If I hadn't had serious doubts about the behavior I wouldn't have included the two previous incidents and I sure as heck wouldn't have signed up to ask. Truth is, I was told by someone I know IRL that too much socialization would make him unguarded around strangers. Now I know they're full of it.

This is a failure on my part, something I have to step up to correct. I know you didn't intend anything by it, but if you have trouble with people "hearing" you, it may be how you say things. Calling him a "huge liability" kind of ticked me off, even though I knew what you were saying.

Thanks for all of the input. Now I know what I need to work on.
My DDR/Czech/Slovak male is more socialized than most people. Still highly guarded. I don't think socialization plays as big a role in strong nerved & confident dogs.
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Old 11-04-2012, 01:31 AM   #16 (permalink)
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My DDR/Czech/Slovak male is more socialized than most people. Still highly guarded. I don't think socialization plays as big a role in strong nerved & confident dogs.
I have heard this over and over from experienced GSD people. Honestly, Grim could be more 'socialized' (I've been sick, and I was waiting for his third set of vaccines). Even though I didn't get him until he was 11 weeks, and it was another 3 weeks before I took him out around people, he's been totally fine in all situations and with all strangers, etc. He's actually better than previous shepherds I've had that were heavily socialized since 8 weeks.
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