Is it common for GSD to have a fear stage? - Page 2 - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 01-07-2013, 02:19 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by julie87 View Post
I ment when she is already reacting if I loosen it more she can bite people or other dogs.
Yes, once she is reacting then you need to keep control for everyone's safety. However, you should not just keep walking towards them (or letting them walk towards you) with a death grip on the leash--as selzer said, that only makes the problem worse.

Instead, if she starts reacting, still follow Mary Beth's advice about zigzagging, changing direction, whatever it takes. You'll have to drag her along with you at first, but keep it up until her focus is back on you, then reward her for that focus. You'll look silly, but it'll pay off. One of my favorites that I find most dogs have trouble resisting is to run backwards while calling them playfully. That gets their attention on me really quick usually. But your goal should be to keep her focus on you all the time, so do milder forms of zigzagging and direction changes whenever you're anywhere near other dogs, before she starts reacting to them, and make sure to reward her frequently. You have to do more than just feed her treats.

I do think you need to have another talk with your trainer and see if you can practice this with her some more. I am concerned because I am pretty familiar with the techniques your trainer describes (and have used them to great success on a variety of breeds and dogs), and I am not sure you are understanding them or implementing them correctly. You don't mention if this is going to be an ongoing consultation, so if it is, then ignore me. But if you were just doing a one-time consult, call your trainer and see if you can get into some more regular lessons for the time being.

For what it's worth, I think this is normal in the sense that it isn't uncommon (and it does commonly manifest at that age), but I think it isn't something that the dog will necessarily grow out of on its own. Some dogs do, but they're in the minority and most dogs will learn that barking at other dogs on walks is rewarding, and will only get worse without training. So good on you for addressing this issue.

One other suggestion is that maybe while you are training, try to avoid busy (and especially narrow!) paths or high-traffic times. It sounds like you are encountering other dogs very frequently and don't have the option to stay away from them, so you might want to adjust your routine until you and your dog get a little better handle on this problem.

edit: Mary Beth posted while I was typing...a much simpler and more eloquent description of what I was trying to say!
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:20 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone. Yes I try to get her attention on me if there are distraction like squirrels,cats, people etc. yesterday I used prong collar for the first time and I must say wow she did not do much pulling at all so hopefully that will help her pay attention as well. My arm wasn't even sore when I got home maybe couple of weeks of that and she will stop pulling completely. As far as walking in quiet place is bad idea because that's what I was doing earlier and it was my fault she wasn't exposed to dogs on leashes, so it's still kind of new to her. But at least I learned how to distract her for now... She will be going to basic obedience class in coupe of weeks so I'm excited to see progress. Would be nice to walk and people not to freak out while next to us


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Old 01-15-2013, 07:34 AM   #13 (permalink)
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this is where it is so important to get good training help. to teach you how to read your dog early in the reactive stage and handle situations. getting focus, obedience, gaining your dogs trust, and letting them know you are in control not them. lots of workand consistancy, but things will come around.
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Old 01-15-2013, 08:47 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Hi,
My female started to show "fear aggression" or "insecurity" around this age. She is two years old now and still continue doing so. I socialized her from the very beginning (8 weekes) and took her to Petco and the dog park once a week. She still is "unsure" about new people, dogs and even new objects, like a trash can or a Santa figure... The strange thing is that she is a total sweetie and would not bite anybody, but the display is there!!! Barking and hackles up. I usually keep her on a short leash to show her that "I'm the boss and I will defend her" and carry treats to give her when people with dogs approach us. When meeting new people I tell them: " Please, don't pay any attention to her for two minutes, let her sniff you first, then you can slowly give her a hand to sniff, or a treat". I think that socialization and training is a never ending job and am prepared to work with her for as long as it takes. I also have two other dogs, mixes, who are very social and friendly towards people and other dogs. When I take my Shepherd to Petco, the employees already know her and will appoach her gently which helps her to overcome her fears towards "anything new".
Work with your dog and build her confidence slowly, she will change, I promise.
Good Luck!
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Old 01-15-2013, 08:46 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by julie87 View Post
As far as walking in quiet place is bad idea because that's what I was doing earlier and it was my fault she wasn't exposed to dogs on leashes, so it's still kind of new to her.
I know this is kind of old, but I just saw this post when it was bumped back up today.

I didn't mean that you should avoid all other dogs and people. The only way she's going to get used to them is to be exposed to them! When I advised you to stick to quieter places, I meant that you should consider looking for times/places where you have more control over when and how she is exposed to those dogs.

Like, in my neighborhood, there is a really popular walking/jogging trail that's wide enough for two people to pass each other comfortably, but still fairly narrow, and it's hard to step off it due to landscaping and barriers. If I had a really reactive dog, I might walk that dog on that path at 8 PM or 5 AM when it's quiet--we'll still pass people, but they'll be fairly scattered and I'll have plenty of time and opportunity to focus on my dog as they approach. I wouldn't walk that reactive dog on that path at 6 PM, when it's downright crowded and we'd be passing person after person, and people passing us going the same direction would not always be able to cross into the other lane of traffic so would have to pass us closely. At 6 PM, just because of the number of people out there, it would be hard for me to control my dog's interactions with passersby. At 8 PM when most people are home but there's still some traffic on the path, I can both expose my dog to other people/dogs and have more control over how we approach them.

In other words, it's not about avoiding people, but about picking your training situations so that you can have some measure of control about how close they get to you and your dog. My preference with reactive dogs is actually a nice big grassy park, so I can have a large degree of control about how closely we walk past people.

Hope that makes sense. Working with reactive dog is about finding that fine line between expanding the dog's comfort zone and pushing it over threshold, and training in situations where your dog is exposed to the stimulus but you have as much control as possible over that interaction is the best way to do that.
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Old 03-19-2013, 05:21 AM   #16 (permalink)
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*UPDATE* Arexa is doing GREAT!!!!! She no longer lunges at people and she is super friendly with dogs, all it was is just her fear stage, I didn't do any other training other than a prong collar and took her out with treats couple of times, with time all her fears went away and she is a good dog now. What a relief it is to walk on the street and know you dog is not growling, lunging or barking! And she completely ignores dogs on leashes. The only thing is she still not interested in people like other dogs are, she doesn't care for affection, but thats ok with me, I think that this proves that teenager stage is fear stage (not with all dogs) but in my case it was....Its nice to see people walk by us and they are not being terrified by my GSD ))))
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:56 AM   #17 (permalink)
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The fact that she is not interested in people is OK as long as she remains approachable.
The 'desired' GSD temperament is one that neither seeks nor avoids attention from strange people or dogs and is always approachable.
My preference is one that is curious without being obnoxious.
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Old 03-19-2013, 06:13 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Is it common for GSD to have a fear stage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pooky44 View Post
The fact that she is not interested in people is OK as long as she remains approachable.
The 'desired' GSD temperament is one that neither seeks nor avoids attention from strange people or dogs and is always approachable.
My preference is one that is curious without being obnoxious.
That's exactly what she is like its interesting how so many GSD just dont for care for strangers affection they just mind their own business. And some dogs, usually small ones are obnoxious and annoying abd begging for attention...I love GSDs they are the best!!!


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Old 03-19-2013, 06:29 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doggiedad View Post
when it comes to "stages" i think it's one stage with a
few compoments.

the stage is the Lack of Stage:
A> lack of training.
B> lack of socializing.
C> lack of consistentcy
D> lack of knowledge.

i think most problems with dogs fall within
the Lack of Stage.

train and socialize daily.
good luck.
You do not think there are any genetics involved in weak nerves?
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Old 03-19-2013, 06:37 PM   #20 (permalink)
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doggiedad is banned(temporary?) so can't answer that....but I bet he'd say "socialize and train", lol
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