Handling A Dog Who Does Not Like to Be Touched! - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 01-07-2014, 07:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Handling A Dog Who Does Not Like to Be Touched!

I bought a GSD about three years ago from a good breeder who breeds nice German show lines. My idea was to show her in conformation but as soon as we got her, I realized that she is definitely a classic "aloof with strangers" type. I spent hours and hours out socializing her but she still barks (hair up) when she walks by other dogs and often her hair goes up a little when she meet people although its not aggression but I believe its more of a fear.
With the dogs I can understand her being upset because I have come across too many people who just let their dogs walk right up to mine and bark wildly in their faces - some not even on leashes. I never let my dogs greet other dogs in such a fashion but I cannot stop others from coming up to me with their dogs and it creates quite a chaotic experience. I am thinking of enrolling her in a local class that works specifically on dog to dog interactions.
As for the people, I don't know why she still responds like this as we have worked on her forever in this area. Anyway, I was wondering if any show people could put their two cents in on whether or not a dog like this should be shown in conformation or should I look for another area that I can work with her in? I'm guessing that not all GSDs in the show ring are outgoing so what do you do with a dog who is most certainly not outgoing? I've got a friend who has had a similar story although she is working with a Belgian Shepherd. Anyway, last show her dog whirled around when the judge touched her in the back and they had to leave the ring. I don't want this experience and was just wondering if anyone has any thoughts? I'm not new to owning dogs but I am new to the breed and showing. Signing another one of my dogs up for our first conformation class this week actually!
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Old 01-07-2014, 08:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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if she's not good with anyone going over her, than nope, I wouldn't change the conformation or obedience ring.

Maybe do some tracking? Herding? Rally?? She's very pretty by the way
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Old 01-08-2014, 09:19 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks so much for the ideas. I know she would love herding and probably agility as well. Rally, probably not so much as she is pretty bull headed at times! She loves to learn new tricks (I just taught her to bow and it is so cute) and as she matures, she is relaxing but I bet herding would be something that I could do with her. Now to find a local group...
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Old 01-08-2014, 09:26 AM   #4 (permalink)
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nosework is good for dogs that are a bit nervy...they can work on their own without other dogs or people in their realm and build confidence when they succeed. Hard to find good places for herding, but I bet you can find a nosework class easily!
My male doesn't want people he doesn't know in his personal space either.
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Old 01-08-2014, 10:42 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Jane's suggestion is good, Nosework is great for dogs that need space. If she cannot be approached and touched by strangers, conformation is out. The judges need to literally put their hands all over the dog to feel for the angles in the skeletal structure and judge the body mass other than the appearance based on their coat. They will also have to check the teeth/bite and if you are doing SV ring, the tattoo or microchip. My dog is not outgoing but is able to ignore the other dogs and people. He doesn't appreciate a male judge checking his testicles but he will tolerate it because I say so. Another part of it is your confidence with the dog. If you are worried about how she will react, that can play into how the dog will behave. If you are not confident about her ring training, I would not take her into the ring. You could try to find a "match", which is setup like a show but you don't get real wins/points, it's more for practice and for dogs still in training.
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Old 01-16-2014, 10:35 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I've signed up to work with a handler/trainer who used to show and breed GSDs in the show ring so I'm curious to see her opinion of Mia (but I don't have my hopes up- if the handler doesn't think she can work with her or Mia isn't suitable for the ring, I'll just switch her out for my golden who I know will be fine in the show ring.). I've noticed that once she meets someone, she is ok with the situation but it takes her a few minutes to get acclimated. By this point, she has walked around with her hair up and barked which scares a lot of people so many times I think her fear of strangers comes from their fear of her (Understandably).

What do you all mean by nose work? Like tracking? I think she would LOVE herding but there aren't any places around that do herding.
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