8 Month Old
I have an 8 month old German Shepherd who is a real sweetheart. So cuddly, so friendly. I've been working really hard with training but I'm struggling with socializing him outside of the house on walks especially.
When we're out on a walk, he gets tough, his hair raises and he barks at people if we come across them. He has never bitten anyone or had any aggressiveness but we never get close enough to really see what would happen. This morning he was out in the front yard and our neighbour walked outside, and he started barking loudly at her but stood in place and didn't leave the property.
When someone comes into our house he barks at first but then is very friendly and comfortable around people. So I'm wondering how to tackle this aggression outside of the house? I wish I could ask people to bend down and pet him when we pass them on walks but I don't know how he would react, and everyone that comes over he already knows. Would taking him to a dog park help? We have another dog here, a one year old lab, and when other dogs come over to play he is great. I just need to socialize him with people outside of the house and am not sure how to go about this.
Any advice would be appreciated!
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Probably not 'aggession' as much as a reactive dog.
One of the many reasons puppy classes are so great to continue thru the first year is to head off behaviors like this before they even start. Help our dogs to better fit into society while giving us the skills needed to help.
Have you started/continued with classes? May want to have a few privates so the instructor can get a handle on the situation.
No to the dog park.
He's 8 months old. They go through a really freaky period about that time where they act like they're ready to beat up the entire world but really, they're just a scared puppy who suddenly realizes there's a lot in the world that seems scary. Some people call it the second fear period. When my dogs went through it, I just tried to laugh it off 'Please don't mind my puppy trying out her big scary dog act'
When you're out and about, play LOOK AT THAT, when something he takes an interest in something you think he might react to. Venus went off on a brass statue of a trumpet player when she was in her scary dog period. I laughed Silly Venus, don't be afraid of Sgt Pepper! Then I jumped up on his platform and smacked him. The next time we saw Sgt Pepper, she jumped right up and sniffed his shoes. She also reacted to strange new style park benches, boxes blowing in the wind and definitely other dogs (NO unacceptable! Bodyblock)
As far as humans, does he really have to socialize with everyone? Maybe that's just me because I have that over the top friendly german shepherd teenager that everyone calling her a lab mix (she's black) as a puppy rubbed off on her. She's 14 months now, we've spent the last 8 months or so conditioning her that if people want to meet her, they'll ask.
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