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farles83 08-17-2014 05:21 AM

Hesitant Visitors

My wife and I have two male GSDs one is almost 3 and the other is almost 1. Both of them have been heavily socialized and are very good with people with one exception... The older one has ZERO tolerance for anyone who flinches or acts scared. If you ignore him and/or act confidently around him there is no issue, but flinch or take a the long way around him and he will get very agitated very quickly. Any advice on why or some tips to help?

Twyla 08-17-2014 07:26 AM

In the home for guests who visit and are scared, either put your older one away in his crate or outdoor run, the other option is to have him leashed and under ob control. Some people are just simply scared of shepherds and there will be no changing that. It is more fair to them and safer for your dog to take the precautions.

When out and about, have him muzzled. You aren't in control of the surroundings and other people. This won't be a popular suggestion, but there are worse things that can happen then wearing a basket muzzle. Be aware 2 different things can happen, either people may give him a wider way around him or want to come up and pet him more since 'he has a muzzle on he can't bite'.

In the meantime, begin training for a key command for this type situation . A command where he learns he does not have any option at all but to focus on you. If you haven't used 'watch me' in training, that would be a good phrase or decide on another to use. Your goal is to have him ignoring others.

farles83 08-17-2014 08:14 AM

Thanks for the feedback. Is he behaving like this out of fear or does he mistake other people's fear as them being up to no good? I'm really curious as to why an otherwise perfect dog behaves this way.

Twyla 08-17-2014 08:33 AM

Without having eyes on him, the behavior and a history, putting a label on his behavior would be difficult and possibly lead you down the wrong path. Locate a good trainer/behaviorist experienced in aggression and GSD - sometimes hard to find so talk with several and do the research on them - and have an eval done. They will be able to develop a training/management plan for your dog.

Post where you are located and someone may be able to recommend an experienced on in your area.

gsdsar 08-17-2014 10:11 AM

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I agree. Find a trainer that comes into your home so they can see the behavior first hand. Until then, if you are having company, put him in another room.

I know my boy is all sweet and loving if people say his name and act normal, but when people shy away or stare at him out the corner if their eye, he assumes something is wrong and gets hesitant. Never aggressive, but he starts keeping an eye in them. Same goes for people that approach him very very slowly with a hand outstretched. He finds that's super sketchy. Like "why are you acting so weird, something must be wrong with you."

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