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Midnight 11-12-2012 05:11 PM

People are afraid of my 11 week old GSD...
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So Midnight is 11 weeks old. I've taken him out a few places to get some human socialization in, but people are afraid of him!?! I mean, he's not small (approximately 25 lbs), but he's a PUPPY!!! Also, people keep asking me if he's a Chow Chow...I don't get it. Does he look like a Chow to y'all?Attachment 22451

He does bark at new people...any ideas on how to stop this? Or is that normal?

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Jag 11-12-2012 06:00 PM

Is he barking out of excitement? If not, then no, it's not acceptable or normal. I got this four month old pup from the pound about 23 years ago. I didn't know at the time that there were black GSDs. Since I found that out many years ago, I believe he was a shepherd. He had the looks of a shepherd without a doubt. He was just black. I got him because I wanted a dog to ward off some people who weren't very nice. He did his job well. However, I have to admit that black GSDs scare me a little. Maybe the people that are afraid of him feel the same way. I don't feel that way about pups, but maybe they do. He may be feeding off their fear... so he's reacting to it. I think Grim would have a good ole time with that... seeing how far he could push it. :rolleyes: I don't know what your pup's personality is. Would he bark at people who are afraid of him just to yank their chain? I think you need to find a place to take him where you know people aren't going to be afraid of him. If he is yanking their chain, you need to stop that. Don't worry about people not knowing he's a GSD. I've had a few ask me about Grim, even. Some people think that the saddle back black and tan shepherds are the only 'variety' there is. Good time to educate! :)

breyer08 11-12-2012 06:09 PM

I think he is adorable! But if people are afraid of him, it's probably because he looks like a black wolf to them. :) If he is barking at strangers, then it's a good idea to really increase his socialization. Take him to a lot of different places with different things and people to expose him to. It's also a good idea to sign him up for some puppy classes. Those will help with the socialization as well as with some basic obedience.

Midnight 11-12-2012 10:34 PM

I think he barks because he is afraid. He usually calms down if people hold out their hands to let him sniff them.

So how do I correct? More socialization? My vet says not to start a class till after all his shots, which I think will be done around 14 weeks. I can't really afford private lessons right now. A private trainer I looked up in this area charges $450 for 4 lessons. Is that normal?

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Nigel 11-12-2012 10:56 PM

My mother in law's pup is about 13 weeks now. He went through a short phase (about a week)where he barked at everyone he met. We kept at it, now he likes to greet new people. There is one aunt that he won't warm up to, but I think that's just a "good judge of character" coming through. :D

Jag 11-12-2012 11:19 PM

After the 3rd set of shots he should be OK for classes. I'd get him out as much as possible and get him over it. My guy didn't start this. The only time he barks is if he's alerting on something... a strange sound at night that's scared me or strangers being loud and rowdy at night. Other than that, he doesn't bark at people at all. I wouldn't want that to progress... it's something I'd want to stop right away.

Belmont 11-13-2012 03:50 AM

People use to ask me if mine was mixed with a Chow Chow as well when he was younger, so I asked around on these forums, and from people's opinion, he looked pure breed. His coat appears to be shorter than most GSD that I've seen, but we'll see how he is once he's fully grown. When I was at the dog park (Yes, he has all his shots), everyone believed he was pure bred, so I no longer worry about it.

I didn't ask for his parent's papers, and I no longer have contact with his breeder, but I was told his dad was from the European Working liken, and his mom AKC.

Here he is at 7 Weeks:

*removed oversized picture*

Here is mine at 12 weeks:

Here he is at 13 Weeks:

Here's mine at 14 Weeks:

Midnight 11-13-2012 10:06 AM

What do I do about constant barking in his crate? He gets his favorite treats for going in, has his favorite toy, a nice cushion with a blanket. I don't get it. At night he still cries/barks for about 10 minutes before he settles down, but I crate him when I shower (he's a chewer) and he barks the entire time or he'll quiet down for about 20 minutes, then start barking again. I'm in a house so he's not bugging the neighbors, but he just doesn't seem to be warming up to his crate at all.

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Muneraven 11-13-2012 10:25 AM

My pup goes willingly into his crate now, but he still barks if left in there when someone is home. I must admit, we only put him in there when we are leaving the house because he sounds so pitiful! We let him sleep on our bed for the first two weeks we had him and then transferred him to a dog bed on the floor of our bedroom, which he loves. He and my geriatric shepherd mix sleep next to each other, and our other two sleep in the study across the hall.

Because Jaeger is so smart, it hasn't been a big issue. I don't need to kennel him to get a break from him because he behaves so well. I work at home and the dogs and cats just hang out with me while I work. It would be a much bigger issue if I had to crate him for eight hours a day while I was gone.

breyer08 11-13-2012 10:30 AM

Just ignore the barking in the crate, unless you think he needs to go to the bathroom. You said he quiets down after 10 minutes... eventually he'll realize that his tantrums won't get him out of his crate, and he'll go in peacefully. Ava was an absolute NIGHTMARE for the first week we tried crate-training her, but eventually she got the hang of it, and by about 2 weeks she was finally sleeping through the night and going in willingly. It just takes patience... and maybe some earplugs. :)

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