A bad day or personality trait? - afraid of other pups. - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 01-11-2014, 09:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default A bad day or personality trait? - afraid of other pups.

Hi - I've got a white GSD mix puppy named Inde' and today I took her to her first puppy social hour. There were only 4 dogs and one VERY EXUBERANT large 8 month old puppy and my dog was scared scared scared. I've never seen this response from her before today. Unfortunately, this morning my husband tripped over her when getting something down from the cupboard and practically fell on her sending her scared to hide under the bed for 10 minutes and she just had kind of a traumatic day. Most likely not the best day to take her to a new situation for puppy play time, but I did.

She has never shown fear of people, including today, and is very strongly bonded to me - truly my shadow. It is in deep winter here and it has been hard to get out a lot, I am curious if anyone can tell me if an overly stressful day could cause this shyness in a pup? She kept hiding under the chairs and chomping at any dog who came near her, tail wrapped all the way under. By the end there was a smaller dog she was engaging in play with and having short bouts of confidence. Any advice appreciated.
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Old 01-11-2014, 10:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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if she doesnt want to play then dont force her. protect your pup. her hiding under chairs and snapping at other dogs is her protecting herself.

some dogs just take longer to gain confidence. pups getting startled or being afraid is nothing new. how stable your pups nerves is depends on how quickly she recovers from being afraid. hiding anywhere for 10 minutes isnt a good sign though.
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Old 01-11-2014, 11:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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if she doesnt want to play then dont force her. protect your pup. her hiding under chairs and snapping at other dogs is her protecting herself.

some dogs just take longer to gain confidence. pups getting startled or being afraid is nothing new. how stable your pups nerves is depends on how quickly she recovers from being afraid. hiding anywhere for 10 minutes isnt a good sign though.
I may have been exaggerating about ten minutes... I was worried she was hurt so it felt like a lifetime. She recovered pretty fast this morning from the 'fall' (w/o injury) and wasn't scared of my husband but apprehensive of the doorway where it happened for a bit.

It seems I may have to work with building confidence with her and other dogs slowly. Continuously surprised by life with a puppy, just when I think I have a handle on things her needs seem to change a bit. Thanks for taking the time to reply.
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Old 01-12-2014, 12:06 AM   #4 (permalink)
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It sounds like she was really overwhelmed during puppy social hour. Perhaps she could meet one on one with a calm pup her size. That might help to boost her confidence.
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Old 01-12-2014, 01:15 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Don't worry, go at your dogs pace and I would try to find a young pup for your dog to play with. Much easier than being swarmed by a group of new dogs! My pup was a lil timid and I just took a step back and did not overwhelm her. Keep at it and don't doubt yourself or your dog, have fun!

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Old 01-12-2014, 08:16 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Personality trait and a bad day. Maybe you just have a naturally timid pup. I never had any problems with my boy or girl, they were quite boisterous as pups, and none of this is necessarily a gauge of what their mature character will be like. If you're attending puppy social club then you're probably noticing how varied the puppies temperaments are, even within litters there is a lot of variation. Nobody's dog is perfect, we all have to work on the shortcomings of our animal in one way or another, and some more than others need to invest time in developing personality to a point that most closely resembles our ideal.

Of course, a lot of this can be circumvented through the implantation of proper breeding programs e.g. close line-breeding and solidifying desirable traits in that line. And selecting a pup from a breeder who has that approach to breeding. I don't think any of us want a timid or weak nerved dog, in fact I think it's something that potential German Shepherd owners fear most. It just makes more work for us, but it's not all negative, and the time you invest in your pup will be worth it, seeing them come out of their shell or face something that they were fearful of, is immensely rewarding - it'll teach you patience, diligence and determination - invaluable traits to have in relation to raising a dog.
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Old 01-12-2014, 08:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
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i think your dog is going to be ok. the actions of the day were
more traumatic on you than your pup. i've stepped on my pup.
when my dog was in his puppy class he use to play for a minute
then run under a chair. i made sure my dog was around other people
and animals a lot. train and socialize and you're going to have a
strong, confident dog.
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Old 01-12-2014, 09:25 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I think an 8 month old puppy is a bit old for a puppy social. I wouldn't let my young pup play with a large overwhelming (to it) pup that is much older.
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Old 01-12-2014, 09:44 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I would actually be more inclined to find a very puppy savvy adult for her to meet and show her the ropes. Not one who is a dog used to playing with other dogs but a lot of working dogs have a calm temperament around puppies and a lot of tolerance and should help to bring her out.
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Old 01-12-2014, 09:51 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Usually good puppy socialization classes split the puppies into more like sized groups, and/or energy levels, particularly when very young. Having a big 8 month old running with 4 month old pups is a bit much IMO. 8 month olds are more like puppies in adult sized bodies and that can translate into very rough play. As someone else already mentioned, your dog hiding under chairs and snapping at the other dogs when they approach is her protecting herself and she can't get over her fear if she can't interact and that means finding smaller and/or less exuberant pups. Also, the people running the socialization class should be seeing this and helping you out. When my female was 6 months (3rd socialization class) there was a big male (6 month) Chesapeake who would resource guard the water bowls and a big male standard poodle that was mounting other pups. Neither the owners or the class instructors were stopping the behavior. I picked my girl up and left the class and did not go back. Oh yeah, and one time someone actually let her out of the enclosure but I always watched her so I got her back right away. Long story short: a bad socialization class is worse than no puppy socialization class IMO.


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