5 1/2 month GSD showing insecurity without handler - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 02-21-2014, 06:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 5 1/2 month GSD showing insecurity without handler

We had to go out of town so I dropped Bane off at the breeders kennel for the night. We picked him up today and while talking with her, she stated he showed some insecurities around the other dogs. He had his own indoor kennel along with outdoor access. Talked with the breeder for a bit. She said he was starting to get a little cocky today...He didn't eat dinner last night or breakfast this morning at the kennel. He gobbled it up on the car ride home though.

I have been working this issue and felt it was getting better....I'm glad the breeder is blunt about these things. I haven't had him around a lot of dogs yet. He mingles with the female lab next door through the chain length fence.

When walking, I've been keeping him engaged(focusing on me) when I notice other dogs starting to bark or trying my best to keep him focused. He gets amped up around other dogs.
Several days ago while on a walk, he went right up to a boxer in someone's backyard(chain length fence)...Boxer was barking, running, etc. he stood there with his tail pointed out observing, He eventually started barking after some time. I kept getting his attention and trying to distract him. I thought he did very well and we carried on like it was no big deal. He acts very well when I'm handling him (99% of the time).

It's weird. Seems like sometimes he is insecure and other times he basically ignores it.

I found a guy in my town that has been raising and titling German Shepherds for over 20 years. Met with him a few days ago and got to see his male work. Looked very good. I'm going to start training with him as much as possible.

Any suggestions on what I can do to help him get through this? Would leaving him at the breeders kennel for a week or so help, or worsen the situation? His brother, mother, father, Aunts, uncles, etc, and several others dogs and a recent litter is at the kennel. I'm a novice, so I'm sure I created this problem somewhere along the way or should have done more. Sorry for the length...I'm pretty sure I've spoiled him too much. Breeder told me that also. Glad she told me these things instead of sugar coating it.
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Old 02-21-2014, 07:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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he went right up to a boxer in someone's backyard(chain length fence)...Boxer was barking, running, etc. he stood there with his tail pointed out observing, He eventually started barking after some time. I kept getting his attention and trying to distract him.
Dogs initial response was good. You waited too long until your dog made an aggressive response.

Quick flick of the leash and be on your way. Let the dog know you are in control. Don't get caught being a novice observing everything. Keep moving. Don't give the dog a chance to start barking or acting insecure.

Easier to not let dogs 'socialize' on leash as it can cause leash aggression. When people come up to you with their dogs on leash, politely avoid them. Same with children to rub your dog.

Check out the Tyler Muto videos for leash work and some easy tips to control the dog.
Tyler Muto - YouTube

Using these techniques you will develop control on leash and it'll be easier to deal with other dogs on walks etc.

If the dog is being intimidated and developing reactivity at the breeders don't bring him there. Be your dogs guardian and guide and let him know aggression is not allowed. Protect it until it is older and able to deal with bigger dogs.

The less aggressive situations it gets into between now and when it fully grows up the better. It will then know how to avoid fights but still show his strength. That's socializing for me, a dog with confidence not afraid of other dogs but also not wanting to fight other dogs. It can go up show its strength and have a sniff and walk away after. With males they will exhibit aggression as there hormones kick in at different times. You just gotta steer them through it.

I'm also a fan of Cesar Millan and read his 'Cesar's way' book. I think that is a good read for a beginner.
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Old 02-21-2014, 08:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the response. I found a small club that I'm going to start attending ASAP....Lengthy drive, but I have to do it.

I have been making the mistake of letting his observe too long, regarding other dogs. We also have a 6 year old female communist dog (Shih Tzu)....Bane thinks her bushy ears and tail is his personal toy. Been working on this also....

When I picked Bane up today, we had a little walk around the kennel property. Her dogs were barking, etc, he didn't pay much attention to them from 20-30 yards out. He let out a couple barks but carried on following me. Maybe he was starting to feel more comfortable there....He has only been there one other time and that was to get his tattoo. Th breeder uncaged her personal protection dog (one of her best "mothers" also) and they interacted great together. That was probably 2 months ago.

So far the only insecurity I've noticed is with other dogs. He has been on all surfaces, tables, fields, lake, gun range, brush, creeks, blah blah and hasn't been hesitant in any regards. When I first got him, his first few walks he was sluggish when he heard a lot of barking. He would pull on the leash. This was a brand new environment for him and it improved daily. Barking dogs in general he ignores. It's when when he sees them he gets worked up....

I'm going to post the video of the Boxer encounter. I had the wife video it that evening....hopefully video works
Bane - YouTube
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Old 02-21-2014, 09:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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A few more random videos of Bane...I try to have my wife video as much as possible. Easier for you guys and ladies to hammer down on me. Haha

First time at the lake
Bane first time at lake - YouTube

Snow

Bane in snow - YouTube
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Old 02-21-2014, 09:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Looks grand with the boxer.

You got the pups attention and should have left then.

But the dog is still coming back to you and you finished with a sit and the dog is totally focusing on you.

Just research boundary aggression and leash aggression.

Better to avoid that as it serves no purpose.
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Old 02-21-2014, 09:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Make sure I'm not misunderstanding you. Should I plan to avoid all dog interaction when walking/training? Avoid might not be the correct word, maybe ignore/avoid?

By doing this, will it eventually lead to him thinking other dogs are no big deal, just carry on as normal?
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Old 02-21-2014, 09:51 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Should I plan to avoid all dog interaction when walking/training?
It's probably not possible. But it is good to teach a dog when you are walking there is no pulling towards a distraction.

As males get older they can get into territory fights with other males so i find it easier to ignore other dogs on route and let the dog know that is the way it is. It can be good for the other dogs too as they learn we are doing our thing and it is not the business of theirs to bother us.

In your clip you are encouraging the boxer to act like that and encouraging your dog as a pup to react on a much bigger dog. That can be dangerous for your pup. You check cesar millan in the same situation and he'll ask his dog to be calm and observe him and the dog on the other side of the fence will relax.

But your way of getting focus with food is good at that age. I think your doing it right and just need to learn when it's time to move on naturally and not cause reactivity as it is harder to cure later.
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Old 02-21-2014, 10:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
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im not sure why you stop and make him endure that dog barking and jumping and acting all hyper. if you're on a walk then WALK. why stop? you should act like that dog isnt even there. why even acknowledge it. that dog acting like that should be no big deal. the fact that you stopped mean it is a big deal.

btw how a dog reacts can be different if that dog isnt behind the fence. the pup knows that dog is behind a barrier.
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Old 02-21-2014, 10:30 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Sounds like a plan....

I also need to work on him gaining more independence.

Boomer, I agree now....That's my mistake. In my mind I was thinking It would be good getting him around other dogs. My bad on this....It will be corrected immediately. Thanks for pointing out my mistakes.
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