Ok, my wife and I have a beautiful GSD named "River." I introduced her in the Introduction forum a few weeks ago. She's about 6 months old, weighs 52lbs, and is in overall excellent health. We couldn't be happier with her. She's house-trained well, does well on walks, etc. We love her.
We are having one problem with her, however. While on-leash, when she sees another dog, she will bark and lunge, as if angry at the dog. She can also be scared of strange people on our townhome property and will bark and lunge at them as well, even some kids. At other times, she is fine with people. If we go into a friend's house who has kids, she is fine with them and even plays with them. I don't want people to get the wrong idea. In general, she is really good with people in public places. I took her for a walk yesterday and some people came out of their home to meet her and we walked up to them, let them pet her, and she even rolled over for them. We even took her downtown and walked around on a busy saturday - we had lunch at a cafe outside, and she just laid down and waited for us. She has never barked at any person in a public place.
I think she is a very submissive dog - we never had the problems that other people have with whining or barking in her crate, biting us excessively, chewing furniture, etc. She never really has done any of that. She does have pretty good drive though. She is obsessed with the ball. And, she knows her commands very well.
River has been going to doggy daycare for about 2-3 months now. We had to start her early, as my wife and I both work full-time and we didn't want her to be alone during the day for so long, especially crated. Well, a couple months ago, when I dropped her off, I wanted to stay and see how she interacts with the other dogs, as I was confused as to how she can be so aggressive with them on-leash, but get along so well in daycare. To my surprise, she seemed so scared of all the other dogs. As soon as they let her in the door, she was rolling over for every dog in there, except for the small ones. She was seemingly very frightened, but at the same time, she loves going. She gets excited and she can't wait to get in there with them.
Recently, we have taken her to a dog park (during off-times when very few people are there) and it's the same behavior. On-leash, she acts aggressive, but off-leash, she is scared of the other dogs (except the smaller ones) and prefers to hang around us. Both times, another dog has chased her, just for fun, and she has mistaken it for aggression and she runs away, scared! Yes, the dog was being a bit rough, but neither time was the other dog really trying to hurt her, imo. She just ran off, barking in a high-pitched yelp. After that, she just stayed hiding under our table at the dog park, barking at the large poodle who had scared her.
Over the past couple of months, we have had her in private obedience lessons to help with this. We are now in an intermediate obedience class, where she is doing very well. She will bark at the other dogs, but as she gets used to them, she barks less and less. We use "watch me" and she relaxes a bit. And she performs her obedience very well.
On walks, we use the "watch me" command and give treats whenever we see another dog. She has gotten much better, but we have to be so vigilant and keep an eye out for dogs. And if one sneaks up on us - forget it! Petsmart on a busy day is out of the question.
We thought we socialized her very well. We took her everywhere. Now, we are doing even more - we take her to a new park almost every day. This does seem to be helping as well.
We of course want to work with her as much as possible. I want to do agility, after her intermediate obedience class, and I'd like to get into tracking as well. Advanced obedience training and maybe schutzhund if she can do it. I've wanted a GSD all my life and she is a huge part of our family - we have no children (yet) and she gets every minute of free time we have.
My question is - what does everyone think are the chances of her "getting over" this? Do you have any other advice for us? We are in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Will this turn into aggression as she matures? We will continue to work on this diligently, of course. She is just the most wonderful dog. Sorry this is so long!! I just get worried about her.