Genetically anxious? - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-06-2014, 01:52 PM Thread Starter
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Genetically anxious?

I've posted on here a few times about my reactive GSD bitch. We have good and bad days but things seem to be improving...... slowly.

I've been told a few times now by trainers and supposed GSD specialists that she is anxious as a result of her genetics. She has a slight stripe down her back and today somebody told me that is a sign of a line known to produce anxious dogs. I can pinpoint some big mistakes we've made with our dog but I'm getting a bit disheartened and fed up of being told she will always be this way. Her breeder is fantastic and we met her mum, dad and grandmother who all have great temperaments.

Has anyone on here ever heard of this stripe down the back being a bad thing?
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-06-2014, 02:24 PM
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I wouldnt worry about things I had no control over and start worrying about the things I could change.

How old is she? What is she reactive towards and what have you done to work on it?

What was she like as a pup?
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-06-2014, 02:32 PM
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I'm not a professional but I think what you're talking about is called a bitch stripe. It is common in female dog and I don't think it has anything to do with genetically anxious dogs, but I could be wrong. At first I thought I had an anxious dog because he didn't like strangers to pat him on the head and would bark at some people wearing hats. He did this for approximately 4 months. Now at 14 months he is fine however he still doesn't like some people to pat him on the head but it has nothing to do with whether they are wearing hats or certain clothing go figure. He is also great walking through crowds and being around other people he just does not look for attention. how old is your dog? He could be going through the stage also.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-06-2014, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies. She's been like this since she was about 4 mths with dogs and more recently with people. I think she probably is generally anxious but she's been beaten up by a few aggressive dogs and we think that's caused most of her reactive behaviour. To put it simply there were more bad experiences than good at that very important puppy time.

Anyway, we're working on it with BAT techniques and we're seeing good but slow progress. I just worry when people say she's been born this way and I should never expect her to be calm! I'll plod on with her. Positive attitude.😀


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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-06-2014, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Msmaria View Post
I'm not a professional but I think what you're talking about is called a bitch stripe. .
Is this a "bitch stripe" ????

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-06-2014, 05:10 PM
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I don't think the stripe down the back has anything to do with the dog's temperament. Certainly I've met plenty of anxious and fearful dogs (including my very own muppet of perpetual terror!) who didn't have a bitch stripe.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-06-2014, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
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Super G - I think that's it. My bitch has a lifter one, like speckled white down her back.




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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-06-2014, 06:07 PM
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Super G - I think that's it. My bitch has a lifter one, like speckled white down her back.




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Well, if that is a "bitch stripe" on my bitch...I can say anything she might have been reactive to as a pup has greatly diminished or disappeared as she has matured....she's 20 months now. She was a bit dog aggressive at first ( leashed only )...and I took the suggestions of a fellow GSD forum member AKA Baliff and the condition is now 1/10 of what it was when I asked for help. So, I think this idea that some folks are saying " that is a sign of a line known to produce anxious dogs" is a bunch of crap. Oh, our gal has exactly the temperament I hoped for....awesome.

Now if somebody said .." a bitch stripe makes them reactive to a Waring blender on frappe" I might buy into it as our girl still has an aversion to margarita hour.

Hang in there and keep the positive attitude as well as the training alive....great times are a coming.

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-06-2014, 06:52 PM Thread Starter
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We've seen some really positive changes in her so I am going to take the 'bitch stripe' with a punch of salt. She is what she is and I suppose whether it's because of us or despite of us doesn't really make a difference. She's taught me so much I know she will continue to improve.
Thanks again and Super G your dog is gorgeous, great markings.x


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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-06-2014, 09:24 PM
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I say hang in there too. We have been doing the counter conditioning and the BAT.. I have seen great improvement. Dont give up, this is something that can improve.

Dexter Bartolomeo -GSD (approx 3 1/2 years)
Fluffy Cornelius - Maltipoo rescue (approx 8yrs)
Squeezette Antoinette- Shih Tzu (17 yrs)
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