Barked/snapped at a stranger - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 125 (permalink) Old 05-22-2017, 08:23 AM Thread Starter
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Barked/snapped at a stranger

Finn and I were at Lowes just doing some training and walking around. I've been trying to get him ready for the CGC coming up soon. Typically I don't let strangers pet him because he tends to get too excited and will jump up. So usually when we're out and about I just make him focus on being calm and ignoring people. But the greeter by the entrance wanted to meet him and I figured ok this a good time as any since it's part of the test, so I told her I'd make a lap around the store and if he was a good and calm I'd bring him back so she could pet him. So we walked around he did awesome heeled nicely stayed with me the whole time. Super calm the entire time. So I make it back to the lady and put him in a down/stay and chit chatted for a bit just to make him wait a bit more (he loves getting attention from people)..... then.. this guy comes by and "Awwhh can I pet him?" As he reaches down to pet him anyway -.- ... Finn broke his downstay sat up into his pet.. in the split second before I could say "no you can't/Finn down" (because he sat up) he went from enjoying the pat on the head to jumped back and started barking and even kinda snapped at the mans hand. He kind of jumped away from the guy, he liked jumped back towards me. Didn't last long he quieted down within a few seconds of the incident and laid back down.. for the split second before he freaked out his body posture didn't seem defensive or aggressive, he sat up so the guy could pet him he didn't look stiff or rigid he seemed really relaxed, tongue out panting like his usual happy self when someone pets him. It was like a good few seconds of petting before he flipped out. And that was the first time that's ever happened... like I said before his big problem was giving too much love back, jumping up licking etc... he's been petted before from people not total strangers though people he's met a least a few times before they touched him. Idk he's never gone through any fear period either so I'm not sure if that's what this is either.. OR because I freaked out because the guy went to put him before I gave the ok and felt kind of panicky at the moment before it happened and I wonder if Finn felt that and thought the guy was not friendly or something
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post #2 of 125 (permalink) Old 05-22-2017, 09:52 AM
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It could be that he felt your energy on the other end of the leash and then acted the way he did.
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post #3 of 125 (permalink) Old 05-22-2017, 10:09 AM Thread Starter
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That's kind of what of what I was thinking.. idk I get really anxious sometimes in those situations. And I'm sure he felt it that time.
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post #4 of 125 (permalink) Old 05-22-2017, 10:17 AM
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Thoughts are energy and it transfers faster than we can imagine. I stress on a clear and calm head as a handler. Some times these things don't have a clear explanation. Also, he prolly realized HE BROKE HIS command and his stress levels went up... maybe. I think you will be fine though. Just keep a handle on him.

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post #5 of 125 (permalink) Old 05-22-2017, 11:09 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah definitely. I can be a a little bit anxious talking to strangers. And yeah he did have a "oh crap" moment when he broke his command. He looked right at me and went back into his down after the few barks came out. And it wasn't a nasty snarly bark but like a bark when someone's at the door type. Mostly concerned with the little snap he made at the guy. The man wasn't phased a bit though he was like oops guess not laughed and went on his way.
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post #6 of 125 (permalink) Old 05-22-2017, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Milliegsd View Post
That's kind of what of what I was thinking.. idk I get really anxious sometimes in those situations. And I'm sure he felt it that time.
i had the same problem...once the trainer showed me to be cam and relaxed it was AMAZING the difference!
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post #7 of 125 (permalink) Old 05-22-2017, 11:28 AM
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We go into lowes a few times a week to keep up with constant socialization with strangers. We meet our trainer there so he can help out and watch kona during her interactions. It really helps out.

Try going again but be CALM and CONFIDENT!
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post #8 of 125 (permalink) Old 05-22-2017, 11:30 AM
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Also when the dog is in a "down" that is a submission position, so if the stranger just reached down over the dogs head your dog could have felt threatened. I would prefer to put the dog in a "sit" for petting. But I totally know what you mean about strangers just reaching out lol happens every day for me.
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post #9 of 125 (permalink) Old 05-22-2017, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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Aww yeah. We usually go out a few times but I never stop and actually talk to anyone. On very rare occasions if I'm feeling relaxed. At our class he gets loved on by the trainers and people that we're friends with there no problem. But I suppose he's just used to them by now and I'm pretty calm and confident when I'm at class when talking to others. Haha sounds like I just have to work on myself. I'll bring it up to my trainer though and see we can do what you did, that would make me feel more comfortable.
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post #10 of 125 (permalink) Old 05-22-2017, 11:39 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah the guy did a total drive by pet which drives me nuts lol and that makes sense! The woman I was going to let pet him I was about to make him sit up so she could pet him but the guy came by reached out and then Finn broke his down and sat up and then made contact with his hand before I could say anything. He petted his head for 2 or 3 seconds before he jumped
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