Fearful 12-month-old female - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 03-18-2014, 08:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Fearful 12-month-old female

Our 12-month-old female is sweet, very friendly with people and other dogs- she’s well-socialized and obedient. She definitely still has a lot of puppy in her-you can see it in the exuberant way she moves and plays, and in her demeanor, and she does not seem to have an aggressive bone in her body. We take her to run and play in the park (not a dog run/park) during off leash hours every morning, and she loves it and has tons of human and dog friends there. However, lately, we are concerned because we have had several encounters (a few times over the past 2 months, but seems to be increasing in frequency) in which other dogs get aggressive or just overly dominant with her, to the point where she yelps, runs between our legs, etc. Sometimes the other dogs are crossing the line into aggression; other times, it is just rough play, and she gets overwhelmed.

We are worried because we get the feeling that there is something about our dog that brings this aggression/dominance out of other dogs. And while we definitely don't want her to be a fighter, we are wondering if we should be concerned that her reflex is to run away and display such fear. On the other hand, maybe she is just young and acting her age. Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions?
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Old 03-18-2014, 08:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You should step in and not allow the other dogs to dominate her. Are you doing any formal training classes with her? I'd get her involved in something so her confidence grows.
It isn't fair for her to feel intimidated by dogs, especially if they gang up on her.
Maybe a one on one play session with a dog she really likes would be better?
Is she spayed?
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Old 03-18-2014, 08:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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set her up for success. Don't let her interact with dogs you do not know.

Of course this limits where you can let her off lead.

Don't know her lines, but she's still a pup.
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Old 03-18-2014, 08:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If you do let her get beat up by aggressive dogs, you can cause her to become dog reactive.

I do not understand the desire for people to have their dogs run about with other people's dogs. Isn't it hard enough to be responsible for your own dog's body language, needs, etc. Watching other people's dogs interact with yours -- isn't that always a question.

And if your dog is fearful now at 12 months, at 15 months or at 18 months, she may turn around and lay into one of these dogs ripping them open. Will this make a difference in how you feel about her?
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Old 03-18-2014, 09:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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It sounds to me like you have a perfectly good dog but she is not comfortable interacting with strange dogs. I would simply keep her on leash when there is a change of coming into contact with a strange dog. Neither of my dogs are ever allowed to interact with strange dogs. Ever. No need. My family is the pack. I protect them from all outside dangers including any strange dogs. Are they fearful? absolutely not. That does not matter. What mattes is that they are safe and other people and other peoples dogs are safe.
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Old 03-18-2014, 09:27 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onyx'girl View Post
You should step in and not allow the other dogs to dominate her. Are you doing any formal training classes with her? I'd get her involved in something so her confidence grows.
It isn't fair for her to feel intimidated by dogs, especially if they gang up on her.
Maybe a one on one play session with a dog she really likes would be better?
Is she spayed?
What Jane said. Particularly the part about obedience training to give her confidence, agility is great for this and female shepherds are usually gifted at the sport. She'll be around other dogs in a controlled environment and if you're lucky, get a good trainer who can pick up on her subtle behavior clues that make other dogs want to dominate her.
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