What happened to my bold, confident puppy and will he come back? - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 05-30-2014, 01:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What happened to my bold, confident puppy and will he come back?

Okay so I picked up a new puppy 3 days ago. I tested him and all his littermates and he was the best suited for what I want. He was confident, he was not under foot, he was responsive and playful. So I took him! Got him home and he fell apart! I think having the cat chase him made him fearful of everything! The cat does not chase him now but when he first got home that cat set the boundaries. Now Dagger slinks around the cats and wont get near them. That is fine because I don't want a dog that chases cats but I do want a confident dog! Now he is the poster boy for velcro dogs! He will not leave my side! If I move he moves if I don't move he doesn't move! If I go out back for him to do his business he does not want to leave my side. He is always underfoot now! Literally he is underfoot, I have tripped over him several times! I know that shepherds are typically velcro dogs and that is fine but he goes beyond that and there is no confidence in him anymore. He doesn't want to run around and play in the yard, he doesn't want to do anything but stay right by me. I will be doing yard work or cleaning or something and he wont get tired of doing nothing and go play he just lays down right by where I am and watches me.
I want to do agility with him and I picked him because of the temperament and confidence he showed when I looked at him. I had tested him with his litter mates AND separate from them and he was the same so is it just the new environment that he needs to get used to or what? Any suggestions of how to help him gain back his confidence? He is 12 weeks old.
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Old 05-30-2014, 01:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Sounds like he needs to get used to his environment. He just left the only home he knew with his littermates etc. Build his confidence. Take him everywhere with you meet new people friends dogs etc.


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Old 05-30-2014, 01:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah I took him last night to a game at my kids high school. I wont be taking him to the park or on walks just yet since he is not done with his vacs. But will take him to places not frequented by many dogs. I figured he just needs to settle in but I wanted to be sure and make sure I do everything I should to build his confidence. He is good so far. The last puppy I had had REAL fear issues, but he had them before I got him and I thought I could help him but he just did not have the mind for it. I thought he was 12 weeks because that is what the people I got him from told me they THOUGHT he was, but now having this one who I KNOW is 12 weeks, the other guy was much older! I haven't had a puppy in sooo long I just want to make sure I do this right. I do not want a dog that will have separation anxiety and not be able to function without me!
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Old 05-30-2014, 01:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You have only had him for three days. Did the breeder have him all over the place getting used to new environments? This may be a complete shock to him. Give him a little time.

What was the temperament of his parents? That probably predicts more than a one-time puppy test.
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Old 05-30-2014, 04:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I had mine for a day and a half before she started opening up to us. I got her on Wednesday night and she was a timid puppy the entire time. She spent all Thursday being lazy and cuddling up by herself where she could find a safe spot. When I got home yesterday I gave her some food and started playing with her toys with her. She slowly started becoming more confident and curious as she settled in. I spent the night on the floor with her and this morning she was a totally different dog. Nipping at my pants as I was getting dressed, chewing on anything soft and rubbery she could find, and climbing up and down the stairs. When I left she was watching tv with my daughter and I could already hear the playful sound of a puppy biting a hand a little too hard lol

Give them time and give them attention and I'm sure you'll see what you want.
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Old 05-30-2014, 05:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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USE it to your advantage !!!! work with what you have instead of trying to change it to what you want .

you said ---
Now he is the poster boy for velcro dogs! He will not leave my side! If I move he moves if I don't move he doesn't move! If I go out back for him to do his business he does not want to leave my side. He is always underfoot now! Literally he is underfoot, I have tripped over him several times! I know that shepherds are typically velcro dogs and that is fine but he goes beyond that and there is no confidence in him anymore. He doesn't want to run around and play in the yard, he doesn't want to do anything but stay right by me.

to which I say , so when you move tell him let's go and praise . He looks at the cat - tell him leave it (which he IS already doing) and praise. If he doesn't leave your side , turn it into a follow me - fuss/heel session . He is already doing it . Praise.

Positive training . build good relationship. dog trusts you. you don't get frustrated because he is delivering .

this is positive training -- no conflict , praise . Don't worry in a few days the wind will be in his sails and he will be zooming around .
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Old 05-30-2014, 06:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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My current dog went through a pretty bad fear period when I got her for the first couple weeks. I just crated her didnt allow any kind of velcro behavior as I believe that can lead to seperation anxiety. Took her out for daily exposure to the world and its many obstacles. Didnt worry to much about thresholds or the like. Expose the dog, play, feed and dont do anything too stupid..lol.

A month or two later no more fear. Very social (with people), very solid around noises, surfaces, darkness etc. Also, very independent and not in the least bit clingy..lol.

Ofcourse I bought her because of the parents and grandparents. I figured with that many solid dogs in the pedigree she should turn out ok. She did.
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Old 05-31-2014, 03:12 AM   #8 (permalink)
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WOW! Slow down and check your expectations. You have only had the pup 3 days and remember, he doesn't know you or trust you. That comes with time and work. Slow down and give him a break and ditch all your tests. He needs to feel secure right now. Always amazes me what we as humans expect of these little creatures. Try to flow with his needs and his time frame instead of yours.
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Old 06-08-2014, 01:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Just thought I would update. Dagger is getting much better. He will now play outside while I am cleaning up the yard, he is still stuck to my side in the house which is fine. He has figured out the cats sort of! I have 4 and they are all different! He is a pretty good dog! He is starting to try out barking at different things! He goes everywhere I can take him. He has been adopted by the kids school band and will start going to events with them, parades and competition and games and such. But overall, he has bounced back to the type of puppy I evaluated at the breeder and is showing good signs of being a very stable and good dog! I am happy with him!! Next round of shots Wednesday and then we will start venturing out more around the neighborhood.
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