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ajm227 04-23-2014 02:08 PM

5 month old pup was traumatized by a neighbors dog. Very scared of other dogs now.
Hello, I have been reading all the helpful information here since I got my girl Sadie in January. She is the 4th GSD that I have owned. Nothing like this has happened with any of my others so I am at a loss of what to do.
My husband and I were out on our nightly walk with her last week. One of my neighbors was welcoming visitors to their home. All of a sudden their dog bolted out of the front door and ran at Sadie full force and pinned her to the ground. My husband was able to get the other dog off and keep it away until the owner got it back in the house. The owner ran back into the house after him.
Since this happened Sadie is extremely fearful of other dogs. She runs away from them yelping if they approach her. Before this happened she was eager to play with other dogs.
I have been taking her to the dog park to get her socialized again. She will start to relax and play but then all of a sudden she is scared again. Is there anything else I can do to help her get over this fear? what should I do when she is running and yelping?
She is great around people. She listens really well, walks good on the leash and does all her basic commands really well.

Zeeva 04-23-2014 02:12 PM

Socialize her with good temperament doggies that you know and she'll learn to trust again c:

Dog parks IMO aren't the best place to socialize a wary pup. If you can make some friends with owners of pups with good temperament at the dog park, you can set up play dates.

Some pups recover quickly from this kind of stuff. Others take some extra time and effort...

Eiros 04-23-2014 02:15 PM

If you want her to be able to play with other dogs, maybe finding a mature, well-behaved dog to be around might help? Dog parks are really unpredictable, and can be dangerous for your dog. It's possible she's feeling overwhelmed or ganged-up on if there's lots of other dogs around. I'd only let her interact with safe dogs in a more controlled setting.

Having your dog play with others is not necessary to their happiness, but if she really enjoyed it before (my pup loves it too), then controlling the environment more and finding some safe dog pals to play with is what I would do. :)

You need to protect your dog first though, so I'd definitely stop the dog parks.

McWeagle 04-23-2014 02:43 PM

Our dog had a lot of fear issues when she was a pup, too. She was beat up in the shelter by the mother of another littler a few days before we got her, so she was scared of all dogs bigger than she. We made friends with the local pet supply store owner, who had her dogs at the store with her all the time, and who allowed people to bring their dogs into the store on leash. We'd bring our pup to the store and just hang out for a few hours a few days a week. She met lots of new, friendly dogs in a controlled environment, and eventually got over her issues.

scarfish 04-23-2014 02:54 PM

let your dog play for a few days all day at a good doggy day care place. good ones will have an interview process that examine temperament and require vaccinations. some will let you simply drop your dog off no questions asked. the more strict they are the better.

Sri 04-23-2014 03:04 PM

Definitely do a lot of group obedienceclasses right now. The other dogs are being trained, and you have more chances of them behaving well than random dogs at dog parks or on walks, and she will learn that she is safe even surrounded by dogs. Also teach her to ignore dogs and stay engaged with you. Best thing to do.

Dog parks are not for GSDs.

McWeagle 04-23-2014 03:10 PM

This probably goes without saying, but be careful of your reactions when other dogs approach Sadie. She's going to be tuned in to you, as her protector, so if she feels you tense up she'll get nervous. If you're relaxed, she'll be more inclined to relax too.

llombardo 04-23-2014 03:21 PM

If other dogs at the dog park sense her fear or hear her yelping,etc that can attract trouble. When my pup was attacked, the more he cried the more upset the other dog became. Obedience classes and being around stable dogs is what she needs.

Stosh 04-23-2014 09:12 PM

I would stay away from dog parks for a while- maybe forever. I agree with the others that recommend a good obedience club with solid stable calm dogs. Google a club or training facility that offers training for the CGC (Canine Good Citizen). Your pup is just a baby and it's your job to protect her and she needs to see you protecting her, rather than forcing her to interact with strange dogs. Especially now. Did I mention that you should stay away from dog parks??? At a club you'll meet dogs that she'll feel comfortable with and you can have play dates with dogs you know and can trust.

Courtney 04-23-2014 10:13 PM

When Rusty was the same age a neighbors lab ran out of the house charging towards him. I quickly picked him up & began stomping my feet yelling NO to the lab. Luckily he didn't get to Rusty. Afterwards I just carried on like normal- try to do this because your anxiety over this unfortunate situation will travel right down the leash.

Forcing interactions on her will not help. Ditch the dog park, seriously.

Love the idea of obedience classes. Controlled setting. Confidence building.

Position yourself as a strong & fair leader. The pup can get over this. Just carry on. Did I mention ditching dog parks? :)

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