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Thread: Barking at people's feet and does not let people pet him?? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
02-27-2014 09:20 PM
shawnshayan9 Hey Guys, I loved everyone's advice and thoughts. I read everyones post at least 3 times each and will continue to do so.
Im going to look at all the links and study them

I socialized him with my friends dog yesterday and today and in the beginning he was scared the he was playing non stop and is very dominate with the dog.
I think the best way to fix this problem would be having another dog as a role model.

I am really trying to work on this problem. Im taking him off the prozac, which he did start taking at about maybe 3 months old. But i think he is becoming more scared now that he is slowly coming off it. He is on 10MG now. Do you guys suggest i just give him ten for a week then .5 for a week then zero. The vet isn't really helpful and they want me to go in there and like charge me $80 for a visit which is a lot of money for me right now. But if i have to i will go in.

He is really good with taking treats from people and I realized he is getting better with eye contact. But when he sees strangers in the house he goes nuts and barks like crazy.

When he is with my girlfriend he tends to bark more at people then when he is with me.

I think his issue is that he is very protective. He alway wants to sleep by the door and when he gets home he looks everywhere making sure everything is okay and to see if there are any people there and also barks just to like show he is here.

Today I had an encounter with Hunter. I came back to my apartment and my friend that he has never met before was sitting on my couch and i didn't know. And i let me off his leash and he ran up and started barking at him like crazy i though he was about to bit him but i quickly grabbed him and made him stop. Then i had my friend give him cheese and he held the cheese in front of him pet him and he didn't do anything but I was able to tell with his facial expression that he was very uncomfortable when he was petting him.


Today, my trainer that didn't really end up helping much she only helped with OB which he is really good with. Told me to give him away and I have been so sad. I never want that to happen.



Thank you so much guys I love the help!!
02-25-2014 07:18 PM
Chip18 Others have already said it but I will say it in my words"..stop cramming people in his face, your scaring the crap out of him!" Your job is to protect your dog, you do that by showing him you can protect him. If he wants to meet people fine but should "shield him" first!

Your dog should not have to chose between friend or foe. Black or White, Asian or Hispanic,children or people in floppy hats. He should not have to give a crap, that's "your job." He should treat people like furniture, just ignore them and move on. No more forced intros, just move on, ignore people.

If he is a sound dog he will learn what a normal interaction looks like. My dog goes behind me when I talk to people, that's what he learned that's what he does. He knows what normal human interaction looks like. He was taught to ignore people and other dogs.

This is what I did with my dog, who was not to" thrilled" with company. A low growl, greeted first time vistors...my conclusion was,that "cramming people into his face was not going to get me a people safe GSD.
Leerburg | Dog Parks: Why They Are A Bad Idea

And this is what folks are talking about with dog parks, you don't need anymore problems!

Leerburg | Who Pets Your Puppy or Dog

And These two for questions you didn't ask


02-25-2014 04:15 PM
Harry and Lola Please keep him out of the dog parks, he is unstable and other dogs will pick up on this and go for him, they will be really mean and aggressive to him because dogs don't like instability.

Once you work on his fears and when he becomes more stable (if ever) then you could take him to a dog park - but it is not necessary as most GSDs don't prefer the company of other dogs and will want to do fun things with just you.

My Harry is unstable as well, he has developed fear aggression (which I attribute to EPI) and I am currently trying to build his confidence back up and work through his fears and also work on my trust with him around other dogs. When I say other dogs, I don't mean a dogs in a dog park, I don't go into them, but rather other dogs in the area, walking by etc.

If it were me with him at such a very young age, I would not go to dog parks, I would walk him on lead and build up your relationship with him this way. I would start obedience training with him and start training him to ignore other dogs. You will probably find once he starts OB training and becomes proficient at it, his confidence in himself will grow and hopefully help with his instability. And remember he is still only a baby and needs protecting and guidance from you.
02-25-2014 03:45 PM
carabearl12 Thank You shawnshayan9 for posting this! I am having a similar issue with my 4.5 month old. I thought I was all by myself with this. It started for us about 2 weeks ago in most cases, it happened earlier at the vet. The vet said he was aggressive and we needed to take care of it ASAP. I was surprised because he was super sweet to everyone else. Then two weeks ago he all of a sudden seemed to become aware of stranger danger. He is still okay in training class and at home, but outside of those he is not comfortable with strangers any longer. To be honest, it is a little scary. He is fluffy, soft and cute and I have to be on my guard because people just walk up and try to pet him!
02-25-2014 02:58 PM
misslesleedavis1 Our male BC Dexter developed issues with men, we got him at 8.5 weeks old and i know for a fact he has had zero bad experiances with people. He likes dogs alot so we took him to the dog park when he was younger but we have not been to a dog park for about a year or so, Dexter's attitude did not change until he was about almost 1.5. We adopted a rescue GSD mix and it was a amazing step forward or dexters issues. Shiloh loves people, she greets them with tail wagging, she loves being touched, she loves! loves! loves! and that is something dexter observed everytime someone came to the door. He watched shiloh get mad attention and rubs and she communicated something to him we could never communicate. I think that shiloh and the fact as he matured he gained more confidence in himself really helped with his crazy anti people antics. Its been a very long time since we have had a "dexter moment", and im so happy that he is over himself. I personally like the treat idea
02-25-2014 02:36 PM
Twyla First, find another trainer. Look for one that specializes in aggression cases or a behaviorist. Start with private classes (more expensive but worth it) then when he is ready move to small classes. The advantage is you will be trained to handle your dog, gain the confidence you need as well to handle him.

I am surprised the vet would give a 5 mth puppy prozac, (went back and read better the pup was actually put on prozac as a 2 mth old?) I am almost willing to say find another vet as well. It definitely is a drug that has to be weaned off. Your pup will need to be followed up with bloodwork periodically monitoring his liver and thyroid functions. Woolf is on flouxetine(prozac) but that was done as a last resort and he was an adult. There are side effects and it can have the opposite effect on some dogs.

Here is a great thread that is ongoing for socialization - take the time to read the discussion and all view points - http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum...alization.html

Some links for training methods - I am biased towards BAT because I saw a huge change with Woolf when that was introduced.

Official Behavior Adjustment Training (BAT) site: humane help for aggression, frustration, and fear in dogs, horses, and other animals.

Look at That! A Counterintuitive Approach to Dealing with Reactive Dogs | Dog Training for Dog Lovers Blog

This is a great page to help you learn to start reading your pup: The Canine Language | Life With Dogs
02-25-2014 01:08 PM
Cassidy's Mom
Quote:
Originally Posted by shawnshayan9 View Post
I feel like there is something else I need to do that is missing not just have people give him treats.
Actually, since he's uncomfortable with eye contact and being petted by strangers, it would be better for people NOT to give him treats. If you want to have him around people for socialization it's important that those situations be positive for him, so keep your distance, and YOU give him treats. Instruct people to simply ignore him. Let him initiate contact if he wants to, never force him, and if people insist on staring at him anyway, turn him so he's facing away from them. If he's not happy and having fun, get him out of there and avoid those situations in the future! Over time you may be able to decrease the distance and keep him relaxed and focused, but don't rush the process.

Same with the dog park, he's already had bad experiences there, so please don't continue taking him. It would be better for him to be around dogs that you know (owned by friends, family, neighbors?) are healthy, UTD on vaccines, well socialized to other dogs, and especially, good with puppies. No socialization is better than bad socialization, and exposure to new people/places/things does not require interaction with them.

I would also find another trainer. We have a sub-forum for finding a good trainer, you might want to post a thread there for some suggestions. Talk to your vet about taking him off Prozac. I don't know much about it, but I think you need to do it gradually rather than stopping cold turkey.
02-25-2014 12:40 PM
Melissa98409 You know, Jericho has a very similar issue. He's never once had a bad human or dog experience (well...since he has been with me. I adopted him when he was 3 months old, so I'm sure he's forgotten anything prior to that), but for some reason is fearful of strangers. I've been watching him and trying to figure out what the trigger is and it seems that it is men with hoods, caps, or people with gloves.

I talked to my trainer about it and she said that it is not uncommon for GSD's to have fear aggression issues. She suggested that when he is in a fearful situation (like ones described above) to get his focus back on me and treat the heck out of him so he begins to associate these situations with treats instead of fear. She also suggested giving the strangers with these triggers the high value treats to reinforce that these are not scary things that they are good things.

It's no easy by any stretch. Jericho is tall, strong, FAST, and scares the tar out of most people when he is in this mode. It's not easy to find a brave sole willing to be your test subject. Especially a stranger. However, this suggestion does seem to be working for Jericho. He's starting to turn to me for treats and my reaction to the "stranger danger". However, if they come too close or try to pass us, he loses focus and it back to the "I'm gonna eat you" behavior. So, while I have not totally proofed this, it does seem to be a solution that is working. You might want to try it with Hunter.
02-25-2014 12:26 PM
Shade It sounds like he's overwhelmed both at the dog park and outside in general. I'm going to tell you what worked for me

Rather than force interactions on him, take it slow and work at HIS pace. If he backs off, you back off and let him have his space. There's no need for him to be touched by strange humans any more than he needs dog friends. I have a fearful poodle that dislikes 99% of dogs and strange humans, I allow her to socialize as much as she wants but if she starts licking her lips, avoiding eye contact, or hiding behind my legs I immediately put an end to the interaction. If she starts showing signs of avoidance before they even touch her I step in between and block and politely tell the person that she's not up for being touched at that moment. I don't actively tell people to touch her or offer treats because I know she doesn't like it. If she approaches first that's great, but I let her make that call

Fearfulness is rarely cured through immersion techniques, dogs don't think like humans and rationalize that the fire hydrant beside the sidewalk is just a fire hydrant and therefore not scary. They see the shape and want to flee, it's an animal instinct.

The biggest tool you have in your pocket with dealing with a fearful dog is trust. It doesn't come easy, just like if you were terrified of heights, you trusting another human that does skydiving and wants you to join in is not easy. You can trust a family member or close friend that they will be there to support you through the entire experience or you can trust the instructor once they have demonstrated their capability. But if John Smith says "hey, here's my airplane let's go jump out of it. I'll keep you safe! Don't mind the rips in the parachute, its ok!" Trust doesn't erase the fear, you'll still hate heights but you can get through the experience if you have someone you know at your back willing to help you. What you are conveying to the dog is this: "I understand you are scared, that's ok and I'm here to protect you no matter what. Relax and we'll work through it together"

Your dog will learn to trust you in fearful situations when you have demonstrated again and again that you will protect them in those places.

So if the dog is scared of a fire hydrant as I've already used that example I would walk calmly and watch the dog as you approach. Once the dog shows signs of stress then immediately stop, you've reached that threshold. Relax, sit, sing a song quietly, etc. and wait for the dog to relax, it might take 5 seconds, or it might take 5 minutes or more. Give the dog the time it needs to process the scary thing. Once they've relaxed take one step forward, if the dog balks again then step back and wait again for the calmness then either walk back the direction you came or give the object a wide berth so the dog doesn't react and continue on your way. If the dog is showing only light signs of stress or nothing at all then give the dog extra leash so it's loose and walk yourself right up to the object, walk around it and touch it and prove to the dog that through your actions it is safe and not harmful.

It might seem overwhelming and hopeless and you'll probably have more failures than successes at first but you should slowly see improvement. Always end on positive notes, no matter what and when you look back you'll start to realize how far you've progressed. When I look at my poodle and see her succeeding where before she would fail, and to see that look of confidence and happiness on walks trust me, it's worth every drop of sweat and tears. My poodle will never be a 'normal' confident dog but I've learned that's ok with me, she's special just the way she is

I hope that helps, I wish you and your pup nothing but the best
02-25-2014 12:24 PM
mcdanfam I can't give any advice with your issue....I have never had to deal with that behavior...so far...
I can say our breeder and trainer have told us to AVOID dog parks!!!
They said many different reasons to avoid them!

Good luck!


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