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Old 11-22-2012, 10:22 PM   #11 (permalink)
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No, dogs do not go through fear stages. Pet people like to call them fear stages as an excuse for poor training, poor socialization, or poor nerves.
I asked a K9 officer about people on here denying that there are fear stages.
He said that is incorrect, because he has seen it. He has over 30 years of experience.

So much for only "pet people" saying this.
Just because someone has an opinion doesn't mean it should be posted as fact.
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:25 PM   #12 (permalink)
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No, dogs do not go through fear stages. Pet people like to call them fear stages as an excuse for poor training, poor socialization, or poor nerves.
I would disagree. Nevermind that the developmental periods often referred to as "fear periods" are well documented with research, many of us have seen them with our own eyes. I have seen many young dogs to through fear periods that had nothing to do with poor training, socialization or nerves. Certainly not all go through these periods, but some do. Particularly some dogs of eastern lines where there is more sharpness and defense. Often these things wake up in the dog at adolescence, but the dog doesn't yet have the training, life experience or mental maturity to handle it so they overreact for a time as most youngsters do, and then with more experience and more maturity it fades. Had a dog in our club years ago who was fine as a pup, fine as a young adult, but completely unapproachable from 6-8 months old by anyone. He became very defensive for a time, then out grew it. That was the most severe case I've seen, but there have been plenty of milder ones.

The OPs dog is at the age for defense to start coming out, and honestly the reactions in the car are not unusual ones at all. It's the uneasyness with people in the home that would be more concerning, but even then if it is a new behavior and the dog had been find previously I wouldn't be writing him off as "weak nerved" just yet.
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:29 PM   #13 (permalink)
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As others said, stepping up leadership with NILIF, and give Mind Games (version 1.0) by M. Shirley Chong a try now as well
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:29 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Chris, what is recommended for this? More socialization, or less exposure to the triggers?
I am definitely seeing some of this in Hans lately.
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:32 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I had a behaviorist help me with a dog for crate barking in the car. it took some work but it really did help....I would just park someplace near people and walk out of sight and randomly (frequently come up and reward him for being quiet-you can also do this with marker training) ... we worked it up to people coming up to around the car etc. We think this dog had been agitated in a crate before I got him. IOW I would actively reward the quiet and ingore the barking.

Beau had a little wonkiness around that age...nothing serious, mainly some hackles coming up in excitement and some little wuffs (not even barks) but they all vary. HE was fine before is fine now at about 1.5.
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:36 PM   #16 (permalink)
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First, and it is hard to do, but watch your stress level, it will affect your pup. Easier said then done I realize.

A behaviorist is a good idea, but be sure they have verifiable experience with GSD and large working breeds, talk with current and past clients on their experience and the results. There are good ones out there, you just have to really search sometimes to find them. Be sure you are comfortable with them as well, he/she will be training you to handle your pup.

It appears you are already recognizing your pup's thresholds, your goal is to keep him below his limit. He reacts to people close to the car, park a little further away, slowly decrease the distance as he consistently shows no reaction. Woolf went from acting like a total nutcase in parking lots, stopped at red lights or even just riding in the car to one of ignoring, showing some interest or the fascination for whatever reason of the big trucks.

The kids are the main concern. They move fast, are loud and are unpredictable. Perfect recipe for a bite from a stressed dog. Putting your pup away is the safest thing for the kids and the pup you can do. That may or may not change as you progress through training.
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Old 11-22-2012, 11:26 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I appreciate every response, thank you for taking the time.

Exercise, or the lack of it is definitely not the problem. My guy get tons of it, mainly hikes in the forest near me, and I don't lollygag in the woods. My wife also takes him around the neighborhood on leash. Not a day goes by where he isn't exercised. Sometimes I question whether it is too much at his age. I don't run him yet, though he runs a lot on his own, it is fast hiking through very hilly terrain.

Good to hear of your similar experiences, Twyla. We took him to my parents today, and hour in the car each way, in his crate. He did great. I always park away from other cars to lessen his stress, and the stress of other people or dogs. Once at my parents he was excellent, until my sister & her family arrived. He was actually good for awhile, until my 14 year old nephew went to the bathroom, and when he came out the dog started barking at him like a madman. They aren't really dog people anyway, so this behavior didn't help. Off to the crate went the beast.

We're keeping up the training. I will admit, I've gotten a bit lax, and need to tighten it up a bit. The NILIF approach looks like a good one, and I'm all for trying it.

Thanks again, I feel encouraged. I'll have my wife read this thread as well, it will encourage her too.

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Old 11-22-2012, 11:57 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunflowers View Post
I asked a K9 officer about people on here denying that there are fear stages.
He said that is incorrect, because he has seen it. He has over 30 years of experience.

So much for only "pet people" saying this.
Just because someone has an opinion doesn't mean it should be posted as fact.
Yes, and so do I. This is a favorite excuse of pet people and I have never seen it in a good dog in a good home. Every time someone trots out their dog with this excuse for me to evaluate, I just roll my eyes and point out what the problem really is. It's a crock.
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Old 11-22-2012, 11:58 PM   #19 (permalink)
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BTW...people like to tease dogs in cars, and I've seen it many times.
You may want to cover him up, as others stated, when he's in there especially when you park and go into stores.

People are just idiots, and I've seen people tease and even bark at dogs in their crates or loose in cars!
It's definitely a possibility. We used to take our last GSDs with us and they grew to hate teen boys with those beanie caps or hoodies on.
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:00 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
It's a crock.
And again, that is only one person's opinion, while many others with tons of experience say otherwise.

Quote:
pet people
I have yet to figure this out.
Do tell, what do you own, if not "pets"?
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