I would not say this is a stage but a manifestation of the dogs inner self , a reflexive fear reation . You can condition the dog to take some of the edges off the behaviour but the cause is everpresent -- . Don't let the dog be in control . Don't make an issue of what ever fearful thing he is confronting . Continue as normal . Normalize the situation . Model the behaviour you want to see from him. "keep calm -- carry on"
for the dog that rushes home , while you are out try to have fun on lead , make a dancing game of heeling , don't let the attention wander , lots of praise and redirection to you , who is a positive reinforcer . When you go home ,change your route , go past your house , go home with dog under control and when you get home don't treat the dog as if it had just endured some treacherous ambush laden adventure , with treats and priviliges . Instead crate the dog -- some neutral experience , but not fun. In this time he will think about the "fun" he had on the walk , and man what happened this is so boring. That way he will look forward to going and being out with you . Coming home is like coming home from your friends party before the cake and ice cream were served .
I know what you mean by this "
That way they already trust and rely on us to take charge of new and scary situations so they can stop worrying.
but that is just so wrong for a GSD . One reason we have them is for protection -- they should be taking care of US in scarry situations so WE can stop worrying .
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