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kamkim 01-13-2014 01:34 PM

I'm afraid of dogs
Hello, this is my first post here. We have a 3 month old German Shepard/Husky mix (female) her name is Bailey. We have had her for about a month now. Not sure how to pose my question so I'm just going to get to it. I was bit by a doberman pincher when I was about 3 years old (I hugged her while she was eating and she nearly took my eye off) I have very vague memories of the whole thing but one that has remained is my fear of big dogs. There are about 2 or 3 dogs that I am okay around, I guess just because of the vibe they give me (like my moms dog -rottweiler, and my friends dog - pitbull) we have this german shepard pup (whom I adore!!) well I have been watching and reading everything I can on how to train a dog because I am really afraid that once Bailey gets larger I will be afraid of her. I have no fear now but I know it wont be long before she is over 50 lbs. Any tips on how to bond with her to get over my fear or train her so I don't have to be afraid of her when she is bigger?

PS the training has gone pretty well so far, she was easy to housebreak, and teach simple commands, its been fun actually because she gets it so quickly...except come, down, and no bite - she ignores all of these commands.

MichaelE 01-13-2014 01:40 PM

Every dog is different. If you have mutual respect for one another and are bonded I could never see a dog you owned biting you.

I have been severely bitten by a GSD and a Labrador Retriever, and two minor bites from another GSD and a Doberman. That doesn't make me afraid of these dogs. One attacked without warning and the others I missed the warning signs. They were there though.

A painful lesson to be sure, but I understand a lot more now about GSD's than I did when I was much younger.

Sp00ks 01-13-2014 01:58 PM

I was attacked by a GSD K9 at about 6-7 years old. 52 stitches in my neck and face. I woke up with a Dr. sitting on my chest. It revolved around food.

Cocker Spaniels have more bite incidents per year than any large breed. I love big dogs. I was afraid for awhile as a child after it happened. I have always immersed myself in our dogs. You keep bonding and training and I can't imagine you having an issue when she gets bigger. My pup loves when I get on the floor with him.

I had a breakthrough on the biting this weekend. He would bite, I tell him "no biting", he would bite again and I would get up off the floor, sit in my office chair with my back to him and he reacted like the world was ending. About 4 reps of this and he hasn't bit me since. Now when I see the teeth coming, "no biting" and he has actually redirected *himself* to a toy. Usually his bone since that what we had been redirecting to, when he got mouthy.

misslesleedavis1 01-13-2014 02:00 PM

I think that you will grow with her :) she will transform into a gorgeous young girl and you will be there every step of the way, you will know her inside and out and your bond will be solid.

kamkim 01-13-2014 02:21 PM

Thank you for the replies, you all have made me feel a little bit better. I am the one that feeds her, and does most of the training. She is growing on me for sure :)

angierose 01-13-2014 02:34 PM

Do you think you'd be able to do a training class with her? A good class may help you learn to "read" her very well, and you could see other dogs more from a distance and learn a bit from them too. But if you would be nervous it probably wouldn't be a good idea; she may feel your fear of the other dogs and react to it.

Eiros 01-13-2014 03:43 PM

I got multiple bites by an Akita at 5 years old for trying to take his bone away, so I can relate!

Train her, socialize her, and respect her. Bad experiences don't need to define us. I am not afraid of my dog, afraid to take his food, or afraid to take his items. I don't, but he will let me.

Your job is to teach her what behavior is right and what is wrong, and if you do, she will grow up to be amazing!!! Be confident, and become the person she trusts to handle things. :)

Dudes mom 01-13-2014 04:07 PM

Like the others have posted, train and bond with your pup, enjoy her. You specifically say that you are afraid that once she is grown you will be afraid of her. I want to make one point, for me anyway, and for some others that I know, you never quite see YOUR puppy as being large, they are always tiny! My pups are both over 70 lbs now but when I look at them I see them as they were, little ones who depend on me. I doubt you will be afraid of your girl that you are raising! :)

Cassidy's Mom 01-13-2014 06:08 PM


Originally Posted by kamkim (Post 4826522)
...except come, down, and no bite - she ignores all of these commands.

No, she doesn't. :) She simply hasn't fully learned them yet, or generalized them, or understands why she needs to comply. Take your pick, it could be any/all of the above. A three month old puppy is just a baby, and a month of training is practically nothing at that stage of development.

Training takes time and patience, and puppies have very short attention spans, so keep your expectations reasonable. Instead of wondering why she's "ignoring" you, think about how you can communicate more clearly with her, reinforce the behavior that you want, and limit her opportunities to practice behavior that you don't want. Training, (and playing with her!) will help build a bond.

Sansa's Mom 01-28-2014 05:53 PM

When I was 8, I was attacked by a great dane. He stood eye to eye with me while standing on all fours. I was more scared than hurt, and came away with it just with some skinned limbs and scratches on my neck. I have still been able to own GSD's without being afraid. Like others have said, just train your dog well and strengthen your bond. Try to remember that this dog is not the dog who attacked you.

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