My 8 month old shephered is afraid/nervous of so many things. Need ideas - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 08-13-2014, 03:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default My 8 month old shephered is afraid/nervous of so many things. Need ideas

My 8 month old male dog is afraid/nervous of so many different things. When we walk if he sees an orange cone he barks at it and will try and move away or a newspaper in a plastic bag blowing in the wind will also startle him and its like he doesn't know what to make of it. The other day I had my dryer door open and he came around the corner and jumped back and all the hair on his neck stood up and he barked and would not come near it. This happens with countless things that I have never seen a dog react to before. He is terrified of the vacuum.. if i have it like sitting in the living room not even turned on he will run upstairs or avoid the living room until its put away. The other day my husband was crumbling a plastic wrapper and he bolted out of the room.We got him at 7 weeks and we have never done anything that would make him afraid of so many different things. His hair stands up all the time when faced with any new situation or new dog. He doesnt seem to be aggressive towards dogs when it does that just maybe unsure of the situation. I have another dog that I trained myself and hes a great dog and well balanced. So i have no idea why Jaxson is this way and I need ideas that will make him stop freaking out over everything. Thank you!
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Old 08-13-2014, 03:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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What do you do when he acts fearful?

How much/what kind of training do you do?

Some dogs are genetically fearful dogs. I have one of them; it can be a real nightmare to deal with. Be careful not to coddle and inadvertently reinforce the behavior. I try to calmly redirect- show him to look to me for direction when he's unsure. We also do a lot of confidence building obedience- FUN stuff, learning new things, lots of stuff on agility equipment/different surfaces. It all helps some, but with dogs like this it will always be an uphill battle.
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Old 08-13-2014, 05:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Could be a fear period around that age. When did he get his rabies shot?
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Old 08-13-2014, 11:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by LoveEcho View Post
What do you do when he acts fearful?

How much/what kind of training do you do?

Some dogs are genetically fearful dogs. I have one of them; it can be a real nightmare to deal with. Be careful not to coddle and inadvertently reinforce the behavior. I try to calmly redirect- show him to look to me for direction when he's unsure. We also do a lot of confidence building obedience- FUN stuff, learning new things, lots of stuff on agility equipment/different surfaces. It all helps some, but with dogs like this it will always be an uphill battle.
I teach him new things or try to... he knows sit, stay, down, off, leave it, he knows how to open a door using a rope and we are working on shutting a door when asked. He is so smart and is very playful. When he reacts to things he is unsure of i call him over and show him that what hes afraid of is nothing that will hurt him. He will come up and sniff it and then he doesnt react to that same thing again ( minus the vacuum and balloons) those 2 things cause him to run up the stairs and hide. But there seem to always be new things he becomes unsure about every day. He is pretty good with other dogs. I have been thinking that maybe agility courses would be helpful for him. I will look into that and hope it helps. I was afraid that maybe this is just who he is and its something I will have to deal with the best I can. Maybe extra training at doggie classes will work. Oh i also try and expose him to as much as possible. We went to home depot the other day and the first few minutes he was barking at all kinds of things.. boxes, buckets, wood... then he relaxed and did really well.
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Old 08-13-2014, 11:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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He is getting fixed next week and will get his rabies shot then.
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Old 08-13-2014, 11:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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He is getting fixed next week and will get his rabies shot then.
If you can, give him his rabies after he has completely recovered from the surgery to make sure his body can handle the vaccine.
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Old 08-14-2014, 07:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks Ill ask them if that is okay to wait
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Old 08-15-2014, 03:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
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How much socialization did you do with him? When he was a baby, did you take him all sorts of different places? Did you enroll him (with you) in classes as a young puppy?

Did you meet his parents before you got him? Did you see where he was raised and did you talk to the breeder? Do you know if he or she began socialization before he left his littermates?
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Old 08-18-2014, 11:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I did not take him many places at all but had people over to socialize with him when he was a puppy. I had my last GSD die from parvo and she had already 2 sets of shots.. and the only place i took her was to petsmart and to a friends to play with their dog. My vet had told me that GSds are more suseptible to parvo and that since I had already lost one to parvo not to take this one out of the house if at all until he was 4 sets of vaccines in and that was at 18 weeks. After that we have been to many places.. he only started this about a month or so ago. He has always been a little different as a puppy.. he was the shy one in the litter but playful. I did meet his parents.. they both seemed like good dogs. The mother was a little reserved but not mean or scared. I got him at 7 weeks because the breeder said she had stopped feeding them and wasnt wanting anything to do with the puppies anymore and she had started them on solid food. I would have rather waited but she said all the other puppies were getting picked up and since i signed a paper that said when she said to come get them I would. Anyway as he gets older i notice more little quirks and was just wondering if this was possible to train out. A friend of mine that used to do k9 training for the police department is going to start working with him and I am hoping that will help.
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