My Puppy "Circles" People Who Try to Pet Her - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 09-02-2014, 04:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default My Puppy "Circles" People Who Try to Pet Her

My puppy, whenever excited to see me, or whenever people want to interact with her, will start circling me (or the person) in a circle.

I can get her to "SIT" and stay still to be petted.

But with other people, she basically seems to approach, sniff, then circle. She basically won't keep still to be petted and while not quite "shying away" from a person's touch, will just walk away after a brief brush/touch.

Is this normal behavior for a GSD?

Is there a way to get a dog to "like" / "stay still" when people try to pet her?
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Old 09-02-2014, 05:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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How old is your dog, and have you socialised her much before?

You could try sit and you pet her with others?
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Old 09-02-2014, 07:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Mine does the exact same thing. Won't sit still for pets by himself, but has to either circle the person or circle in front of them. I just practiced a sit stay for polite greetings. If he tries to circle out of it, he just gets put back into it. He learns he can't break the sit stay until I release him. If the greeting isn't in public or isn't important enough to warrant super politeness, I just let him circle a bit. It seems t make him happy and doesn't do any harm.
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Old 09-03-2014, 12:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Pax8 View Post
Mine does the exact same thing. Won't sit still for pets by himself, but has to either circle the person or circle in front of them. I just practiced a sit stay for polite greetings. If he tries to circle out of it, he just gets put back into it. He learns he can't break the sit stay until I release him. If the greeting isn't in public or isn't important enough to warrant super politeness, I just let him circle a bit. It seems t make him happy and doesn't do any harm.
Yes, I socialized her a lot. I might have to start making her hold the sit with strangers and tolerate the petting from now on, then reward her for tolerating the petting and holding the sit.

So different than those Golden Retrievers!
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Old 09-08-2014, 09:13 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Is it that she's unsure of a person, or that she's just disinterested? You're right, GSDs ARE a lot different than goldens! Goldens LIVE for people and attention. GSDs love THEIR people, but are meant to be more aloof to strangers. Having a GSD come up to you seeking attention is a privilege you earn over time, haha! You need to become one of "their" people.

So you're really looking at a balance, here. Yeah, you definitely want a dog that isn't going to be fearful of people and isn't going to be on edge with strangers. But at the same time, you can't force a dog to enjoy being pet. So while it's great to socialize the dog and make sure that any experiences with strange people are met with tons of praise and a boatload of treats, I wouldn't expect your dog to turn into a golden retriever.
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