Adopted GSD doesn't like men
So we adopted a young (2 yr old) female GSD about a month ago, and while Kiki is a great dog, she has some issues. She's loving and playful with the family, and she mostly takes well to others outside the family, but she does not like men. She doesn't mind boys (being teenagers and younger), and she does very well with children, but when it comes to adult men she just hates them.
A little bit about her for some context: Kiki was surrendered to a vet after she had been hit by a truck earlier this year. The couple that owned her couldn't afford to pay for surgery so they decided to simply euthanize her. But the vets fell in love with her, and they decided to take her in and raise the funds for surgery themselves. Months later, her crushed paw had been reconstructed and her hips stabilized with a metal plate. Unfortunately, her one front leg had sustained nerve damage, and while she still uses it for balance and holding toys, it is unlikely it will ever fully recover. Now, we don't know much about her previous family. Her foster mom didn't know much about them, either. When we got her, she didn't know any commands, though she was fully crate and house trained. We have learned, however, that there is a strong chance a male figure in her life abused her. She absolutely hates men; she will bark, growl, and carry on if a man walks into the house (even when we open the door, invite them in, and show her they are a safe person), and she will evade them at all costs, hiding in corners and skittering into rooms where she can't see them. She's terrified of thunder or any sort of loud, bass-like noise (she doesn't mind excitement, yelling, singing, or dancing around in the house; in fact, she'll sleep right in the middle of our busy kitchen with the whole family walking and jumping around her!), which the adoption agent informed us was a sure sign she spent a lot of time, if not most of her life, locked outside. In general, she's a sweet, loving girl, but she was severely mistreated and now bears the scars. Since we've had her, she's really opened up and loves to play outside and get into trouble (she's killed every rodent in our backyard!), but still she's absolutely terrified of men.
This distaste, thankfully, isn't full-out aggression. She's never charged at anyone or bitten anyone. She's never even given the smallest sign of using her teeth. In fact, she'll simply run away and hide. But she does bark and growl, and you guys know how awful a GSD bark can be, especially for guests. Typically she'll calm down after a few minutes of alarm, slowly make her way to the guest, sniff them, and let them pet her. She'll still avoid them after this introduction, however, even though she knows who they are. Sometimes she'll bark at them again, as if she doesn't know them. Even if it's a male that comes around often (grandfather, friend, etc.), one she's been introduced to countless times and has been pet by, she'll still act like this when we let them into the house. Like I said, she loves women. She does not react like this to females of any age, it's only men. For instance, my sister and her husband came to stay with us for the weekend, and while she fell in love with my sister immediately, the husband she completely evaded. Even after having them with us for three whole days, she continued to treat him like he'd only just walked into the house. Everyone was patient with her, but it was still frustrating. (Btw, we have men living in the house with her -- my dad and my two brothers. She is absolutely fine with them. In fact, she adores my dad. It's only people outside the house that she struggles with.)
We have no thoughts on giving her up -- she's a part of the family now, and we all love her. But her behavior is exhausting and makes inviting people over stressful. We had a GSD prior to her, so we are not unaccustomed to their behavior or training, but Kiki is our first adoption and she is a unique case. I was wondering if you guys had any tips on how to handle this type of behavior? Maybe some ways to help her overcome this anxiety? I know the process of healing after abuse will be long and hard, but is it possible that she will heal from it? Or will it be a life-long struggle?