Tips for guiding a pup through a fear period? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-25-2009, 12:38 PM Thread Starter
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Tips for guiding a pup through a fear period?

Juno is just over five months and I think she's in a small fear period. For about the past week or so, she's very reluctant to go on walks. She'll just stand on the sidewalk, not moving. Once we do get going, she'll sometimes bark fearfully at inanimate objects and she keeps looking behind us as if she's afraid something is back there. We do a little obedience on walks and it sometimes takes a minute for her to "watch me" when she's in a sit because she's looking around, being sort of hyper-vigilant -- especially if the wind is blowing. She's fine at the dog park, at home, in the car, at the store, in class, at friend's houses, etc.... it's pretty much just when we're on walks in our neighborhood.

I've just been encouraging her along with a "happy" voice and treats and trying to not make a big deal of her fear. Usually about halfway into the walk (when we're turning back towards our house) she'll stop looking behind, stop barking, and just walk along nicely with me.

I'd love any advice, stories, experiences with puppies in a fear period and any information about how long these periods usually last.

--Rhena, owner of
Juno, White German Shepherd, female b 10-15-2008, adopted 01-05-2009

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-25-2009, 01:05 PM
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Re: Tips for guiding a pup through a fear period?

Anna went through this, it was horrible! Not that she was that bad, but that I was like "what's up with this??"

I was just patient, carried TONS of treats, really worked on the watch me command and used a lot of patience. I had to make sure I stayed calm and not allow myself to get frustrated and let this transfer to her.

I actually avoided situtations with a lot of people and cars (this is what she freaked out about suddenly) so we didn't go to Petsmart for a bit.

I think after like a week it was game on and everything was back to normal.

BTW, I'd love to see some pics of Juno...your avatar photo is the cutest dang thing ever!


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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-25-2009, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Tips for guiding a pup through a fear period?

Tiffany, Thanks for your reply!

Sometimes it's nice just to know that there are other people and dogs out there going through (or who have gone through) the same thing!

I've had to stop myself from getting frustrated -- at first I thought she was just being obstinate!

Hopefully she's at the tail end (pun intended) of this little phase and we can get back to our normal walks!

(I'll find some pics of Juno to post here!)

--Rhena, owner of
Juno, White German Shepherd, female b 10-15-2008, adopted 01-05-2009

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-25-2009, 02:04 PM
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Re: Tips for guiding a pup through a fear period?

I went through the same thing with Mya. Lots of patience and persistance and always love. She will get through it

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-25-2009, 02:10 PM
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Re: Tips for guiding a pup through a fear period?

It's hard not to get frustrated...it' like "my dog is awesome!" is replaced with "what the crap happened to my dog!?!"

On days I was in a bad mood, I wouldn't take her for a walk, I knew I'd get frustrated and do something stupid like snap her leash and yell or god knows what else. So it's about knowing your limits too. On those days we'd just stay home and train or play in the yard.

Something else that helped when we did walk, I would just talk and talk and talk to her...I know my neighbors thought I was crazy, but I'd just talk outloud and that would help soothe her or keep her attention on me. Plus, she learned all the dirt on mommy's coworkers. I think my neighbors are kinda used to this now...

Yay! Juno pics!


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Tiffany; mom to:
Annabelle "the Diva"- GSD born 9/21/08
Duncan- Shep Mix adopted on 2/14/00 TDI
The kitty amigos: Simon, Alley and Mia
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-25-2009, 02:38 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Tips for guiding a pup through a fear period?

Thanks for your encouragement, Jane and Tiffany. Love the gossiping with your dog on walks!

Some pics of Juno (the first at three months and the other three in our kitchen and in the Mississippi more recently at five months)-- pardon the chicken neck!








--Rhena, owner of
Juno, White German Shepherd, female b 10-15-2008, adopted 01-05-2009

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-25-2009, 02:43 PM
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Re: Tips for guiding a pup through a fear period?

Wow!!! She is BEAUTIFUL!!! I've not always been a fan of WGSD (I don't know why) but Juno has broken that spell! She's gorgeous!!!



Keep up the good work! It's all normal puppy stuff, you're not alone!


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Tiffany; mom to:
Annabelle "the Diva"- GSD born 9/21/08
Duncan- Shep Mix adopted on 2/14/00 TDI
The kitty amigos: Simon, Alley and Mia
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-25-2009, 10:22 AM
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Re: Tips for guiding a pup through a fear period?

Conor went through strange little fear periods until he was around two - it varies with each dog, but some can go on for quite a while the way he did. He would suddenly get spooky around women, or when he needed to jump in the car. Just odd little things which would crop up, then just as quickly go away again. I ignored what was going on, but continued to expose him to the situations that were bothering him - did some obedience, carried lots of treats, stayed very calm, and always had him on a leash. When he freaked out one day in the park at a stationary shrub LOL, I just walked us quietly up to it and let him see (and smell) that it was no big deal... then we went on our way. Not being bothered or upset is the key, and just getting them out and about as much as you possibly can is also a must.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-27-2009, 01:02 PM
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Re: Tips for guiding a pup through a fear period?

omg I am so jealous, so beautiful! How do you keep her so white and clean?

Marie

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-27-2009, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Tips for guiding a pup through a fear period?

Ha! That's funny -- 'cause she mostly keeps herself clean!

I've heard it's a girl thing to spend a lot of time grooming. We'll leave some muddy, dirty area and she'll be all gross and by the time we get home, she's practically spotless. I think a lot of it falls or rubs off and then the rest of it she cleans. We've only ever bathed her once and we brush her (at most!) a few times a week. Oh, and it helps to only take photos on bright sunny days! (She actually has quite a bit of gold in her coat.)

--Rhena, owner of
Juno, White German Shepherd, female b 10-15-2008, adopted 01-05-2009

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