Was my 11 month old GSD abused? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-28-2009, 06:14 PM Thread Starter
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Was my 11 month old GSD abused?

We got our GSD (Roxy) about three months ago. She is now 11 months old. The previous owner had a full-grown Doberman in the crate alongside her when we bought her.

Roxy is housbroken, very sweet and great around our kids. She wants to please and has been a model citizen.

She is crate trained and very, very, smart. We are pleased to have adopted her and have taught her a few commands which she picked up quickly.

The problem is that Roxy wants nothing to do with other dogs. We took her to a nearby dog park a few times and she was terrified. She was "fear biting' although the other dogs appeared to want to play with her.

I've tried a few more times to bring her to the park to socialize with other dogs but she is still terrified; putting her tail between her legs and crouching in a defensive posture.

I've walked her around the park on the outside with a leash and she will bark agressively. We certainly don't want her to bite antother dog and are at odds how to handle this situation. I've read that muzzling may be an option but it seems cruel.

She is a great dog and we are very happy to have adopted her. We think she is like this because she may have been abused by the Doberman while growing up. She is also terrified when I pick up a shoe. Maybe she had a rough childhood. She has shown no aggression in our home around our children and seems like a very happy, curious, playful dog. Thank you.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-28-2009, 06:41 PM
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Re: Was my 11 month old GSD abused?

Welcome to the site Roxy!
Whether she had been dominated by the dobe really doesn't matter, it is the past.
Have you had her in any obedience classes? This will help her to see other dogs, but in a structured environment. And no interaction with them will possibly boost her confidence level some.

I would not be taking her to dog parks. She is obviously over her comfort level and needs to gain confidence. Is there a dog that has great manners that she could spend time with?

The book Control Unleashed by Leslie McDevitt is great for reactive dogs, I recommend it in your situation. Another great short read is Calming Signals: On Talking Terms with Dogs by Turid Rugaas.
It sounds like she is a very nice pup, but some just don't do dog parks. They can be very overwhelming.
Post some pics of her please, we love pics here!!

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-28-2009, 06:59 PM
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Re: Was my 11 month old GSD abused?

There is always a danger in trying to second guess what went on in a dog's previous home, because what you come up with may not be correct. It could be that she wasn't socialized with any dog OTHER than the Doberman - which means she is overwhelmed in a situation like a dog park. Way too much activity and way too many dogs. I would start her off slowly - just one dog at a time, best would be a low key guy who is non-threatening. Just go for a walk as a start, and keep some distance between you. If it goes well, you can slowly decrease the distance until (hopefully) you are walking side by side. If you haven't done any formal OB training with her, it is important that you do so. All dogs, even the best ones, benefit from learning manners (and it's good for people too!) I personally believe in group classes, as they teach confidence in being with others and learning under distraction. Look for a good trainer in your area, and discuss the issues you have up front before beginning. Avoid muzzles and electric collars - look for a person who makes learning fun and positive. (Another note on muzzles - taking your dog out wearing one will send the wrong message to passers-by that you have a vicious dog, because that's what they will think.)

The shoe issue - well, someone could have hit her with one I suppose. Again, you really don't know for sure. Our last GSD (adopted at age 3) used to go over the top every time I struck a match. I found the best way of dealing with it was to ignore his behavior - I had to strike matches occasionally and he had to put up with it. Eventually he got used to it and it no longer bothered him.....your girl will also learn that your picking up a shoe (slowly) is not going to result in any consequence for her.

Good luck - you sound as though you have a wonderful little girl who just needs some confidence building, and socialization with her canine counterparts...

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-28-2009, 09:24 PM
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Re: Was my 11 month old GSD abused?

Quote:
Originally Posted By: Anja1BlueThere is always a danger in trying to second guess what went on in a dog's previous home, because what you come up with may not be correct. It could be that she wasn't socialized with any dog OTHER than the Doberman - which means she is overwhelmed in a situation like a dog park.
I remember a young female I trained that had been bred with a male slightly older than her. They were best buddies for everything and her owner had made his best to socialize his dogs. The only mistake he did was that he never took only one dog at the time. If you walked both of them together, but the first times I took the female without him she would freak out for nothing and displayed a lot of fear aggression against other dogs because she felt very insecure without is male pal.

Also she may have been corrected with a shoe... old school training but I wouldn't call it abuse yet.

Some dogs are more sensitive than others, that is genetic. Some will show fear with only one bad experience or even with the lack of good experiences in their past while other individuals will recover easier from bad experiences and take everything new throw at them naturally without further training.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-28-2009, 10:04 PM
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Re: Was my 11 month old GSD abused?

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Originally Posted By: LicanAntai
I remember a young female I trained that had been bred with a male slightly older than her. They were best buddies for everything and her owner had made his best to socialize his dogs. The only mistake he did was that he never took only one dog at the time. If you walked both of them together, but the first times I took the female without him she would freak out for nothing and displayed a lot of fear aggression against other dogs because she felt very insecure without is male pal.

You know, I've noticed that Bianca is MUCH more relaxed around other dogs on-leash when my friend and her Husky mix Calvin (Bianca's "pal") are with us.
I wonder if your explanation could be why! I would make sense, since I know her previous owner had multiple dogs... I had though it was just because Calvin is so friendly and well-socialized with other dogs that Bianca cues off him.


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