Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Muskoka, Ontario
From personal experience, I think sometimes as owner's we make decisions based on what WE would like our GSD to enjoy; rather than really looking at whether or not it is something THEY can accept. There are some dogs, mine is one of them, who simply only allow that very close personal space to people and animals they know. It isn't always about what the owner wants...it's about what the dog can accept. Now, this does not include unsocialized or untrained dogs, I am talking about those dogs who have been exposed to all areas of society, but it is in their personality (some say temperament, I don't). My dog did not have good experiences with people as a pup (he is a rescue) and he has had poor experiences with off leash dogs (not his fault). He is trained to accept people and dogs as being "there" but he does not like strangers in his face or invading his personal space in any way. So, I don't let them. I have found my non-verbal (and when required verbal) behavior is important when I am out with him. I am not rude, angry or otherwise, but it is VERY clear we are training and I am not interested in people approaching. People still praise his behavior, speak to me and comment on how beautiful he is while walking, but it is rare someone gets into his face. You may want to consider a vest of some sort indicating "training" or otherwise while you are out, until you get through your socialization, if it becomes a problem for you; I found that it keeps people at bay and makes them consider their actions first.
She is very young remember, so she has a lot to learn still. She does need to be socialized, including with people, but it should be very structured. As you go through these experiences together, you will both gain confidence.
Dexter-male, sable GSD, 2 yr. old rescue
"My impetus is an unfulfillable debt to animals
entrusted to my care before I recognized the extent of our advanced industrial and societal hypocrisy (i.e. the extent of my own ignorance and participation)."
Kato- 12 yrs, GSD, forever my friend
Kelsey- 15 yrs, GSD, an inspiration