Just thought I'd give some updates on Hazard's socialization progress in case anyone finds this place looking on advice on a similar problem!
Hazard is 6 mos old, and loves people (including kids). She's still working on appropriate behavior with the little humans cos she doesn't realize how BIG she is, and they don't always know appropriate dog behavior, but generally speaking she is fine with them. Her problem is with other dogs. We took her to the dog park and she was getting better until she was rolled and pinned. After that she has been very afraid of other dogs and rushes them when we are walking anywhere (on the leash).
So, at her basic manners class, they told me to bring her to puppy social and they would help me work with her slowly. Today was her first day and I have to say that I was very surprised (in a good way)!
The trainer took the leash and had me walk alongside of Hazard through the puppies, encouraging her and letting her know it was okay, to her own little gated area where we could wait and see if she would be less apprehensive with the 'energy' of the other puppies. She did bark a few times but also exhibited friendly behavior enough that the trainer took her out with me again, we walked around, and finally we let her off the leash.
Hazard was really good today with the sniffing and greeting, and only got snappy a few times where I had to call her away. She gets easily overwhelmed if she is in the middle of the puppy madness, but she is learning generally they come and go so it isn't such a big deal.
She was also guarding me at times, so the trainer was working with me on how to show Hazard that it's unacceptable. Hazard ventured further and further away from me and explored. One of her old dog park puppy friends came in (surprise!) and she remembered him right away and ran around and played with him. Hazard also kept 'treeing' me - the climbing on me because of nervousness - so we worked on that, too. I would say it was a bell curve: she was nervous at first, then seemed to be really good, but as the hour drew to a close she became more nervous. However, I think that it's that way with kids too due to being tired/hungry etc, and Hazard is just a baby.
It was good socialization for me, too! There was another GSD pup there and I talked to his owner at length about the GSDs he has had. He gave me a lot of hope as his older dog had similar problems with other dogs. He was impressed with how fast Hazard was growing comfortable and learning play/friendly behavior. So I think Hazard will eventually be just fine!
Today she played with the neighborhood kids when I took her outside for a walk and it's always really funny/cute to watch them play. The kids are always like "chase me Hazard chase me!" so they run around together and tire each other out. She even did some of her tricks we are working on for them. I always have treats and the kids are pretty good about commanding Hazard, even though one of the little girls pronounces her name "Pazard"
it's so cute! Working on teaching her to take the treats in a nice manner so that she doesn't nip those tiny fingers accidentally. She's gotten a lot better.
Anyway just thought I'd give an update... I am so relieved a neighbor recommended this place we are going to for training/socialization. I think Hazard will do very well, and they offer a lot of advanced courses that me and my husband have our eye on!