How to build 6-mo's confidence only w/ other dogs? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-14-2012, 12:03 AM Thread Starter
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How to build 6-mo's confidence only w/ other dogs?

First time at the dog park...
Aside from that, he does the barking at a distance but loves ppl when close. Hasn't been interactive with other animals, only the "meet n greet" and that's it. I was afraid of going the extra step because I was never sure of his reaction. He will be very vocal with some animals but very timid with ones that approach him.

So at the dog park, I really saw his temperament with other animals for the first time. He is very shy and scared and timid with the other dogs.
First, I wanted him to get involved with 1 dog before having him around more than 1. I did not want to put him in a potentially stressful situation. He played alone and well with the 1 dog. So we went into the dog park area. Bear was timid and tail behind and froze when a dog approached him. I was happy that he wasnt the opposite, meaning he would bite or fight. But I felt for him when I saw that he was not happy to have the dogs come to him. Or maybe it was lack of experience and he did know what to do.
The other dogs did not really bully him and never showed agression. But Bear would not even keep his ball or get his toy. The second another dog came near he dropped the ball/toy and would freeze or go off somewhere. A few times he would run with them and things like that but overall he was very timid.
He came to me a lot and stood by me. I made sure i praised him and was around him close enuf so he knew i was there for him. He was great and tried to get out there. I hope by staying available to him or going to him and constantly talking to him didnt make it worse as oppose to just leaving him there and going off with the other owners.
I was not sure how to handle the situation but i was calm and relaxed and happy so i was focused on Bear and made sure he was okay and stayed available to him for entire time we were there (2hrs).
He even approached the owners happy and all. It was just the dogs that kept bringing out his fear? Or shyness?
He was happy and tail wagging with me and sat by me alot and just watched by his own will. He was almost focused on me i was happy that he felt like sitting by me with all that going on.
It was not so bad either that i felt i needed to take him away. He was not showing stress...that i could tell anyway. He was very selective in what he wanted to do i suppose. Is that because it was his first time? We were there for 2 hours and he was the same way with all of not most.

So now that i know how he is what can i do?
Did i do the right thing? Wrong thing?

BTW, his training classes start tomorrow.


Last edited by Jen&Bear; 03-14-2012 at 12:12 AM.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-14-2012, 12:38 AM
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Don't go to dog parks. Your dog sounds a bit more shy than my puppy, who is reactive. I know from my standpoint, I would not want her to have ANY bad interactions with dogs, since that might push them further along their fear and reactivity reactions.

My trainer keeps emphasizing to me that socialization isn't about playing with every dog she meets, but knowing how to behave when another dog is near by. So the environment in class, where your puppy will get to work in close proximity with other dogs is a good first step.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-14-2012, 01:07 AM
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If you choose to continue going to dog parks, lose the toys. They are a fight waiting to happen.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-14-2012, 09:02 AM Thread Starter
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Ok good points. Thanks. Anything else i can do to make him more comfortable??
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-14-2012, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Jen&Bear View Post
Anything else i can do to make him more comfortable??
Avoid the dog park?

How about enrolling in a group obedience class? There will be other dogs there & he learns to be around other dogs but still has to focus on you. It does build confidence & a strong bond.

EDIT: did say your starting training classes...awesome!

Last edited by Courtney; 03-14-2012 at 09:57 AM.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 09:02 AM Thread Starter
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Yea so it was bear and 3 crazy golden retrievers
Bear was the better behaved but he still joined into the noise a couple times.
Well hopefully this class is better for him to socialize.
Thanks again
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-15-2012, 09:34 AM
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I want YOU to do a complete search of my post history, and I want you to see what I went through as a result of aggressive dogs at dog parks.

In a nut shell.... Stay away from dog parks. Set up play dates with friends that have younger, calm dogs.
Please take my advice. My Pup is very timid as a result of being pinned at a young age.

6 month german shepherds are vey impressionable, and it only takes one incident to throw your pup out of whack.

On another note.... I take my 8 month old to Petco every Saturday. They have rescue day on Saturdays, and I simply sit there in the presence of a dozen strange dogs, without contact.
As Courtney mentioned, it's not only about running in dog parks to socialize, it's about accepting the fact that another dog is next to her, with reacting.

It took me a while to understand this, but eventually, I got it..

Last edited by Anthony8858; 03-15-2012 at 09:37 AM.
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