Shy and standoffish with strangers
Sorry. I re-posted this question. It was originally in "The Breed Standard" category, but I wasn't sure how to move it to a different section.
My dog, Sosa, is about 18 weeks old. I take him to the park nearly everyday, and he used to love being greeted by strangers. He would sometimes walk right up to them to be petted. Now I've noticed that during he's been sort of aloof with strangers. It started about a month ago. He's not aggressive. He shows interest in other people (he tries to sniff them), but he doesn't want to be petted by them. When they kneel down to pet him, he shies away and is hesitant to approach. Sometimes he barks at them. He just prefers to sniff them quickly and jump back before they can pet him. He is enrolled in obedience classes at the humane society that started recently. The trainer said that she sees this behavior in German Shepherds a lot, and suggested that we take bring him to play with other dogs in the class before it starts. Is this behavior something that I should worry about? Has this happened with any of your dogs? How should I work through this? Thank you for any advice.