unsocialized fearful pup - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-18-2012, 04:18 PM Thread Starter
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unsocialized fearful pup

we got our shiloh shepherd from a rescue and the lady there told us that the male/female dogs were bred, but the breeder died before the mother dog gave birth. well the family looking after the breeding dogs didnt want the puppies so when they were born they were 100% neglected, and never socialized with humans. We got him at 8 weeks, and he is about 11 weeks old now, and when we first got him he would always hide in the smallest corner of the room and refuse to do anything. now he is good around us, and plays with us (a bit aggressively, trying to fix the hard biting!), but he is still fearful of new places and new people. multiple trainers told us to keep taking him to new places and meet new people daily, but i wanted your guys input if that is the best way to do it? we have a private trainer that is going to be doing obendience training with us that specializes in behavior modification, general obedience, offleash etc.. and also trains service dogs, so we figured that would be the best way to go for now. he is also playing with my personal trainers dog a lot, and they play together, a little aggressive but decent. what else could you recommend?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-18-2012, 04:43 PM
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That's great that you already have a trainer lined up to work one-on-one with you.

We have a shy 1-year-old female ourselves. We like to expose her to as much as possible, too, but we pay very close attention to her threshold. Taking baby steps is so important with shy dogs, because the slightest shift in environment can push them over the edge.

I'd figure out what his FAVORITE things are (treats, foods, toys) and start pairing those things with stimuli that frighten him. After he notices the scary thing/person/dog, start showering him with little treats. Keep up this routine and he will gradually come out of his shell and gain confidence.

I'm looking forward to hearing more about him and your journey!

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-18-2012, 05:48 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah I agree! We try to shower him with treats, praise and toys but he is not interested aat all :/ I'm still working at it though!
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-18-2012, 09:03 PM
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He's probably just a shy dog, but it's GREAT news you are working on this already! Don't overwhelm him but you need to keep exposing him to new things. Does he like any toys to play with? Or treats to eat? All helpful to take his mind of something that may otherwise make him nervous.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-19-2012, 11:18 AM
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I'm very new to all of this, and the conditions of the pup sound so sad. But from my understanding from talking with my father who did raise Shepherds as when I was young... you don't reward the behavior that you don't want to see.

Humans have a tendancy to try and console when we see fear, so often dogs get the "There there its alright", instead ignore the fear behavior and reward the behavior you want.

But at the same time start VERY small, in situations where the dog can only win, (Like inviting a new person somewhere who will ignore the dog, so the dog can sniff the person without getting spooked) or something like that.

Treating the dog is very good, but becareful not to enforceful the fearful behavior. I admire what you guys are doing, and I can't wait to keep up on the posts, and hopefully some people who are much smarter than me chime in to help you out, because a fearful puppy is one thing, a fearful 90-100pound shepherd is an accident waiting to hurt someone or themselves.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-19-2012, 11:19 AM
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I would get him into a group obedience puppy class and continue to bring him places.

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