13 weeks; more fearful near home. - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-14-2013, 11:10 AM Thread Starter
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13 weeks; more fearful near home.

Hi there. 13 week GSD.

We're running into a [possible] issue where she's fearful near home. Specifically, if she can see the house (or knows we're close) and something spooks her, she's VERY apt to retreat home.

Specifics that tend to startle her: strange man in the alley behind our house, barking pitbull behind fence, UPS truck being loud.

Generally speaking she's very well adjusted, does well around people, dogs, the vets, etc. But she's very skittish outside in these settings.

However: The problem is less pronounced in totally unfamiliar places. We had to park on a relatively busy street with lots of foot traffic, and she was fine, if a bit timid. No freaking out, or refusal to walk with me, etc.

Is this something I should flag as a major issue to work on, or is this relatively normal? Mostly when we're near home and something is out of her comfort zone she wants to go inside now.

Problem, normal, or not ideal (but not unusual)? Steps I should be taking (we're very focused on meeting people and dogs and new things right now).
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-14-2013, 11:53 AM
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It is something to worry about imo or maybe think deeper about why it is happening.

IMO This is an example of a pup exposed to too much too young and it can also be a sign of a fearful temperament or genetically fearful disposition.

There are many weird sights and sounds outside and with a pups limited understanding it can be hard for it to deal with too much.

A dog is wired to be very aware of what it hears and what it sees ie strange man in alley etc as they may be a cause of alarm to any animal especially a predator/prey animal like a dog. It should be exploring the world through scent but it can't as there is simply too much distractions.

It can be hard to understand and deal with but you need to find ways to show your pup you are it's guardian and you will protect it. It might be better to walk it less for a while or bring it to places which are less busy than around your house. I find nature is a good place if you have access. ALso uni campuses and car parks are good at the right time. Start to think this through from your pups perspective. You must accept it's temperament but it will grow and change over time so you must present your self as the stable one so it can feed of your energy.

So many people will start the 2 walks a day routine when the pup is very young and end up instilling negative traits in the dog or pronouncing the traits already present instead of holding back and letting the pup grow up a bit and get used to it's owner and family and house or garden and then slowly exposing and introducing it to new environments in a controlled way.

The reason it is more fearful around you house is because this is the natural boundary between inside safe and outside dangerous. It is naturally more aware around the entrance to it's home.

Maybe you should start to bring pup to the door and open the door and get it used to that experience. Then bring it back into the house to safety. Repeat this a lot of times so the pup starts to think this is not scary.

Then bring it outside making sure the pup is comfortable and then back again. Again repeat this a few times until the pup seems more comfortable with it. Basically these are baby steps. Not lets go on a mile walk and back. Start small and try to make the pup comfortable. Better imo to go in and out 10 times rather than one big walk.

Also leaving it in the front room with the window open is a way the pup can get used to the outside noises. You can start with the curtains closed and and simply open window slightly and expose more a little by little

Last edited by MadLab; 11-14-2013 at 11:57 AM.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-14-2013, 09:29 PM
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All my GSD pups do not do well when I try to leash walk them away from the security of my house and yard.

These same pups do fantastic when I put them in the car, drive to somewhere new and then appropriately exercise and socialize.

So I don't fight with them. They poo and pee in the yard. And for exercise, we go somewhere in the car.



If you can see those videos, you'll see my dogs turn out just fine in the end.

Make sure to also go to - - - > https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum...pies-dogs.html


Miss Osin Blue Wildhaus NA NAJ NF

"Nothing new can come into your life unless you are grateful for what you already have. ~ "--- Michael Bernhard, gratitude
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-15-2013, 03:08 PM
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Our (very!) confident 15 week old pup started doing something similar when we walked near our house (barking pitbulls from down the street...garbage truck...construction zone banging at the end of my street) and he would bolt back towards the house. For right now, we keep walks at a minimum (pee/poop in the yard) and now we drive a few streets down to a reservation for walks/hikes/playing in the field without any such issues if you can do something similar.

I also tried this past week to sit outside with him in the yard when the garbage truck came. He immediately started to run towards the house and I lightly pulled him back, asked him into sit command and fed him treats and pet him saying good boy the whole time. He stopped pulling back to the house as soon as he got the first treat. I just tried to keep his attention and make the whole thing positive/not scary. Can't tell ya if it worked until the garbage truck comes again...
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-18-2013, 08:42 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks all. We've been trying to keep it positive and doing well. She seems to be getting better in various surrioundings, and mainly is strange dogs behind fences that bark seem to be the real culprit here (shockingly we only had run into that near home previously).

Keeping a watchful eye on it though.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-18-2013, 08:58 AM
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