Question About Socialization - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-27-2017, 12:13 PM Thread Starter
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Question About Socialization

My question, is there a such thing as over socialization? My female is 5 months old and I don't believe that she has not meet a stranger that she didn't like. I mean no growl or anything. So I'm wondering if I'm ever in a dire situation would she respond accordingly?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-27-2017, 07:09 PM
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Normal (and desired) behaviour from a 5 month old. Pups should grow up full confidence and feeling safe. Insecurity and fear of harmless strangers is a red flag and a sign of a poor temperament.

GSDs usually mature around 18 to 24 months, and that is normally when the protective instinct kicks in, if they have the genetics to be protective. Some dog do not, but for most people, just having a large, well behaved, well trained dog by your side is enough of a deterrent to help you feel safe.

The more you socialize your pup, the more they'll be able to discern a threat from a non-threat when they get older. If your pup likes attention and likes to be petted, that is fine, but even if they don't get to interact with people, just being exposes to a bazillion people coming and going about, minding their own business is very valuable socialization to what is 'normal' for a pup.

Many times, you'll never really know if your dog will react appropriately in a real situation. Often even with a super-confident, protection-trained dog, you STILL don't know if they'll react appropriately when faced with a real threat. You just hope you'll never have to find out.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-27-2017, 07:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbutler View Post
My question, is there a such thing as over socialization? My female is 5 months old and I don't believe that she has not meet a stranger that she didn't like. I mean no growl or anything. So I'm wondering if I'm ever in a dire situation would she respond accordingly?
No. It's highly unlikely that a pet dog will respond the same way as a selectively bred, expertly trained and handled police K9 would.

Dogs have to be trained in the discipline of personal protection. But, even more importantly, they need to be genetically equipped for the job. Such prospects rarely turn up in litters bred to be pets. You would need to get a pup from a breeder who breeds specifically for K9 or the protection sports.

Then there is the matter of training, which when you have a protection dog, is a lifetime commitment. Training is ongoing forever. It takes an enormous amount of work to train and maintain a protection dog.

Then you have the liability issues. Talk to your homeowners insurance company about that.

Your dog growling at non threatening strangers is the last thing you want. That would be fear based behavior. A dog with sound temperament will not show aggression toward a non threatening human.

Just keep socializing your girl and get her well obedience trained. A well trained GSD scares the daylights out of Bad Guys.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-28-2017, 11:28 AM
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My Inga has forty four schutzhunds on the mother's side and one hundred and ten on the father's side. She is eleven months old. I must say she is like no dog I have ever known or trained. Its like a delightful full time job. We have to use every tool in the box. I was wondering why she was so friendly with every stranger but now I see this is normal for her age.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-28-2017, 01:10 PM
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Good temperament for a 5 month old!

I was taking care of a friend's pup until she moved. Had him from 9 weeks till 5 months. He was my buddy. But when she finally let me take him out at 4 months, he tried to bite someone. And I am not talking about a puppy bite! He was a severe fear biter! One of the scariest things I have ever seen coming from a young pup.
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