Fearful Pup?? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-13-2018, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
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Fearful Pup??

Hi! Iím a newbie although Iíve owned GSDs for twenty years. But Iíve never owned one like this new puppy. My sable girl is 5 months old. At home sheís fearless, attacks vacuum cleaners, a steamer, the hose spray, and gets in the faces of my other two dogs, even when they nip her to stop. My sonís two year old male GSD plays rough with her and she loves it. They carry on for hours, loving their ďtooth wars.Ē Her training has been going great, although her recall sucks. I started out walking her right away and she seemed okay with it, at first. Suddenly she didnít want to walk the neighborhood for reasons I canít fathom. Nothing ever happened on a walk, but she will climb my back. She never shuts down or refuses to move forward. Iíve used treats, which she will eat, but sheís too tense to play tug, for example. We have a cabin in an isolated location and, when we are here, my husband walks her on leash two miles every day. Occasionally a car comes by but usually they encounter no one. Some days she trots beside him as if sheís fine and Iíll take her out in the afternoon for a shorter walk and she acts fine. She never tucks her tail or lowers her body. But too often my husband reports she lags/hides behind him and even now and then climbs up his back. Today, because he pushes to have her untethered here, I found she had gone down to the road, the road she doesnít want to walk! (Sheís tethered now, you better believe it.) In the city, if someone approaches, I tell them sheís not friendly. If they hold out their hand, she will go up, sniff it, and usually move away when she discovers no treat. Sometimes she will permit a stranger to pet her, but usually not and I never force it. Her reaction to other dogís walking by varies from barking to ignoring them. I never know. A few days ago I had her out and a friend stopped his car and came out to say hello. She barked a few times, I popped her lead, she looked up at me and then went over to him and licked his hand. Go figure. A trainer, observing her in the house and outdoors, said she could understand why I donít believe my girl is fearful. Yet I canít deny she acts that way on leash. We have been following a low threshold approach, trying to minimize her interactions and her stress but I havenít seen any improvement in more than two months. My husband says she will get over it. The trainer wants me to quit socializing her, saying one of her pups was made vicious by an owner who flooded the dog with social interactions. She had to take the dog back. Please help me figure out this puppy and what she needs.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-14-2018, 10:18 AM
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What a cutie... ok .... first thing teething can cause her to feel different. Next is try running her not walking. Make it more fun less mental.... I might put her on a harness just to see how she response to that when walking.

Last I would not stop socializing socializing socializing. humans and well balanced dogs only.

PS I just noticed her nails need to be trimmed.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-14-2018, 12:49 PM Thread Starter
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What a cutie... ok .... first thing teething can cause her to feel different. Next is try running her not walking. Make it more fun less mental.... I might put her on a harness just to see how she response to that when walking.

Last I would not stop socializing socializing socializing. humans and well balanced dogs only.

PS I just noticed her nails need to be trimmed.
Thanks. Sadly, at 76, running isnít in the cards for me, although I bet youíre right. When I speed up, she does better. Yes, her nails do need trimming and Iíll get the vet to do it soon. Theyíre all black and Iím spooked even by the ones that show the quick.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-14-2018, 03:49 PM
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76 & a GSD puppy.... Good for you...... I could only dream of that.... You have her at the right age to keep up with her nails on your own. Don't be afraid just buy a QUALITY large breed cutter and that magic powder for when you do make a mistake. At the beginning it's more important to go through the motions than actually trim anything. After she understands she gets treats you can just trim a little tip off. You don't have to be able to see the quick.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-14-2018, 05:46 PM
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instead of running try a bicycle. TIP: Put the seat all the way down so that you can easily put your feet down firmly if the little dickens takes off at an odd angle.

I wonder if something spooked her. My gal-dog was spooked by blue marking paint, of all things. It got to a point where she'd spend so much time looking around for the paint that she forgot to have fun on her walks. I tried putting her in a harness (not the no pull kind) and a long leash and let her have more autonomy while still not letting her wander up into lawns or into the street. The opportunity to make more choices on her own made her feel much better. Being stuck on a six foot leash with no options made her more apprehensive. You'll just have to try thing to see what works. Keep up with the low threshold walks. It will take more than two months, after all she is still growing and going through phases.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-14-2018, 07:54 PM
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Firstly, she is gorgeous and don't be afraid of her nails, just take the tip off and give her a treat, make it positive but make sure you get some styptic powder (like Malibu said) just in case, better than she get used to it now at 5 months.

My Korra is the same with people, we just tell everyone no now, it's not worth taking a chance to be honest, some people she lets pet her, others she doesn't want anywhere near her, she's learned what "can I pet your dog means" and she just doesn't like it, they are wary dogs and I am okay with that, I didn't get a GSD to be a friendly outgoing dog, if I wanted that I could have got a Golden Retriever. Regardless, Korra is the same with other dogs, some dogs she couldn't care less, others she wants to kill, there is no rhyme or reason either, she seemed to get really reactive when she turned two but she is getting better again.

Not sure about the walking in the neighborhood, maybe it's the sidewalk? Korra got bitten on the nose on a walk through our neighborhood by a little dog (that was my husband's fault) and she is so scared of that entire street now, we just avoid it. Your beautiful girl is still a baby at 5 months, just be consistent with her and keep up with the work you are doing, her recall will improve. I agree with her trainer to be honest, we put Korra into social situations but not, we go where dogs and people are but stay a safe distance to tone down the reactiveness and it seems to be working, maybe that might help? Good luck with her.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-16-2018, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks to all of you for your helpful and encouraging responses. I particularly like the idea of giving her a longer lead and seeing if that builds her confidence. As for the bikeówe live on some very steep hills. Even a short walk around the neighborhood leaves me huffing and puffing. My biking days are long behind me, I fear, especially as I no longer have a rack to carry my bike to a flatter locale. She is a beautiful puppy and full of life and energy. And I admit Iím crazy about her. Which is why I want to do everything to help her have a stable rich life. Iíll start handling her toes to get her used to it and then I start clipping centimeter by centimeter. LOL
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