Pupp mill GSD terrified of people - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-06-2015, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Pupp mill GSD terrified of people

Three months ago I rescued 2 male GSDs from a puppy mill. Kaiser is 1 year old and has been a joy to have around. We are currently in training and hope to complete his CGC soon and become a therapy dog. Creed is a different story.

Creed is also a year old and dog friendly but terrified of people. He has only came to me once to be petted and is terrified of my husband. I've tried to give him time just to acclimate without any pressure, but he's still scared to death.
I talked to my vet and tried Zylkene to reduce his anxiety to no avail, and two days ago he was put on Prozac. I am home all day so he is never left alone for long. He gets along with Kaiser (although Kaiser can be a bully at times) and my 4 small dogs (under 10 lbs). He is potty trained and can walks on a leash wonderfully.

I have had people tell me that he should be put down because he's such a big dog and if he bit someone because he is scared it could do a lot of damage. He has never once growled or snapped at anyone. The one time he came over to be petted I was crying on the floor due to one of my anxiety attacks. He came over, gave me a kiss and laid next to me. In that instant I fell in love with him. He is such a gentle boy, and I know how hard anxiety is to deal with so I vowed to give him the best shot I can. He has a loving home for the rest of his life now and I am willing to do anything I can to provide him with the best life possible.

This is my first time owning a GSD so I don't know how to handle such a shy large dog. What can I do to help him heal? He is still very young, so will that help him recover or is the damage permanent? He will turn a year old on June 6th. Any ideas or stories would be great!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-06-2015, 01:37 PM
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Were the two of them raised together?
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-06-2015, 01:57 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, they were raised together. Creed has an ear that is slightly damaged from another dog, but it wasn't Kaiser. To my knowledge cleaning his ear and kennel was the only contact he had with people. Maybe he equates human touch with pain bc of his bad ear? Both dogs are very dog friendly, and Creed doesn't seem to have any fear of other dogs despite one hurting his ear. Kaiser isn't always a bully, and even when he is being one he doesn't hurt Creed. Kaiser just likes to roughhouse, but if Creed cries he quits immediately.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-06-2015, 02:06 PM
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A lot of times when two dogs are raised together as siblings they bond too strongly to one another and the weaker of the two can become dependent on the other one. In all likelyhood Creed is genetically predisposed to being nervous and fearful. Being raised with a sibling probably didn't help matters either. This doesn't mean you can't help the dog get past his issues but it does mean you probably need to consult professional training help for this dog.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-06-2015, 02:15 PM Thread Starter
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Where do I look to find a good trainer? I've managed to train Kaiser by myself and the trainer I am seeing right now is just one of the Petsmart ones. I honestly enrolled him in the class just to get some socialization with other people and dogs since he already reliably responds to my commands to sit, stay, heel, down, etc. Kaiser isn't afraid of people, but he doesn't actively seek attention either. He's a little aloof in the beginning, but warms up quickly to other people. The area I live in isn't really dog friendly (no dog parks or other stores that allow dogs) so I felt this was my only option to get him around other people and animals.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-06-2015, 02:18 PM
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You're going to have to ask around. The only trainer I know of in Texas I would recommend is Dave Kroyer.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-06-2015, 02:24 PM Thread Starter
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Okay, thank you! I'll try to contact the humane society here and see who they use.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-06-2015, 02:28 PM
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Creed should not go to a class with other dogs and people. He sounds like he is a feral dog, basically. Kaiser may be benefiting from training in other environments and it will give you a chance to work him separately from Creed.
It would be good to get a private evaluation of Creed form a good trainer. This dog would not need any forceful handling or training. Accept him from who he is and maybe he just needs to stay home with his own family for the rest of his life to keep him as relaxed as possible.
Just realize he can bite out of fear when he feels cornered so you have to protect everyone and himself as well from this.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-06-2015, 03:15 PM
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Welcome! You have had these dogs 3 months now. Kaiser, the strong self assured one is coming along fine. Creed, the shy fearful one is still in his cocoon...give him time, go slow...quietly.. Do consult a trainer, do all you can, he sounds like a sweetheart. Thank you for saving them! Enjoy

PS, Photo's please!

"There is a lot to be thankful for if you take the time to look. Example.. I am sitting here thinking how nice it is that wrinkles don't hurt!". Author Unknown

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Last edited by Debanneball; 05-06-2015 at 03:15 PM. Reason: Added PS
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