Very Fearful Re-homed 1yr GSD. Help?! - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-24-2018, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
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Very Fearful Re-homed 1yr GSD. Help?!

2 days ago we brought home a 1 year old GSD from an older couple in the country where she was mainly an inside dog. We were informed that she hasn’t been socialized much her entire life & we could tell when meeting her. She’s incredibly shy, & runs away when we tried to talk to her. when we brought her home she ran to the corner of our dining room & stayed there all evening & the following morning.

I know it’s recommended NOT to, but I just felt like maybe she was needing some reassurance & I laid down on the floor next to the table & got her to come out & ever since then she’s warmed up to us quite a bit, considering this is all new to her. I took her for a long walk with my daughter when I got her out & on the walk she was perfect. No pulling, no aggression, no nothing. Calmly walked beside the stroller the whole time.

Fast forward to the evening, we went for another walk & once we reached the part of the neighbourhood where there was a lot going on (residential area & people in their driveways) you could tell she was getting overwhelmed & began pulling HARD the rest of the walk. Almost as if every little thing was scaring her. We understand it’s all new to her & figured that was why. We went for another walk this morning & I tried going down the same area to maybe try to get her used to our surroundings, & she saw someone jogging in the distance & got VERY scared & somehow got loose from her collar & leash & went running the opposite way into an empty field away from everyone. Took me about 15 minutes to get her to come back to me & I knew this was hard for her as I’m still new to her. Now I’m terrified to take her out again & I know I can’t keep her inside all day.

Shepherds especially at this age are usually energetic & like to be active & we are active as well & we feel that her lack of socialization is the reason she is not active at all. We feel so bad for her because she never wants to play, she’d rather sit inside all day in her corner & doesn’t want to go outside with us. We also know that she has no medical issues. Can anyone give us any tips on how to proceed with her? I should add that when we’re home she likes to sit with us & is comfortable enough now to walk around the house & interact with us, it’s jsut when we go outside that we run into problems.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-24-2018, 04:41 PM
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You have a very shy, under socialized dog that you are putting into very uncomfortable situations. She doesn't know you. There is no bond between you. Keep her home. Do the 2 week shut down. You need to slow way, way down with her. It has only been 2 days. The shut down will give her a chance to get acclimated, while remaining stress free.

Aside from lack of socialization, she may be genetically shy. It might just be who she is. I have one of those. She is most comfortable in her house, her yard, her car. She does not especially enjoy walks, as it is a scary world out there. She is very sweet and not at all aggressive. I can live with that. If this is who your girl is, are you able to accept her as she is?

Give her time. Let her learn to trust you and look to you to keep her safe.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-24-2018, 04:50 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Stevenzachsmom View Post
You have a very shy, under socialized dog that you are putting into very uncomfortable situations. She doesn't know you. There is no bond between you. Keep her home. Do the 2 week shut down. You need to slow way, way down with her. It has only been 2 days. The shut down will give her a chance to get acclimated, while remaining stress free.

Aside from lack of socialization, she may be genetically shy. It might just be who she is. I have one of those. She is most comfortable in her house, her yard, her car. She does not especially enjoy walks, as it is a scary world out there. She is very sweet and not at all aggressive. I can live with that. If this is who your girl is, are you able to accept her as she is?

Give her time. Let her learn to trust you and look to you to keep her safe.
Thank you for the advice. We absolutely LOVE her & we just want nothing but the best & easiest transition possible for her. She is such a sweetheart & is starting to show her goofy side. I think I was just maybe trying to make sure she was getting her exercise in, as I know GSD’s usually need a lot of it & I didn’t want her to feel cooped up. Whether she turns out to be just a shy soul or active isn’t that important to us, as we will still love her regardless.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-24-2018, 05:11 PM
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Where do people find the 2 week shutdown instructions on here?

Really, it is great that she came to you after running away panicked into a field. And she's only known you for 2 days. I bet she'll be fine, although might be a sweet and shy little flower.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-24-2018, 05:19 PM
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Not much to add to the good advice above....

just do not push her into new situations....do baby steps....the 2 week shutdown is good!!! Even afterwards though - baby steps! When one place is good, then maybe add a second...but don't take her all over the place for "socialization".....you want her to feel secure and safe!

Good Luck!


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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-24-2018, 05:29 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your advice. We will research & give the 2 week shutdown method a try. I really love her already & she’s very sweet. Last night when I got her out of her corner & to my bedroom, she found a spot beside our bed on the floor & stayed there all night with us until we woke up. She’s also come out of her shell a bit & lays at my feet a lot for belly rubs.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-24-2018, 05:58 PM
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Genetically shy dogs are difficult. I just wanted to share a couple of experiences with mine, to help you understand.

I got this dog at 8 weeks of age. The breeder was a friend, and I assisted with the whelping.
When I brought her home, she was fine. We took long walks through town, she kissed babies in strollers and watched heavy equipment at work on the road without turning a hair.

We also took long walks through the bush, and when fall came, she hear the sounds of hunters shooting their deer rifles and wasn't bothered by it in the least.

Then the winter set it. I was in Northern Ontario, and the temps. got to 30 below and sidewalks were like skating rinks. I also had surgery so we did not get out a lot.

When spring came along, we started going for walks again. On one of our first walks through town, a good friend came walking towards us. This was the first person she'd met when I brought her home, other than my two boarders, and she was a fairly frequent visitor at my house.

She freaked out and tried to hide behind me. If she'd been able to slip her collar off, she would have run home.

After that, we made frequent trips to the center of town. We'd sit on a bench, and watch the world go by. One of our favourite places was a coffee shop with outdoor tables. We made it a regular stop, but when people came by she would hide under the table and not let them pet her. I told them to ignore her.

One day, she let a lady give her some treats. A few days later, we met the same woman on the street, and of course, she wanted to pet her. Teena nearly bolted for home, and even though her fear was obvious, the woman didn't understand, and still kept trying to reach her. What was okay when she was lying in a familiar spot, under the protection of a table was NOT okay out on the street, with nowhere to hide!

So, it's likely going to be one step forward, two steps back. You will need patience, patience and MORE patience.
Since I had purchased this dog to train as a hearing ear service dog, and possibly for showing and breeding as well, I decided to rehome her to a single lady who wouldn't put any demands on her other than being a pet.
It was a big disappointment, but I know it was the right thing to do.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-24-2018, 05:58 PM
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She is beautiful!

2 week shutdown information from old thread. Very helpful. Especially read posts by msvette2u. She runs a rescue. Lots of experience and good advice.

https://www.germanshepherds.com/foru...wn-debate.html
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Natty Boh 6-27-12
Annie 1998 - 8-2-12 RIP
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Last edited by Stevenzachsmom; 07-24-2018 at 06:07 PM.
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