My GS pup doesn’t want to be touched - Page 3 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #21 of 375 (permalink) Old 07-04-2019, 04:07 PM
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Some Gsds can be almost cat like with affection or touch.
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post #22 of 375 (permalink) Old 07-04-2019, 04:08 PM
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SO much depends on the breeding and genetics. Exactly my young girl. She had other things to do. Did not want to be restrained. As she's matured, I can flip her on her back and clip her nails while she lays there like a noodle until I tell her I'm done. At 12-17 weeks? She was busy chasing the cat and imaginary butterflies and unicorns and she has a high amount of suspicion due to her genetics. She had to mature and learn to trust. BUT she never avoided us touching her. She was just busy and would settle on the ottoman at night while we watched TV. Now at 10 months she comes out for attention but then will go lay in the other room or kitchen instead of with us. My male is usually on the floor in front of the ottaman. I wonder if working lines are more prone to this behavior than other lines and breeding? Just more independent.
I think you are on to something...as with yours, mine and MAWL, they are all working line dogs. When I talked to the breeder before getting Remi, she said he was extremely suspicious and I would need to really work with him otherwise he may end up being something that I would not like. With respect to that, he is great. I wish he was a little more suspicious...we kinda trained that out somewhat...he is still vigilant and watchful on walks. But what I like (and it could be how we raised him) he doesn't crave attention from people. He sniffs, gets a little excited, then goes picks up a stick or ignores the person we are talking to.
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post #23 of 375 (permalink) Old 07-04-2019, 04:16 PM
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My pup is 17 was old now and I’ve had him for 4 weeks. He’s very calm and follows me everywhere. He will play with toys. He’s perfect in every way but he will not let me touch him. He was not socialized at all by the breeder.

Should I continue to wait for him to approach me? I understand he will lick me or put his head on my lap when he trusts me. How long could this take and should I do anything to accelerate this process? He needs a vet visit but he has not had a collar or leash on him to date.
Is it that he will not let you touch him or he just does not seek contact?
Of all of my GSD's , my current little love is the only one that I would describe as cuddly. Only on her terms though, and it didn't get that way until she was about a year old. Until then she was a bit like a feral dog. I could hold her but given a choice she would move away, and she was a bottle baby and absolutely socialized. My guess is genetics, some dogs take suspicion to a whole new level. The others wanted to be near me but disliked being mauled or held. Sabi slept with her paw touching some part of me but if I tried to cuddle she would mostly get up and move. Bud mostly positioned himself to stare at me, cuddled only if he was scared and I let him hide his head under my arm.
As far as the vet, if it needs to happen then just do it. Sometimes you need to go with the lesser of two evils and I am of the belief that we often over think things and make them into a big deal when they didn't need to be. I don't condition for collars, leashes, muzzles, etc. I just put them on and go. I tried collar conditioning once and it made it into a huge deal for the dog when it didn't need to be. I tried conditioning the muzzle with Shadow and same result. When I stopped playing about and just put it on her she fussed for a minute and then moved on.
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post #24 of 375 (permalink) Old 07-04-2019, 05:05 PM
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All 3 of mine are just like my children, attached to me like leaches. They follow me everywhere, and if I happen to sit down, they are vying with each other to be on my lap, on my feet, and the one that’s SOL will just huff and lay down on the floor as close as possible to me.

I’ve never had a problem with them not wanting to be touched or leashed, and they all got collars as soon as they walked in my house. I did have one pup who wasn’t fond of being leashed, but loved everything that came after. So I bought a round lead line, and left that on him until he stopped putting up a fuss.

How are you approaching the puppy? 3 weeks is usually plenty of time for the pup to get used to you. Getting on the floor with him is great advice. I’d take it one step further and sit on the floor with your back to him and ignore him, let him approach you. They normally get curious enough to come check you out. Have some yummy treats with you, and anytime he touches you, offer a treat and a yes, or good boy, or whatever praise term you use. Soon he’ll be eagerly looking to to you because he knows you come with yummy treats. You can eventually phase out the treats. Look up NILF, this should help you as well.
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post #25 of 375 (permalink) Old 07-05-2019, 09:35 AM
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I don’t see this thread as an affectionate issue -a puppy not wanting to be touched. This is a PUPPY. Have you taken your pup into the vet to see if the puppy is in any physical pain that he would shy away from his owners touch? Have you discussed this with your breeder as to any bad experience this puppy had in regards to any physical affection. I would get down on the floor as mentioned and make any physical touches pleasant try using a stuffed toy then turning into play. Every time you pet your puppy give your puppy extra special yummy treats - the treats stop when the pets stop making your sessions short and fun. As a puppy he should be desensitized more quickly then an adult. Pups also don’t like to keep still or anything that will slow them down - much like toddlers so also important to keep any physical affection short and sweet and at times when they are most tired or relaxed.

In my experience german shepherds when mature have a strong connection with their owners and family and that connection is reminded through out the day in varying different ways dependent upon the dog whether it be either or all- lying a in an adjacent room, a few feet away , right at feet or right next to their owner, head in lap etc- all though aware of their owners next move in very subtle ways. Their heavy coats do make them hot and may keep affection times limited also their personalities and comfort levels. Dogs including german shepherds that oblige, comfortable with and seek out their families affection are not nuisances(most of the time lol),codependent, nor do they share their love with strangers.

My gsd Karat who I did not have as pup he liked his own space and not big on affection - I respected that and we had a strong bond- and connected in different ways. All of my gsds always subtle ways knew/know where I was in the house. Max and Luna at times look like a tag team as they take turns keeping track of my whereabouts. They also enjoy there own space and need that. They are very comfortable with physical touch and affection from myself and kids even when it’s invading as they were raised from pups this way. The dogs move away when they had enough. This morning I woke up and found at the bottom of the bed my feet entangled with cozy warm paws - there could be no better in my book.
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Last edited by Jenny720; 07-05-2019 at 10:00 AM.
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post #26 of 375 (permalink) Old 07-05-2019, 11:07 AM
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Back at ya. Here's a clue. If two groups of people report wildly different experiences with the same breed, it's probably the person.

What you have described is more of the lab/golden behavior or personality. I despise a dog that is all over me. Needy, nagie, attention craving. Not for me! I like the aloofness of the breed. To me, velcro dog is more of where I go he goes...but never literally stuck to me. If a dog is that sticky, it is a bad thing for me. Don't forget, the breed was used for herding, they needed to be able to work on their own, not stuck to their masters butt.

My boy Remi did not like to be held at all. Did not want to be fondled or smothered at all. He would be laying down, I would go lay next to him and he would move. This was as a tiny pup. Very "independent", maybe that's not the best way to describe him. They say not to let the dog go up and down steep stairs as a puppy. Well, at 3 months, he refused to be picked up and carried downstairs. He started to get really annoyed...so we stopped. Even now, he comes over, gets some attention and leaves.

To the OP, if your dog really won't let you touch him, you need to build trust and engagement. Do force it, some dogs just aren't cuddly. You should be able to pet the dog, brush him, etc. If you are unable to do those basic things, you will need to follow the good advice that you are getting.
I’m not sure how someone can despise animals especially when it causes no harm to the individual. It tells a lot of about someone’s character and sure is not strength. A behavior of a particular breed, or type of animal may be not for you but to despise it is something else. It is a reminder though that not all people who do own dogs are not because they have a love for animals but to fill their own empty gaps.


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post #27 of 375 (permalink) Old 07-05-2019, 11:28 AM
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My 6 Dobes were certainly all over me and I loved every minute of it...Igor is getting there...and he follows me everywhere and I love it...course, different strokes...
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post #28 of 375 (permalink) Old 07-05-2019, 11:44 AM
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Unless I misunderstood, I totally disagree with the comment regarding nuisance dogs. I was born an animal lover and my entire lifestyle has always been, and still is, built all around them.

Like another has posted, I strongly dislike a pesky dog. An overly affectionate dog or one that does not respect personal space can be extremely stressful to live with. Not needing a dog to constantly fawn on them is not a sign of character weakness but I would suspect just the opposite. IME, I think people who seek an overly affectionate dog are the ones trying to fill their own empty gaps vs a love of dogs or animals. What an offensive thing to insinuate!
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post #29 of 375 (permalink) Old 07-05-2019, 01:03 PM
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I’m an animal lover. As in, I love my own animals. I love to meet new animals, briefly.

When I go to my sisters house, she has a lab and a Yorkie. I hate her dogs. Why? Because they are annoying, and not mine. They jump all over you, have zero manners, are constantly dropping slobbery balls in your laps, and barking to get your attention. Not my cup of tea. Also, I’ll put up with A LOT for my guys, slobber and fur and all. But not for someone else’s dogs.

Does it make me a crap person? Maybe. But probably more just an honest person.

People come to my house and ask how I stand all the fur, slobber, barks, rough housing, and having no less than 2 dogs following me wherever I go. Laying outside the bathroom door waiting for me to finish. Laying at my feet while I’m doing dishes. Trying to help clean up piles while I’m sweeping by running through it with zoomies. And my answer is always the same. Because they are mine.

The sheep I can do without, they are just serving a purpose. They crop my fields so I don’t have to jump on the tractor every weekend. I love the eggs my chickens give me, but don’t love my chickens. I don’t name them. I don’t play with them. I feed and water them, and clean up after them, same with the sheep. I have 2 horses. Love one, go through the motions with the other one. We just never bonded. But I still do everything with that horse that I do with the horse that holds my heart.

You don’t have to be an “every animal lover” to love your dogs.
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post #30 of 375 (permalink) Old 07-05-2019, 01:28 PM
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OP, Cafall was the same way initially He'd play and engage but didn't like to be pet and his version of cuddling was curled up alone on the other side of the room. As he grew and we had more interaction (hikes, classes, training, play dates, etc.) he slowly started coming around. He still isn't big on being pet. Just isn't his thing. However, now I can't lay in bed without him flopping a third of his weight onto me.

Your pup is young. Give it time. Work on building the bond and I'm sure you'll both gain a better understanding of each other and with that comes trust and a desire for closeness.
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