My GS pup doesn’t want to be touched - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 274Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 254 (permalink) Old 07-04-2019, 09:17 AM Thread Starter
Member
 
Gowacky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 96
My GS pup doesn’t want to be touched

My pup is 17 weeks 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.
Gowacky is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 254 (permalink) Old 07-04-2019, 11:37 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 77
If you are new to GSDs, normal behavior is that they want to be touched all the time and will find some way to touch you even when you are sitting down ignoring them. A GSD head on your foot while you surf the web is entirely normal. I don't think I have ever seen one that really didn't want to be touched by its own family. Also standard behavior is wanting to walk between your legs repeatedly -- a full body hug from their point of view.

It could be the same thing my male showed. I got last pick of the litter and he (the largest) was the last because he was shy when approached by strangers. People picking out puppies usually go for the eager ones first. He was shy and hesitant with me for a while when I got him home. Now, of course, it is quite different. I have to move his 100+ pound body out of my lap in order to write this.

It took a few weeks for my male to get over it. I don't remember how long but it could have been a month or a little more. There are times when the dog must be touched, so you have to get them used to that as quickly as possible. My approach is to just act like I normally would with a dog. There are times that I have to wash him or groom him, so I did that as I normally would, and still do today. If he protests, I simply talk to him and tell him that it isn't that bad, like you would do with a kid. It didn't take long before he understood that me touching him was never going to be unpleasant.

I would probably also do something like sit quietly on the couch watching TV and occasionally randomly offer him a treat, if he wants to come get it. First, he has to come to my side. Then, he has to touch me, put his paw on my leg or something. And finally, he has to crawl into my lap (even at 100+ pounds) to get it. He will get the idea. Mine is still quite shy with strangers, but a typical GSD to the family.

As always, be careful what you want, because you may actually get it. Now let me push this beast out of my lap so I can post this message.
wm97 is offline  
post #3 of 254 (permalink) Old 07-04-2019, 11:49 AM
Crowned Member
 
Jax08's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: NNE PA
Posts: 29,747
Some dogs like to be touched and others don't. My last female was selective. she liked to lay tight to my legs on the ottoman but not on me. when she wanted attention she would bark at me. My male, even though he seeks attention more would be on the floor somewhere near me until the new puppy came and then he wants to lay on me for a few minutes before going off to lay on the floor. My 10 month old? She's a tornado but again when she's done will go find her place that she wants to be on the floor somewhere. I don't find any of them "cuddly" except for first thing in the morning when they want attention. After that they want to be near me but not on me.

But they all LET me touch them. What have you done to build engagement with him? Any games like tug? Do you work on just general handling with him and treating me?
Muskeg and MineAreWorkingline like this.




Jax08 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 254 (permalink) Old 07-04-2019, 12:39 PM
Crowned Member
 
MineAreWorkingline's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 4,986
None of my dogs are overly affectionate. They like to be near me but not on me. I think that is fairly typical of the breed.

What have you been doing to form a bond that you both enjoy?
Jax08 and Muskeg like this.

If you need equipment to maintain control of your dog, understand you’re hanging on to your dog’s body because you’ve lost his mind!

Suzanne Clothier
MineAreWorkingline is offline  
post #5 of 254 (permalink) Old 07-04-2019, 12:52 PM
Crowned Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Oregon
Posts: 15,742
Think about getting down physically. Sit on the floor. When outside, lie on the grass (and roll around and be silly). Humans on the floor or ground seem to be very interesting to dogs. I guess the two leg bit is boring?
Jax08 and bnormal like this.
middleofnowhere is online now  
post #6 of 254 (permalink) Old 07-04-2019, 12:53 PM
Crowned Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 4,170
Sometimes playing with them puts a lot of focus on your hands, so there's a period where maybe they aren't real sure about your intentions. Maybe a little expectation in them of some play, so its confusing when you reach out. Try to keep play focused on a toy and step by step practice just touching him calmly and briefly. No petting or grabbing at first, just a calm hand.
Jax08 and Muskeg like this.

Doc

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Steve Strom is offline  
post #7 of 254 (permalink) Old 07-04-2019, 12:54 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by MineAreWorkingline View Post
None of my dogs are overly affectionate. They like to be near me but not on me. I think that is fairly typical of the breed.

What have you been doing to form a bond that you both enjoy?
Please tell that to my 100+ pound boy, and his 90 pound sister, who are both trying to sit in my lap as I type. I have had several. They were all the same. I had one that I had to tie up to take pictures of him because he wouldn't get far enough away for me to focus the camera.


I agree that they are aloof with strangers. I disagree about their relationships with their families.
wm97 is offline  
post #8 of 254 (permalink) Old 07-04-2019, 12:59 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by middleofnowhere View Post
Think about getting down physically. Sit on the floor. When outside, lie on the grass (and roll around and be silly). Humans on the floor or ground seem to be very interesting to dogs. I guess the two leg bit is boring?
I always recommend getting on the floor with a dog. It conveys the idea that you are willing to play on their level. I have two GSDs in the 100 pound range and a 12-pound terrier. The dogs have the most fun when the terrier pins the big ones to the ground. That's because the big ones are signalling to the little one that they want to play bad enough that they will be careful not to hurt her, and won't overpower her as they could do without even trying. They signal that they are actively trying to have fun with the little one.

Also, it provides a lot of full body contact, which is good for relationship building.

Not to mention that is fun to be on the bottom of a puppy pile.
stevreb07 and bnormal like this.
wm97 is offline  
post #9 of 254 (permalink) Old 07-04-2019, 01:00 PM
Crowned Member
 
MineAreWorkingline's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 4,986
Quote:
Originally Posted by wm97 View Post
Please tell that to my 100+ pound boy, and his 90 pound sister, who are both trying to sit in my lap as I type. I have had several. They were all the same. I had one that I had to tie up to take pictures of him because he wouldn't get far enough away for me to focus the camera.


I agree that they are aloof with strangers. I disagree about their relationships with their families.
I never said that they don't want to be near you. If you reread my post, I clearly said that they want to be near me but not on me. They don't make pests of themselves.
Jax08 likes this.

If you need equipment to maintain control of your dog, understand you’re hanging on to your dog’s body because you’ve lost his mind!

Suzanne Clothier
MineAreWorkingline is offline  
post #10 of 254 (permalink) Old 07-04-2019, 01:15 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by MineAreWorkingline View Post
I never said that they don't want to be near you. If you reread my post, I clearly said that they want to be near me but not on me. They don't make pests of themselves.
Mine have all wanted to be in physical contact pretty much 24/7/365. Like the big one I pushed off of my lap who now has his head on my foot. That's after I pushed his head out of my lap. If I sit on the floor, or lay on my bed, they will both immediately come and get as much full body contact as they can manage. That's not to mention the fact that they are constantly walking between my legs.

Maybe it has something to do with your use of the word "pests". I would call it "amusing" when 200 pounds of dog wants to sit in my lap. I view it as "affection" not "pests". Dogs pick up on things like that.
bnormal likes this.
wm97 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the German Shepherd Dog Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome