I'm not sure what to do, I need some help! - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-13-2011, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy I'm not sure what to do, I need some help!

Hi everyone,

I haven't posted on here a lot, but I have always gotten some good advice. When my dog Rogue was a puppy she was a handful and never ran out of energy. Now she is about 9 months old and we are having some issues. It is still impossible to get her to drain all of her energy. She's always very bored even though we play with her a lot and take her for walks. She has a lot of toys and kongs and such. I need some suggestions as to what to do to keep her happy and not so bored, maybe some things that she can keep herself occupied with not just a bone or kong.

Also, as she has gotten older she has been a little fearful of people. This is extremely upsetting because we got her as a protection dog and my boyfriend hates that he feels like she wouldn't protect me. We socialized her so much as a puppy and took her to group classes. She will get scared of people on walks, sometimes groups of children. Shes a huge dog and she acts like a wimp, we got this breed for a reason and she was very expensive. But, these traits didn't start to show up until the past month or so. I don't know what to do and I really need advice on how to get her more confident and protective.

I don't need to be told anything negative because this is a really hurtful situation in our relationship, so please don't yell about getting a badly bred dog, she is certified and from an apparently good breeder. I just need advice.

Thank you,

Ana
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-13-2011, 05:18 PM
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First, I want to say it sounds like you've done a good job socializing her to not be aggressive.

She's 9 months, so I'd look at doing other things with her such as sports or work. Since you got her as a protection dog, you could start getting her ready to become a protection dog.

Now, members on here will probably tell you German Shepherds go through fear periods. That may be what's going on.

May I ask what is the reason you got a GSD?
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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-13-2011, 05:19 PM
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At 9 months she could also be going thru another fear period. Even tho you have socialized her, gone to classes, I would CONTINUE to do so. One or two sets of classes especially when they are young, just isn't enough, it's an ongoing thing.

If she's bored, up the exercise, take her hiking, run her, a tired dog is a good dog

Does she have any 'doggie' friends? If so, get together with them and let her play, another good workout.

As for protection, well the majority of dogs are going to protect themselves before they would their owners. It's called "self preservation" No one should expect their gsd to protect them unless of course they have trained for it, or purchased an already trained dog. The majority of them don't grow up "protecting" their owners. Usually, their looks and a bark is a good enough deterrent.

I don't know why this would be a hurtful situation within your relationship with your boyfriend, these dogs don't train themselves and he is just going to have to except that.

With that said, my suggestion, forget the protective thing, get back into an obedience class , socialize MORE, dont baby her, but don't correct her for being "afraid", it's not her fault. Up the exercise, and make a plan for a daily routine.

I guess you have to think of it this way, would you rather have a dog that is more social or one who is going to fly off the handle and bite 'whomever' which would leave you open to a lawsuit? That's why I would forget the protection thing, and go with the obedience/socializing to build her confidence more.

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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-13-2011, 05:19 PM
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Most trainers will tell you that a pup will go through a fear period. Keep working at the socializing and training. Talk to your trianer about the best way to help her through it. She is still just a pup and this could very well be just a growing phase.
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-13-2011, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for responding so quickly. To GSD fan, we got her as a protection dog just knowing the breed. I live in a city and am sometimes alone, so we thought it would be a good idea.

I didn't know that dogs could go through a fear period, hopefully thats what it is.

How old does she need to be to start protection training? Shes a really great dog and so lovey, but shes skiddish and creates random problems, like digging.

My bfs roomate has a yellow lab, so they always play all the time. Which she loves.

It's a hurtful situation because she usually is the pit of our fights, she digs, shes a wimpy german shepherd and my boyfriend is very protective so he wants me to be safe if i'm alone or whatever. So its just very frustrating that we've spent a lot of money and such.

The other day, we had a dispute with one of our neighbors, hes a very ignorant man and likes to throw things at our dog to make her "go away" which just provokes her. Stupid, I know. So I went over there and tried to get him to meet her to settle things, but it blew up right away. Rogue barked and freaked out like crazy when I started to get angry and yell at him for being so ignorant, she was like prancing back and forth behind me. I'm not sure what I expected her to do, but what would a "more protective dog" would have done in that situation?

But, hopefully this is a phase, i'm going to email my trainer now and see what we can do to help her. I love her to death, its just stressful sometimes.

Thanks again.
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-13-2011, 05:57 PM
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at 9 months, you most likely will not see 'protective' at all. It was most likely a fear based reaction .

Skiddish and afraid are not things that would make a good protection dog, that's why I was suggesting to get back into obedience classes/socializing to work on that first.

If your neighbor is throwing things at her, believe me, these dogs have memories like elephants, THAT right there is not doing her any good at all. She is associating people with throwing things at her

If you want to get an idea if she would be protection dog material, I suggest finding a protection dog TRAINER, and have them evaluate her. Not to burst your bubble, but right now, she is not protection training material..

Have you talked to your breeder?? What do they say??/suggest??

Diane
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-13-2011, 06:05 PM
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Could it be that your boyfriend is pushing the dog to be protective. The dog may mistake this for aggression. It could be why the dog seems to cower behind you. I think( i may be sooo wrong) , but its like raising a child you really have to be on the same page. A trainer should be able to help you calm her down and be less excited.


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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-13-2011, 06:07 PM
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What level of protection are you expecting from her? Barking? Looking scary? Biting the bad guy? Fending off seven ninjas with swords? Sharks with lazer beams?


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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-13-2011, 06:08 PM
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@emoore...good question....


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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-13-2011, 06:14 PM Thread Starter
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Emoore.... I'm just expecting her not to cower behind me and run away from children. I want her to be a confident dog, not freak out at the Vet and pee herself because she's so scared. I don't reinforce this behavior in anyway I ignore her.

I've heard from people with german shepherds that their dog will step in front of them if something sketchy happens or growl and look menacing, not prance around barking behind me.
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