timid male GSD and aggression - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-04-2017, 09:57 PM Thread Starter
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timid male GSD and aggression

hey, so i have this two year old male german shepherd Rixton, and Im the one who has been training him (im 16). we've had him since he was 10 weeks old. he lives with my other dog who is a border collie. we take him to obedience trainings every week but he has never really been able to enjoy it because he is so scared of everything. he cowers when people go up to him (we have NEVER hit him) and if a dog goes near him he turns his head as if to ignore they are there and licks his nose and if they get to close he growls, lunges and then backs away. he also spends the entire lesson pressed against my leg and barely responds to any commands. he wont lay down or stay and it takes a couple attempts to get him to sit. even if a dog looks at him, he gets growls. he has never tried to bite a dog as such, he just lunges but backs off immediately. i was hoping that he might have just needed to warm up to some of the dogs and then he would join in with them when they play but its been two years and he still is scared of all dogs, including tiny little puppies. he is completely different when he is at home though. he plays with my other dog and he does what he's told. is there anyway i can fix this and make him more comfortable around other dogs?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-04-2017, 10:30 PM
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Where did you get him from? He is most likely genetically fearful/timid. You can work on confidence building. I would suggest doing private lessons with a trainer.
The cowering,licking lips,growling are all signs of a fearful under confident dog. You can't fix genetics but you can make things better.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-04-2017, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
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Where did you get him from? He is most likely genetically fearful/timid. You can work on confidence building. I would suggest doing private lessons with a trainer.
The cowering,licking lips,growling are all signs of a fearful under confident dog. You can't fix genetics but you can make things better.
Both of his parents are guard dogs. he wasn't from a registered breeder but we took him because he was the last one left and the owners couldn't find a home for him.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-04-2017, 10:37 PM
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Personally I would stop taking him to group class. The constant stress on the dog isn't worth the limited or nonexistent benefits. Train him at home yourself. After two years you guys should know enough to have a well behaved house dog. Understand and accept that outside the home he isn't gonna be the out going dog you wish he was. As long as he can function within the home, yard then that is good enough.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-04-2017, 11:04 PM
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My boy is great with other dogs but can't stand being touched by strangers.His comfort zone is just out of arms length from people.He appears calm and confident and folks are always surprised when I tell them he's afraid of people.I let him stay at the distance where he feels safe.He's been known to plop down and nap if I stop and gab for long
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-04-2017, 11:15 PM
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He's has you and another dog in the home to play and interact with, this is enough for him to be happy. You can continue to work with him, but I'd keep the things that stress him at a distance. He's a good looking boy!
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-04-2017, 11:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by konathegsd View Post
Where did you get him from? He is most likely genetically fearful/timid. You can work on confidence building. I would suggest doing private lessons with a trainer.
The cowering,licking lips,growling are all signs of a fearful under confident dog. You can't fix genetics but you can make things better.
Both of his parents are guard dogs. he wasn't from a registered breeder but we took him because he was the last one left and the owners couldn't find a home for him.
what do you mean by "guard dogs" when I hear that I think of fearful dogs barking out of fear. People think of this as guarding. Well anyways the best thing you can do is build a strong bond and trust. Is he treat motivated?
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-05-2017, 12:50 AM
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I'd also stop doing group obedience classes, and avoid any other situations that causes him to shut down like that. He isn't getting anything out of the class except for being put in a situation he's scared of over and over. If he dislikes dogs or dislikes the class setting, there's no need to try to make him like it.

There are many dogs who will never like dogs, but are wonderful companions, and that's totally okay! If he is happy at home with you, on walks, and can function normally in everyday settings without reacting or causing trouble, then that's a good life for him. People often think that ALL dogs must play with other dogs in order to be happy- they don't.
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Last edited by LancerandRara; 10-05-2017 at 12:55 AM.
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