Socializing my 1 yr. old GSD - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-03-2009, 09:43 PM Thread Starter
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Socializing my 1 yr. old GSD

So my dog barks at people when we are out on a walk, or at the park. She isn't a little puppy. She isn't aggressive, she is jsut afraid of other people, so she barks. How can I work with her to be confident around other people? She is actually great around other dogs. It gets worse if someone is afraid of dogs and they still pet her. I don't know why they would pet her if they are afraid.

But anyway, please, please answer my question! By the way, dog training classes are COMPLETLY out of the picture. To far away, to much money, there are no classes near us. So please don't tell me we have to go to training classes.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-03-2009, 10:43 PM
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Re: Socializing my 1 yr. old GSD

So you are sure she's actually afraid of people? I think you would see other body signs, e.g. ears drawn back, slinking down as well. When a human does get close enough to pet her, if she was scared she would probably turn away, slink down, from a person.

Assuming she is actually afraid, if she lets people who are afraid of her (who are tense), that is a good sign because that is the worst type of person to pet a dog who is unsure of humans. If she hasn't lashed out at a tense human petting her, then she probably just needs more exposure to people, but she will progress faster if the people are calm (not afraid of dogs).

She may also benefit from watching other dogs interact with humans, and she can feel free to mix and mingle among dogs and humans, which should help her feel more relaxed than if a single human or pack of humans walks up to her by herself. This would be a benefit of a group class where there's a "mini dog park" situation before or after the class.

Just to clarify, are you seeing other symptoms besides just barking? Does the bark differ from when she sees a squirrel, or is guarding the house? And how does she react when someone is petting her?

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-04-2009, 02:42 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Socializing my 1 yr. old GSD

thanks Ucdcrush. Actually dog training might be an option. We did find this one place, but still.

She has kind of slinked down, but not a lot, just a few times. She has never, ever growled. She doesn't bark at squirrels LOL. She will continue to bark while people pet her. But sometimes she doesn't. She totally slinkes back and flattens her ears and like walks backwards while barking when our neighbor pets her. I have no idea why, she doesn't so that with other people.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-04-2009, 02:48 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Socializing my 1 yr. old GSD

One other thing, when we're at the park she will randomly pick a person and just bark and bark and bark. But they are really far away, not really close to me and her. Why does she do this?
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-04-2009, 09:27 PM
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Re: Socializing my 1 yr. old GSD

Probably sees something untrustworthy in that human, in her eyes. I haven't dealt with this problem before, but I think intermingling dogs and humans, seeing other dogs behaving normally with humans, will help her. Hopefully someone else has some experience with this..

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