Whining, anxious, socially inept - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 05-14-2016, 01:51 AM Thread Starter
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Whining, anxious, socially inept

Hello GSD forum.

My name is Bethany. We currently have two dogs (both GSD) The older dog is nearing 11 years old and is female.

Ever since we got her in 2008, she has been a very loud, very anxious and uncomfortable dog. Her breathing starts to accelerate into a anxious whine, she flashes the whites of her eyes, when one tries to sit near her to pet her or even acknowledges her.

She is NOT aggressive to people, she's never growled or bit anyone, n fact, once she gets over the initial discomfort, she loves being pet, just continues to whine and sometimes bark

Though, she IS aggressive towards other dogs. There were two incidents, one when we first got her, the second, about three years ago, where she got loose and chased after someone's dog with a clearly aggressive stance. Our younger dog and her do not play together. While they are generally calm towards one another, if the younger dog gets too close to the older dog, it gets tense and she has bitten.

We got her when she was an adult dog, those years ago in 2008, nobody knows her backstory or where she came from, she comes with no papers, and was passed from to a family friend, then to us, when our 15 year old lab passed.

I want this dog to be happy and feel safe in her own home, but it's hard when she is very uncomfortable with people. I try to speak softly and kindly to her, offer her a gentle pet or a treat, but I find her attention is fleeting, before she shys away to somewhere else.

Is there anything that can be done, at this point? It pains me to see her so unhappy.

Thank you
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 05-14-2016, 03:20 AM
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Honestly? At her age, medicate.

Yes old dogs learn new tricks. However this could very well just be who she is, who she has always been. Some dogs aren't comfortable with overt attention. Some like to be near you and that's all. No pets and cuddles and scratches, just being near you. You said once she gets over her initial discomfort she is fine, but continues to bark and whine. That doesn't seem fine to me.
You could try finding a treat she really likes, if she sits quietly with you for a few seconds give her a treat. Gradually extend the time required to get a treat. What does she like? Fetch, tug, walks, swimming? Find out what makes her tick and exploit it.
And a good many dogs do not enjoy the company of other dogs.
She has earned the right to just be. Let her have that right.
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