I'm desperate. Please help me. - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 11-16-2016, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 569
I'm desperate. Please help me.

Hey, everyone. I've been a member of the forum for a while now, and our female GSD, Vesper, is almost 20 months old. She is my absolute best friend and I adore her. 90% of the time she is the perfect dog, and the other 10% of the time she is a complete terror. Let me explain.

She is incredibly reactive when people arrive at our house. From the moment the doorbell rings or someone knocks, she goes into a barking frenzy. Nothing I do can snap her out of it. We have tried the place command and the quiet command. We have tried crating her or taking her out of the room until she is quiet. None of it works. She just barks constantly. She knows she isn't supposed to, but it's like she genuinely can't help it. Even when she is trying not to bark, she lets out little yips because she can't contain herself. For example, when we are at my parents' house visiting, their two dogs will bark when a guest comes over. However, within a few minutes, they will both settle down and relax. Vesper continually barks the whole time the guest is around, even with people she has met many times. She doesn't like to be petted, which is fine, but I just would like her to be quiet. I have already contacted a trainer who I am hoping will be able to help us, but I wanted to check here as well.

Another problem... When she isn't barking, she's growling. She has pretty much stopped barking at people on our walks, but she will growl and snarl at them. She knows that she isn't supposed to bark, but again, it's like she can't stop herself from making a sound. I KNOW she's afraid and is insecure, and it's not necessarily "protective" behavior. I just don't know what to do to help her. We have tried working under threshold. I just don't know what I'm doing wrong (yes, I know that I'm the problem), and I need some advice.

Thank you!!

~Vesper~March 28, 2015
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 11-16-2016, 11:13 PM
dogma13's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: michigan
Posts: 5,558
Great that you have a trainer coming who hopefully can see and understand what Vesper is feeling and show you how to help her.
Sounds like she's in panic mode and is doing what has always been successful for her to keep people away from her.Then you get tense and upset trying to help her which feeds into it.
(Just guessing here from how you describe it.)
I've got a small dog who does the same.If I hold him,he growls quietly,and he's really stiff and tense.I started just isolating him in the pole barn when guests arrive.The dark and quiet there seems to chill him right out and after about 30 minutes or so he's cool as a cucumber and emerges as a different dog.He just needs to calm himself and get over his excitement and panic.
So anyway,until the trainer can help you,it might help if she could just be off by herself before she gets so worked up and can't stop.
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