Wini is very protective, even as a puppy. - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-23-2008, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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Wini is very protective, even as a puppy.

We have noticed that wini is very, very protective. She growls at any strangers. And she is only a puppy. We are worried she might bite someone when she gets older. She already looks like she wants to bite. She is very well behaved in public. But if someone comes to our house she lunges and growls. How can we get her to relax and exept people into the house? How can we prevent her attacking people? Without taking all of her protecting instincts away (like balancing it I guess) Thanks in advance to all that answered.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-23-2008, 09:15 PM
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Re: Wini is very protective, even as a puppy.

How old is she? How old was she when you got her? What kind of training and socialization has she had? When did this start?
Personally I don't think what you're seeing has anything to do with protection. You don't need to worry about taking her protection instincts away, but you will need to figure out how to get her to not see strangers as a threat. It sounds like your pup is unsure of herself and maybe a bit fearful. I'm sure that there are ways to help her- maybe get people to offer her treats so she associates people with good things??
I'm interested to hear what others with experience in dealing with fear issues have to say.

Good luck with her.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-23-2008, 09:43 PM
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Re: Wini is very protective, even as a puppy.

I would think she is going thru a fear stage. There are quite a few threads on this and maybe if you have time do a search on it. If she isn't in obedience class, I would get her into one just for the social aspects, confidence builder and clicker training is something to start as well. Read her body language and remove her from situations before she starts reacting. Let her know that you are the one to "protect", she will look to you, reward her immediately w/click, praise, treat whatever works best.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-23-2008, 10:51 PM
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Re: Wini is very protective, even as a puppy.

my pup has done this aswell. but in public. at first she was sorta fearful.... more cautious of people..

then one day we were out and she would bark at people coming up.. that lasted abot 3 or 4 days. now she loves people. and loves to greet people at the door. i just asked people to stay back a few feet. kneel down and put there hand out and let her come to them.

maybe you can do that with people at your door.

maybe its a short stage like mine while she is still getting used to people.

- Chris

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-23-2008, 11:03 PM
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Re: Wini is very protective, even as a puppy.

Don't worry about "taking away" her protective instincts. A solid, stable, loyal adult dog will protect you, but she will be able to discern what is a threat and what isn't. And at that stage, she'll also know what an appropriate reaction is.

Right now, you have a pup that is unable to discern threats. Puppies are unable to do that. They're puppies. Unusual things scare them and they react by overreacting, unless given leadership that shows them that they have other options. That's why, as the others have noted, she needs training, and socialization, and a lot of it.

The more we let our dogs explore the world -- safely and with us at their sides to protect them -- the more they learn that the world is basically a safe place to be. They learn to understand that shadows are just shadows; strange-looking people (people who don't look like their owners, or dress like them or smell like them or sound like them) are just other people on the street, because they meet people like this all the time as they go through life. They learn that people knocking on the door, kids on bikes and skateboards and the people in uniforms that bring by packages or who look in our yards (meter readers) are people to be tolerated (or sometimes, they're our friends because they bring us treats!).

After about 1.5-2 years, our puppies will have nearly adult brains. If we've done our jobs right, they'll have experienced a whole lot of everything. THEN when someone that's hinky walks up to your door, or is following you in the park just a little too close, Wini will KNOW this person is a threat -- not because she is afraid but because she has a database of what should be expected from people and situations and what isn't normal.

Let's not expect Wini to be "protective" at this stage. Let's let her be a puppy. Let's get her into training. Take her places. Show her the word is safe and good. You protect her.

In time, she will be a phenomenal watch dog. But just because an 8-year old child thinks he can drive a car doesn't mean we should give him the keys. Wini isn't ready to have the keys, or even sit in the front seat. She needs to sit in the backseat, and do a heck of a lot of observing while YOU drive all the time for quite a while.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-24-2008, 12:30 AM
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Re: Wini is very protective, even as a puppy.

my qeustion was also how old is she? and what age was she when u got her?... too... lol
it to me sounds like she is insecure also.. would be best to try to introduce strangers in the house. Dont let them get near her at first and give her some kibble as a treat and give her lots of reinforcement that everything is ok. Let her know that yes this is a stranger but you allowed this stranger in the house so they are ok. Make sure you dont over stress her though. Dont have some person come stomping in and try to pet her. Just merely have someone in the house on the other side of the room from her. Just keep doing this till she is more confident about the situation and lil by lil get the strangers to get closer to her. This may take some time and patience but it will pay off.

However I dont know her age so she could be in a fear stage but always watch your puppies body language. We definately dont want to creat negative experiences for a pup at this age that could define her as an adult.

Good luck.. keep us posted!

**Kristin**
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and Canyoncrest Bella 8/1/08 , and My rescued girl Mika Husky Rott mix 9/1/05.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-24-2008, 03:30 AM
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Re: Wini is very protective, even as a puppy.

I love how you put this 3K9Mom, thank you.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-24-2008, 09:36 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Wini is very protective, even as a puppy.

Wini is going to be 1 yr. old in december. There where some other breeders that saw her and said it was probably fear and insecurity. so i agree with that. We got her when she was 7 months old. I believe her breeder socialized her very well, because she is great with little kids, dirtbikes, loud noises(like a bang or whatever). there is a obeidence class that we are going to put her in. they have three courses. basic(sit, stay, come, down, ect.) intermediate-i'm not sure what that one is all about, and a advanced (for "attack" training)
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