Should My Puppy be Confident? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-08-2019, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
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Should My Puppy be Confident?

My GSD Pup is now 4 months old. Hes 52 pounds and extremely active, bordering on the psycho puppy side. He barks at every dog he sees though i try and try to get him to stop it. But when the other dog will approach him aggressively due to his barking, my pup will become timid and run. I don't want him to fight any other dogs, but i want him to protect my family if the time would come. he was afraid of the vacuum cleaner for a week or so but has gotten over that, and doesn't seem to be afraid of other loud noises or things falling down around him unexpectedly. He doesnt seem timid at all times, just lets other dogs at the park intimidate him.

I am wondering if he is a naturally intimidated dog or is that just how puppies are before the testosterone starts flowing?

Also he does some weird things with his legs sometimes, swaying his hips or bunny hopping, but i keep reading not to over-analyze puppies lack of coordination as the dreadful HD.

Thanks guys and gals!
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 08:31 AM
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Your pup will be going from phase to phase the next year and a half or so. Your pup is trying things out and the more success he has the more confident he will become. The great thing about a confident dog is the more laid back they can be. They don't have to prove anything to anyone, they just assume things will be fine most of the time.

Your pup does not need to meet other dogs right now. When out for a walk, give your pup space, even if it means crossing the street. You will have to stop him getting crazy BEFORE the crazies happen. Once our dogs are focused on something they may not even realize we are calling them off. That skill comes with maturity and practice. So when your pup starts to focus on the other dog, try walking around in circles. When the pup looks at you instead, reward. When your pup is calm perhaps you can sit down with him and watch the other dog calmly, which can be a reward in itself.

With practice and maturity and growing impulse control, eventually your pup will learn that you guys are a team. If he pays attention to you things go great.

I also took my pups to group classes when they were a little over a year old, not to learn to heel or sit or come or place. My dogs knew all of that. I wanted a controlled place for them to learn to work near other dogs without the expectation of going to meet and greet them. Now they may still give a short bark to say, "hey dog, I see you" but they have learned that there won't be a meeting and that eliminated leash-frustration. I still praise them for turning their gaze back to our walk after they've taken a look at the other dogs.

Other folks actually want their dogs to see other dogs as nothing more interesting than a tree or rock or bench. That takes much more work in the beginning but it does make working with your dog in public much easier in the long run.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-10-2019, 01:00 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the great information
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-10-2019, 08:02 AM
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car2ner, that was a very informative, helpful post. Thank You. I hope you post more of your knowledge on introducing

young dogs to the big, wide world out there. Many of us can really use it.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-10-2019, 11:52 AM
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I would like to see more confidence in a 4 month old pup. But I've become very picky about my pups over time.

Work with him as mentioned and you will see confidence develop.

This could transform to dog-dog aggression or reactivity so you should put a lot of time into dealing with it now, when he is young.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-10-2019, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Orphan Heidi View Post
car2ner, that was a very informative, helpful post. Thank You. I hope you post more of your knowledge on introducing
young dogs to the big, wide world out there. Many of us can really use it.
ah, gee thanks. There are some in these forums that know much more than me. I am a dog training geek, though. My current two dogs are so very different in some ways. My boy is confident and unflappable. My gal is much more cautious. I've also had some interesting mixes in the past. Each needed their own twist on training / teaching / socializing. One thing that is invaluable is having a mentor that you can meet with face to face.

I am glad you posted here, too. There are countless people who read these forums that never post but have the same questions.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 10:26 AM
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Buck is at 5mo and no longer addresses other dogs on walks. It was a problem for us and I think maybe some of the things we tried might help you. Sorry for the long post.

My neighbors have 2 dogs who bark constantly at Buck and we have a wooden fence that doesn't allow them to see each other. Until spring, it was hard to play in the yard so he mostly did his business and ran back inside no matter how much I tried to work with him he would tuck his tail and run to the door when they barked. Since it got warm, we have played enough fetch that he no longer reacts to our neighbors dogs after I repeatedly threw the ball to their fence for him.

Also, about 6wks ago I switched Buck to a prong collar. We had tried a dog walker for lunch but she couldn't manage him more than to the end of the block due to leash pull. I have since eliminated that and also him addressing any other dogs which I also think the neighbors dogs helped resolve. The very first walk we took with it he was rushed by a loose 70lb shepherd and held his ground - yet didn't bark. Buck and I routinely go "dropped leash" when we have space to do so or late at night. We have been approached by dogs in these situations as well and been fine.
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