Puppy fear 😞 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-27-2019, 08:31 AM Thread Starter
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Puppy fear 😞

Hi guys I apologise beforehand if this might seem a ridiculous question but I had to know to keep my mind at peace 😅 I have a gsd pup 3 1/2 months old.. He's super active and loves people very curious and everything... But sometimes he gets so frightened of people... Its just momentary till he recognises them properly but he would cry and try to hide... Even when we open the gate he'd bark from afar but never come to the front... Are puppies usually fearful when young? My previous gsd was the perfect guard dog She was never afraid of anything and I'll admit that besides trying to fill the hole she left behind Even slightly we really wanted a guard dog... I just need some reassurance he'll grow out of it 😅
If so at what age?
Sorry for the long post 😅
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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-27-2019, 08:48 AM
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It's possible that he's going through a fear period, which some puppies do go through, or it's possible that he has nerve issues. Either way, take things slowly with him and don't ever force him to do anything he's afraid of. Keep your tone encouraging and upbeat, but don't try to comfort him when he's afraid. That only rewards the fear.

I have found that with my dogs, going up to the scary "thing" (be it a trash can, fire hydrant, horse statue in a yard, etc.) and acting like it's cool and no big deal, the puppy often follows. Do things to build his confidence as much as possible, and he should get over it.
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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-27-2019, 11:07 AM
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The more you keep your pup focused on you the less important the rest of the world is. I let my dogs experimentally bark at new things (not people), then we walk away. The next day that new thing was usually ignored. Keep things light and fun. I tell strangers to ignore my dogs. Once your pup realizes that not every giant stranger in the world is going to try and touch him, the more fun he will have. If my dogs seem curious about the stranger, then I allow a meet and greet. This is just basic stuff but I find that it helps fend off problems later.

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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-27-2019, 12:11 PM Thread Starter
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The more you keep your pup focused on you the less important the rest of the world is. I let my dogs experimentally bark at new things (not people), then we walk away. The next day that new thing was usually ignored. Keep things light and fun. I tell strangers to ignore my dogs. Once your pup realizes that not every giant stranger in the world is going to try and touch him, the more fun he will have. If my dogs seem curious about the stranger, then I allow a meet and greet. This is just basic stuff but I find that it helps fend off problems later.
Thx for the reply! But its not exactly what i meant... These aren't 'strangers' he's afraid of they are everyday people he has met from the day he came to us... In fact he once got scared of my mom cause he couldn't recognise her at first! He simply can't recognise them immediately and gets really scared then when they come closer and calls out to him its fine... Am just concerned if this timid behaviour continues or he will grow out of it.. 😞
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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-27-2019, 12:14 PM Thread Starter
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It's possible that he's going through a fear period, which some puppies do go through, or it's possible that he has nerve issues. Either way, take things slowly with him and don't ever force him to do anything he's afraid of. Keep your tone encouraging and upbeat, but don't try to comfort him when he's afraid. That only rewards the fear.

I have found that with my dogs, going up to the scary "thing" (be it a trash can, fire hydrant, horse statue in a yard, etc.) and acting like it's cool and no big deal, the puppy often follows. Do things to build his confidence as much as possible, and he should get over it.
Thx for the reply 🙂 I do hope its just a stage he's having like u mentioned... He's not really afraid of objects particularly (Except the hose he gets mad at it lol) but very curious about everything hehe
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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-27-2019, 01:05 PM
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Thx for the reply! But its not exactly what i meant... These aren't 'strangers' he's afraid of they are everyday people he has met from the day he came to us... In fact he once got scared of my mom cause he couldn't recognise her at first! He simply can't recognise them immediately and gets really scared then when they come closer and calls out to him its fine... Am just concerned if this timid behaviour continues or he will grow out of it.. 😞
That doesn't seem typical to me. They can go through a phase when they realize that things in the world can hurt and they become more cautious. Let's hope that is all it is. I wonder if you should have your pup's eyes checked, just in case.

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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-27-2019, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Sithumya17 View Post
Hi guys I apologise beforehand if this might seem a ridiculous question but I had to know to keep my mind at peace 😅 I have a gsd pup 3 1/2 months old.. He's super active and loves people very curious and everything... But sometimes he gets so frightened of people... Its just momentary till he recognises them properly but he would cry and try to hide... Even when we open the gate he'd bark from afar but never come to the front... Are puppies usually fearful when young? My previous gsd was the perfect guard dog She was never afraid of anything and I'll admit that besides trying to fill the hole she left behind Even slightly we really wanted a guard dog... I just need some reassurance he'll grow out of it 😅
If so at what age?
Sorry for the long post 😅
While it is common for a puppy to use caution in certain circumstances, to me this doesn't sound like a fear period, or even an eyesight issue. If this were my puppy and having a guard dog later on is your primary goal, I'd be talking to your breeder about it! I'm not one to blame nerves or genetics quickly, but this sounds to me like a puppy on the lower end of the spectrum. Could be this puppy would be better suited to someone who didn't want or need a confident watch dog later on.

It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog. Mark Twain

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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-27-2019, 01:57 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Sithumya17 View Post
Hi guys I apologise beforehand if this might seem a ridiculous question but I had to know to keep my mind at peace 😅 I have a gsd pup 3 1/2 months old.. He's super active and loves people very curious and everything... But sometimes he gets so frightened of people... Its just momentary till he recognises them properly but he would cry and try to hide... Even when we open the gate he'd bark from afar but never come to the front... Are puppies usually fearful when young? My previous gsd was the perfect guard dog She was never afraid of anything and I'll admit that besides trying to fill the hole she left behind Even slightly we really wanted a guard dog... I just need some reassurance he'll grow out of it 😅
If so at what age?
Sorry for the long post 😅
While it is common for a puppy to use caution in certain circumstances, to me this doesn't sound like a fear period, or even an eyesight issue. If this were my puppy and having a guard dog later on is your primary goal, I'd be talking to your breeder about it! I'm not one to blame nerves or genetics quickly, but this sounds to me like a puppy on the lower end of the spectrum. Could be this puppy would be better suited to someone who didn't want or need a confident watch dog later on.
****... Now am really concerned 😥 But there's nothing to do now cause we're become really attached to him now and in my country 'breeders policies' 'returns' are Not a thing... I'll talk to him and the Vet just in case to clarify properly... Thx for the replies guys
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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-27-2019, 04:04 PM
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****... Now am really concerned 😥 But there's nothing to do now cause we're become really attached to him now and in my country 'breeders policies' 'returns' are Not a thing... I'll talk to him and the Vet just in case to clarify properly... Thx for the replies guys
If what Tim says is true, then it means you'll have to be a serious, confident, sure, and demonstrative leader to this dog. I'm not saying you can't have fun. I'm saying you're going to need to be on point as he grows up and make sure he engages in activities that challenge him* and be there to tell him what to do in all situations**. You need to do that anyway for all dogs, but this is going to be especially true for your pup.

*A challenging activity could be something unrelated to what he's afraid of. It's something new he hasn't done before, but learns he must do because you told him to. For example, climbing on a moveable object like a dolly, swimming for the first time, jumping over an obstacle, and other experiences that are fun for both of you and show him he can be competent at other things. This kind of success bleeds over across other aspects of life and helps with general confidence and trust in you. You told him to do a new, slightly scary thing; he did it; he was unharmed; his leader is pleased and proud of him; his leader's judgement was reliable.

**By this I mean teaching him very specifically what to do when meeting people (since he's afraid of people). For example, maybe you tell the person to wait, make him sit, then specifically tell him to go greet the person. That may help, and he may just end up being the kind of dog that needs that step-by-step procedure for a lot of things.
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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-27-2019, 10:04 PM
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If returning him to your breeder is not an option, read and reread Kyrielle's excellent advice. There are many many things you can do to help any dog be the best that they can be!
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It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog. Mark Twain

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