Partially anxious around dogs (6 month old) - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-21-2019, 07:49 AM Thread Starter
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Partially anxious around dogs (6 month old)

So from the beginning on Gaia was definitely quite submissive and shy around other dogs. We worked through it with puppy class and meeting dogs that I knew were safe for her to be around. She doesn't have a problem with passing another dog as long as we don't pass them going towards one another. When we have to pass someone directly she, but only sometimes, takes a step back and seems anxious. There is no problem at all when she is meeting dogs, she plays well and doesn't bark or growl at any. I am going to go over it with our trainer again but has anyone some advice from their own experience. My approach so far was to just walk past them not acknowledging the other dog and staying calm and confident throughout. It did get better in the way that she recovers very quickly (less than 10 seconds) after we pass the dog and then she just walks next to me like usual.
I am aware that the approach from the front is much less desired then from the side by the dog but obviously it's unavoidable to do so.
We are doing a bunch of confidence building aswell and she doesn't show any anxiety around anything else besides some random fear phases from time to time that are resolved in a minute or two.
Should I maybe just pass them with a little more distance between us and then slowly work on passing other dogs closer?

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-21-2019, 01:47 PM
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It sounds like you've got the right idea, using distance and slowly moving closer over time. If your puppy is being reactive toward the other dog you're passing, you're too close.

But life doesn't always go as planned! On occasions where passing a dog that is coming toward you is unavoidable, like you said, staying confident and calm, but continuing forward at a brisk pace seemed to work pretty well for my puppy. Just keep at it, your puppy will calm down over time. Good Luck!
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-21-2019, 02:20 PM
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Yup I agree with what Tim said. You need to slowly work up the ladder of approximations getting a little bit closer every time without a reaction. But when passing is inevitable, I did exactly what Tim did.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-21-2019, 04:49 PM Thread Starter
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Honestly having a puppy that's anxious around dogs is the exact opposite to my older dog who I had to work a lot with on overexcitement because he loved everyone too much. It's reassuring to hear that my approach doesn't seem that bad, I'll keep working on it and when something changes or we have a breakthrough I'll be sure to update this thread.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-09-2019, 11:22 AM Thread Starter
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Just wanted to update on our progress with this approach:
By now it is almost no problem at all to pass other dogs, it has turned more into curiosity which right now I am fine with. Most of the time after passing a dog she actually looks at me, which I praise a lot of course. Sometimes she does get a little unsure but that usually only when the other dog is fixating and the owner just stops and lets the dog stare at us while we just want to pass, but that is getting better as well. I am really happy with her progress around other dogs so we can go back to focusing on some more exposure now.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-09-2019, 04:31 PM
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Awesome! Glad to hear it's going well!

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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