Incessantly barking at other dogs (8 wks) - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-01-2017, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
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Incessantly barking at other dogs (8 wks)

Hi there, i realise my puppy is young, but i would like advice on dealing with this please? i plan to get him into puppy classes, but in the meantime, how can i manage trying to socialize him to other dogs?
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-01-2017, 05:16 PM
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Don't worry about it right now.It can do more harm than good to overwhelm him with new experiences.It's much more important to spend time at home bonding with your puppy,house training,crate training,acclimating him to your family and routine.Remember he's just been on this earth a few short weeks

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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-01-2017, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
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Are you trying to tell me i'm too gung-ho? I just want to make sure he is well adjusted and can tag along to all our activities issue-free He is my first shepherd although i have owned dogs my whole life. His reaction to other dogs makes me nervous.
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-01-2017, 07:00 PM
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I agree with dogma - he is barking because he is insecure and is trying to keep the scary other dogs at a distance.

Exposing him on a regular basis to scary situations when he is not mentally developed enough to deal with the novelty and the perceived potential threat will only build his insecurity.

Focus on making him feel comfortable and in control, by letting him feel safe. Focus on bonding and relationship building so that he comes to look to you for guidance and reassurance when he is unsure. You want to project the belief that he is the best puppy in the world, and can do no wrong - this will build his self-confidence, and build his bond to you that he will want to try and please you.

The more he gets to bark at other dogs, the more this will be his default behaviour. So shield him from other dogs, make yourself the center of his universe, and later on, he may just find other dogs way too boring to even bother with.

With a pup like this, you may be better off doing puppy classes later than sooner. GSDs mature slowly: both physically and mentally. Much patience and consistency is required in bringing them up.
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-01-2017, 09:47 PM
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8 week old puppies bark because they are scared, not because he is anti social or have other dog issues. You can't have had him long if he is only 8 weeks old, give him a chance to settle in with your family and get to know all of you.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-01-2017, 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by KaiserAus View Post
8 week old puppies bark because they are scared, not because he is anti social or have other dog issues. You can't have had him long if he is only 8 weeks old, give him a chance to settle in with your family and get to know all of you.
8 week old puppies should not be afraid of other dogs, as they should have their puppy license intact, and their breeder should have kept them safe from negative issues with other dogs.

8 week old puppies could very well be barking at other dogs in an attempt to get to them to play with them. Some litters are noisier than others, and they will bark a rather high pitched bark in an attempt/frustration to get to the other dog to play with them.

No, you shouldn't just allow the puppy to play with unknown dogs. I would just do a quick Eh-eh! and keep going.

Yes, let the puppy relax in your home, with your people, and after a week or two, then take him to places that you frequently go, and sign him up for puppy-class, but make sure it is a puppy class that does not do puppy free-for-all -- very few classes are close enough in age and size/strength and very few instructors have a clue how to do that without allowing bullying and creating more problems.
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-01-2017, 11:20 PM
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8 week old puppies should not be afraid of other dogs, as they should have their puppy license intact, and their breeder should have kept them safe from negative issues with other dogs.

I've seen plenty of 8 week old puppies barking at strange dogs because they are scared, not because they have had a negative experience but just simply because they are in a new situation, unsure of what they are supposed to be doing, unsure of the bigger dogs, unsure of their new owners... perhaps scared is the wrong word, but when you approach this barking puppy and he slinks low, tail down and tries to hide behind his owner scared is the word I would use... he doesn't mean he is going to turn out to have issues, it just means he needs some time to assess the situation, gather himself and realise all is ok.


Edited:
I realise my statement sounds like the only reason they bark is because they are scared... that is wrong and not what I meant. I should have said sometimes they bark because they are scared.

Last edited by KaiserAus; 06-01-2017 at 11:21 PM. Reason: Add reasoning
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-02-2017, 12:37 AM
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Yes, it is possible for them to be scared. But they shouldn't be scared. They should have had 8 weeks with their dam and litter in a secure situation where they were protected, and had lots of play time with their littermates.

Yes, they can be tentative in new situations, which can be everything, not sure who is safe. But the whole reason 8 weeks is a good time for pups to leave the nest is because they are not yet at the stage where strangers are automatically scary, and they have their puppy license yet, so they are unlikely to have a really crappy experience with another dog.

I may be all wet. It has been a long time since I have taken home an eight week old pup. Usually they cry for their dam and litter mates for a few nights. I don't remember them being terribly barky or scared of other dogs.
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-22-2017, 10:33 PM
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At what age would you recommend starting puppy classes?
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-22-2017, 11:02 PM
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Between 10 and 14 weeks. But only a puppy class that does NOT allow the puppy free-for-all. No puppy play time. There aren't but a few trainers who have the experience or knowledge to manage that properly, and those people generally choose not to allow it at all. Better to take your pup to a basic obeidence class with older pups/dogs where everyone is on lead.

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