Puppy thinks everyone is a friend - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-10-2018, 04:07 PM Thread Starter
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Puppy thinks everyone is a friend

My puppy is 4 months old (tomorrow!!!) and during walks, she wants to meet every person and dog and acts like it’s her new best friend/long lost cousin. I love that she’s friendly but I don’t necessarily want her to think every stranger is a friend for her own safety. (Had an awful experience in the past where my families cat got out and was too friendly and got kicked in the stomach. Leading to life long issues). What should I do? I’ve been letting a few people say hi just because I want to socialize her right now so she won’t have issues later. Should I be ok with the friendliness or take action?
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-10-2018, 04:12 PM
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I would allow some interaction on a controlled basis. I would also use food or toys whichever she likes best and when people approach distract her with the toy/food and when she focuses on you not the stranger reward. You may have to get some steak or something at first to keep her focused on you and the reward. eventually she should just ignore strangers.

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-10-2018, 04:23 PM
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Friendly puppies tend to be confident as adults.The aloofness will (usually) start to take over after the six month mark.It's a good idea for every temperament type to encourage ignoring people and other animals unless you decide she can greet occasionally.Their are lots of threads here about excited greeters dragging their owners while howling in frustration

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-10-2018, 04:49 PM Thread Starter
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Friendly puppies tend to be confident as adults.The aloofness will (usually) start to take over after the six month mark.It's a good idea for every temperament type to encourage ignoring people and other animals unless you decide she can greet occasionally.Their are lots of threads here about excited greeters dragging their owners while howling in frustration[IMG class=inlineimg]/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif[/IMG]
that’s so great to hear because she gets a little scared on walks right now. We’re working on it and it’s much improved but I was worried she’d be a nervous walker forever! She absolutely loves every dog she meets and person. Most of her socialization right now comes from our walks. Should I still let her meet a few people a day but ignore the majority?
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-10-2018, 04:50 PM Thread Starter
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I would allow some interaction on a controlled basis. I would also use food or toys whichever she likes best and when people approach distract her with the toy/food and when she focuses on you not the stranger reward. You may have to get some steak or something at first to keep her focused on you and the reward. eventually she should just ignore strangers.
I’ll have to try steak. Right now even with her highest value treats, she’d still rather meet people. I guess I should be happy she won’t have issues about friendliness later on. Hah.

Do most German shepherds become aloof? I was hoping for more aloofness!
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-10-2018, 06:23 PM
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I would allow some interaction on a controlled basis. I would also use food or toys whichever she likes best and when people approach distract her with the toy/food and when she focuses on you not the stranger reward. You may have to get some steak or something at first to keep her focused on you and the reward. eventually she should just ignore strangers.
I’ll have to try
steak. Right now even with her highest value treats, she’d still rather meet people. I guess I should be happy she won’t have issues about friendliness later on. Hah.

Do most German shepherds become aloof? I was hoping for more aloofness!
Yes they should become aloof with age. With exceptions I guess. When my female was a young pup she was everyone's BFF, I myself never really discouraged it. Just didn't let her jump on people. Now at 2 1/2 yrs old. She ignores most people. Example this morning in home depot, numerous people asked to pet her. I said if she's cool with it sure. She no longer gets excited. She now just sits there looking at me like "I'll get you back for this".
The exception, at least with her is young females 16-25. As we were checking out, a young female cashier walks up and says "hi puppy" and she went into her BFF mode. Does every time a young girl approaches her. Older females or males, and very young children she ignores hoping they'll walk on by.

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-10-2018, 06:47 PM Thread Starter
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I would allow some interaction on a controlled basis. I would also use food or toys whichever she likes best and when people approach distract her with the toy/food and when she focuses on you not the stranger reward. You may have to get some steak or something at first to keep her focused on you and the reward. eventually she should just ignore strangers.
I’ll have to try
steak. Right now even with her highest value treats, she’d still rather meet people. I guess I should be happy she won’t have issues about friendliness later on. Hah.

Do most German shepherds become aloof? I was hoping for more aloofness!
Yes they should become aloof with age. With exceptions I guess. When my female was a young pup she was everyone's BFF, I myself never really discouraged it. Just didn't let her jump on people. Now at 2 1/2 yrs old. She ignores most people. Example this morning in home depot, numerous people asked to pet her. I said if she's cool with it sure. She no longer gets excited. She now just sits there looking at me like "I'll get you back for this".
The exception, at least with her is young females 16-25. As we were checking out, a young female cashier walks up and says "hi puppy" and she went into her BFF mode. Does every time a young girl approaches her. Older females or males, and very young children she ignores hoping they'll walk on by.
That’s so great to hear. I hope she will become a little more aloof. I get really nervous with her acting like everyone is her best friend. And so funny that she has a demographic she loves! I had a shepherd mix once just like that!
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-10-2018, 06:49 PM
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IME, most dogs that I have met who are social or overly so tend to be weak nerved, but that does not mean there is a link between the two traits. She may or may not grow more reserved with age. I would start working with her on some basic obedience and start teaching her to ignore other people. It won't be cute soon as she gets bigger, and she won't be welcome in most places, if she continues to approach strangers who don't want a large dog coming up on them regardless of her intention.

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-10-2018, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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IME, most dogs that I have met who are social or overly so tend to be weak nerved, but that does not mean there is a link between the two traits. She may or may not grow more reserved with age. I would start working with her on some basic obedience and start teaching her to ignore other people. It won't be cute soon as she gets bigger, and she won't be welcome in most places, if she continues to approach strangers who don't want a large dog coming up on them regardless of her intention.
oddly she won’t go anywhere near a stranger unless they acknowledge her. She’ll look but she won’t want to greet them until they are like “omg puppy!” So I guess maybe I shouldn’t be so nervous. She’s only interested when someone wants to meet her too.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-10-2018, 07:13 PM
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I've had my pup since he was 7 1/2 weeks. He's always been a confident, friendly dog. I was even suspicious that he was a golden retriever stuck in a GSD body.

First things first, your pup WILL get big, 65lb at the minimum (generally). Right now, people and dogs might find him 'cute' but it won't last long, in a few weeks he'll look like a big, GSD dog. Hate to say it but GSDs are one of the breeds that are stigmatised just because the LOOK like that. So, please practice early on that he has to SIT and stay whenever he wants to say hi to other dogs or people. I went through a period where my dog wasn't allowed to say hi to other dogs, UNLESS he sits and waits for the other dog to come and greet him. It's been working well till now.

About the friendliness, like I said I thought he was a golden retriever at heart. And then slowly, he started being this protector/guardian to me. There were more than several occassions where my dog 'picked up' that I was in distress. One example was when the 2 of us were in a car, at a fast food drive in. My dog was sleeping on the back of the car. When suddenly the car in front of me started going back and forth and almost hit my car so I honked and shouted 'Where the heck are you going?!' and the man started yelling and yelling at me. My dog literally got up, puts his face through the window and started barking and barking at the person in the other car (he was still yelling at me as he was moving back and forth). Until finally the man managed to get out of the drive in, came across my car and said 'stupid dog' to my face. And after he left, my dog literally went back to sleep. I laughed big time I praised and praised and praised and praised. Did I train him to bark/alarm me like that? Not really. It was just him. Almost everytime when it's the night time and someone approaches me (like the security or neighbour) he will bark at them, but if I tell him 'She's okay' with a 'stop' hand gesture, he will immediately relax and sit down. And will let the person pet him if the person asks me. Honestly, walking at night with my dog is a lot safer than with a gun!

DON'T WORRY. Your dog is a GSD and their dog intuition WILL kick in as he spends more time with you. You are his person. Do him good and he will be your protector for as long as he lives.

From my experience; Now that he is pushing 90lb at 17 months, I have come across people, especially those with small dogs, who deliberately try to avoid my dog saying hi to them. They other pick their dog up or just turn the other way. And that's ok, makes your job easier. Just make sure he knows that he needs your permission whenever he wants to greet people/dogs.

Last edited by dogma13; 12-10-2018 at 09:04 PM. Reason: Pseudo swearing
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