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Discussion Starter #1
We have a 4.5 year old female GSD that we got 2.5 years ago. We were her second home and while she's always been less confident than our other GSDs I would never have called her fearful. Our 11 yr male died in late October and we haven't seen any ill side effects on her (she was always sort of oblivious to him anyway). Two nights ago and then again this morning she acted afraid of me when I called her. These were both neutral times - nothing was going on in the house and I was just calling her to me. Both times she growled a little at me and then tried to get away and then started shaking like crazy. Both times I went to her to sit and calm her and she got over it. I can't begin to imagine why she's doing this all of the sudden and I really don't know what to do about it!

Is it possible that she's reading the signs that her life is getting ready to change a bit? We are getting a new puppy (tonight in fact) - he's 9 months old and they've met and seemed fine together. I've been doing a few things to get the house ready but other than that, nothing has changed.

I need suggestions - cancelling the puppy is not an option!

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I will also add that she is very bonded to my husband but she's fine with me. Also, I never raised my voice to her or did anything frightening. I was just calmly calling her to me.

The first time it happened I was installing a baby gate for the new puppy and I just wanted her to come to me so I could see how high it was on her. I didn't block her with it or anything like that. She was under the table at my husband's feet and never got that far anyway. Could she be having flashbacks to her life before us? Personally I think that's a bit of a stretch but who knows!
 

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I'd just way up the exercise and play with her in general. Maybe really start carrying treats with me at all times (this will help with the new puppy too) so you can be rewarding more and able to do short spurts of obedience stuff with immediate rewards.

Make sure you rule out any random medical issues that may have just cropped up too....
 

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I agree w/ GSDAlphaMom...the gate is triggering an unpleasant or traumatic experience. Our Bella was abandoned on the side of the road, and she has severe separation anxiety...I imagine these horrible times haunt them! Poor dear, lots of patience and the new puppy may help by giving her somebody to look after! keep us posted on how it goes.
 

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Whenever I see a sudden change in behavior I suspect a medical problem. If the gate theory doesn't pan out then I would take her in for a full check-up with bloodwork.
 

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Our doxie is happy go lucky, nearly to the point of being ditzey. But pick up a cane and she is a trembling mass of nerves. Don't know what happened in her past, but a cane / walking stick certainly triggers something very unpleasant for her.
 

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Whenever I see a sudden change in behavior I suspect a medical problem. If the gate theory doesn't pan out then I would take her in for a full check-up with bloodwork.
I was thinking the same thing.
 

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Whenever I see a sudden change in behavior I suspect a medical problem. If the gate theory doesn't pan out then I would take her in for a full check-up with bloodwork.
Agreeing with this too!
I remember long ago some friends of our family had a GSD that all of a sudden started growling at them for no reason at all. They told us later that they took him to the vet and it turned out he was losing his sense of smell.
 

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I would also suggest having the eyes checked as well. Certainly can't hurt. If the dog is not seeing as well, can be subtle, may also cause a change in behavior. I had a dog that was starting to have eye trouble and suddenly refused to come to me at night when we were out in the backyard and would growl. Ended up having to put him on leash and go outside with him, with all the outside lights on or he would panic.



Agreeing with this too!
I remember long ago some friends of our family had a GSD that all of a sudden started growling at them for no reason at all. They told us later that they took him to the vet and it turned out he was losing his sense of smell.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Puppy is here and things are going well. Rennie, the female is actually doing ok. She's enjoying the treats that are being doled out right and left and the gate doesn't seem to be bothering her this evening. I'm going to keep watching though - we're going to the vet tomorrow with the puppy and will ask about the behavior change.
 

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Dogs live in the present. Putting up a gate should have nothing to do with something over two years ago. I would not be surprised if you girl had some type of siezure or was ill or hurting. Watch her. Aggressiveness/fear of owners is not normal
 
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