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Our 6 mo. old GSD has developed a habit of continually barking at people, other dogs and anything that moves. He will bark if someone is coming into the house and he won't stop. He will bark if he sees something outside of a window (usually a person or someone walking a dog). We thought he was just starting to be protective but recently when we are on walks he barks at people and/or dogs as well. While barking and even more recently growling, his hackles go up.

I don't think he is being aggressive...by that I mean he seems to try to run away (he lunges away from the "threat" when he is on leash).

Anything I can do to let him know that whoever we are letting in the house is "ok"? I would like him to bark but when we tell him that it is fine he will stop. I don't know if it is possible to get a puppy to accept someone with a verbal command.

Note: we have tried getting a person to give him a treat, he takes it but then starts barking again.

I am getting worried that as he gets older he will stop running away and start attacking.
 

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Hey Konozis,

Rocky was doing the exact same thing at this age. He is almost 8 months now and has made a lot of progress. We hired a trainer and she explained that the dog is not aggressive but afraid. She had us carry little pieces of chicken hot dog around with us at all times (especially walks) and everytime someone new approached we would start treating him. It would associate "good things" with people walking by etc...He no longer barks at strangers on walks. The key was to bring him to as many places and introduce him to as many people as possible (which was difficult at times because people were afraid of his barking). He still barks at people when they come in the house but he calms down after a couple of minutes and becomes comfortable with them. I also make sure all visitors obey the don't look, touch, or talk rule, until Rocky is comfortable enough to come to them.
Hope this helps!
 

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I think the treating may work on walks and in the house but at the same time I don't want him to become comfortable with strangers. I really want to be able to use a command that says its ok for certain people/animals/situations.
 

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I think the treating may work on walks and in the house but at the same time I don't want him to become comfortable with strangers. I really want to be able to use a command that says its ok for certain people/animals/situations.

I am going through the same thing with my 5 month old, he started around 3.5-4 months and it kept getting worse. He is finally showing some improvement. Keep on socializing him and it is important that he is comforable around strangers. If he is not, he could bite someone and you would have to get him put down. GSDs are naturally protective so you need to have a dog who is good around people, becuase if needed, he would most likley protect you anyways whether he's good with strangers or not. At this age he needs to learn that everything is safe, including strangers.
 

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I think that dogs (especially German Shepherds) are able to sense when a situation is no longer comfortable. For example, I walk Rocky at 5:30am every morning so it's still very dark out. One morning a man walked out from behind some brush and startled me. It scared me to the point where I actually jumped back. Rocky went ballistic! Barking and lunging at him.
 
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