I brought my 8 week old pup home Sunday. She seemed to growl and snap at my adult female when she startled her, but I decided she was probably just overwhelmed from a 6 hour car ride. She was VERY well socialized with many other Shepherds at the breeder. I met mom, dad, and grandmother and all were very gentle and sweet. Other pups from them are fantastic also (snooped on social media for about a year prior). She is very smart, land shark like my other two of course. Very friendly toward people of all sizes, races, and ages so far (we met some family and friends). She is very laid back and calm all but morning and right before bed. Everything else is picture perfect except for this. She happily plays with my big girl now, but has offered a growl with no play markers, and stiffening/freezing several times. Once at night when she was created and my big girl got up, once when my big girl was coming up the stairs, and once upon meeting. I work with dogs with severe behavioral issues, so these have my pretty worried. I’ve raised two sheps, one was very badly treated as a young pup. Neither had these things pop up so early on. My worry is from a standpoint of issues arising <12 weeks of age. I’ve worked with and trained adolescent and adult dogs for 5 years, and I’ve seen so much bad. Is this just a normal thing? How long before I should be worried? I expected the barking/whining/biting/play growls with play signs, but not what looks so much like fear/defensive aggression. I just don’t know enough. I’ve studied puppy development, but it’s all book knowledge so I’m not sure what to do. Should I chalk it up to fear period and wait until 11wks? If it still persists mention to the breeder? She has startled at other household things without anything but a retreat then a swift ‘lets be friends’ but non human living things seem a bit different. It SEEMS reasonable. Dark, semi trapped by leash or crate, big creature coming out of nowhere. It seemed like she MAY have let a small growl (didn’t notice for sure) at a cart in a parking lot (carried her, needed to buy a lock, didn’t want to leave her unattended) but immediately was best friends once a person was around it. I feel like I might be overthinking it, but I just don’t know.