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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone!

I'm Chloé, mum of a 4 yo Boxer/Griffon mix, and getting ready to offically adopt a 15 months old GSD/Bouvier des Flandres mix that I've been fostering for the past 4 months.
(Please note: my mother tongue is French, so I may sound a bit weird at times)

Long story short, I'm 33 yo, I've been obsessed with dogs my whole life, I adopted my first pup 4 years ago, and I started fostering rescue/RSPCA/association dogs a couple of years ago (this cute GSD/Bouvier named Buck that I'm now willing to adopt is my 4th foster dog).

I got to love him with my whole heart despite his one and only behavioral issue: REACTIVITY to other dogs.
This is actually a bit ironic since I'm definitely not a GSD person originally, I'm more into the "molossian" type/laid back/quiet dogs.
And considering my lifestyle, a reactive dog is king of the worst think that could happen to me 😅
I'm the relaxed type of girl who likes to stroll around without constantly be "on watch" (I take the dogs everywhere and I never had to deal with real reactivity before)

So I'm here to talk about GSD behavior and hopefully find testimonies and tips about that type of reactivity.
I'm lucky to be in touch with a great trainer and GSD lover who's already put me on the track. I've been doing intense immersion/correction sessions these past few days (had a first appointment with my trainer last Saturday, where Buck got to work with 6 of his own dogs) and I'm already seeing progress.
I thought it might help to also get in touch with other GSD owners to keep up the good work and stay motivated!
I should probably point out that Buck is totally social, there's no socialization issue with him. It's just stupid blind/binary reactivity when he sees another dog he cannot get to.

Hope we can talk and share stories :)

Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you drparker!
I'm just back from another quite intense exposure session and he's making tremendous progress!
I litterally see him change from minute to minute :oops:
Nice opportunity today to work with a Husky girl and here owner who was very nice and accepted to stay on a spot with her dog while I was working Buck to heel around them, and getting closer every time he calmed down. I was finally able to get very close to them with Buck sitting next to me without trying to lunge.
It was quite exhausting as I was constantly working to get him to sit/stay or heel while having to explain the situation to that girl at the same time so she could give me a hand 😅

So for the first couple of minutes I was like "Nope ! sit, good boy"/ "Hi there I'm working with that reactive dog and" / "Nope, heel! good boy"/ "yeah and if you could just stay there a mnute with your dog so I can walk around for a while "/ "Nope ! Sit/stay, good boy"/ "Thanks, it's really nice of you/ etc. LOL
But I'm glad I asked it was a nice little session!

And this is Buck (he is a GSD/Bouvier des Flandres mix)
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Oh what a darling mix. My friends used to have a Bouvier that was a comedic HOOT. Loveable if rough playing doggy.
My rescued/adopted female GSD was very reactive when I first got her. I read all the good books and Patricia McConnell's Feisty Fido is very good.
I was overly cautious at first in public. Because I have a crippled leg, my adult son started taking her out a couple times a week. without my knowledge he started intoducing her to dog parks, just walking on the outside of fenced areas so she could see other dogs playing and barking and running around. He did this for a few weeks. Then one day they went in and he turned her loose. Well she ran and played, though very roughly, and ran and played and ran. She had a ball.
In fact another dog owner there said she was "invited" to come back she was so good and sociable.

In the first few weeks at dog park, she got pinned down once, by a huge GSD. Apparently she deserved it as I'm sure she didn't have good doggy reading social skills. She still doesn't but she's learning. Now she and other dogs do baby
growls and minor snapping to warn off others.

Now he takes her all over to maybe 5 or 6 different parks, the beach, lakes,parks. She's still and may always be a little
domineering for a female but has adjusted to be socially acceptable. And so far, she's met and chased and played with thousands of different breeds and sizes. So there's hope.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
This is great! I like the fenced parks you have in the US.
It's a bit more difficult to get the right setting to work on this reactivity in my area as many many dogs are unleashed even though they don't recall well (so some may **** your training session by coming to your dog at the wrong time) and we don't have fences.
I let Buck play freely with 3/4 other dogs a couple of times a week in an open field just next to my house where friends come with their dogs. Plus he's been able to interact freely with 6 of my trainer's own dogs (Newfoundlands, GSD, husky, Yorkshire, and mixed breeds) so I know he has good social skills.
He totally shows respect when another dog says "no", responds to invitations, etc.
 

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He looks more like a Picard mix vs a Bouvier mix. I have know several Bouviers and they were pretty laid back in non-threatening situations. Picards are more intense it seems like. Anyways he is the dog he is. He looks beautiful. Good luck with him.
 

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Individual Bouviers can be calm and laid back but they are supposed to be aggressive. I knew two that could not be around strange people without reacting.
 
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