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Hi? I'm a first-time GSD owner who has a 8-month-old male GSD, Lobo. I got him from a local breeder who claimed that he is from East-German (DDR) bloodline, when he was 10-week old. He has sable coat color which I really love.

Like other GSDs, he is very intelligent and calm. Unlike other GSDs, he is too friendly. Because of my kids and an one-year-old Chiwanee who was just adopted from a local shelter two weeks ago, I have no complaint about his soft personality. He is not aggressive at all. Even my neighbor's one-year-old Shih Tzu bites him from time to time, he just let it happen and seems not irritated at all. In a dog park, some dogs bite him while playing with him, and he allows it, too. He doesn't seem scared or frightened. Besides, he rarely barks. I know he can bark, but he doesn't, even if provoked by my kids. When he barks, that's when he wants something from me or when he wants to play with other dogs in sight. Even when he barks, he doesn't bark viciously at all. Last night, I saw him viciously barks for the first time, but it was immediately stopped by my family.

However, recently I have observed him tucking his tail between his tails when he encountered few, large dogs in the dog park. He seemed timid or frightened, if I didn't misinterpret him. I'm just wondering if he can grow out of this fear when he grows up. I don't want him aggressive but I want him confident. I don't know how to explain this mixed emotion. I'm very happy to see him friendly, but it is sort of unpleasant to see his tail between his legs. Isn't he a GSD? It contradicts that he has a DDR bloodline.

Some background Info:
He had grown normal up to 5 months, i.e. his weight was one or 2 pounds less, compared to the GSD growth chart. He was 48 or 49 pounds at 5 month, if I recall it correctly. However, I made a **** mistake of overfeeding him because I forgot changing the daily feeding amount between 6 and 8 months. I should have been more careful, though. Anyway, he is now about 26-in tall and 78 pounds. I'm hoping he will slow down the growth. Attached are his pics of now and the old days.

Any tips or advice will be appreciated in advance.
 

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if you want to find out if he is DDR post a pedigree , or reveal his sire and dam. -- ???
Your dog doesn't seem to have any problems. Good open social character . High thresholds (tolerant) . Has good balance , not stimulated easily , and good blocking , so not reactive . Good control and recovery.
quote "However, recently I have observed him tucking his tail between his tails when he encountered few, large dogs in the dog park. He seemed timid or frightened, if I didn't misinterpret him. I'm just wondering if he can grow out of this fear when he grows up. I don't want him aggressive but I want him confident. I don't know how to explain this mixed emotion. I'm very happy to see him friendly, but it is sort of unpleasant to see his tail between his legs. Isn't he a GSD? It contradicts that he has a DDR bloodline. "

how does that contradict anything . You are looking at his reaction as a reflection on your needs , you are embarrassed -- what do you mean isn't he a gsd , and how does that contradict being a DDR dog. Oy . Dog parks , again.

You are lucky to have the dog that you have no matter what lines he is from. Do you have any idea how many people would want to trade places with you. The dog has no problem. You are , however, creating a problem. GSD are not good dog park candidates in the best of times. Focus on the dog doing things with you, for you.
 

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He doesn't look like the sable DDR dogs I see. He is very light in color.
I would stop with the dog parks and get him into a structured group class where he can build his confidence. There is no reason tho have him at a dog park where other dogs dominate him. It will only end in a fight if he decides to not be submissive to them.
 

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I agree your dog is very good for an 8 month old. My dog is like yours where small dogs will bite him but he just stands there. he used to be very friendly to people but at around 9 or 10 months started to just ignore strangers and bark at a few others. We are working on that. The last time we went to the dog park was about a month ago. Some dogs on the other corner, started barking and Dexter immediately ran to the gate to leave, looking afraid. I could look at it as hes still a scardy puppy or that he was smart enough to say lets leave before things get out of hand. I took it as a cue to leave, so we did.
My trainers did ask that i stop taking him to dog parks all the time because all he wanted to do, when he saw other dogs, was go and play. She and others here were right. Hes much better now at ignoring other dogs. Yours will too. hes still a young puppy.

EDIT. Dexter was next to me just playing fetch when the other dogs were barking. he was not involved in what was going on over there.
 

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Do you currently or have you ever brought your GSD to training? Work on confidence building. Take Lobo to a dog show of any kind. Lots of good advise to be had at these places. Your Lobo looks good and sounds good. Also, what do you consider a vicious bark, was his hair up tail stiff? How or why did the barking start? How was the dog acting? How did you handle it, and why the whole family?............. Forget the dog park. The norm as far as growth goes, is just as long as your pup looks right and is healthy. I have had GSDs from all kinds of blood lines and they all grew different.
The chart is a guide but not a rule.
 

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if you want to find out if he is DDR post a pedigree , or reveal his sire and dam. -- ???
Your dog doesn't seem to have any problems. Good open social character . High thresholds (tolerant) . Has good balance , not stimulated easily , and good blocking , so not reactive . Good control and recovery.
quote "However, recently I have observed him tucking his tail between his tails when he encountered few, large dogs in the dog park. He seemed timid or frightened, if I didn't misinterpret him. I'm just wondering if he can grow out of this fear when he grows up. I don't want him aggressive but I want him confident. I don't know how to explain this mixed emotion. I'm very happy to see him friendly, but it is sort of unpleasant to see his tail between his legs. Isn't he a GSD? It contradicts that he has a DDR bloodline. "

how does that contradict anything . You are looking at his reaction as a reflection on your needs , you are embarrassed -- what do you mean isn't he a gsd , and how does that contradict being a DDR dog. Oy . Dog parks , again.

You are lucky to have the dog that you have no matter what lines he is from. Do you have any idea how many people would want to trade places with you. The dog has no problem. You are , however, creating a problem. GSD are not good dog park candidates in the best of times. Focus on the dog doing things with you, for you.
Absolutely, you're right. I'm the one who was upset because I have a stereotype against GSDs. I thought that GSDs are fearless dogs.:)
 

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Do you currently or have you ever brought your GSD to training? Work on confidence building. Take Lobo to a dog show of any kind. Lots of good advise to be had at these places. Your Lobo looks good and sounds good. Also, what do you consider a vicious bark, was his hair up tail stiff? How or why did the barking start? How was the dog acting? How did you handle it, and why the whole family?............. Forget the dog park. The norm as far as growth goes, is just as long as your pup looks right and is healthy. I have had GSDs from all kinds of blood lines and they all grew different.
The chart is a guide but not a rule.
Yes, Lobo is taking a training course. There's an American bulldog (or pit-bull), but Lobo is not afraid of her.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi? I'm a first-time GSD owner who has a 8-month-old male GSD, Lobo. I got him from a local breeder who claimed that he is from East-German (DDR) bloodline, when he was 10-week old. He has sable coat color which I really love.

...

Some background Info:
He had grown normal up to 5 months, i.e. his weight was one or 2 pounds less, compared to the GSD growth chart. He was 48 or 49 pounds at 5 month, if I recall it correctly. However, I made a **** mistake of overfeeding him because I forgot changing the daily feeding amount between 6 and 8 months. I should have been more careful, though. Anyway, he is now about 26-in tall and 78 pounds. I'm hoping he will slow down the growth. Attached are his pics of now and the old days.

Any tips or advice will be appreciated in advance.
By the way, thank you for all of your replies. I'll take your advice seriously and think more about them.

My family is very happy with him. When he tucked his tail between legs, many people at the park laughed because they couldn't believe what they saw. They praised how friendly GSD my Lobo is, but I personally took it differently. It is my fault. :)
 

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By the way, thank you for all of your replies. I'll take your advice seriously and think more about them.

My family is very happy with him. When he tucked his tail between legs, many people at the park laughed because they couldn't believe what they saw. They praised how friendly GSD my Lobo is, but I personally took it differently. It is my fault. :)
Yes you took it too personally, alot of people think that their dogs reflect on them. ie. You have a coward dog , means your a coward and thats not right. I think thats why most men take it too personal.
At my dog park GSDs are known to be big babies. your dog is still young, most would understand that and even commend you for having a well behaved dog with the little ones.
 

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Do you currently or have you ever brought your GSD to training? Work on confidence building. Take Lobo to a dog show of any kind. Lots of good advise to be had at these places. Your Lobo looks good and sounds good. Also, what do you consider a vicious bark, was his hair up tail stiff? How or why did the barking start? How was the dog acting? How did you handle it, and why the whole family?............. Forget the dog park. The norm as far as growth goes, is just as long as your pup looks right and is healthy. I have had GSDs from all kinds of blood lines and they all grew different.
The chart is a guide but not a rule.
I didn't properly use my words. Vicious barking means barking with teeth shown. When Lobo barks, I barely see his teeth, and his barking doesn't sound like he's mad at all. Last night, my newly-adopted Chiwanee, CoCo, was very mean with Lobo's favorite bone. I think that CoCo crossed the line and Lobo barked with his teeth shown just a few times. But, I've never seen such barking from him. That's what I have seen from other GSDs. It was also very loud. My whole my family was sitting around Lobo, and we were kind of surprised with such barking. I said, 'Wow, Lobo can bark like that?'. :laugh:
 

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Sometimes people see a nice mannered GSD and think little of it because they are used to nervous aggressive dogs. Usually those dogs have less confidence than your own.

I agree the dog parks can be a bad place. You don't want a dog pushing him over the limit. My Grim was deferential around other dogs and was not pushy, but my Beau struts all over the place..not aggressive but cocky. I had less concern with Grim possibly getting into trouble and never doubted he would fight if he had to. But he never had to do so.
 

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I would encourage the confidence, but not the 'aggression'. GSD's naturally carry it and it isn't something that needs to be encouraged. You want a higher threshold balanced dog at maturity and as long as you shape his behavior, train him and encourage his confidence, you'll have a great companion.
Stay out of the dog park.
 

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As noted, don't take it personally. It will only cloud your perceptions. And don't be disappointed in your guy. He will read your emotions & could become anxious or less confident.

Appropriate fear or caution is NOT cowardice. Rather, it's a potent survival tool & shouldn't be dismissed. It's especially appropriate that a young, intelligent dog might be uncertain of the situation & behave accordingly.

Yrs back, Cochise, my old Sibe, hated hostile confrontations/fights with strange dogs yet the cunning devil never tucked his tail. He was extraordinarily adept at reading dogs & manipulating logistics so that he stayed well out of reach while assuming an attitude of supreme disdain or indifference. He was 4 when I got him & I suspect that he developed those tactics & wasn't simply born with 'em.

Da Vinci, my Irish Wolfhound, was on his toes & prepared to meet every challenge chest out & ready to rumble. I much preferred Cochise's attitude.
 

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I thought that GSDs are fearless dogs.:)
I did too until I had a couple of them.

Instead, they're sensitive, intelligent (sometimes too much for their own good), inquisitive, often childlike in their phobias and fears, vocal, reactive, rife with self-preservation, loyal, loving, tender, at times needy, playful, boisterous, tyrannical to some dogs, bossy, obsequious to a fault to get what they want, possessive, playful, indignant...

...much like some humans I' know.

But mostly, they're just plain lovable and a good friend. I'll settle for less ferocity in order to get all that.

LF
 

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I did too until I had a couple of them.

Instead, they're sensitive, intelligent (sometimes too much for their own good), inquisitive, often childlike in their phobias and fears, vocal, reactive, rife with self-preservation, loyal, loving, tender, at times needy, playful, boisterous, tyrannical to some dogs, bossy, obsequious to a fault to get what they want, possessive, playful, indignant...

...much like some humans I' know.

But mostly, they're just plain lovable and a good friend. I'll settle for less ferocity in order to get all that.

LF
:thumbup:
 

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He is not aggressive at all.
My Lucy is East European line from DDR with straight back legs as your dog. You should read about this line more here:
Adopt and breed a East-European shepherd dog
The Russians insist it is their breed and always was, the Germans say that Soviets simply stole their dogs. A lot of arguments, angry words and bitter tears, seems it stuck in limbo and would go on for a long time, I do not suggest you to go into their forums. One day Germany invited anyone with EEGSD to their shows for evaluation, so far only Czech Republic was fully qualified.
I've heard my Lucy's first bark when she saw a horse in the street for the first time. She had to be trained to bark hearing the front door bell. She was bold with absolutely everything, calm and merry. It took me nothing to train her. Before she became sexually mature. Like with majority of GSD, she changed almost overnight,became agressive and hypo reactive to the things she considered dangerous for me: big dogs and big fit men. She pays special attention to people smelling alcohol, she simply hates it. All of it is ahead of you, prepare, your dog is simply too young. Tail between legs besids submission means that the dog doesn't feel he is one of them. The wolf would do it in front of much smaller in size dogs.
It happens that EEGSD prefer company of small breeds and they don't like big dogs. Lucy was super in the puppy park, then started to bite her mates, and she asks me to leave group of large dogs every time we walk through dog parks. Our family cat is still her best friend.
 

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My Lucy is East European line from DDR with straight back legs as your dog. You should read about this line more here:
Adopt and breed a East-European shepherd dog
The Russians insist it is their breed and always was, the Germans say that Soviets simply stole their dogs. A lot of arguments, angry words and bitter tears, seems it stuck in limbo and would go on for a long time, I do not suggest you to go into their forums. One day Germany invited anyone with EEGSD to their shows for evaluation, so far only Czech Republic was fully qualified.
I've heard my Lucy's first bark when she saw a horse in the street for the first time. She had to be trained to bark hearing the front door bell. She was bold with absolutely everything, calm and merry. It took me nothing to train her. Before she became sexually mature. Like with majority of GSD, she changed almost overnight,became agressive and hypo reactive to the things she considered dangerous for me: big dogs and big fit men. She pays special attention to people smelling alcohol, she simply hates it. All of it is ahead of you, prepare, your dog is simply too young. Tail between legs besids submission means that the dog doesn't feel he is one of them. The wolf would do it in front of much smaller in size dogs.
It happens that EEGSD prefer company of small breeds and they don't like big dogs. Lucy was super in the puppy park, then started to bite her mates, and she asks me to leave group of large dogs every time we walk through dog parks. Our family cat is still her best friend.

This sounds just like my dog...maybe hes the same line (rescue from BYB so I dont know) only that you would have to add serious to this list. hes so serious (except with me) everyone says he has an old soul.
 

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This sounds just like my dog...maybe hes the same line (rescue from BYB so I dont know) only that you would have to add serious to this list. hes so serious (except with me) everyone says he has an old soul.
Better not to go into this. Because, someone here would tell you in a minute: "I have American Working line, and my 5 year old always loved kids, cats, never payed attention to chickens, and agressive only to bullies and bulls. He is serious, yet terribly playful, cannot live without a toy. And he is SCARINGLY intelligent" - and here it starts! About lines. I've got my dog from Austria, because I've dremt about GSD from parents working in Police. Lucy surpassed all my expectations, she is scaringly intelligent. But she cannot compete in Schutzhund, EEGSD doesn't have that passion his Western brother has.In this sense, yes, they are "serious" dogs. I feel myself a pensioner with her, despite her vigour and ability to work hard.
 

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Better not to go into this. Because, someone here would tell you in a minute: "I have American Working line, and my 5 year old always loved kids, cats, never payed attention to chickens, and agressive only to bullies and bulls. He is serious, yet terribly playful, cannot live without a toy. And he is SCARINGLY intelligent" - and here it starts! About lines. I've got my dog from Austria, because I've dremt about GSD from parents working in Police. Lucy surpassed all my expectations, she is scaringly intelligent. But she cannot compete in Schutzhund, EEGSD doesn't have that passion his Western brother has.In this sense, yes, they are "serious" dogs. I feel myself a pensioner with her, despite her vigour and ability to work hard.
LOL Ooops My bad.
 

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Fearless isn't synonymous with fierce. My Djibouti is a generally fearless guy but he's also pleasant with dogs & humans, exceptionally gentle with puppies & children, trustworthy & affable. He's bold, secure & confident which enables him to view the world as a generally safe place.

Despite his aversion to unnecessary confrontation, Cochise was also supremely confident, outgoing & benevolently commanding in social situations. True to his Husky nature he loved everyone at least a little, essentially feared nobody & viewed the world as his personal playground.

Dogs, including GSDs, shouldn't be fierce unless the situation needs it.
 
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