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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 6.5 month old german shepherd and I got him unfortunately at 3.5 weeks old. To make up for that lack of time with his littermates, I let him meet a BUNCH of dogs and people. Probably about 700 or so people and 200-300 dogs/cats/bunnies/rats by the time he was 12 weeks old. He had all positive experiences, except one (he snuck off at my work and an older lab bit him on the face when I wasn't looking and gave him a cut under his eye). Well, as a younger puppy, he would bark and lunge at other dogs to play. When he got to the other dog, he would pounce around and act playful with them. Now however, he will bark, lunge, and then eventually sniff the other dog, and a lot of the time he's snapping at them. This is all new behavior. I don't know if this is how he is becoming, or if it's due to a leg injury he got 1.5 weeks ago. This all started from the day he got his injury so I'm thinking he might just be agitated, but you never know so I was wondering how I can stop this behavior.
I'm really worried about the barking since I bring him to work with me every day, and I don't want him scaring all the other dogs. And then I am of course worried about the snapping and biting. I try to distract him with treats and get him to sit/lay/whatever but usually he is way too focused on the other dog. Any tips would be appreciated! Oh and I've also tried dropping a bunch of treats anytime he sees another dog to get him to view other dogs positively, but it's not helping.
 

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Mine does the same thing to try to get to the other dog. I know it's to just go up and sniff, but I agree it probably scares the other dog (and more so their owner).

I usually try to correct her and say no, then walk up nicely...but maybe someone can chime in with if this is something they have corrected or if they grow out of it.
 

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why not give the dog some down time . Let him process things , get rest, grow.

That was a lot of stimulation for a young pup , who if left on his own devices would have slept the majority of the time .

Maybe he is stressed with all the new contacts, feels vulnerable having been bitten and with a broken leg.

Arrange to have time with him , just the two of you.

just ideas

Carmen
Carmspack Working German Shepherd Dogs
 

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why not give the dog some down time . Let him process things , get rest, grow.

That was a lot of stimulation for a young pup , who if left on his own devices would have slept the majority of the time .

Maybe he is stressed with all the new contacts, feels vulnerable having been bitten and with a broken leg.

Arrange to have time with him , just the two of you.

just ideas

Carmen
Carmspack Working German Shepherd Dogs
Guess what Carmen :) I agree with you on this one :D

There is a thing such as too much socialization for a young pup!
 

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Stephanie, I want to piggy back on your thread for a moment. Those of you with experience please advise me on this one; How do you handle your very high drive dogs in very high distraction environments? Case in point: I had to take Ruger (5 months old now) to the Vets office this morning and it was dog sensory over load. We have been working on engagement around other dogs at home and around town but this morning when I took him to the vet I had no ability to keep him focus on me. There were many dogs in the office and one particular dog was on a retractable leash and the lady holding him allowed him to get uncomfortably close. We were all the way in a corner waiting for our turn and other dogs were just too close for comfort. I was thinking that i will probably have to use a prong collar or electric collar combined with a strong muzzle on him eventually in those type situations where it is not really a controlled training environment. Any insights would be appreciated.
 

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why not give the dog some down time . Let him process things , get rest, grow.

That was a lot of stimulation for a young pup , who if left on his own devices would have slept the majority of the time .

Maybe he is stressed with all the new contacts, feels vulnerable having been bitten and with a broken leg.

Arrange to have time with him , just the two of you.

just ideas

Carmen
Carmspack Working German Shepherd Dogs
I agree. Also, the leg injury sets him up to be picked on by other dogs who sometimes do that to a dog they see in a weakened state. This puts your dog at a disadvantage that he may be compensating for.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well his injury is getting better, I took him off the pain meds. Yesterday at Petsmart he tried to nip and snap at 2 different dogs that he got close to. Thankfully the other owners let me retry his greeting with their dogs and i got him to sniff and be gentle with the dogs eventually by walking him by them and making him sit/down, and then take more steps towards them and sit/down again... until we eventually reached them. Now is this going to reinforce him to behave correctly with other dogs, or am I missing something?
I know I don't want him to be OVER stimulated, and I wouldn't mind giving him a break from meeting so many dogs (we continue socializing him all the time) but I'm afraid if I don't nip this in the bud now, the problem will just get worse. Thank you!
 

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My opinion is to not force it on him. Don't take him to Petsmart. It is too close and personal and crazy,
Take him to a park,dog park, mall etc.... Let him watch without being too close. As he calms down at a distance then move a little closer, keep this up until he is comfortable up really close. Then consider if he can make contact. If you force socialization right now it could go the opposite of what you want. Just my opinion.
 
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