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Hello All,

I need your advice again for my GS Puppy turning 7 month on 4 Oct 2018.

My puppy, Bruno is very nice, playful and confident when meets other dogs regardless of size and age. But I have noticed that he never show aggression when other dog even small in size and weight attack him. He just runs and trying to hide behind me even if they are trying to bite, he never protect himself. I know he must be stronger than these dogs but still I have to protect him from small dogs.

I thought German Shepherds are very courageous and strong dogs but I do not feel good when I saw he is scared of small dogs.

Is there something I can do to help him ? or he will be fine with age ? I am thinking to less socializing him may be that is the reason.

Thanks
Amit
 

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Amit,

Stop putting your puppy in situations where he's being attacked by ANY dogs! He's large in size, but still very much a puppy. Confidence will naturally come with more maturity, unless you continue to let him be terrorized.
 

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Amit,

Stop putting your puppy in situations where he's being attacked by ANY dogs! He's large in size, but still very much a puppy. Confidence will naturally come with more maturity, unless you continue to let him be terrorized.
Tim is this a guy thing? Sigh.

Amit, Stop letting your puppy get bullied! And exactly what is it you would like him to do to defend himself? You do understand that he could seriously injure a small dog right? Then what?
 

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Try to understand what I am saying. I am not putting in him any situation and dont want to test his ability, I usually go to dog park to socialize him and so he can have some fun as well. But you know few dogs are not as friendly. I am talking about those situation when some dogs trying to nip him.

For now, I will reduce his visits to dog park and lets see how it goes.

Thanks
 

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No, I see it all the time from both genders...>:)

And before any of my fan club decides to jump in here, just let me state clearly that there's a HUGE difference between letting your dog be stressed a bit by peers versus being outright bullied - in the latter case, size is not near as important as age! It's a dog thing...LOL!
 
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Hello there.

Up until my pup was around 10 months old, he did get picked on or bullied by other dogs. Even small dogs. He too would run back to me or hide under the bench. Been to dog parks quite a while now, I've learnt to pick up things like body language of dogs and the owners. Not always, but most of the time.

As a his owner, you'd have to know the difference between rough-housing and being bullied.

If other dogs are being rough playful, and my dog runs away, I would ignore my dog. And he comes back to the other dog and start playing, I'd praise him. I did not want to baby him and pet him and say, 'It's ok... It's ok...' because I didn't want him to think he'd need protection from dogs inviting to play. As he grew, he started being more confident for sure.

But when another dog is much too much for my dog, say, my dog is overwhelmed, yelping, trying to catch a breath so to speak, I'd intervene. I step between my dog and the other dog and send the dog away. Then I pet my dog. Therefore he knows I will always protect him should he NEEDS me to.

A simple example of this is when my dog was young and other dogs tried to hump him, I'd have him defend himself and I shook it off. It's the other dog owner's responsibility to pull their dog off of mine anyways. But if he was being humped by a dog MUCH larger than him, and he had been trying to escape from the dog unsuccessfully, I'd step in, pull the other dog away, and pet my dog.

I don't think your dog is fearful etc., I just think you might need to do more exercises that boost up his confidence. This can happen inside or outside the dog park. I remember the 1st time my dog and I started playing the 'Find' game (minor nosework around the house,) he was SO PROUD of himself after he'd successfully found the treat I was hiding. He held his head up high and sort of trotting his way, it felt so good seeing him like that.

For some dogs, confidence is built over time. A shy dog does not always necessarily mean a needy, fearful dog.
 

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Your pup is starting to realize that there are things in the world that can really hurt! I'd take a break from dog parks for awhile. Your pup will do fine going on hikes with you and playing games with you.

There could be any number of reasons your dog is running back to you. It could be that he really doesn't want to deal with little dogs. They can be annoying. My big boy had an old male chihuahua come running down the road to us, stop and poop right in front of us, just a couple of feet away. My boy looked at me as if to say, "wow, how should I respond to this nonsense". He could have picked the old dog up and tossed him like a rag but instead deferred to my judgement (thank God). It is now your job to help you dog figure out some of the doggy politics. Be come as much of an expert in dog body language as you can.
 

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Try to understand what I am saying. I am not putting in him any situation and dont want to test his ability, I usually go to dog park to socialize him and so he can have some fun as well. But you know few dogs are not as friendly. I am talking about those situation when some dogs trying to nip him.

For now, I will reduce his visits to dog park and lets see how it goes.

Thanks
I understand what you are saying and I understand what you are doing and yes you are
putting this dog into situations , which may , soon, change and you will be sorry.

what do you want your dog to do? If some ankle biter dog , becomes snippy defensive ,
do you want your dog to bite him ? Pick him up and shake him like a rag?

Unfortunately I witnessed just that .

do you want your dog to come out and be the park bully?

GSD and dog parks do not work .

Dog parks don't work for many breeds, or individual dogs .

Your dog does not have to "socialize" in this manner . It is not in the breed's nature .

The fun should be with you , from you.

If you want to have a merry romp with other dogs then have a friend with a stable dog that
is known to you - both dogs able to respond and be under control and make a date with
them for a hike and a run .

I wish people would stop looking at dogs as pre-school children .
 

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I would take a break from dog parks. Your dog gets much better socialization when they encounter smaller numbers of dogs on hikes. There's a big psychological difference between dog park socialization and hiking socialization.

On a hike, all dogs and humans on the trail are sharing a common mission: travel through the "wilderness" in a peaceful manner, following a path, and focusing on their individual "pack" mission (My humans and I are going this way on the trail.).
 

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As others have said dog parks and GSDs do not seem to mix well. I took my dog when she was a pup until about 8 months when we stopped going. She does not like other dogs, as she started to mature she'd just want to play ball with me and if another dog came around she'd get nippy with them. I quickly realised that it just wasn't for her.

GSDs in general at least the working line ones I've been around don't seem to like other dogs outside of there pack. She tolerates them well, but in a group setting she's certainly the fun police!

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