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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I'm trying to figure out what's happening and what to do about it.

My 6 month old male sable "Cooper" has not been exposed to other dogs as much unlike our 16 month old GSD Pebbles. Yet, by nature he is a talker but on walks however he seems very good bark-wise. So, I only go to dog parks at times where there are not to much folks out there - in that way it would be a gradual introduction for him. Now, when a strange comes in he's quite unless they come closer - it seems he's not feeling comfortable with that and barks. Yet, he continues barking thereafter, but plays in a way.

So, I'm not sure what to do in the first place and what he's trying to tell the others - is it dominance or fear?

Any feedback would be appreciated.


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What's his body language like when he's barking? Is he barking at dogs or people? if he's wagging his tail or bowing his head it may just be a very vocal invitation to play.
 

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it may just be a very vocal invitation to play.
I think so as well. He is challenging the newcomer, wants to know what he likes, questioning him whether he is agressive or playful.
Don't worry. Train him to meet any stranger in sitting position, wait when that one approaches you two. Then tell him "OK" and let him to run freely. If he continues barking - recall, and repeat the process of introduction by waiting when that dog comes closer. Ignore his barking, like some teenager your dog is noisy.
 

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take your dog to the dog park and train and socialize. do it
often but in short sessions. don't enter the dog park everytime. train
along the fence for a few sessions. short sesions but often. set up
a few play dates with a few dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I appreciate all the feedback guys it is very helpful information.

Would you think I need to keep him on the leash in the dog park since he get's so focused on the new dog that he does not hear me.


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Socialize somewhere else besides a dog park. Your boy sounds unsure, and in a dog park setting, there is a higher chance of bad experiences. For your boy that could set him up for more problems.

Has he been through training? If he hasn't, start with classes led by an experienced trainer - that knows GSD. Let them know the situation. He'll have controlled exposure to dogs and people. If he has already been through training, your boy would benefit from another class for the socialization.

Set up play dates with one, then 2 calm dogs. Have the owners ignore your dog, let your boy make the first move to sniff, the owner can just drop a treat on the ground instead of offering it.
 

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On leash inside the dog park sounds like a bad idea, in my opinion. Other dogs will be off leash and may try to approach him which will lead to frustration or awkward greetings. Like doggie dad said, maybe start outside the fence first.


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i think it's a matter of you not socializing and training enough.

Hi all,

I'm trying to figure out what's happening and what to do about it.

My 6 month old male sable "Cooper" has not been exposed to other dogs as much unlike our 16 month old GSD Pebbles. Yet, by nature he is a talker but on walks however he seems very good bark-wise. So, I only go to dog parks at times where there are not to much folks out there - in that way it would be a gradual introduction for him. Now, when a strange comes in he's quite unless they come closer - it seems he's not feeling comfortable with that and barks. Yet, he continues barking thereafter, but plays in a way.

>>>>>> So, I'm not sure what to do in the first place and what he's trying to tell the others - is it dominance or fear?<<<<<<

Any feedback would be appreciated.


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Discussion Starter #10
I think socializing him not sufficiently is my mistake. He does pretty well on obedience, I think I just have to focus more on the socializing him more - gradual then.

Thanks for all the feedback Guys, it is very helpful.


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