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Hey folks. Is it common for GSDs to go through a fear stage in their adolescence?

I have a 7mo old female. Up until this past Sunday evening, she's been progressing fantastically in training and socialization. This dog has been confident and obedient. We've taken her all kinds of places and she's just been an angel everywhere we've went.

I live in a town home community. This past Sunday evening, we were standing outside taking a bathroom break (her not me - haha). All of a sudden, a fire truck and rescue pulled up with their emergency lights on and sirens blaring. This scared the crap out of Cassie.

Ever since, she's been a little bit of a basket case. She's acting scared at all sorts of noises. Even some that she was accustomed to. I noticed a strong reaction yesterday afternoon to a brightly colored van. (One of the reasons I'm thinking the fire truck and rescue were the catalyst)

When she goes outside, there's no sniffing around and not much playing anymore. She goes to her potty spot, takes care of business and then immediately begs to get back in the house.

So I'm looking for advice. Has this ruined my dog? How can I get her confidence back up? I've been trying to linger outside a bit when we go out to force the issue. I've added a couple of outdoor play sessions.

Again, is a secondary fear stage at this age typical?

I appreciate any help or guidance.

Tom


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I would take as much time as she needed outside for her to visibly relax for a few seconds.Just walking or jogging around with her,longer play session,a favorite toy or treat that she only gets when she's in the yard.Don't go back in while she looks obviously stressed.
She's associating the yard with the horrible noise and you have to reprogram her with a positive association.
 

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I had a thread a while back regarding puppy fear periods but that segued into a great convo regarding the topic in general along w others' experiences. Chip18 offered some great links and info in it, also. Most of it is on the 2nd page of the thread. You may be able to find something helpful there!

http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/development-socialization/583074-puppy-fear-period.html

I'm of the opinion she just had a bad experience. Some dogs are able to take these things in stride, others not so much. It may be that you've been able to keep her environment and experiences pretty positive up until this 'scary' fire truck came along. Is she ruined? Of course not. With some counterconditioning and time she should be fine. Like dogma said, I wouldn't bring her back inside looking stressed. Make outside time a good experience for her again. Favorite games, toys, exercises, etc w proper rewards/treats.

I'd still probably stay away from firehouses for now, though ;)
 

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Hi! I watch a lot of videos of dogs and few weeks ago i saw this one, may this help you, pretty much is normal for dogs go thought that fear stage in their lives i can not post the video cause i need to post more on this forum not sure but go to youtube and type Fear Period in Young Dogs and videos from Leerburg Enterprises, Inc should pop out they explain that stage on dogs. Hope this helps you :grin2:
 
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