Hi! I’m a newbie although I’ve owned GSDs for twenty years. But I’ve never owned one like this new puppy. My sable girl is 5 months old. At home she’s fearless, attacks vacuum cleaners, a steamer, the hose spray, and gets in the faces of my other two dogs, even when they nip her to stop. My son’s two year old male GSD plays rough with her and she loves it. They carry on for hours, loving their “tooth wars.” Her training has been going great, although her recall sucks. I started out walking her right away and she seemed okay with it, at first. Suddenly she didn’t want to walk the neighborhood for reasons I can’t fathom. Nothing ever happened on a walk, but she will climb my back. She never shuts down or refuses to move forward. I’ve used treats, which she will eat, but she’s too tense to play tug, for example. We have a cabin in an isolated location and, when we are here, my husband walks her on leash two miles every day. Occasionally a car comes by but usually they encounter no one. Some days she trots beside him as if she’s fine and I’ll take her out in the afternoon for a shorter walk and she acts fine. She never tucks her tail or lowers her body. But too often my husband reports she lags/hides behind him and even now and then climbs up his back. Today, because he pushes to have her untethered here, I found she had gone down to the road, the road she doesn’t want to walk! (She’s tethered now, you better believe it.) In the city, if someone approaches, I tell them she’s not friendly. If they hold out their hand, she will go up, sniff it, and usually move away when she discovers no treat. Sometimes she will permit a stranger to pet her, but usually not and I never force it. Her reaction to other dog’s walking by varies from barking to ignoring them. I never know. A few days ago I had her out and a friend stopped his car and came out to say hello. She barked a few times, I popped her lead, she looked up at me and then went over to him and licked his hand. Go figure. A trainer, observing her in the house and outdoors, said she could understand why I don’t believe my girl is fearful. Yet I can’t deny she acts that way on leash. We have been following a low threshold approach, trying to minimize her interactions and her stress but I haven’t seen any improvement in more than two months. My husband says she will get over it. The trainer wants me to quit socializing her, saying one of her pups was made vicious by an owner who flooded the dog with social interactions. She had to take the dog back. Please help me figure out this puppy and what she needs.
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