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Seriously?

I thought pitbulls were the new target?

Used to be Dobermans and Shepherds, then late 80's Rotts and pits... now just pits...

?

I was wondering why 3 small groups of people crossed the street before we got to them....

seriously?

German Shepherd is NOT a scary dog....

<confused>
 

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Sure they are..... so are poodles! LOL!!

I was walking Havoc at the park tonight and heard a mom scream at her kid "to look out for that dog" who was running in our general direction. My friend who was walking toward me with her mini schnauzer did not get the same warning. We went over to the tennis courts and trained for 45 minutes while the mom watched the "scary dog" as her kids played.
 

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Not sure what world you're living in, but a GSD is definately a 'scarey' dog if you don't know it personally. Even being very familiar with the breed, I bet you still wouldn't put your arm through the open window of a parked car with a GSD in the cab. :)
 

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Maybe they just had really bad allergies...

...but - to be serious - when I go for a walk with my daughter if I see someone on the sidewalk approaching with a dog - be it large or small - I will give the dog and handler a wide berth. It's just that I don't know the dog and more importantly I don't know the handler.

That being said though I do think that people often see certain breeds as "dangerous" or violent breeds and so some people fear them.

Dog Attack Deaths and Maimings, U.S. & Canada, September 1982 to June 25, 2010 - By Clifton Merritt - DogsBite.org
 

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Maybe not to you or most of the other people on this site, but to non-dog lovers or people who just don't know much about them, they ARE pretty intimidating. Especially on all the shows and movies where the GSD police dogs bite someone's arm. Some people think they'll bite anyone like that.
 

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Too many people, dogs in general(including Chihuahuas) are scary. Sometimes they just had a bad experience and are now scared, some are ignorant and listen to everything they in the media.

GSDs have always been labeled as "dangerous", just Pitbulls are more talked about. GSDs do have an intimidating look, but that doesn't mean they are dangerous. Same goes for Rotties, Dobermans, and Pitties.

I live in an area where people associate GSDs with Police Dogs and think mean dog. I have friends and classmates who live in not so good neighborhoods and were a little intimidated by my dogs, but I introduced them and they were at as scared. I will also tell them about the GSD breed. I also do the same when I am working at the shelter. If a person comes up and asks about the dog and its breed I will educate them, I do alot of that with Pitbulls.

If someone is scared of my dog it could be for a number of reasons. But if they come up to me or start spouting stuff such as "German Shepherds are vicious dogs and can never be trusted" I will try and educate them, but if they still want to be mean, then I just leave them alone. But if I am at Petco or out walking and someone gets a little tense when they see my dog I will ask if they would like to pet my dog to show he/she is friendly. If the person says no then I don't push them, if they say yes, I teach them the proper way to introduce yourself to a dog and let them pet my dog.

It all depends on the situation and the person. Some people have a fear of dogs because of being attacked by a dog, and some are just ignorant.

The best way is to educate. Sometimes they will listen, sometimes they won't.
 

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Not sure what world you're living in, but a GSD is definately a 'scarey' dog if you don't know it personally. Even being very familiar with the breed, I bet you still wouldn't put your arm through the open window of a parked car with a GSD in the cab. :)
Which is one of the reasons I love to take mine with me when I run errands in town. Who's going to pull a smash and grab when theres a large GSD sitting in the passenger seat staring at ya, with her ears pricked up! :p
 

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People all the time used to cross the street to avoid passing by when I was walking my well-behaved Golden Retriever in heel position, so it's not just German Shepherds. I think some people just are afraid of any medium/large type of dog.
 

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Unfortunately, GSDs are listed among the breeds that will bite unprovoked. That includes Poodles, Rotties, Pits, Dobies & some others that escape me right now. The number one dog for toddler face bites is the Golden Retriever (I read that in some insurance publication). I've been around GSDs for 37 years and I can guarantee you that, even though I have a good understanding of their body language etc, and I'm not afraid of them, I would not offer my hand to a GSD that was sitting in the back of a pick up truck or on the front seat of a parked car. I will admit that nothing scares me more than an untrained dog, GSD or not.
All that being said, I would say that our breed demands respect but I do not consider them to be dangerous.:)
 

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German Shepherds are dangerous. Have you seen the size of those teeth? Have you seen their weight and speed? Have you ever been in the room with one when it lets go????

I do not know what can clear a room faster.

And my little German girl, She weights about 63 pounds soaking wet, but when she jumps on me, she seems to know where to place those 63 pounds, because more than once I have come close to going down -- and I am several times her weight.

If a GSD, runs toward, leaps up on, barks at a person, that person can easily misinterpret a freindly greeting for a viscious attack. And this NEVER goes well for the GSD or their owner, especially if that person the reacts and possibly injures themselves due to their interpretation of the what the dog is doing.

This is why it is so important for we shepherd owners, to get our butts out there and socialize and train our dogs, and manage and contain our dogs. Every bite from our breed does serious damage to us. With breed bans, and insurance issues. GSD owners should probably be pretty angry when they hear of GSDs running afoul.
 

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German Shepherds are dangerous if poorly bred and if in the hands of owners who do not realize what a powerful animal they own. I respect people hesitation when they meet me and my dog because we are strangers to them, and neither of us knows if we actually need this encounter in the first place.
 

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Um, German Shepherds are absolutely scary dogs to people who fear them, or fear dogs in general - just because YOU aren't afraid of them, doesn't mean others aren't. And people have every right to be afraid of them, and cross streets to avoid them - fear is a feeling, it cannot be helped and it's not a choice. I'm afraid of Rottweilers - I was attacked by one as a child, and I will cross the street to avoid them, and if that offends the owner, oh well.

That aside, the most "dangerous" dog is the untrained, unsocialized, overly spoiled dog - and that can be a Chihuahua, a Golden Ret, a GSD, a Lab, doesn't matter.
 

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I get people all the time telling me I need to get rid of Dixie because she part GSD... I really HATE the people that say that crap. I mean for God's sake, I was raised with many different breeds, chows, pomeranians, poodles, schnauzers, labs, goldens, min pins, boxers, GSDs, different hounds, chis, yorkies and many others. But it really irks me when people tell me I need to either get rid of or put my dogs to sleep because of their breed! I have a purebred chow, a chow mix, and a GSD mix... My boyfriend gets the same crap with his pittie.
 

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I also think it is where you live. When at Petsmart I never have that problem, most people think Max is handsome and want to pet him or ask about him. On rare occasions someone has picked up their little dog fearing he will eat it, lol!
 

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I think its mainly because of television. When you watch Cops you see the officers releasing the dogs to subdue a suspect, when you turn on World's Wildest Videos you see a GSD leaping over a car to take down an armed suspect. Can you name one TV show that has a positive image of a GSD? (besides Rin Tin Tin)

Furthermore, the intelligence and intensity of the GSD makes people uncomfortable. Both my mother and my Fiance's mother have remarked that if they didn't know our dogs they would be nervous around them, mainly because of the intensity of the gaze and how the dogs are always alert, even when sleeping. I personally can attest that there is nothing more frightening than seeing a GSD slowly walk around the corner of a house, stiff legged, hackles slightly raised, and eyes boring holes into your soul...of course when Angus realized it was me he was a mushmuffin but for those 5 seconds I was debating fleeing the house.
 

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I also think it is where you live. When at Petsmart I never have that problem, most people think Max is handsome and want to pet him or ask about him. On rare occasions someone has picked up their little dog fearing he will eat it, lol!
We've had this happen when we go to the vets. If people with small dogs see us coming most of them will scoop up their smaller dogs as we're walking in the door. I don't blame them, they have no idea if our dogs are friendly, but it's funny to watch.
 

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Um, German Shepherds are absolutely scary dogs to people who fear them, or fear dogs in general - just because YOU aren't afraid of them, doesn't mean others aren't. And people have every right to be afraid of them, and cross streets to avoid them - fear is a feeling, it cannot be helped and it's not a choice. I'm afraid of Rottweilers - I was attacked by one as a child, and I will cross the street to avoid them, and if that offends the owner, oh well.

That aside, the most "dangerous" dog is the untrained, unsocialized, overly spoiled dog - and that can be a Chihuahua, a Golden Ret, a GSD, a Lab, doesn't matter.
Amen, a phobia is irrational and may have known roots but the result is pretty extreme avoidance. You have to respect other people's fear even though it may not seem justified. Where I walk my dog, who is a sheep in wolf's clothing, there are 3 women with small dogs whom we have met a hundred times. Whereas my dog quietly greets the others whether they are barking or not and has for a year, one of the women always picks her dog up even while she is complementing how sweet my dog is.
 

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My brother still has the scars from a GSD chomping on his face, unprovoked, at a pool when he was a child.

As far as mine...she absolutely is dangerous. She's always at my side and one of these days I'm going to trip over her and break my neck! That's pretty dangerous.

Just like any other animal, they vary in temperament. A well bred dog, of any breed, should not be dangerous.
 

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I used to get so upset when people started pulling their kids closer or crossed the street to avoid us and especially when they just freeze in place and stare at us. It made my uncomfortable and that radiated on Einstein. Now I just understand that some people really are afraid of dogs and GSD's with their adult-like features (unlike most baby-faced dogs with proportionally large eyes and foreheads which elicit nurturing behaviors in humans) can throw people off. Add their stigma to the mix and I just brush it off now understanding that people are just scared and they are scary dogs. Always alert, always serious looking, large, fast, strong. Lots to be scared of!

This isn't typical just to humans btw - all mammals will be more afraid of another animal if that animal has adult like features (think wolf vs adult shih tzu or even better an adult golden). You see it in herding competitions (and read about it in Patricia McConnell's books) - ewe's that were just chased and harassed by border collies and welsh corgis will cower in fear when a timid GSD walks in.

Just something to think about... Notice that the "dangerous" breeds are usually those who have the least baby-like features.
 
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