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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Yesterday in the open field, were I do Bella basic command training; a minor incident broke out. We were back there doing what we usually do. Just a quick note, Bella never done anything like this she's always friendly to anything with a heart beat. Yesterday we were back there going over commands. She was off the leash.

She's always off leash back there because no one comes back there and it's a open field. It's a pretty quiet place during the day. Well a couple walked into their fenced back yard Bella was about 5 yards from me. She then turned towards them and started growling at first and then it turned into barking with her hackles up. I instantly corrected her and we went back inside. I then called a trainer literally four minutes later I didn't waist any time at all. I don't condone this behavior because we are not those type of owners who think that's cool in any way.

So my question is, by me calling the trainer for the fist incident ever; am I overreacting or is it the right call ?

Bella has been acting very differently lately barking at anything and everything. Even my toilet flushing she barks at now. When she hears a baby crying on TV or the phone she barks. When I sneez she barks it's pretty crazy. She jumps all over my wife but not me she nips at my wife in a playful way when my wife rubs on her or turns from her. When it's just me and her she doesn't do anything but the barking. so did I make the right call ?

She's only ten months
 

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A trainer is a good idea, especially with her being reactive to so many things. Check for references as there are a lot of crapty trainers out there.
 

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I think that hiring a trainer was the right move....not because it's the first incident, it's just the first time whatever is going on with her has manifested in this way. acting differently lately, barking/reacting to so many things, the fearful/insecure behavior she exhibited the other night with your neighbor - I believe this has all been a build up, and in my opinion, no, not normal.

is Bella spayed? if not she may be coming into season.
 

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Has she gone into heat yet or is she already fixed? I don't think its too normal. I've never experienced it with any of mine. Apollo just turned a year and I never hear a peep out of him. He watches and observes quietly.
 

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I think that hiring a trainer was the right move....not because it's the first incident, it's just the first time whatever is going on with her has manifested in this way. acting differently lately, barking/reacting to so many things, the fearful/insecure behavior she exhibited the other night with your neighbor - I believe this has all been a build up, and in my opinion, no, not normal.

is Bella spayed? if not she may be coming into season.
No she isn't spayed I was going to wait until after her fist heat
 

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Has she gone into heat yet or is she already fixed? I don't think its too normal. I've never experienced it with any of mine. Apollo just turned a year and I never hear a peep out of him. He watches and observes quietly.
No she hasn't had her heat yet and with all this going I think it maybe coming soon
 

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No she hasn't had her heat yet and with all this going I think it maybe coming soon
A trainer never hurts. I think it's safe to say she will probably go into heat soon. You just don't want those behaviors to become habitual whether it's her heat or not.
 

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The Vet gave me a CD of sounds when Rosie was a couple of months old meant to socialize puppies - of babies crying, buses, thunder, vaccuums - all sorts of sounds that might freak a dog out. Maybe that would help to get her used to noises? A trainer is always good too. Good Luck
 

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When she barks, do you tell her "No"? If so, does she just ignore you or does she stop? Does she act so distracted by what she's barking at that she barely hears you? Do you redirect or have her sit and make her focus on you or is it difficult?

I would make note of these things for the trainer. The behavior might not be so easy to bring out to demonstrate when the trainer needs to see it. Even a video of this behavior could help them so they can see if she's really lost when she starts or is easy to stop.

I read quite a bit about a "late fear period" here when mine was about that age but so many posters say it flat out doesn't exist. Makes you wonder though doesn't it?

What ever it is - good to hear you are getting a handle on it fast. These dogs are just to big and powerful to ever loose control over. You and I know how quickly a bad habit can become ingrained.:(
 

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I don't think it's abnormal behavior. Lots of GSD I have had and worked with go through an "over alert" phase.

But I think you are right for calling a training. Handling these incidents wrong can make the behavior worse. It's a good idea to work with a professional so that you are prepared and know how to deal with it should it happen again.
 

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Wow props to you for getting on it like that! That is wonderful! Better to be safe than sorry in my opinion. It doesn't hurt to have a good dog trainer on board with your dog!

I would also suggest, if the dog trainer agrees, a vet visit to be sure she is medically clear.
 

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Her protection instincts could be starting to develop. At her age I don't think her reaction was abnormal to the couple while you were in the field - just a clue that some formal training might be beneficial now on how to redirect her. What I find odd is her barking at things she has been exposed to repeatedly like the toilet flushing. Do you take her out to new places a lot, expose her to different environments, people, situations?
 
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