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Hi my Shepherd is 10 months and she is really afraid of other dogs. She really hasn't been around other dogs but when she is she is terrified. How can we get her over this problem? We live in a small town with no dog park and I really don't know anyone else with dogs.

Verna
 

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Sorry to hear you are having this problem. Socialization is vital for all dogs and seems even more important for GSD's. Specially EARLY socialization. So the fact she's already 10 months old is a big issue.

Does she bark and act aggressive? Or cower?

Are any dog classes available in your area? I know I drive an hour to get to my classes, and the difference it made for the rest of my life was worth it.

Can you talk to the breeder? All responsible breeders will be more than delighted to hear how their pups are maturing and give hints/helps to raising them.
 

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Verna,

Is there a dog trainer or behaviorist anywhere in your area that you can contact for help? It is much easier to have someone there in person to help you and see your dog in action to determine the best approach to take. Finding a "quality" trainer/behaviorist is key.

Take your dog for regular walks but don't force her to get too close to other dogs yet, just walk by them at a comfortable distance for her. Never coddle her when she is making a fuss around other dogs as that will encourage the behavior to continue. If you are passing another dog while walking and she acts up, keep walking, say Ahh! or Leave it. and keep moving. If she obeys and leaves it, praise her!! Keep the walks positive and upbeat. Bring along her favorite toy or treats. You want to gradually make her more comfortable around other dogs and one of the best ways is exposing her to them, but again, only at a distance where she doesn't react then gradually, and very gradually do you get closer. Never do head on meetings with other dogs. Dogs do best while in motion and keep the pace normal. If you must pass a dog coming towards you, walk in an arc around that dog, not face to face. Make sure you stay calm at all times no matter what she is doing. You are in control of the walk, not her. Keep it positive, upbeat and she will know that you are the leader which will eventually help to make her more confident. This will take time and patience on your part. Timing is everything. The second she looks away from the dog and back at you, praise! Use your voice to get the message across. When she is doing what you want, use your happy upbeat voice to praise her, when she is acting up, say LEAVE IT in a more serious voice and mean it. Teaching the Leave it command is very valuable for all situations. This is only one suggestion of many out there. Again, finding someone locally to help you would be great so they can see her in person and work with you one on one. Good luck.

Joanna
 

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No she doesn't bark or act aggresively, actually she is a very friendly dog. She acts very timid when she sees other dogs. Like the other day at the vet she was so scared she pulled out of her collar and went running to the back of the building.
 

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It sounds as though your dog needs to be socialized slowly and at a comfortable distance for her. Is there a large dog training facility in your area where you could maybe bring her to class but not participate in the begining but rather work with her off in the distance? This way she'd be far enough away from the other dogs so as not to panic and run, but yet they would be near her. Then you could work on some basic obedience commands using a lot of positive praise. If this is not available, then try and find another outdoor area where you'll see dogs come and go and again, keep her at her own comfortable distance. It will take time and patience but can be done. The idea is to slowly socialize her at her own pace and comfort level. Also, be sure if you do attend a class that there are no aggressive dogs in it. Ask the instructor in advance. Good luck, I think you can work with her on this.

Joanna
 

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If you have any friends who have dog friendly dogs, see if you can get together on neutral ground and introduce them. Another dog, who is friendly & likes to play, would be great for her.
 

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Timid and afraid can be alot better than afraid/aggressive, so with alot of work you may see some amazingly wonderful results. Socialization and training that's positive and not overwhelming.

Good site you may want to read on is Fearful and Timid Dogs
 

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Timid and afraid can be alot better than afraid/aggressive, so with alot of work you may see some amazingly wonderful results. Socialization and training that's positive and not overwhelming.

Good site you may want to read on is Fearful and Timid Dogs
This is a really old thread but my dog is scared but does the aggressive barking and lunging at other dogs (hackles up etc). How do I get a hand on that? She hasn't been socialized at all when we got her almost 3 weeks ago
 
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