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<a href="http://s344.photobucket.com/albums/p330/DaisyShadow/?action=view&current=100_0723-1-1-1.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i344.photobucket.com/albums/p330/DaisyShadow/100_0723-1-1-1.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

This is Shadow. Hope picture came out and it is not huge. It is a bit embarrassing trying to figure all this out and making all the type o's!
I do not even know if my avatar is working.

My GSD is 10 months, as far as a know. He is from a rescue. I was fostering, oops fell in love, now he is ours.
I have posted pictures in pictures. And questions about his foot troubles in health.
When he first came here he would not go up stairs or through doorways, walk on slippery floors, etc.
Is this because he had never been in a house?
Now when I walk him, (usally twice a day) he is fearful of many things, kinda pulls towards cars.
Is is just normal for GSD's to be fearful. Because they are so emotional?
My first GSD of my childhood we got when she was a little pup, like 2 months old. (We grew up together).
Shadow is from the streets. This is different.
I mean Daisy had fears, storms, howled at sirens, and of course fireworks. She did not like certain people. Pretty normal stuff I think. Nothing severe.
Shadow is OK with storms. He was OK with fireworks, until a neighbor got one to close to our backyard, right when I was letting Shadow out (I was so mad)!! Now that is out the window, he freaked the next two times out, thinking it was going to happen again.
His worst fear is fire. He hates the grill. He hates candles. Torches for bugs, stuff like that. I took him to a block party, they had those torches he wanted away from them in a hurry.
We have only had him 4 months so I am still figuring him out. Some fears are disappearing some are new.
He follows me everywhere. Which I am sure is normal.
The other question I had is does your GSD, wag it's tail???
I am pretty sure Daisy did.
Shadow does not. Is this a breed thing??
Sorry so many questions. I have just being curious about so many things about him. What is breed traits, what is just a Shadow thing, and what is a mental scarring from his past?
I guess this is a normal rescue ques about any dog from the streets. Maybe I will never know.
I sure would like to hear about your GSD's and things they do. Or how to help Shadow over his fears and insercurities.
Also he NEVER growls or shows aggression. He would let my other dog take his food or bone, whatever. He LOVES to play with my other two dogs. He gets rough, and play bites me and my kids too. (I think he is trying to herd us)!

Thanks in advance!!
 

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Discussion Starter #2


I see no picture up there. I will try again in case my avatar is not working.
THIS IS SHADOW
 

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What a beautiful boy. Fears in an adoptive dog are normal IMO. Not so normal for the breed per se. But no matter his breed or breeding I always just think if you were raised abused, neglected and/or mistreated in any way your behavior would probably be different as well. If you keep your cool and do not get stressed when he does, then that will go a long way to calming his fears. Keep in mind, he probably never had any real socializing in his early months, so everything new is scary. It just takes time and patience and a calm hand. Be a leader and a protector for him, he hasnt had one. Thanks for adopting, we need more angels to help these guys.
 

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Is this because he had never been in a house? I wouldn't think so. My Troy GSD, whom I rescued also, was afraid of stairs and it took a good week or so before he would go up and down unassisted and by himself. Quite funny in my opinion, but he didn't know what they were so he was afraid of them.

Is is just normal for GSD's to be fearful. Because they are so emotional? My GSDs were never very fearful. My new one, Keeley nearly comes out of her skin if she's outside when the a/c unit kicks on. Its in the ground on the side of the house and if she's near it she takes off running. She's quite skittish.

Troy loves sirens and he howls like a wolf. I like to rewind the TV during cops so I can get him to sing more! If he's outside and hears sirens he will sing also. Even inside if its really loud, he'll do it.

Troy follows me everywhere also .. and sleeps on the floor next to my bed. Keeley is following me everywhere also, but I am the one who feeds, waters, talks, pets .. and cleans up their poo in the backyard. SO, I think its natural.

Troy his HORRIFIED of thunderstorms and fireworks.

Troy wages his tail .. in big swishes all the time. Roxie, rest her soul, wagged hers just as much. Keeley did not when we got her a few days ago. Today ... she started wagging her tail when playing and when getting attention. I think its a trust thing. Keeley is begining to loosen up.. but she's still quite uptight. She was well taken care of, I believe, but I think she sensed that the mother didn't really like her, which might be part of her issues.

*LOL* Hrding people .. that is what Troy does too!! He's a loud player, he bites playfully and he would never hurt us.
 

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I think fears are a combination of genetics and experiences.

Brenna is skittish by nature but I believe she was never socialized as a puppy and was then trained using harsh methods by the people who had her before she was given away to me. (To make a long story short)

All GSDs vary, some are extremely fearful and some seem to be fearless. It really depends on breeding and how they were raised. It could be your dog was an outside dog so all he knew was his backyard. Luckily you have him now and he can hopefully learn to accept things with a little more confidence.
 

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What a nice looking dog. I take in rescues, and it is a bit different from a high end dog, meaning dogs that are carefully raised as pups and go to decent owners will develop differently.

"I was fostering, oops felli n love." Sounds like me.

I am hoping that as you and Shadow bond more closely you will recognize all the positives the dog offers you, and Shadow will continue to do better in many respects.

I wish I could provide more specific advice, but in my opinion that is almost impossible without meeting the dog. My rescue is scared to death of fireworks, she will hide under anything available. Sometimes yu change what you can, and accept what canniot be changed. But always NILIF, and never use any harsh training methods on Shadow.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Brenna I think you are right. I think he was put in a backyard and left to his own.
Timber what does NILIF, mean?

Thank you all for your advice.
Lisa sorry I giggled at the ac thing. That has to be a little funny to see. Even though it is also sad when they get scared. You want to hug them and tell them it is OK.
Your Troy sounds a lot like Shadow. He also howls at sirens (the was my Daisy did). You can even make the noise with your mouth and get him to sing with you. My boys love it.
He also moans when we are laying around like a sigh, it is very cute. Sometimes my husband moans back.
That is the thing none of these issues are a huge problem. He does a cute thing for every weird thing. He is so worth it!!
We love him so much.
I just wondered if it was common. And what not to do to make things worse.
Onyx, I hope you are right that this is just a stage. It did just come out of the blue after he had been here a bit.
I try to stay calm when things occur. Like the dog whisperer. I love that show.
The only one that freaks me a little is when we walk and there is a car, he lunges toward it. It is hard not to tense when that happens. There are certain places I cannot walk him yet because of it. My vet said to make him sit when a car is coming. Then we he does not react, say good boy or treat him. Hard to do when walking 3 dogs, so I am going to start walking him alone. Thanks for the advice Besty.
The no tail wagging, does not seem to be that common. I will look at the link. I just think he does not do it. Once I think he might of when he was chasing a squirrel. I read about police dogs that only wag when they are commmanded to get a crimanal.
I know he is happy though. He shows me with his eyes or talks to me.
He also whines a lot. Even more so when he sees our cat or gerbil. I noticed him doing it at the vet at a small dog. Is is a prey thing like he wants to get it or just curious? He does not growl or bite at them.
GSD behaviors and dog behaviors interest me. I have much more to read on this site.
Please share more if your GSD does some of these things or different things.
Thank you so much. I am grateful for this site!
 

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Also Timber I would never use harsh traing methods anyway. But thank you for giving out good advice. You have to watch it with Shadow. If my husband raises his voice at all Shadow pees himself.
He has only done it a couple of times because we realize quickly what would happen. Somtimes even if my husband (who is a big guy, 6 5) is trying to play with Shadow, he will freak out. and just lay down and put his head down.
I really hope he gets over his fear with my husband (which I am sure will just talk time). My husband just adores Shadow. He is the reason why I failed at foster. My husband said it ends here, he is home. This dog needs a stable situation and a routine.
 

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Wow OK, I am caught up on the tail wagging thing. Thanks Oynx for the thread, which just ended 3 days ago. Out of all that only 2 other GSD's do not wag their tails.
Shadow does not wag his tail and does not hold it up either. Maybe it is because he is young and still finding his groove here with us (famly of 5), the other dogs (2 girls) and the cat.
He is just still unsure.
He did the car thing again this moring on our walk. The car actually stopped because they thought Shadow was going to go in front of it. I was caught off guard.
The tail thing in interesting. I am going to keep a watch on that too.
 

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I think patience is the key here. We adopted our rescue a 1.4 years ago and he has slowly been getting over a lot of his fears. This just takes time. He has to gain confidence in you as a leader and finally feel secure in his home. This can take awhile. Celebrate the baby steps and socialize him as much as you can.

People have really been telling me lately how much more confident Ozzy seems, this after a year! Nothing happened over night.

Ozzy hardly ever wags his tail.
 

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Thank you. Lola and Ozzy.
 
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