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You would think the Vet and the Groomers would be the worst! but not so for Parker. He wags his tail and lowers ears and happy as can be. Theres been times that he has shy'd away from strangers in a store or on walks, He backs away when approached or just plain ignores. No barking no snapping, just a non-chalant "yea, i dont know you so im just going to go over here" kind of body language. but theres been times that he just goes right up to them, smells them and lets them pet him.

He's 15 months right now and i have brought back the "treats for strangers" from when he was a pup when he shy away from these certain strangers.

Granted, i know the breed is VERY aloof and the petting and approaching is under THEIR terms ONLY. But a little push on the right side, while reading the strangers body language and approach, would not hurt

thoughts? comments? ideas?
 

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As long as my dog is aloof, I'm happy. That's my preference for my dog.. I don't want one that solicits attention from every person and/or dog it meets. I don't necessarily want him to back away, I want him to be 'okay' with meeting people...just don't want him to drag me to it. I prefer the dog to ignore when we're out and focus on me and my family.
 

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I totally understand where you are coming from. Aloof is WAY better than reactivity or any other of aggressive behavior. And I understand that my position could be a lot worse than what it is currently.

The breed itself is aloof and oh so smart at reading peoples body languages. Hence, I try to teach strangers on how to pet correctly including kids.

My doubt stems from why does he think its ok for one stranger to be "ok" to be petted by and another not so much?

My only logical conclusion is their approach and their posture. Parker generally is fine with a person that talks to me first and approaches me first and not him at first encounter. Which i think makes total sense, the "leader" checks out this stranger first and gives the "OK" to the follower that this stranger is not a threat.

The reason im posting this is to reach out and figure out if i am right and if there are other owners with the same connection that i came across with.
 

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Lisl loves going to the Vet too. She loves everyone there. She is aloof for the most part on the street, but she doesn't shy away from people like she did when she was a very young pup.

She likes all of the people we visit at the bank, pharmacy, etc, but she doesn't always like the other patrons that arrive after we have.

She especially doesn't like to be stared at. She will become reactive if a stranger stares at her. She treats that as a challenge as do most dogs, but it really bothers Lisl.
 

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Lou, same here. Liesl is very skittish of strangers who approach her bent over, full eye contact, hand out to pet. But people who just ignore her, approach and stand up straight, and exchange a few words with me get sniffed and then she is ok with them petting her.

I prefer a GSD who is not aloof, but friendly if approached. However, I don't want her to act like a lab and slobber on everyone she sees. We use stranger fed treats to keep conditioning her to be at ease around strangers, and although it is slow going, the treats and repeated small exposures (and her continued maturing) seem to be doing the trick.
 

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So my girl is 2, and came from an animal shelter. She was well socialized before I got her, and we do quite well together. I really don't know how I got by without her. But with strangers, it's weird. When we're out walking, and she sees someone approach, she'll have one of three instant responses: ignore them completely, like the don't even exist, stair intently at them, like they might be food, or wag and look excited like she would love to investigate their pockets, or lick their faces. We rarely encounter anyone off leash (thank goodness), so I'm not sure if she would act on any of these, but how does on attain 'aloofness'? I would love to have some... We walk twice a day, and obedience is getting much better (she didn't know how to do that when she came here), but this other thing kinda has me stumped...
 

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GSDs bond with and are close to their owner. But they are not a dog that's overly friendly and trusting with people they don't know. They are not lapdogs and that is a quality that makes them commendable watchdogs.
 
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