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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Everyone

I am a first time dog owner and have always loved the hardworking and loyal nature of GSDs! I picked up Caesar from a breeder in Pennsylvania where he was kept in a kennel with his siblings. He did not receive much socialization which broke my heart. He was 3 months at the time. I had the pleasure of meeting his Mom, Dad, and Grandpa! Below is a picture of Caesar from yesterday on his way to his happy place (dog park of course !!) he turned 5 months today and weights 57 lbs!

I will take any suggestions/recommendations for a first time Dog/GSD owner. Also, I suspect he is a DDR (after extensively researching his pedigree he has had plenty of DDR from his dad's side and some from his mommy). I would love to find out more about how a DDRs nature is.

One concern I have for him is the fact that he gets nervous/scared easily. I am trying my best to regularly take him to dog parks, introduce him to many strangers, as well as family members. He tends to calm down but after 5-10 min he forgets and starts barking again even though he just licked the person. How can I help him get over his fear? Will he ever get over this phase?

Thank you!!!


 

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Don’t force him to interact with other strangers and dogs. It may be a phase, it may be due to lack of socialization, or it may just be who he is genetically.
 

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Hello Everyone

I am a first time dog owner and have always loved the hardworking and loyal nature of GSDs! I picked up Caesar from a breeder in Pennsylvania where he was kept in a kennel with his siblings. He did not receive much socialization which broke my heart. He was 3 months at the time. I had the pleasure of meeting his Mom, Dad, and Grandpa! Below is a picture of Caesar from yesterday on his way to his happy place (dog park of course !!) he turned 5 months today and weights 57 lbs!

I will take any suggestions/recommendations for a first time Dog/GSD owner. Also, I suspect he is a DDR (after extensively researching his pedigree he has had plenty of DDR from his dad's side and some from his mommy). I would love to find out more about how a DDRs nature is.

One concern I have for him is the fact that he gets nervous/scared easily. I am trying my best to regularly take him to dog parks, introduce him to many strangers, as well as family members. He tends to calm down but after 5-10 min he forgets and starts barking again even though he just licked the person. How can I help him get over his fear? Will he ever get over this phase?

Thank you!!!


I agree with @konathegsd. He could have weak nerves genetically or it could be a fear phase. Do not push him, if he is scared or nervous in a situation like the park, he could start to associate it with a bad experience. I made the mistake when I had a puppy and thought the dog park was good for socialization, it only took a couple of bad experiences there to scar him and I have had to work a lot to reverse that. You can socialize him in other situations. Many people would suggest never going to a dog park as anything can happen when a bunch of random dogs with different temperaments get together as well as bad owners who dont catch onto signs early enough.
 

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If he has a lot of DDR in his pedigree, it could be genetic suspicion and not fear that he’s wired for. You won’t know until he matures. Whichever it is, he doesn’t have the judgment yet to assess a new situation properly, so the wiring is running things. I agree with the others, don’t force him to interact with dogs or people, but do keep taking him out to different places where he can observe the world from a safe distance.
 

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Can you share his pedigree? Maybe some here can give you more insight.

Considering you haven't had him since the early days it is hard to say what he is exhibiting. Could be just who he is, or it could be he wasn't exposed to anything besides his own litter for 5 months? If you had had him since 8 or 10 weeks, I'd say it is the former..but who knows.

Definitely do not do any forced socialization. Definitely ditch the dog parks, and do not make him interact with strangers or people he doesn't know well/isnt comfortable with. What you want is neutrality. Ask people to please ignore him.

Above all else, I would look for a good trainer. Can turn things around. Where in NJ are you?
 

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Cute pup! Since he is your first dog, you may want to do some reading on the differences between primate and canine interactions (body language, facial gestures, etc) to get a better sense of what he is trying to tell you, and to better convey things to him. There's a book called The Other End of the Leash: Why We Do What We Do Around Dogs that is pretty good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Can you share his pedigree? Maybe some here can give you more insight.

Considering you haven't had him since the early days it is hard to say what he is exhibiting. Could be just who he is, or it could be he wasn't exposed to anything besides his own litter for 5 months? If you had had him since 8 or 10 weeks, I'd say it is the former..but who knows.

Definitely do not do any forced socialization. Definitely ditch the dog parks, and do not make him interact with strangers or people he doesn't know well/isnt comfortable with. What you want is neutrality. Ask people to please ignore him.

Above all else, I would look for a good trainer. Can turn things around. Where in NJ are you?
Thank you for the tips! I don't force him to interact with other dogs at dog parks. The dog parks I go to I ensure he is the only one within the fenced area as there are several fenced areas for dogs to play. He has not been allowed to play off leash with another dog because I know how scared he will be and just constantly bark. What I get concerned about is that he barks at everything and goes into the moving back and forth motion (I believe that is when a dog is scared and fearful) when he starts seeing another dog from a distance.

It seems like I need a few more posts before I can share images or links. I will do that after I meet the criteria. I am from Central Jersey New Brunswick area. Are there any good trainers in that area that you can recommend?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Cute pup! Since he is your first dog, you may want to do some reading on the differences between primate and canine interactions (body language, facial gestures, etc) to get a better sense of what he is trying to tell you, and to better convey things to him. There's a book called The Other End of the Leash: Why We Do What We Do Around Dogs that is pretty good.
Thank you I will look that up!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you for the tips! I don't force him to interact with other dogs at dog parks. The dog parks I go to I ensure he is the only one within the fenced area as there are several fenced areas for dogs to play. He has not been allowed to play off leash with another dog because I know how scared he will be and just constantly bark. What I get concerned about is that he barks at everything and goes into the moving back and forth motion (I believe that is when a dog is scared and fearful) when he starts seeing another dog from a distance.

It seems like I need a few more posts before I can share images or links. I will do that after I meet the criteria. I am from Central Jersey New Brunswick area. Are there any good trainers in that area that you can recommend?
Here is the link to his pedigree

https://files.fm/u/saxbsrur

Please let me know what your thoughts are. the DDR is pretty far back in his dad's pedigree.
 
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