German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
81 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
:help:What is the best way to help Cusack with his confidence? He is great with us but runs from strangers either in our house or outside the house. I tried very hard to socialize him from the beginning but I think the breeder and the the last owner did a lot of damage.

From what I understood they both kept him in a crate all of the time! We work from home so he isn't crated very often. But if we both have to leave and he has to be crated, because its too cold, hot, or raining, when we pull up in the driveway he starts screaming. We can hear him from outside its so bad! As soon as we get in let him out to potty he grabs anything he can find to put in his mouth and runs around like he has lost his mind. :confused:

I know there is separation anxiety and I was hoping raising his confidence would help. I also thought that he would have adjusted much better by now, grown out of it or realized we weren't going to treat him like the previous homes. He is 11mos now and we got him at about 4mos old.

As far as trying to socialize him early all we have here is Petco that I could bring him to. Most people look at him and I can see the thought bubble above their heads. "Oh no, big German Shepherd. Let's go down another isle!" Which does not help! :headbang:

I was also wondering about treats. I want to use something irresistible and bite size but all I can think of is hot dogs. Maybe I'm wrong but it just seems like a bad idea and smelly to hand him hot dogs all day. lol


How does everyone else socialize?
How can I help his self esteem?
How can I help his separation anxiety?
What are the best treats?

I'm sorry this is so long but I am desperate to figure this out! I hate it that he feels so scared!!
Thank you so much for help!! :gsdbeggin:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
81 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Oh crap I'm in the wrong section! I thought I was still in behavior! LOL Now I don't know how to move or delete. *sigh
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,941 Posts
My suggestion is the same as GSDBESTK9 - get him involved in an activity! Get him back into classes. When he is unsure of something, make him go through obedience drills, make it fun! It will give him something to think about and take his mind off being scared, and give him new behaviours instead or running.

The running around like a maniac with a toy in his mouth is normal exited GSD behaviour! Enjoy it! .

If you got him at four months, there wasn't a whole lot of time for the breeders and the previous owners to do that much damage - he is probably genetically insecure, and it will take a lot of time and effort to bring his confidence up. Set small, attainable goals, celebrate every little improvement, and build on your past successes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
81 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Castlemaid, now that you say that is normal excited behavior. I assume the loud screaming when we get home is too. He is very vocal all the time. He grunts and talks at night especially lol So maybe its not separation anxiety?

That's a great suggestion about agility! I wanted to do schutzhund training with him but I don't think he has the personality for it. What do you think?

Are there any specific training techniques to try when he is around strange people?

What kind of treats do you guys give?

Don't get me wrong, he is such a wonderful goofy boy. He cracks me up when he prances around with his toys lol GSDs are not like any other dog, in such a great way!

Thanks again! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,102 Posts
training treats.....little pieces of string cheese, NB roll cut into tiny pieces, hotdogs, left over meat, dried liver and lung.

Get him in some classes, it will do a world of good.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,467 Posts
For treats, I like freeze dried liver. It reeks, but it doesn't make my hands greasy like hot dogs do and it holds up well in the treat bag. I cut it into approximately quarter inch sized chunks. Shasta loves it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Natural Balance food roll
**** Van Patten's Natural Balance Dog Food Rolls

Great for training treats. Can be easily broken up into appropriate chunks. I mix a little dry kibble in to make it go farther. For other training treats, string cheese, leftover meats, homemade liver treats. If you want a treat which strangers can hand to him try store bought jerky strips, as the average stranger does not want to get their hand all slimy or smelly with a damp or crumbly food. If he is fearful, it might not be a good idea to have people feed him yet, as his drive for the food might make him go close to them, but then he is still afraid and feels like he's way too close for comfort, he may react. I would be click/treating him for noticing strangers, gradually work closer and build up his comfort level first.

Go to classes! The opportunity to work around other dogs and dog savvy people is wonderful. And feeling like he has a job and knows what to do will help his confidence.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,467 Posts
The NB rolls do have wheat listed as the second ingredient, so might not be suitable for dogs with food allergies.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top