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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

I haven't posted on here a lot, but I have always gotten some good advice. When my dog Rogue was a puppy she was a handful and never ran out of energy. Now she is about 9 months old and we are having some issues. It is still impossible to get her to drain all of her energy. She's always very bored even though we play with her a lot and take her for walks. She has a lot of toys and kongs and such. I need some suggestions as to what to do to keep her happy and not so bored, maybe some things that she can keep herself occupied with not just a bone or kong.

Also, as she has gotten older she has been a little fearful of people. This is extremely upsetting because we got her as a protection dog and my boyfriend hates that he feels like she wouldn't protect me. We socialized her so much as a puppy and took her to group classes. She will get scared of people on walks, sometimes groups of children. Shes a huge dog and she acts like a wimp, we got this breed for a reason and she was very expensive. But, these traits didn't start to show up until the past month or so. I don't know what to do and I really need advice on how to get her more confident and protective.

I don't need to be told anything negative because this is a really hurtful situation in our relationship, so please don't yell about getting a badly bred dog, she is certified and from an apparently good breeder. I just need advice.

Thank you,

Ana
 

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First, I want to say it sounds like you've done a good job socializing her to not be aggressive.

She's 9 months, so I'd look at doing other things with her such as sports or work. Since you got her as a protection dog, you could start getting her ready to become a protection dog.

Now, members on here will probably tell you German Shepherds go through fear periods. That may be what's going on.

May I ask what is the reason you got a GSD?
 

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At 9 months she could also be going thru another fear period. Even tho you have socialized her, gone to classes, I would CONTINUE to do so. One or two sets of classes especially when they are young, just isn't enough, it's an ongoing thing.

If she's bored, up the exercise, take her hiking, run her, a tired dog is a good dog:)

Does she have any 'doggie' friends? If so, get together with them and let her play, another good workout.

As for protection, well the majority of dogs are going to protect themselves before they would their owners. It's called "self preservation":) No one should expect their gsd to protect them unless of course they have trained for it, or purchased an already trained dog. The majority of them don't grow up "protecting" their owners. Usually, their looks and a bark is a good enough deterrent.

I don't know why this would be a hurtful situation within your relationship with your boyfriend, these dogs don't train themselves and he is just going to have to except that.

With that said, my suggestion, forget the protective thing, get back into an obedience class , socialize MORE, dont baby her, but don't correct her for being "afraid", it's not her fault. Up the exercise, and make a plan for a daily routine.

I guess you have to think of it this way, would you rather have a dog that is more social or one who is going to fly off the handle and bite 'whomever' which would leave you open to a lawsuit? That's why I would forget the protection thing, and go with the obedience/socializing to build her confidence more.
 

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Most trainers will tell you that a pup will go through a fear period. Keep working at the socializing and training. Talk to your trianer about the best way to help her through it. She is still just a pup and this could very well be just a growing phase.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you for responding so quickly. To GSD fan, we got her as a protection dog just knowing the breed. I live in a city and am sometimes alone, so we thought it would be a good idea.

I didn't know that dogs could go through a fear period, hopefully thats what it is.

How old does she need to be to start protection training? Shes a really great dog and so lovey, but shes skiddish and creates random problems, like digging.

My bfs roomate has a yellow lab, so they always play all the time. Which she loves.

It's a hurtful situation because she usually is the pit of our fights, she digs, shes a wimpy german shepherd and my boyfriend is very protective so he wants me to be safe if i'm alone or whatever. So its just very frustrating that we've spent a lot of money and such.

The other day, we had a dispute with one of our neighbors, hes a very ignorant man and likes to throw things at our dog to make her "go away" which just provokes her. Stupid, I know. So I went over there and tried to get him to meet her to settle things, but it blew up right away. Rogue barked and freaked out like crazy when I started to get angry and yell at him for being so ignorant, she was like prancing back and forth behind me. I'm not sure what I expected her to do, but what would a "more protective dog" would have done in that situation?

But, hopefully this is a phase, i'm going to email my trainer now and see what we can do to help her. I love her to death, its just stressful sometimes.

Thanks again.
 

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at 9 months, you most likely will not see 'protective' at all. It was most likely a fear based reaction .

Skiddish and afraid are not things that would make a good protection dog, that's why I was suggesting to get back into obedience classes/socializing to work on that first.

If your neighbor is throwing things at her, believe me, these dogs have memories like elephants, THAT right there is not doing her any good at all. She is associating people with throwing things at her:(

If you want to get an idea if she would be protection dog material, I suggest finding a protection dog TRAINER, and have them evaluate her. Not to burst your bubble, but right now, she is not protection training material:(..

Have you talked to your breeder?? What do they say??/suggest??
 

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Could it be that your boyfriend is pushing the dog to be protective. The dog may mistake this for aggression. It could be why the dog seems to cower behind you. I think( i may be sooo wrong) , but its like raising a child you really have to be on the same page. A trainer should be able to help you calm her down and be less excited.
 

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What level of protection are you expecting from her? Barking? Looking scary? Biting the bad guy? Fending off seven ninjas with swords? Sharks with lazer beams?
 

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Emoore.... I'm just expecting her not to cower behind me and run away from children. I want her to be a confident dog, not freak out at the Vet and pee herself because she's so scared. I don't reinforce this behavior in anyway I ignore her.

I've heard from people with german shepherds that their dog will step in front of them if something sketchy happens or growl and look menacing, not prance around barking behind me.
 

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and thats where never ending socializing and obedience classes come into play:)
 

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Help me out here someone with more knowledge about gsds. Could it be that this dog does not trust his masters leadership? It seems that at 9 months that something is wrong with the bonding. My dog acts very protective because he loves me...
 

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Emoore.... I'm just expecting her not to cower behind me and run away from children. I want her to be a confident dog, not freak out at the Vet and pee herself because she's so scared. I don't reinforce this behavior in anyway I ignore her.

I've heard from people with german shepherds that their dog will step in front of them if something sketchy happens or growl and look menacing, not prance around barking behind me.
My dog runs away from children and freaks out at the vet. We should start a club. With Rocky it's genetically weak nerves, plain and simple. Doesn't mean I love him any less. It certainly doesn't mean there's something wrong with our bond or that he doesn't love me.
 

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I am seriously thinking i am going to make a big mistake with my puppy when he comes, thinking that he will naturally want to take care of me as i take care of him. I am hoping a bond will form naturally. Am i going to have to train him to protect or will it be a natural instinct...????
 

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What level of protection are you expecting from her? Barking? Looking scary? Biting the bad guy? Fending off seven ninjas with swords? Sharks with lazer beams?
LOL You can actually train them to fight of Ninjas with swords and Sharks with laser beams? Wonder if there is a trainer for that in my area! LOL to funny

Now to the topic....

Your boyfriend sounds like he does not want a dog GSD or other unless it is a toughy, one all will fear. A poodle can be a protection dog if you get one with that type of temperment. I get the feeling the reason for choosing a GSD is cause they are known mostly for their work with police departments and protections agencies, not because either one of you liked the breed or the particular dog. Purchasing a dog of any breed cause of reputation, or looks is not a reason to purchase that breed. IMO when push comes to shove and the GSD or any dog feels the fear of the human they love they will protect to the best of their ability. You should purchase a GSD or other breed dog only if you are going to love it. Want protection by an alarm system, an attack dog should only be used to protect business;s IMO,,,,
 

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Honestly, just the presence of a GSD is a deterrent for the majority of situations where you are concerned but not putting yourself in an unsafe situation.

I take my GSD running with me and I've had sketchy people cross the sidewalk and swerve to avoid me. I feel much safer running with her even though she's never had any type of protection training- most people choose the easiest target and a GSD is a visual deterrent.

I've done lots of socialization with my dog, and she is neutral to strangers. She won't wag her tail at someone or embrace them touching her unless she's seen me talking to them in a friendly way. When she senses ME tense up, she goes on alert with her ears pricked forward, but doesn't bark or growl.

I have done nothing to make her protective other than copious socialization and treating her with kindness and consistency. And this is a dog that was very fearful when we brought her home, cringed if anyone touched her, hid behind me when she saw strange men. She learned to trust ME to keep her safe from situations that were frightening to her,and that is how it should be.

Now that she is comfortable in our home, she does bark when there is someone outside and she actually alerted us to someone trying to force entry into our home in the middle of the night. I still wouldn't expect her to protect me in those situations.

As for helping her be more confident- classes definitely help, and if you have friendly neighbors or friends that are willing, have them walk by you on your walks and give her treats.
 

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I am seriously thinking i am going to make a big mistake with my puppy when he comes, thinking that he will naturally want to take care of me as i take care of him. I am hoping a bond will form naturally. Am i going to have to train him to protect or will it be a natural instinct...????
Depends, again, on what you mean by "protect." Personally I get sick of the word, like the dog is supposed to be your big bruiser boyfriend who goes around warning people to stay back. Or a built-in bodyguard who bites the bad guy with the gun. If you're wanting a dog to bark at people who come on your property and look scary, any GSD will do that. If you're wanting a dog to engage the bad guy and fight to defend you, be ready to spend some $$$ on the right dog, and even more $$$ and time on training.
 

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lizzy I guess I would ask 'what does your dog protect you from?" '

A Dog that is attacking a person who is attacking YOU and doesn't back off, is a dog protecting you. A dog who is lunging/barking at someone who is not a real 'threat' or turns tail and runs in not protecting you.. As I said, the majority of dogs who are used in 'protection' are TRAINED by a Professional it's not something they just 'do'..

I think this dog needs more socializing to kids, needs to stop having the neighbor throw stuff at her, needs more obedience/socialization classes, to build confidence.

My female is not a fan of most kids, and is totally freaked out by my vet but she doesn't cower or is afraid of people (other than my vet) , but then again, mine is a mature adult, not a 9 month old puppy still.
 

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What level of protection are you expecting from her? Barking? Looking scary? Biting the bad guy? Fending off seven ninjas with swords? Sharks with lazer beams?

Haha - Ninja's with swords!! :rofl:
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I'm not sure where all of this stuff came from that I don't love my dog and that I got a german shepherd just for her looks. I love the breed and I love the fact that they are naturally instinctual. I love my dog THUS THE REASON I'M LOOKING FOR ADVICE. So please cut this stuff, if you are arrogant and are just here to try and make me feel bad, just stop.

Thank you for the people who are helping and generous. Jakoda I will take your advice full heartily and exercise her a lot more and try to socialize her in the situations when she gets uncomfortable. Its comforting to hear that your mature dog has similiar reactions, maybe its just certain situations and she needs more socialization and training which I am absolutely willing to do.
 
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