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ive grow up with labs and retrievers as a kid...ive always wanted a German Shepard, so 2 weeks ago we bought one...she is a 14 month Panda Shepard. We bought her from what is probably a questionable breeder...they had multiple litters available...we picked her because she was the only one to come up to us with her tail wagging...all the other pups faced the wall or burred their heads into some furniture(i know we should have walked away, but we didnt)

So, im 2 weeks into this adventure....we have 3 kids (14,12,10), 2 cats....ive separated the house down to 1/2 the 1st floor for the dog, upstairs for the cats(i dont plan to introduce the cats more until she can do stay w/ distractions)...she has tried to chase the cats, she barks at them...they are horrified...but thats not my questions for now..my questions are to verify i have a ''normal'' shepard pup as she is not normal at all to me growing up with labs

she is very gentile with the kids, she doesnt run around the house, she is relaxed with the family....she has been house trained after 2-3 days (2 accidents last week-none this week)..she knows Sit, No, Down.she sort of knows quiet...im working on Stay next week....

what i find strange...she rarely wags her tail...ill get a wag when i get up in the morn for 30 seconds while i greet her....pretty much it.....im used to dogs waging the tail whenever they even look at you. i was at a store where a large pit bull came up to me and the tail never stopped wagging.....

she is scared of everything....she doesnt relax outdoors....indoors she greet new people (kids friends) no issues...outside she gets defensive...she growls and tried to go at them...i hold her muzzle shut and say quiet and pet her to relax her....if another dog is around she goes into her aggressive bark/growling...she has tried to bite other dogs as they walk away from her...she has the same growl with some new people, but has not tried to bite anyone.....every new person or dog i have to be standing over her, making her sit, holding her muzzle shut saying ''quiet' while petting her....and she does relax....on a walk i do this several times and each time she gets better and better with new people and dogs...but she constantly looks backwards at the dog that just past and forwards again at a car or lawn mower....i can see she is 100% alert and her mind is racing

in the car she gets sick...she drools badly and 1/2 the time throws up.....were taking her into the car just to sit 3x a day now to get her used to being in the car...anxiety or is it motion sickness....i dunno...

went to the dog park last night..trying to socialize as much as possible....she had her normal aggressive behavior towards other dogs...at one point someone asked me if my dog was alright?...dogs would come up to her and lick/sniff her...i held her mouth closed while saying quiet as normal.....she did try to snap at other dogs a few times as they walked away...but did get more relaxed with more interaction....then we found another puppy...a larger one....we spent time with them and our dog got used to the other dog...we walked around together...i let the leash extend fully...my dog took the lead, never looked at the other dog..was totally relaxed with him around her....once again she showed no aggression to any person at the dog park, just other dogs.....then another dog came along...she went back into her nervous mode a bit...she sat with me over her while this new dog played with the pup we tagged along with....she watched them interact...her tail was wagging...she seemed like she wanted to join in the playing...so i decided to see what would happen...she was good for a few seconds, but when one of the other dogs jumped up a bit she went into her growling/teeth/biting and i had to pull her back....i felt she was trying to dominate the other dogs? i always stop it immediately...i dont know if she would actually attack the other dogs or is playing or what...i assume she is attacking as i hear the growl

i had several people tell me this is all normal for a shepard......just get her around other dogs as much as possible...i knew she would not be a lab....but i didnt know she would be this different...she is 100% guard dog....

any advice?

we plan to take her to the dog park weekly..considering classes....im hoping being around other dogs daily on walks and weekly at the dog park will eventually get her more friendly to other dogs...

on a side note: as a kid my dad brought home a coyote pup..eyes not even open yet...we raised it for 12 months and got rid of it...the german shepard reminds me more of my pet coyote than of my pet labs....


 

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what i find strange...she rarely wags her tail...ill get a wag when i get up in the morn for 30 seconds while i greet her....pretty much it.....im used to dogs waging the tail whenever they even look at you. i was at a store where a large pit bull came up to me and the tail never stopped wagging.....

she is scared of everything....she doesnt relax outdoors....indoors she greet new people (kids friends) no issues...outside she gets defensive...she growls and tried to go at them...i hold her muzzle shut and say quiet and pet her to relax her....if another dog is around she goes into her aggressive bark/growling...she has tried to bite other dogs as they walk away from her...she has the same growl with some new people, but has not tried to bite anyone.....every new person or dog i have to be standing over her, making her sit, holding her muzzle shut saying ''quiet' while petting her....and she does relax....on a walk i do this several times and each time she gets better and better with new people and dogs...but she constantly looks backwards at the dog that just past and forwards again at a car or lawn mower....i can see she is 100% alert and her mind is racing

in the car she gets sick...she drools badly and 1/2 the time throws up.....were taking her into the car just to sit 3x a day now to get her used to being in the car...anxiety or is it motion sickness....i dunno...

went to the dog park last night..trying to socialize as much as possible....she had her normal aggressive behavior towards other dogs...at one point someone asked me if my dog was alright?...dogs would come up to her and lick/sniff her...i held her mouth closed while saying quiet as normal.....she did try to snap at other dogs a few times as they walked away...but did get more relaxed with more interaction....then we found another puppy...a larger one....we spent time with them and our dog got used to the other dog...we walked around together...i let the leash extend fully...my dog took the lead, never looked at the other dog..was totally relaxed with him around her....once again she showed no aggression to any person at the dog park, just other dogs.....then another dog came along...she went back into her nervous mode a bit...she sat with me over her while this new dog played with the pup we tagged along with....she watched them interact...her tail was wagging...she seemed like she wanted to join in the playing...so i decided to see what would happen...she was good for a few seconds, but when one of the other dogs jumped up a bit she went into her growling/teeth/biting and i had to pull her back....i felt she was trying to dominate the other dogs? i always stop it immediately...i dont know if she would actually attack the other dogs or is playing or what...i assume she is attacking as i hear the growl

i had several people tell me this is all normal for a shepard......just get her around other dogs as much as possible...i knew she would not be a lab....but i didnt know she would be this different...she is 100% guard dog....

any advice?

we plan to take her to the dog park weekly..considering classes....im hoping being around other dogs daily on walks and weekly at the dog park will eventually get her more friendly to other dogs...

on a side note: as a kid my dad brought home a coyote pup..eyes not even open yet...we raised it for 12 months and got rid of it...the german shepard reminds me more of my pet coyote than of my pet labs....


I can say first you have a timid and low confidence dog. I have a golden retriever that is fearful of almost everything and what you are explaining is almost to a tea what she is, at 14 months she should be a little timid because of a new place but not that timid. Not to be a negative Nancy but those things you listed are not normal for well socialized, temperament dog. Luna our German shepherd puppy is 100% different then our golden, Luna will go for walks and doesn't run away from every little thing whens he does get scared (mind you she is 3 month old) if i stay put she gets over it and moves on. When i did this with Angel at 3 months she was to scared to go for walks scared of cars, others dog, loud noise (except thunder go figure or gun shots). I honestly wish you the best luck and i hope i am 100% wrong.
 

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This is a tough one, but I'll try...

You bought your puppy, who is very pretty BTW, from a questionable breeder, and all her littermates stared at the far wall when you met them and were not interested in interacting with you at all...and you're asking if your puppy's behavior is normal? In short, yes. Totally normal and expected given the info you've shared. Your puppy is not 100% guard dog, as you put it, but 100% fearful and weak nerved. Not the end of the world, but yes, it is normal and to be expected given what you saw when you looked at the litter. It's not uncommon for GSD puppies to go through some on leash reactivity toward other dogs, but the hyper vigilance and nervousness are not something you will see in a more confident GSD puppy.

For me it's not about whether or not a puppy got scared by something, they all have some stuff they are unsure about. It's more about how quickly they recover from that. Typically, a puppy that is hyper vigilant is just plain scared! So take socialization slowly. Let your puppy see new things, and other dogs, at a distance she's comfortable with. Don't rush her to "get over it" because that won't speed the process, and it could do long lasting damage to your puppy's confidence!

So, take it slow, learn what scares her and what she's okay with, and expose her to things (which is what socialization is all about) slowly and in a way she's both able to handle and is comfortable with - which, by the way, means no more dog parks. Let her just observe from a distance for now, and teach her easy things that will help build her confidence...sit, down, easy, wait etc. Play with her often, and always let her win! Praise her profusely whenever she does stuff you like, whether it's command driven or not! Make her feel loved and secure...and slowly, slowly, slowly introduce her to new things. She could grow up to be very confident and a great companion! Welcome to the forum!
 

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I'm going to be 100% upfront, blunt, and honest with you, my intention is not to be rude but to help you come to terms with the situation you are in

You claim to have always wanted a shepherd, but very clearly haven't done enough research, if any at all.(considering you even went and looked at a panda breeder, and are spelling it shepard) Its great you are coming here for help, hopefully you get great ideas and can get some answers.
1. you should have never gone to even see that breeder, panda is a cool colour to see, but anyone purposely breeding them you should have stayed far away from, should have never gone to see those puppies. you were basically asking for behavioural and health issues. SO in the future, do a little more research on breeders before committing to 10-15 years with a dog.

Anywho the one thing you need to do ASAP is to get a trainer who is experienced with german shepherds and other working breed dogs (not pet smart, or local trainer that has successfully trained a few shepherds, a REAL working dog trainer or a trainer with great success with behavioural issues. If you say your approx location, im sure people on here can recommend a few.

you have a fearful and timid dog by the sounds of it, who isn't good with other dogs, PLEASE do NOT take it to a dog park, throwing a dog into a group of unfamiliar dogs, who might have behavioural issues themselves is only going to make everything worse. she needs to be taught how to behave around other dogs, while on a leash, walking around them, learning how to ignore other dogs, only have her interact with stable dogs that you know "friends or family" and limit interaction, train them around each other, keep them apart, (you can tether each dog to a separate person) she needs to learn how to ignore, and act appropriately around other animals and humans, throwing her into a dog park, even with only a couple of few dogs will not help at all. also dont let her meet other dogs while on walks.

also, stop holding her mouth closed, that is NOT a good idea and I don't know what you are even trying to accomplish with that.

a few things you should start right away, other than getting trainer, is relaxation games and confidence games.
relaxing- train "place", do it inside and outside, wait until she is relaxed fully into it,(once she knows the command) then calmly reward and let her off, you can also tether her to your person and just sit outside and chill, rewarding when she relaxes.
confidence- tricks, jumping onto difference surfaces and heights, never forcing her, making sure she does it on her own, when she starts getting more and more confident start doing unstable surfaces and such
Make sure that you are never rewarding for her being scared, never baby talking, petting, rewarding etc.. when she is in a very timid or flat out scared state dont feel like you have to "comfort" her like you would with a child, that just rewards her behaviour and shows her that you like the timid behaviour. when he is afraid of something take her away from it, dont force her, then slowly start getting closer again, reward for any good confident behaviour and basically ignore the timid behaviour.
Basically no, this really isn't normal 14 month old young dog behaviour and is probably from a mix of bad genetics and improper socialization as a young dog)

To have he as a perfect member of your family one day you will need to get a trainer for sure, group training classes with a good trainer is a must, and for particular behaviours like aggression towards children outside and dogs, (which is just her fear and insecurity coming out as aggression most likely, since she is timid, but keep in mind im not a trainer and havent met her) you might want private sessions. so basically, get a trainer, build your relationship with her, do some good relax and confidence building sessions and games, every dog is different so take what i said with a grain of salt, as a good starting block, and build and modify it to your pups needs. Good Luck!

(moderators if you felt anything i said was unneeded, harsh, or anything go ahead and edit whatever you feel is needed) (i'm quite tired right now but wanted to possibly help the OP out)
 

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The dog park is definitely not helping your puppy. I'd scratch that immediately.

Holding her mouth shut and forcing her into meetings with lots of random strangers and strange dogs will lead to more fear, more problems.

Besides the stress, if she's 14 weeks old, she probably is not fully vaccinated.

A puppy class with a good, observant trainer can help her build confidence, and help you learn to work with her as a team. If you're looking for a referral, there are a handful of options in your area..... 'For Pet's Sake' in Mukwonago has several classes that are designed for shy or reactive dogs. Give them a call, explain the general behavior you are seeing, ask to sit in and observe a class without your puppy present, see if their course offerings may be right for you.
 

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Here is what I did with Angel, first whole week was her time to get a handle on things, then I put a collar on her, you would be shocked how many dogs lose it with a collar, after a full day of the collar and nothing else add the leash, let her chew it, bite it and realize that it isnt going to hurt her. All while doing this make everything fun for her. It will take a massive amount of patience. I also agree building her confidence by training. Angel might not go for walks but her focus when training is better then most well temperaments dogs she thrives off the training. If Angel wasn't timid and fearful she easily would have already had several obedience titles. Take your time and do baby steps.
 

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So, im 2 weeks into this adventure....we have 3 kids (14,12,10), 2 cats....ive separated the house down to 1/2 the 1st floor for the dog, upstairs for the cats
OP, I agree with almost everything previous posters have written about that very cute puppy. But, I'm going to take things a step further and encourage you to return that puppy to the 'breeder' ASAP. I realize that even the idea of returning the puppy may be heartbreaking, but consider the issues highlighted in your post. First, you're only two weeks in and concerned by what you've already seen. Please don't ignore those red flags. Raising well-bred, stable puppies is hard work. Raising puppies that come with temperament/behavioral challenges, while raising children and managing a family, is an almost impossible task IMO.

Second, it's unclear whether your puppy's temperament and behavior are shaped by poor genetics, the 'breeder's' poor management or some unholy interaction between the two. That an entire litter apparently shows signs of shyness, etc. is really disturbing --- not surprising particularly, but disturbing nonetheless. Yes, one might (no guarantees), with a lot of effort, improve the puppy's eventual outcome, but that outcome may be far afield from what you and your family want in a family dog --- especially a family with young children.

Third, you have what sounds to be a very busy household, with a lot of demands on your time and management skills. I doubt that yours is the best placement for this (or any other) shy and possibly unstable dog --- no matter how much you and your family love it. You can't effectively train and manage behavior by simply 'loving' the dog out of it. It takes time (maybe years) and commitment. Can you honestly say that you have the experience, time (given your family's needs) and day-to-day commitment that may be required?

Fourth, the well-intentioned things you've attempted so far (e.g., the dog park) have likely deepened the problems you have and are likely to continue to encounter with this puppy. That's not a good scenario IMO. Fifth, and with all due respect, it reads as though you don't yet have the skills and experience to raise and manage the multiple challenges that a puppy like this can present --- and we haven't even touched on the health problems that you're likely to encounter with a dog as poorly bred (by virtue of the emphasis on color) as this pup seems to be. As I said before, you can't 'love' problems away.

So, my advice is to return the puppy to the breeder ASAP. Treat this as the educational experience that it is and take the time to find right puppy/dog for your family. One that will make you laugh and sigh with pleasure and not flinch in trepidation.

Good luck,


Aly
 

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I have nothing to add other than to agree with everything Suzy and Aly said.

You have a fearful puppy and need professional help. If not, then return the puppy.
 

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I have 8 years with a fearful dog. If the 'breeder' will take the pup back, return him even if you lose whatever money you paid for the dog. I promise you --- you will spend that plus much more on behavior training in hopes of having a safe dog around your kids and still possibly/probably have a dog you can't trust.
 

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I also have to agree with returning i did not bring it up because it was not my place but that ship sailed lol. Angel not only has temperament issues but after 6 months i noticed a knocking sound and feeling from her hip and long behold she had HD, because of her small size and young age we did TPO total cost 3k. It is a cry shame people breed dogs that should not be breed but they do. returning the dog will hurt and be upsetting because the kids more then likely got attached to the dog but in the long run it is the best thing for you and your family.
 

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Fearful dogs are hard. It's a change of lifestyle to manage them. If you are willing to spend the money on training, isolate her if need be, be her advocate and block people/dogs if she's fearful of them...then carry on. But let me say, from experience, fearful dogs are exhausting. I didn't realize how much until I had a stable dog.
 

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you have had some excellent advice from Suzy and Aly.

I am going to add some things to hopefully give pause for thought to some other potential GSD puppy buyers.

you have made your bed.

question - did you deliberately seek out the "Panda" .
why? when you don't know the breed - when you expect and spend a lot of emotional energy on why
your pup doesn't act like the happy drunk at the party -- wagging the tail all the time . That is simply not
GSD . Dignified , look of eagles -- not wear heart on sleeve.
You don't the breed . You can not compare the experience to the labrador and golden retrievers that you have had and experienced over the years.

did you pay a premium for the Panda colour? Can we ask what you did pay?

how did the "breeder" sorry , puppy mill operator , describe this particular litter?
did they make any claims?

You bought from a place that even you as a newbie had misgivings about . You said
" We bought her from what is probably a questionable breeder...they had multiple litters available."

there is no probably about it . Several litters -- RED FLAG . They did not even have the care and respect for what they had produced already . They had a litter, probably the entire litter still with them at 12 weeks of age .
They probably had been passed over by other potential buyers because of the extreme , yes , extreme lack of normal puppy social behaviour.

I have yet to see a Panda that was even close to robust GSD temperament . There were several that I encountered on hikes on the Lake Ontario board walk and trails - and in various specialty show which featured "rare" breed , or at events where I participated as a vendor - pet expos etc . So I have seen my fair share.

So genetics . And then to top it off it sounds like these pups were sorely under socialized , if they had any contact at all , with the breeder.

so how did those pups interact with the breeder?

your description "all the other pups faced the wall or burred their heads into some furniture" reminds me so
much of one of the experiments written about in the Pfaffenberger book on dog behaviour siting the studies of
Fuller and Scott Genetics and the Scocial Behaviour of Dgos . In that book there was one poor soul , who looked some dejected , dog meeting with his executioner -- trying his best to be absorbed by the wall - to disappear .

that sounds like those pups -- their avoidance so great they shut out the world - want to disappear.

being familiar with those studies my opinion, would that there is little chance for change for your female and non for the others , and that the whole lot of them will have difficult lives - if .

you can expect this to also have physical , health repercussions.

People need to stop enabling these operations to exist
the dogs pay the price

PART TWO next
 

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you have a young and active household .

you have 3 kids . They are at the age where 3 of them are yours and the other 5 or six in the house
are friends . They come and they go. The door may as well be on hinges.

Your pup is still young and you have only had two or three weeks of vigilant introductions of your
guests to your pup who is displaying apprehension .
Don't stand over and clamp the muzzle . That makes things worse. Not only is the visitor a concern , you
are making the experience more unpleasant , over bearing and dominating . counter productive .


your management will have to be so perfect to avoid an encounter with an expressive , uninhibited kid-friend calling on your kids. That translates to unpredictable to your dogs nervy , fearful , dog. Fearful dogs need
very stable predictable lives . They tend to be poor reads and see threat all around .

no trainer is going to change things -- if you go thrat route contact your local Vet university and ask specifically for a behaviourial specialist . The University of Guelph in Ontario does make recommendations.
I am sure you have an equivalent where you are or one of the many resourceful members of the forum can direct to one.
I would not go to a trainer with GSD familiarity or sport trainging. This is outside of breed issues .
"Breed" has little to do with the problem.

yes it will cost you $$$.

the other option is to take your lumps and return the dog.

sorry for that .

In my opinion I think it best that you stick with the happy happy dogs -- the labs and golden retriever type .
 

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I haven't read all this but she does look like a raccoon. I have never seen a Panda.
 

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new report:

she has improved greatly from her 1 visit to the dog park....when we walked past the neighborhood dogs on our nightly walk she was 10x better...she didnt even growl or bark...still nervous, but a huge change

today we went back to the park again....she was still nervous..i did my normal standing over her with my hand on her mouth....she was improved...we were talking to a group of owners who's dogs were playing and they told me to let my dog off the leash...they felt the issue was me being overly sensitive....they were right...group of 7 dogs and my dog ran right up, no issues...played for 30 minutes until she was pooped out....they explained it was normal behavior for a new pup and felt being trapped on a leash while other dogs sniffer her 2-4 a time made her feel trapped? once free she was an amazing dog.....

tail wagging the whole time..

im not returning her....i doubt thats an option...ive learned to spend more time picking a breeder and not just taking whats available...i paid $1,000 for her...the asking price was $1,400....i did not pay extra for a panda...i did not seek out a panda...i wanted a more normal color'd Shepard, but took the friendliest dog they had......she was the runt.....

on our way out of the dog park with the dog on the leash she ran into other dogs and i was no longer scared of her biting them...she just need socialization.....im amazed how a few interactions has changed her...

she still throws up in the car though...not fun
 

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Oh dear. I hope she does not become a fear biter.
 

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Do not hold her muzzle, let her be with that. I honestly hope we are all wrong and she turns out to be great.
 
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