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my mom's 3 year old german shepherd (apollo) doesn't really like new people. whenever someone new comes into the house, he does NOT act fearful or aggressive, but he stays away from them. he's totally relaxed and has never growled or anything...he just stays away from people he doesn't know. he is excellent with the family though.

my cousin basically told me this isn't good and it's only a matter of time before he bites someone. my uncle agreed with him. they both said apollo should be curious to meet people and happily greet them. but I was reading online and many websites say that german shepherds are known for being "standoffish" and this is normal. so now I'm not sure what to believe....?
 

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Hmmm, I'm not picking up on shy behavior from the OP's post. That would be unusual for a GSD. Sarah, could you confirm? Perhaps some more info?

My boy is eager to greet guests to our home. He greets, smells & then is usually done & will watch from a distance. Now my dad who he only sees a few times a year he goes bonkers over, just loves him. There are a few of my husbands buddies that he really likes & will act like a goofball around them. He wants to hang out with them when they are over. There are very few people outside of our family he will solicite attention from however. He's also only 3. I still consider him very young in the noggin:)
 

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he had a lot of socialization and "positive experiences" as a puppy..

i should add that he doesn't try to get away from people if they approach him. most people have no interest in petting him, but a couple of my mom's friends have walked right up to him and pet him and he showed no fear, no head ducking or anything. like i said he's totally relaxed. he just doesn't approach people that he doesn't know.
 

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I agree with Courtney. German Shepherds can be notoriously aloof towards people they don't know. My boy goes crazy when new people come to the house, he demands attention, lol! But when we are out and he's playing and someone wants to say hello, he could care less.
I think your guy is fine :)
 

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Sounds typical to me, my boy is all over the place most likely because he's a puppy while Bella could care less she even walks by when people knock on the door...

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I think a lot of people expect GSDs to be lab/golden retriever-like, and they just aren't like that. They could kind of care less about a neutral person they don't know, personally, it's one of my favorite traits in herding breeds :)
 

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my mom's 3 year old german shepherd (apollo) doesn't really like new people. whenever someone new comes into the house, he does NOT act fearful or aggressive, but he stays away from them. he's totally relaxed and has never growled or anything...he just stays away from people he doesn't know. he is excellent with the family though.

my cousin basically told me this isn't good and it's only a matter of time before he bites someone. my uncle agreed with him. they both said apollo should be curious to meet people and happily greet them. but I was reading online and many websites say that german shepherds are known for being "standoffish" and this is normal. so now I'm not sure what to believe....?
Stop listening to your cousin and uncle. Your dog doesn't need to interact with every stranger or even familiar person who comes over. As long as there is no specific behavior to be concerned about (growling, etc.) let it be. My male GSD was like this and I appreciated his aloofness towards strangers.
 
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