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Discussion Starter #1
Last night Chloe started barking aggressively at a child. I had gone to pick my daughter up from a friend's house. It was dark and my daughter got Chloe out of my truck to meet her friend. Chloe started barking at her. Really shocked me.

She is normally good with kids as I let her socialize with the neighborhood kids and I take her places like Petsmart and the park daily.

Earlier in the day, my other daughter's friends came over to pick her up, whom Chloe has never met, and she was great with them.

I have only noticed her doing this one other time. We were walking at the park after dark and she barked at a man that was there.

So, I am wondering if this is just a temporary fear thing and if it has to do with night time.

Isn't it a bit early for a 7.5 month old to be acting protective? Is this protection, aggression, fear, what?

Thanks in advance for any advice.
 

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She may be going through a second fear period. I have heard that is about the age where they becove frightened at things they have never had issues with before. I would just break out the treats and treat her like you are doing socialization again.

What is her body language like? is she leaning forward, or backing up?
 

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I'd just get her attention, never encourage this behavior, and continue with the dog classes. They will really help with continued socialization and preparing the both of your for things to come.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the advice.

I did not see how she was standing last night....I was still seated in the truck. But, when she barked at the guy at the park she was going towards him.

The other night she started barking ferociously while I was watching a baseball game. I had left the blinds open for her to look out at the kids earlier and had not shut them. Anyway, I got up and looked around outside for a person or dog and there was nothing. I think it was the reflection of the ballgame on the tv. Kind of shocked me.

She doesn't seem "fearful" but I am not sure how that presents itself.
 

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Just remember, GSD's are the best bluffer's there are. They are awesome with putting on a real good convincing show. If they can bark their way out of a confrontation, then that works best for them.
 

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Very common for dogs to become more suspicious and a little more fearful after dark. AND she may be going through another fear period, so that her reaction level was heightened.

At 7.5 months, she isn't anywhere near being protective, and all such situations are fear barking. As other have said, continue with the socialization, if you don't already do this, always have her on leash when outside, especially after dark. Make a point of taking her out after dark for walks and play sessions. Communicate confidence and fun in the energy you give out. If she reacts fearfully (barking, growling, hackling), do not correct (no use in correcting fear!), but pull her back, get her attention.
Act matter-of fact. Act like the object of her fear is the most boring thing in the world.

Once she stops barking and pays attention to you, be happy! Play with her, laugh and give her treats. It is all about making the scary situation into a fun and non-threatening one.
 
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