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Do you know anyone with a confident and well trained dog you could try to go for a walk with? Sometimes doing so can communicate a sense of calm to an unsure pup and get you over that hurdle. Obviously you want your pup to trust and look to you for guidance, but if you're having trouble getting out the front door some extra help might be in order.
 

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So she's certainly beautiful. I had a couple thoughts, no she's certainly not ruined. She is young and some dogs go through different fear periods. Slow and easy, for training with traffic I would go out early when it's quiet. Work on obedience in a quieter neighborhood. Teach her watch me, when you see a vehicle approaching use watch me, or even play tug. Move closer over days as she becomes used to traffic. Don't let her fixate or get focused on anything but you. I would also chat with her breeder. She would know her temperament better than anyone and what to expect.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Do you know anyone with a confident and well trained dog you could try to go for a walk with? Sometimes doing so can communicate a sense of calm to an unsure pup and get you over that hurdle. Obviously you want your pup to trust and look to you for guidance, but if you're having trouble getting out the front door some extra help might be in order.
That’s a great idea, I’ll see if I can borrow my friend and her lab for some extra support! She seems to be a lot more confident when my partner and I take her out together (not with either of us separately) but he can’t come out very often so some extra help might come in handy. Thanks!
 

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So she's certainly beautiful. I had a couple thoughts, no she's certainly not ruined. She is young and some dogs go through different fear periods. Slow and easy, for training with traffic I would go out early when it's quiet. Work on obedience in a quieter neighborhood. Teach her watch me, when you see a vehicle approaching use watch me, or even play tug. Move closer over days as she becomes used to traffic. Don't let her fixate or get focused on anything but you. I would also chat with her breeder. She would know her temperament better than anyone and what to expect.
Yup, I should probably slow down and start going more at her pace. Pretty sure I keep jumping the gun and pushing her too hard trying to get her over this hurdle. And that’s a good idea, I’ll see if he has any advice! Thanks.
 

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Check out Denise Fenzi's FB page, she is raising a new puppy and addressing some of this is videos and posts:

Also a lot of trainers are doing lessons over video or phone. If there is a trainer you want to work with contact them and ask or look around online. Even a trainer a different state could do a video lesson or consult with you to address the issues you are seeing. Even Micheal Ellis is doing video lessons these days. It's a great time to work with trainers you normal wouldn't be able to.
 

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Really cute puppy. You only had your pup for 3 weeks. Dial it back take your pup to place with less pressure where you can have fun and start a bond adjust and then heavily trafficked areas may not be so worrisome. Enjoy your pup.
 

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Here are a couple of thoughts... do you have her on the non traffic side when walking? If not try putting her as far from the road as possible, with you and preferably other people and the calm dog towards the traffic so she is sandwiched away from it.

I suggest to read about Look At That and get Grisha Stewart's book BAT. She is a reward only trainer so take that part with a grain of salt but I think there is good value in a lot of that book.

Did you say there is a parking garage where she is ok? Can you teach her to toilet there? I don't know if that would cause problems with smell and get you in trouble. Just wondering if there is any alternative place to toilet her and get some exercise where she isn't freaked out

Do you stop her moving if you see a truck coming? Block her up against a side of a building so she can only really see you and feed her or is she too scared to do that? Sometimes things are less scary if the dog sits still
 

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Hi all! I held off on getting a GSD puppy for about 3 years as I was hugely a perfectionist (“was”) when it came to the right circumstances necessary for dog ownership. Well, I just stumbled right into puppy life during a pandemic, so I suppose “right time” is subjective. Meet Dani!
View attachment 558712

I’ve worked with and around dogs for about 4 years now, but haven’t done much professionally in the training field. Aside from growing up with a boxer that got no training whatsoever I’ve never had my own dog. So I need a bit of help, or maybe just a morale boost!
Dani is a 15 week old ASL puppy, and I’ve had her for about 3 weeks now. She’s great in many ways: great off switch, good in her crate, sleeps through the night and through my daily naps (my meds make me sleep like crazy.) Shes also wonderful about being handled and hasn’t shown any sign of resource guarding or otherwise any “attitude” towards me or my partner. With some work she seems to be growing a healthy food and toy drive, which is great because I’m interested in using her to finally dabble in some obedience-oriented dog sports. HOWEVER: She’s terrified of being outside, mostly because she’s mortified when it comes to traffic sounds and tries to bolt to safety at every bus and truck that passes. She doesn’t react fearfully to anything else we’ve encountered, or to recorded traffic noises from my phone. I want to tackle this at her pace but my building is surrounded by semi-busy streets and I don’t know how to set her up for a positive experience outdoors when stepping through the front door of the building immediately brings her to the street/over threshold when it comes to her triggers. She’s better when the street is quiet but I can’t predict when a bus or truck will pass. It seems like every short walk or even potty break we have ends in her anxiously pulling home, and I feel like I’m reinforcing her fear by allowing her to pull me to safety at the end of every walk (getting her to walk calmly home is level 100 when it comes to her leash skills— we’re starting in the underground parking lot and will work our way up since I’ve waited 10 minutes for calm and attention on the sidewalk before and she’s just not capable of that when she’s that afraid.) lastly, she’s very aloof and unsure about non-family members, which, yeah, GSD..She’s been ignoring dogs and people for the most part and seems ok with just ignoring the people around me when im actively doing something. However, she’s started to growl/bark at approaching people when I “settle” anywhere: sitting for lunch at work (i work at a pet essentials shop and she comes with) or a phonecall outside. She is also very suspicious in the hallway of our building (still mild but appears to be escalating.) I’m worried about where this is headed once her hormones kick in. Going to a trainer isn’t an option what with the whole covid thing, so I’m just wondering if anyone has any ideas about the traffic thing or tips on confidence building in general. Similarly, anything to harness her natural protective instinct into a “right time and place” kinda deal. I definitely don’t want a never-met-a-stranger dog but I’d like her to understand that those grumpy displays are unacceptable and to trust me to keep her safe. Also, god, do I correct the ceaseless nipping before redirecting or just redirect and hope she catches on?? How much of this terrifying “my dog is BROKEN” anxiety goes away with age and our experience together? Am I ruining my dog by adhering to social distancing instead of having her meet every dog and human we pass? Is it ok to not have a perfect dog? Can a dog who needs her confidence intensely built up in this way still become a fun stable companion or am I in way over my head? I’m picturing the inevitable end of having a super fear-aggressive and flighty dog that I can’t take anywhere due to her being a miserable, nervous hazard with no bite inhibition LOL. That’s probably a reach, but any tips on preventing that are appreciated. Thanks!
Re: YOUR anxiety.....I get it, but try to work on it. Will she ever be a super confident dog? I doubt it. But one thing I can pretty much guarantee you is that if you are constantly worrying and analyzing her it could definitely make her worse.

You should try, to the best of your ability, to let those worrying thoughts go. The more casual and confident YOU are, the more she may follow suit. She is a baby and you are her adult caretaker. She's full of anxiety and so is the adult supposed to be in charge. Is she going to feel safer with you being confident and casual or with you stressing out?

This isn't your fault, it is her temperament. Be realistic in your goals for her.
 

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Re: YOUR anxiety.....I get it, but try to work on it. Will she ever be a super confident dog? I doubt it. But one thing I can pretty much guarantee you is that if you are constantly worrying and analyzing her it could definitely make her worse.

You should try, to the best of your ability, to let those worrying thoughts go. The more casual and confident YOU are, the more she may follow suit. She is a baby and you are her adult caretaker. She's full of anxiety and so is the adult supposed to be in charge. Is she going to feel safer with you being confident and casual or with you stressing out?

This isn't your fault, it is her temperament. Be realistic in your goals for her.
Haha did my anxiety really translate that well over text? You got me 100%. I’ll try to reign it in for her sake! Definitely have some work to do in that regard but maybe she’ll be the thing that finally forces me to chill out! You’re right, she is what she is and all I can do is try to make her the best version of herself that she can be. Nothing more :) thanks!
 

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What worked for my really reactive puppy, who I got at 4 months, was to spend time hanging out just below his threshold. We played games, we worked on obedience, we just hung out together. Now, at 7 months, I think that he could be a search and rescue dog. Nothing phases him anymore.

I guess social distancing means different things in different areas and contexts. I would estimate that there are 10X as many people walking around my neighborhood and a 20 fold increase in the number of dogs walking around. There is plenty of space so that we can easily keep a 6-foot distance between groups or families. Ole totally loves it. We encounter many dogs and people on our walks... But no one tries to stop and introduce their dog to Ole or tries to pet him. Ole loves the dog park where he can meet people and dogs on his own terms.

The other day a crazy little white dog came charging at us like it was going to kill us. Ole didn't react until the dog was within reach. He reached out his giant german shepherd puppy paw and put it on the crazy dog's back and held it down. After about 30 seconds the dog settled down. Ole let it back up and it scampered back home.

On the flip side, Ole caught a raccoon while we were walking along a creek. The raccoon was hiding in a storm sewer that drained into the stream. There was no bark or growl of warning, just a quick pounce. In one bite he broke the raccoon's neck. Even if they are well behaved, a german shepherd's strength and speed is something to respect.
 
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