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Jupiter is a well-behaved, 19-month old black GSD and we go for walks most days. Generally he gets one of two reactions: people either cross the street or coo and say how beautiful he is. I can't complain too much, because he gets a compliment literally almost every time we go out.

This morning was typical. Our score was: 3 people crossed the street to avoid us (this despite that I will move about 8 feet into the street to let people stay on the sidewalk), 3 people ignore or greet civilly, 2 people pet, and 1 person saying he looks young because he has a pretty puppy face.

Guess that's not too bad. Still getting used to so many people avoiding us, though.
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I always seem to locate the weirdos. I told an old lady that Shadow was 9.5 and she laughed at me and told me someone had lied to me because she knew dogs and Shadow was 4 or 5 at best.
The bad dogs owner likes to tell people that her dog is prettier then a stupid German Shepherd.
People move away from Shadow all the time and it hurts her feelings, because now that she has learned to say hello she wants to meet everyone!
Someone asked the other day why I cropped her ears. I told him it was tissue damage from something before I found her. He insisted they had been cropped.
 

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he's a handsome fella! I'd pet him and let him touch noses with our Karma!

I've seen the same reactions on walks as well. I chalk it up as people who aren't dog people (freaking weirdos!) or people who are just overly paranoid about 'aggressive breeds'
 

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Almost everybody crosses the street to avoid Juno (and she's not fully grown!). Except one lady who had a German shepherd when she was younger.

I am ok with that. My neighbourhood is not particularly dog-friendly and I have the reactive hound. Everyone knows about him and how he bit another dog last year; I don't know how word got around so fast LOL. He gets way more attention than Juno does. He's a bit unusual for my area; the only dogs I've seen that look like him are on social media. Children love him.

That being said most people who have experience with GSDs will comment on how beautiful Juno is. But that's usually at obedience school.

Since getting my own dogs, I have stopped petting other people's dogs unless they are friends. I would cross the street if I saw Jupiter (because of my hound) or I would ask if we could walk in parallel for a bit....

But I know what folks mean; one neighbour told me not to smile at Juno so much. I am not much of a smiler, so I can't imagine that I was smiling at my puppy. I thanked him politely and continued on my way.
 

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I meet a wide range of people. Some don't really pay attention to my dogs, some love them, some move to avoid us. Now that I take the puppy out, there are some people who become insistent on him meeting their dogs. It's honestly starting to grate my nerves since they don't want ti take no for an answer. Its also interesting because those same people put as much distance as possible between their dogs and Bear. I did run into a lady the other day who was upset about my dog pooping in a park.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I always seem to locate the weirdos. I told an old lady that Shadow was 9.5 and she laughed at me and told me someone had lied to me because she knew dogs and Shadow was 4 or 5 at best.
The bad dogs owner likes to tell people that her dog is prettier then a stupid German Shepherd.
People move away from Shadow all the time and it hurts her feelings, because now that she has learned to say hello she wants to meet everyone!
Someone asked the other day why I cropped her ears. I told him it was tissue damage from something before I found her. He insisted they had been cropped.
Bizarre! The closest thing I can think of is this guy with a kangal who, when the kangal starts lunging and growling at Jupiter from across the street, yelled, "You're a bad dog! He's a good dog! (referring to Jupiter, who wasn't doing anything). Yes, You're the bad dog!"
 

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Discussion Starter #7
he's a handsome fella! I'd pet him and let him touch noses with our Karma!

I've seen the same reactions on walks as well. I chalk it up as people who aren't dog people (freaking weirdos!) or people who are just overly paranoid about 'aggressive breeds'
Yes, I think that about sums it up. To be honest, I had only met one or two GSDs before I got Jupiter and would have been at least wary of him, and also to be honest, most of the GSDs I have seen in the wild have been reactive/fear-aggressive, unfortunately.
 

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I would pet Jupiter. But keep in mind that most people who own GSDs don't want people touching their dogs. That may be a lot of it.
Except in Calgary. There people have no regard for personal space or property. It was a huge issue with Shadow who spooks easily, especially with people rushing at her and shrieking PUPPY at the top of their lungs. It was also not uncommon for us to have to body block people with the patrol dogs. Doing crowd control people were know to try and hug them. You can't fix stupid.
 

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When I lived in California I had a lot of people cross the street to avoid me and Beau - even when he was a young puppy. Now we've moved to Washington and nobody crosses the street anymore, but I also haven't had anyone try to pet Beau (maybe it's coronavirus related, I don't know). I've found I'm much more likely to be complimented on Beau in Washington than I ever was in California.

The other day someone asked if he was a "fancy German Shepherd" which caught me a little off guard since I don't know what makes a dog "fancy" or not. He's a sable, so maybe that was it?
 

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Yes, I think that about sums it up. To be honest, I had only met one or two GSDs before I got Jupiter and would have been at least wary of him, and also to be honest, most of the GSDs I have seen in the wild have been reactive/fear-aggressive, unfortunately.
that's sad. We have a few family friends that currently own, or have owned GSDs in the past and i've never had a bad interaction with them. But these family friends always have dogs, and i trust them and their proper training of their animals. They are more well behaved than their kids lol


I would pet Jupiter. But keep in mind that most people who own GSDs don't want people touching their dogs. That may be a lot of it.
Except in Calgary. There people have no regard for personal space or property. It was a huge issue with Shadow who spooks easily, especially with people rushing at her and shrieking PUPPY at the top of their lungs. It was also not uncommon for us to have to body block people with the patrol dogs. Doing crowd control people were know to try and hug them. You can't fix stupid.
That is one thing i did notice on the walks. I get a lot of people who ask first before they pet Karma. Even when she was little. i didn't mind people petting her as i wanted her to learn there are good people out there, and i wanted her to trust me and my judgement. The only GSD owners i have encountered that really didn't want people touching there dogs were K9 officers on the job lol. But i've only encountered GSDs in family friend situations or in public with working dogs. All other times i have seen a GSD i've always been in a car driving by
 

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I think Agis getting bigger has helped (he's 9.5mos now), people don't make a fuss over him so much now. When he was younger people with dogs would stop and stare at him intently, and he'd react. I didn't want him reacting, but I was also like 'Come on! You're challenging him! You're a dog owner, you should know better!'

Now that he's 50lbs he's apparently more avoid-worthy than stare-worthy. Which is fine, we generally try to avoid people (or at least ones with dogs) as we too have a reactive hound - he's pretty well-behaved now, but space helps.

People do think Neb (12 year old mutt) is a puppy. More so than Agis, which is weird, because Neb has a big blocky head and is...this'll sound weird...well hung, so to speak. He's 12lbs lighter than Agis but has a bigger head and Agis has a tiny penis in comparison. It weirds me out when I look at them, but I suspect it's the respective ages of their neuter. Anyways, Agis looks less sexually mature than Neb, so younger (to me). And now that I've exposed myself as a weirdo that compares my dogs junk, I will scuttle away...
 

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It's interesting that @brittanyS has had different reactions in different areas. I have wondered about how regional such things are. Once when I had a Golden retriever puppy, we ran into some Mexican children, and they acted afraid of the pup. I thought that was weird, until I considered that maybe they don't have the same associations with Goldens that the US does. If you have young children, you're probably aware that Disney puts out about 6 Golden-retriever themed movies a year, whereas it's difficult to find GSD movies unless you go back to Rin-tin-tin.

Really I have never been in a place that had lots of GSDs, but have always seen tons of labs, goldens, and white foo foo dogs. I know there are GSDs in our neighborhood, but I think most of them stay inside. The reason I thought it was strange was because, I think GSDs are the 2nd most popular dog in the US, and the most popular dog worldwide, right?
 

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After we rescued Rocco I was surprised at the reaction people had on the street when they would see him. To me he was just another dog. However my daughters were teens at the time and I liked it(y)
 

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My aunt lives in rural India and terrified of dogs. They live in the village, but in the streets. People give them food, but no one pets them or names them. They don't belong to any single person. They are mostly feral and can be aggressive or mistrustful toward humans. I understand why she's scared. She was surprised to learn that I keep dogs in the house. It took her three weeks to pet my docile hound, and then only his back not from the front. He loves people. She was terrified of him and startled every time he entered the room.

She got a good laugh one evening when she saw me brush their teeth LOL.
 

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My aunt lives in rural India and terrified of dogs. They live in the village, but in the streets. People give them food, but no one pets them or names them. They don't belong to any single person. They are mostly feral and can be aggressive or mistrustful toward humans. I understand why she's scared. She was surprised to learn that I keep dogs in the house. It took her three weeks to pet my docile hound, and then only his back not from the front. He loves people. She was terrified of him and startled every time he entered the room.

She got a good laugh one evening when she saw me brush their teeth LOL.
That's interesting and sounds like how it was 30 years ago... guess things haven't changed that much. I live in a very built-up suburb with an HOA. No strays around here.
 

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I think GSDs act very puppy-like compared to other dogs. The same thing happens with border collies. They are so active, alert, and attentive that people mistake them for young dogs.

I like to mess with people with pup and I go on walks. Sometimes we do a little obedience work. He is starting to look calm and almost poised doing that. Other times I get out the tug and toss it. He charges after it and gives it a vigorous death shake while he brings it back. Finally, we play a bit of tug. He snarls, pulls, and growls like he is his going to kill me to get the tug away. I say out, give him a treat and say 'go play'... he wanders off to sniff the flowers as calm as can be.

People are surprised at how quickly he can go from completely calm to fully aroused in just a few seconds and then return to calm just as quickly. It also helps that his current favorite tug is a bright red, yellow, and orange braided rope. Pup looks ridiculous shaking that obscenely bright toy around.
 

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i'm still very envious of you owners with dogs that will play tug.. neither of mine will.. bubba the 65lb boat anchor bulldog only wants to be loved on (nothing wrong with that), and Karma will play fetch, and if not watched, other naught land shark activities! But whenever i get out the tug, bubba just huffs and walks away and lays down, while Karma will open her mouth, but wont clamp. I'm going to see if a longer tug will get her going? maybe it's too short/small? anywho! back on topic!

you have a handsome fella on your hands, and maybe since he's all black people are unsure what type of dog he is? I know before joining this group, i had ZERO clue there were white and black GSDs out there. So maybe with some people not being familiar with the breed and it's colors, stay away due to lack of knowledge?
 

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i'm still very envious of you owners with dogs that will play tug.. neither of mine will.. bubba the 65lb boat anchor bulldog only wants to be loved on (nothing wrong with that), and Karma will play fetch, and if not watched, other naught land shark activities! But whenever i get out the tug, bubba just huffs and walks away and lays down, while Karma will open her mouth, but wont clamp. I'm going to see if a longer tug will get her going? maybe it's too short/small? anywho! back on topic!

you have a handsome fella on your hands, and maybe since he's all black people are unsure what type of dog he is? I know before joining this group, i had ZERO clue there were white and black GSDs out there. So maybe with some people not being familiar with the breed and it's colors, stay away due to lack of knowledge?
Not to detail but Many of mine did not love tug. Sabi did though and that's why I am commenting on this.
We taught Sabi to play tug with the kids AND with adults two different ways. So if the pressure was below my waist level she basically just hung on if you lifted your arm she would tug like crazy and shake it. As soon as you dropped back low she would go back to lighter pressure. It might be fun for people with kids to try teaching that. It makes it safer for them.
Back to the walks. I love how normal people are here. Two people this morning commented on how beautiful Shadow is and the old guy told me it was a great day to be alive.
 

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i'm still very envious of you owners with dogs that will play tug.. neither of mine will.. bubba the 65lb boat anchor bulldog only wants to be loved on (nothing wrong with that), and Karma will play fetch, and if not watched, other naught land shark activities! But whenever i get out the tug, bubba just huffs and walks away and lays down, while Karma will open her mouth, but wont clamp. I'm going to see if a longer tug will get her going? maybe it's too short/small? anywho! back on topic!

you have a handsome fella on your hands, and maybe since he's all black people are unsure what type of dog he is? I know before joining this group, i had ZERO clue there were white and black GSDs out there. So maybe with some people not being familiar with the breed and it's colors, stay away due to lack of knowledge?
Funny you say that, I have managed to get Jupiter (who's all black!) interested in tug and been taking it out on morning walks. I take him to the park and play a bit, make him down, drop it, etc. and reward with the tugging.

He took a long time to warm up to it. I think I made a mistake when he was a puppy and lifted him up by the tug and it scared him. I've tried a long thick rope, shorter PetSmart like toys, and the chuck-it ball with strap attached (which I can't recommend, since he once missed it and bit my hand and I had to go to the clinic and he ended up being reported to Animal Control). He's caught on finally--the toy is made out of hard plastic that looks like tire material, but it's shaped like a rod, maybe the size of a smaller person's forearm. It's attached to a rope about a foot and a half long. He enjoys this one a lot. One nice thing about it is that you can throw it pretty easily, too. One hint, keep the toys locked up until it's time to play with them.

I do think that people don't know what black or white GSDs are. What I'm not sure is whether that would make them more or less afraid of them? After all, GSDs are known to be police dogs and guard dogs, but what do people think when they see a dog that kind of looks like a huge, rangy lab with tall ears? Maybe a wolf? :)
 

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I taught pup tp tug with a piece of suede leather attached to a six-foot nylon leash. I cut the metal clip off the leash and used my mom's heavy-duty sewing machine to sew the end of the leash to the leather piece. My back was too sore to bend all the way over to use a normal tug when he was a puppy.

I stole the idea from Leather Bite Rag
 
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