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Discussion Starter #1
First I would like to say hello, as I am new to the gsd forum!

I am looking for some advice/input regarding my gsd puppy's behavior. She is 4 months old, purebred, came from Pendragon Acres in Weeki Watchee, FL.
When she was first brought home (at 9 weeks old) she was very quiet, well behaved, etc. In fact she did not even cry or have any accidents for the first several days. With each passing day, however, her behavior has become more and more peculiar to me. She seems to be very skiddish and fearful when meeting new people. For instance, instead of walking up to a stranger with confidence and sniffing/licking them if they appear to be okay, she will run away in fear as soon as they extend their hand or get close to her. Also, my uncle is at the house 4-5 days out of the week, and from day 1 she did not like him. She would bark and growl at him every time she caught sight of him, and still does it to this day. Granted, he has never listened when told to just ignore her, and continuously tries to approach her when she is barking and growling at him. In fact, the other day when she was doing this he advanced towards her quickly and she bit him hard enough to draw blood. I am concerned about this and do not want her to ever bite anyone. At the same time, I feel compelled to defend my puppy as I know he frightens her when he does things like that--especially seeing she does not like him for some reason to begin with. Bottom line, I am not sure how to move forward with correcting this. She receives alot of training at home, and is starting to listen well, though I am sure seeing a professional trainer would still be a good idea.
Nevertheless, I am concerned about her skiddish/fearful behavior and would like to know your opinions on whether this is normal puppy behavior or not, and also any advice on what to do about it would be appreciated.

Thank you!
 

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At 4 months, your pup could be also going into a fear period which is made worse by her shyness. I would take it slow with her, take her for on leash walks and curve around other people, keep a distance, as she gets more relaxed, shorten the distance. I would ask others not to approach her - let her watch people - have her sit by your side when you talk to others. For your uncle, that is a difficult situation - keeping her in her crate and away from him, also perhaps have her on her leash when he is visiting so she follows you and can't lunge at him. Consulting a trainer is a good idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the input.

I take her on walks daily and she does great. I usually take her to the back of our neighborhood where they did not finish developing it and walk her off lead. She stays not more than 20' away and minds commands great without running off.

I have had her interact with other dogs in the neighborhood and she is very playful. When she goes up to any of the owners she will sniff and if the speak or try to reach down and pet her she runs off. She doesn't bark or become aggressive.

This deal with my uncle IMO was 100% his fault. What I failed to illustrate in the first part was she did not like him from day 1. There was one incident where he chased her into my kitchen which only has one entrance and exit and trapped her in and she freaked. Which I don't blame her.

The last incident actually happened last night and I was not present but I came home and she was in her crate and would not come out. What he told me was he walked in the house and she was at the front door waiting for me to come in and he tried to either grab or pet her while she was growling and bit him.

Something else I found interesting was, I was standing outside her crate calling her about 20' away and he came over and put his arm around me and she started barking. I don't know if she's just being protective of me and the house or what.

I have no doubt it was out of fear, and I am hoping more socialization will remedy this. She is a very good dog. I just cannot have a dog that bites, but I feel that if a dog is showing you all the signs that it may bite you and you still try and pet it, and get bit, it's your own fault.
 

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I get the impression from what you described that your pup is shy around people and protective of you. The good part is that she is good around other dogs, is not dominant and stays by you and usually that type of pup is easy to train. The downside with her and what I would be very careful of is the shyness with people. I would be concerned that it could turn into fear aggression if she were forced to interact. This has already happened with your uncle. She had a bad beginning experience with him and the situation has worsened every since. That is why I think you may need to consult a trainer who can work with you and your uncle. I think you should also talk to your pup's breeder as the breeder could also have some recommendations.
 

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This pup should not be forced to interact with all sorts of strange people. Socialization means taking your dog to new environments and working with her so she focuses on YOU. People make this mistake over and over and over and we read about it on these threads. Take her to be around people, places and other dogs but she should NOT be interacting with all of them.
 
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