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Discussion Starter #1
My 5 mo. GSD (Hailey) has known my parents since we got her at 12 wks. They've been over my house several times, and each time she has always LOVED being with them. Then, this past Sunday, she suddenly withdrew from them for no apparent reason. She did the same thing last night. I've never see her back away from anyone or anything (person, machine or animal). I don't think there's anything smell wise that would cause her to fear both of my parents at the same time. She reluctantly approached my mother to eat steak out of her hand, then backed away again. There's no growling or any aggresive behavior towards my parents. I even tried hugging my mom so Hailey would see we're on good terms. When my parents put on there coats to leave, Hailey ended up hiding behind our treadmill... I've never seen her hide form anything!

Any ideas what could make a positive, fun relationship go sour for no apparent reason in an otherwise confident, outgoing GSD?

Thanks.
 

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They do go through fear stages as their senses and instincts change and mature. If She's not acting aggressively, I'd just ignore it and act as though everything's normal. Maybe have your parents drop or throw little treats as they move around the house without making eye contact or speaking to Hailey so she remembers they're really cool people that make treats drop out of the sky. Just go on about the visit without encouraging her or trying to change her behavior and most likely it'll pass. Maybe others will have different suggestions but that's how I'd handle the next visit. See if they can come over soon for a short time
 

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She is the right age for her fear stage. I agree do not make a big deal. Having your parents drop treats is the best to help her work thru this. You may also notice her becoming fearful of other things she was not before. Max would bark at tree stumps at that age. Most of the time we could just walk over to it and touch it then he was ok.

They get over it and then go thru another between 7-8 months but not as bad as the first.
 

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I think the time has come where you all including your parents go out for a walk with the dog. Make them give him his breakfast and also make them ignore your dog a bit in the beginning. The worst thing that can happen now is them trying to verbally convince your dog that they mean no harm and then go after him.
You'll be fine. I had another dog before with the same problem, time and frequent visits got rid of it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Unfortunately, in a week or so, my parents are snow birding out of here to Florida for the next 4 months. I'm hoping when they return that she'll be past the fear or it won't be worse. Until then, I'll have them dole out the treats. It's weird that she suddenly became afraid of them, but has no problem (the same day) with the furnace guy and plumber coming into the house.
 

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They go through a lot of changes the first year and like vat said, something that never bothered them before is scary now. Then there's the barking phase where a leaf falling is a big deal, the butt-head phase where they forget everything you ever taught them. All normal for gsds, they take a while to mature.
 

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continue socializing heavily and ignore this sudden fear of your parents. She's at the right age for a fear stage. Shasta was 5 months old and suddenly was terrified of her leash, my shoes ON THE FLOOR, reflections on the walls. None of this had ever been a fear inducer. Continued socializing and introducing her to new things and about two weeks later she was good again. good luck.
 
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