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Hi all. I have an 11 week old male GSD named Shadow. Just curious about something. He is a very friendly, quiet pup, just a snuggle bunny, who I have NEVER heard bark in the 1.5 weeks I've had him.

Last Thursday we had a vet visit for 2nd shots, and I made it a family outing with my 7yr old daughter and 5 yr old son. While in the waiting area, another dog began to lunge against his leash and bark/growl at my kids. Shadow put all 13 lbs of himself between my kids and the other dog and began barking and growling. As I said, this is the only time I have heard a peep from him unless whining to go out for "potty".

Is this a sign of being protective of my kids? I would have thought him too young for this, but was amazed at what I saw. Whenever my kids moved, he moved with them, alway trying to stay between the kids and the agressive dog. I eventually ended up picking up Shadow, because even though I had him on a leash, I was worried about the other owner letting go of her dog's leash. My kids sat on chairs behind me until the other owner left. She was getting pulled around ALOT.

Looking for your comments.

Thanks all
 

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It sounds like Shadow was protecting the kids to me.
But what is wrong with people. I have a fear aggressive gsd and when I take her to the vet she has her training collar on along with her muzzle. She has never hurt anyone, but why take the chance. Once she is in the room, the vet takes it off her and she doesn't mind the extra precaution.
 

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While he may have guessed right and been protecting, he's WAY TOO young to have to think that's his job right now. Puppies aren't ever in charge of protecting 'the pack' or making the judgement calls on who's good and who's bad.

It's our job as pack leaders to try to arrange the world so our puppies think it's a wonderful happy place and WE ARE IN CHARGE OF IT! So if you aren't sure of something, look at me. Something is scary, look at me. That's new and making me a bit flighty, look at me!

And when you look at me you will learn to cue from me cause if I am acting normal and saying it's ok, then it is! You can just calm right down and go on with your happy and stress free puppy life. Mom is here and will take charge if there is an issue, as well as assessing the situation and deciding it's ok.
 

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i agree with Wisc.Tiger but it also sounds like he might have been protecting. 11 weeks seems so young for that kind of behavior. don't wait for shots and exams to take your pup to the Vet take your pup there for pettings, treats and mock exams. i always did this with a pup. part of my dogs puppy class was about being at the Vets. in class they would ride him up and down on the exam table, look in his mouth, spread his toes, look in his ears, ect. sometimes we go by the Vets just to get a treat. now when we're at the Vets he just stands there and let's them do what ever they need to do. we had his hips checked and he just laid there while an aid held his legs in the right position. he also had to get blood drawn, he just sat there, no restrains, no muzzle. my point is get him use to being at the Vets. good luck with your pup.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you for your comments. I guess I'm going to have to control my reactions to the situation, because I know I got nervous having this other dog lunging and barking at us. Shadow probably felt that and reacted to it.

We have done lots of socializing with other dogs, people etc, and I hadn't seen him react like this before. He walks with me to and from the school 3times a day to pick up/drop off my kids, and we have encountered other dogs, kids cats and squirrels to name a few, and he looks, sniffs if allowed, and continues on our walk. He has even learned that if he wants to be petted, he has to sit first, because all jumping up does is get him ignored. All the kids in the school know him, and won't pay him any attention until he sits nicely.


Thanks again.
 

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It is your job to protect you pup that is what the Alpha does, so if you have a case where a larger dog, on leash is lunging at your pup, place your body between the pup and the offending dog. You pup will see that you are in charge and will not feel threatened.

Also like doggiedad said, get you pup use to going to the Vet. This is one of the socialization places for me and my pups. We go in, say hi, get weighed, some times if the Techs are too busy they will come out in the waiting room and say Hi to my pup and give treats.
 
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