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Hi! I'm so glad I came upon this forum. I have recently adopted a 6 year old GSD from my local shelter. Duke is the sweetest dog and loves people but he is not so friendly with other dogs, I did some research and digging from the papers I got from shelter to try to find out about his last owners and life style, these people adopted him when he was one and he spent a majorty of his life tied up to a tree, he was over 100 lbs(he is a mix so is smaller), was being "free fed" he is finially getting the idea of eating inside down and having some form of structure,he also developed pannus and they continued to leave him in the dirt/hay and sun all day, the vets had recommended special eye drops that I have gotten (are not expensive) but they took it in their own hands and were using human eyedrops! And this went on for 5 years so he is almost blind from the damage and scar tissue in his eyes, Basically everything I've read that your not supposed to do with a german shepard these people did, they surrenderd him because they were "moving",anyway I'm assuming because he was tied up and never trained or taken care of like he needs to be for so long, he has had bad experiences with dogs walking by him, shelter life as a puppy and his bad eye might might be contributing, I have taken him to a dog park once and he went crazy over a dog that was not even blinking at him,so it's not just at dogs that bark at him its any dog. I have a harness on him and a double leash and have even recently invested in a traning collar, I try to stand my ground and and get him to stop barking and jumping/ lunging he just gets so fixated on it he literally act like one of the K9 dogs when they are going after someone. It is intense and he is stronger then he looks so I cant always get him to turn around when I grab his harness. I just dont know what to do for him i love him and I want to take him places he can enjoy. I have set up individual training in Janurary but I'm scared to even take him to group classes, pet smart and after an encouter yesterday well I live in a neighborhood and the people that live here think their dogs are allowed to run around with out leashes which in a town I think is illegal so I'm doing the right thing with him, I should not feel bad or be nervous to take him for a walk. Anyway any advice would be awsome! Thank you!
 

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You will not turn him into a social, go-anywhere dog. For this, you need to have a pup with a good temperament, and socialized from the beginning.
For all intents and purposes, he is a wild animal. Never trained, left tied to a tree.
Plus, you just got him. You need to take it very slowly, keep him at home, earn his trust, stop taking him anywhere, especially the dog park.
Research the 2-week shutdown.
 

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Excellent post Ckai!!!!! Lots of accurate information based on my rescue experience. Thank You for your post.
I cant' stress enough again, take it slow. Baby steps.
There's some excellent trainers online and in booklet form for Leash Reactive Dogs- Patricia McConnell, Phd. is one.
She has numerous books and dvd's available on Amazon. A good one is "Feisty Fido". only $10-11.00 or so.
She takes you step by step how to work with these dogs. And remember if your dog is sight impaired you may need to go even slower.
Your dog will have to learn to trust you completely so any bonding activities with you alone goes a long ways. Talk to your dog so it learns the tones of your voice. You'll actually start to see them smile and be happy with you as their new friend. It will come, it may just take a while.
Also many dumped shelter dogs have anxiety because their lives were flipped upside down. They lost everything that was familiar to them. And it's even worse if they can't clearly see the world around them.

You have done a wonderful thing adopting this poor dog who had a helluva past life.
Please stick around and keep us updated on your progress.
It may not be easy, but with lots of patience and empathy you WILL make progress.
And welcome to the forum.
 

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a little more.... My GSD when first adopted was also 'UNSAFE" to take around other dogs. I used a harness and collar also and still worried if we saw a dog. Don't worry about classes for now. Only go where it's quiet and peaceful for both of you even if it means driving in the car to a quiet place with no other dogs.
Eventually after a period of time you will be able to go places but still can't get close to other dogs. It's a type of conditioning where with baby steps your dogs can gradually get closer and closer to other dogs.
The turning point for my dog was meeting a couple 'OLD' quiet huskies my son has. Introduced while my dog was on a leash. Then some weeks later we met an old GSD and a pit bull on a walk, both very sociable, quiet dogs. My dog was in heaven she was so ecstatic to meet and nuzzle a couple of quiet, nice dogs. But again this takes lots of time and lots and lots of walks to get here.
My adult son took her on many walks outside the dog park where she could SEE and hear other dogs playing. Eventually she could sniff noses through a chain link fence. When I say this was all done very gradually I mean over
a period of months. After a while my son allowed her to go in and play but not til she showed the wagging tail and friendly demeanor. You'll start to learn to read your dog's comfort level.
Get the book I recommended above and she explains all this much better than I can.
 
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