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My boyfriend and I brought home our 10 week old GSD female puppy last Friday.. Since then she has completely warmed up to me (following me around, etc) and didn't take to my BF right off the bat. I went back to work Monday and am gone part of the day and my BF has been here to take care of her all day. He has been feeding, playing, and generally doing all the taking care of her to get her to warm up to him. Slowly she is coming around but he is still annoyed and doesn't understand why she isn't taking to him more! She is also extremely scared when she hears other dogs barking (I live in a large apartment complex where there are tons of dogs living here, we also have a dog park because there are so many) or when she hears doors slamming or generally any human noises outside. If she hears a noise she doesn't like she darts up the stairs to the door. My roommate (who also doesn't really live at my apartment because she is literally always at her boyfriends') came over this morning before I had to work; my boyfriend and I were both here. Roxy (my puppy) wanted absolutely nothing to do with her and even sort of "screamed" and ran away when she tried to pet her. She ran and hid under the bed for most of the day. My boyfriend is extremely upset, worried, discouraged, and frustrated. I am unhappy with how distrustful, skittish, and upset she gets by these things. She came from a breeder who has been breeding for 15 years and we met both her and her husband, the dam, and the rest of the litter. We were referred to her by a puppy coordinator from our local GSD Club. She has papers and a 3-4 generation pedigree. She is not sick, is eating well, has accidents inside but those are our fault, and has firm stools. I talked to the puppy coordinator who I've established a relationship with for advice and she thinks maybe the puppy is feeling insecure and may have been traumatized by her move out of her home. She said it was right to be concerned and to contact my breeder. I contacted my breeder and she told me I could choose a different puppy (2 females, 1 male left) or bring her back for a full refund. I don't want to give up on the puppy but we want an active, happy puppy who isn't fearful of anything outside our apartment. Just so everyone knows she has been at my place for about 5 days and seems to be adjusting except for the fearfulness thing.. Can anyone offer any advice?

As far as socialization goes we took her to my BF's parents house on Christmas and there were lots of people there. She was probably overwhelmed, scared, and nervous and she ended up sleeping most of the day in a quiet room and when she did wake up she was attached to my hip everywhere we went. She hasn't been around any other dogs but there are two puppies our friend has and we were considering taking her to play with them but were nervous because of her reaction to anything outside and she even peed and got scared/nervous when she heard this yippy dog barking the other day when my BF took her on a little walk to go play at the dog park. She was so scared that she wouldn't play at the dog park and they eventually went back to the apartment.

Other than her extreme fearfulness and not warming up to my BF as quickly as she did with me, she is doing good. We are working on the potty training, she eats well, plays (though sometimes she does just self-entertain herself by chewing on her toys for awhile--something else I didn't know if it was normal or not) and she sleeps through the night. Tonight she got very frisky and bit aggressive with her play but that may have been because she was hiding most of the day today... Overall, we are trying to decide to give her a little more time or to take her back to the breeder. I'm very upset about this and feel my BF has pretty much given up on her and doesn't think it will really work out. He said everyday he is trying to give her a new chance but every day it doesn't seem to work out... HELP!:help:
 

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I'm sorry, I really feel your worry and frustration. Unfortunately, if your puppy is this fearful and skiddish at this age, she won't change much as she matures. This is not normal puppy behaviour. Yes, it is normal for them to be a bit subdued and unsure when in a new home, but it is not normal that after five days she still won't have anything to do with your boyfriend, and still hides under the bed all day at every noise.
I know that you are already bonded to her and really want to make things work, but at this point, I would suggest you return her for a more confident pup before you get any more attached and the decision becomes even more difficult.

The breeder is being ethical and responsible by offering a refund or another pup, I would take her up on it. If you go for another puppy, make sure you get one that is outgoing and confident from the get go - fearfulness and confidence are very much inherited genetic traits in dogs, I am afraid that if you keep her your will have nothing but frustrations. If the remaining puppies are being shy and won't come out to play and investigate when you show up, I would pass up on the puppy offer and ask for a refund, and find another breeder. This forum can help and direct you on how to go about finding a breeder and getting the type of pup that will meet your expectations and mesh with your life-style.
 

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Your puppy is extremely fearful and she was most likely born that way. If you are willing to live with this for the rest of her life then you need to accept that this is the way she is alway going to be. I, personally, would take her back immediately. Not that many people want a dog that is never going to be fun to take anywhere and you can't do much with. You might be able to make her a little better with some serious socialization, but she will never be a confident outgoing dog.
 

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This is kind of what I feared... It was so strange too because when we went to pick her out at 8 weeks, she was confident, outgoing, and curious--super inquisitive and not fearful of us as strangers at that point and then when we got her home, she's been scared of things... Is there really no hope?

Also, I love GSD's but my BF is so frustrated he is kind of turned off of them at this point and in dogs in general.. he was so excited to be getting this puppy--we planned for months.. :(
 

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Do you have a link to the pedigree or the breeder's website?
You are dealing with a fear period right now, but I would think she would warm to the BF much more than what you are describing.
As an aside, we had some new clients bring out their new pup back in October. After a few visits we could tell the pup was not adjusting at all and was much like your girl sounds. She also had an inverted vulva which was causing a persistent UTI. After much thought, they returned her to the breeder. The breeder had another litter on the way so they decided to get one from that litter. They called me this morning to tell me they have their new girl and can't wait to bring her out this weekend. She is VERY different, very outgoing and confident. Sounds like a total clown and very bright. Their daughter was heartbroken at returning the first, but realized it was for the best and is now totally in love with the new girl.
 

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this puppy is only 10 weeks old and you've only had her five days. and your bf is getting turned off to german shepherds because of her behavior at this very young age in this very, very short amount of time?

i don't want to disagree with elaine and she may be absolutely right about your puppy, but i'd want to look at whether it might instead be a problem with the bf. is his frustration tolerance this low in general, or is he normally a really patient and understanding guy? i would want to give this baby (and she is just a baby), a bit longer to adjust. but, then again, maybe elaine is right...it's just that your puppy is SO young and has been with you SUCH a short period of time.
 

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A pup is always more confident in its home with its mom and littermates.

Did the breeder monitor the pups and know what type of personality each had when you went to look at 8wks? Did they have any input in your choice for the pup?

If the OP is going to return the pup (I agree with Lucia's post) Does anyone have a link to some basic puppy temperament tests she could do(I'm at work and google is blocked)?

Also, if you pick a different pup from this breeder be sure you have an understanding. If the new pup behaves the same way would the breeder offer a refund or partial refund.
 

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Developmental Stages
worth reading what your pups going thru...I agree it is probably genetic or medical, and if your BF isn't on board with a pup, then please return her to the breeder and wait until everyone involved is on board.
temp testing link~this is for younger pups, but may be of help:
http://www.volhard.com/pages/pat.php
 

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I agree with the pup being too new to call her fearful yet.....and let's not forget this pup is right at the beginning of her first fear stage. Getting rid of her just yet is definitely jumping the gun. GSD's tend to bond more with one person....tell your BF to get over himself she will love him more than anything else in the world with time, but may always be more bonded to you. My DH was jealous that Zoe our pup bonded closer with me. She would allow his pets, but the minute I left the room she followed, she never really asked for his attention, and was fine to ignore him all day. But, guess what? He started doing more of the walking, play, feeding, and most importantly training and she now adores him though is still more partial to me. It took her 7 months to decide he was a good guy and him lots of work, treats, and hiding his frustration. If the pup senses frustration from your BF like mine did with my DH bonding will be hard....he needs to get his outlook in check and work to be her person too.

My DH went through the same emotions wondering why we got a pup that could care less about him so his enthusiasm in the beginning was lacking to say the least which is why her affections for him lacked. As for the fear it may be a stage or her personality...only time will tell and it can takes months to really figure that out. Pups will also gain confidence, lose a little and back track, and then bounce right back so be patient.

Start taking her everywhere and I mean everywhere with yummy treats always in hand to give to people so she associates new things with awesome food. The average young dog is going to catch on to this quick and be a social butterfly in no time, or at least not as scared. Positive experiences like this equal confidence which is what you need to be building now. I have a PITA GSD who will not take a treat from strangers, but these behaviors were apparent with her litter as well and something I was aware of. Your pup is just adjusting to a new home, people, sights, smells, and feelings- she's in sensory overload so be patient:)
 

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Perhaps some pups take a bit longer to get used to some people, but the fear of noises is extreme, and she has no recovery. Normal for a pup to jump and startle and maybe run if a sudden loud noise scares them, but they should recover withing a minute or two and come back and check out the scary stuff, once they realize they did not get eaten.

And if the pup stays this fearful, they may turn into a fear biter, or a dog that falls apart at every little change in routine or stressor.

The OP can certainly try and give this pup more time, but the worry I have is that if the pup does not come around, they will have a very difficult time making a decision about returning her because of the attachment.

A shy and fearful pup may always be afraid of strangers and turn into a fear biter. A shy and fearful pup may always fall apart and bolt at loud noises.

A shy and fearful pup may become extremely reactive to other dogs to the point of not being able to have them around other dogs at all.

A shy and fearful pup may be a submissive peer well into adulthood.

As Elaine pointed out, with training and socialization, there can be some improvement, but it won't basically change what the pup is. A puppy of good nerve and temperament takes all the changes and new people in stride.
 

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I would wonder, though, if they are really pushing her? esp the boyfriend?

Say pup is nervous and scared when you bring her home - perfectly normal.
Pup wants to bond more with woman, but BF is upset by this and tries to push the pup into playing with him.
There are tons of loud noises, new people, everything going on, then new person appears and tries to pick up pup.

I can see where the pup could be just completely overwhelmed!
I would talk to the breeder about this. If she has been breeding for 15 years and recommended by the local GSD community, I'm sure she would want to know about this.
Even the most confident outgoing pup will need a while to get used to a new home. Esp if going from a quiet single-family house to a large apartment complex full of barking dogs, new noises and smells, and a ton of people constantly coming and going. Add in the age and that the pup is in the beginning of a fear period, I don't think it's necessarily bad nerves. Could be sure, but maybe just something that the breeder can help you work through

ETA: I forgot to add that, just to add in all the stress on the pup, they took her to a big family gathering on Christmas. So not only ANOTHER new place, but one full of excited people and probably lots of noise and yelling. That's a lot for such a little baby to adjust to when she hasn't even gotten settled in!!
 

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I'm not commenting on the fear issues, I'll defer to those with more experience, but the BF does seem to expect a lot from an 11 week old puppy they have only had for a week. I would think the dog, breed, and species deserves more than a week! JMO however.
 

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I'm not commenting on the fear issues, I'll defer to those with more experience, but the BF does seem to expect a lot from an 11 week old puppy they have only had for a week. I would think the dog, breed, and species deserves more than a week! JMO however.
I agree. I'm thinking, was the breeder a woman? That could easily explain why the pup instantly latched onto the GF. Rayden was supposed to be my husband's dog. He says "well, at least he likes me best when you aren't home" :rolleyes:
 

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Unfortunately, a lot of show breeders do breed weak nerves. It has come to the point that many find it normal. I've been involved in training and classes in our town - we have breeders that have been breeding for 15 to 30 years, and the pups we see in classes are almost all walking nerve bags (but their breeder is involved in shows, have a lot of championships under their belt, and people who don't know better recommend them because after so many years of breeding, they must know how to breed, right?).

Not saying that is the case here, perhaps this pup is just different and a fluke, and perhaps as others have suggested puppy just needs a bit more time to adapt, or is picking up bad vibes from the BF, don't know, - but dogs don't lie, puppies don't lie: what you see, especially after five days, is what you get. A sound, confident pup will show nothing but interest and curiosity in her environment.
 
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