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I have a 10 month old GSD that is reactive and somewhat fearful. He was a singleton puppy and lacks the confidence and social skills he would have acquired if there had been other puppies in the litter to interact with. I have been working with several trainers to overcome these issues but he's definitely a work in progress. I am wondering if adding a second dog that is more confident and outgoing would help him overcome his issues. I'm thinking along the lines that having another dog to learn proper dogginess from may help. The trainer I'm using thought this may help or it may not. Any opinions would be helpful.
 

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It REALLY depends on the dog you add. The dog you would consider adding would have to be rock solid in all things, especially confidence and proper behaviors.
 

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My own experience is that it would be nice for him to have a friend at home he will adjust to but I don't think it will do a thing to help him with other dogs.

I had one who was fear reactive with other dogs and even though I added a very stable adult (for myself, not for him) who got along with him just fine it did not make him more confident around other dogs.
 

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My experience is the opposite. Both my dogs are 'reactive' to certain dogs and when they're together it's more than double the work to control them. I wouldn't add another dog unless you're willing to put A LOT more time and energy into taking care of two dogs. In my experience, you do have to train them separately, walk them separately, let them out separately etc. And sometimes even if one isn't reactive and the other is, they both end up feeding off of each other. I love both my dogs, but most of the time I wish I only had one pup. I got a second dog to keep the other company and so that he would have a friend...but it's been hard on all of us...
 

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Honestly I think having good encounters with very stable dogs does help but it may be that he is always going to be happiest *not* in the company of other dogs.

My Toby (the fear reactive dog) was always "managed" and I accepted getting to a level where we could go for a walk and I could get him to direct his attention to me when we approached other dogs. No meet and greets though. No doggy playtime. Just getting to the point of acceptable manners. He really did ok with Cyra and Grim in the house though and he and Cyra were best of buds and he and Grim tolerated one another.

Grim, the *stable* dog I had was the most non dog reactive dog ever. He could turn off a reactive dog in a heartbeat and I never felt it was submission but he would give them calming signals and shut them off and just blew off their antics. I saw that if he was really really pushed though he would push back harshly but without inflicting injury but it took a lot to push him there.

He helped me raise Beau from a small puppy and now Beau is also just great with other dogs and also ignores snarky stuff from other dogs.
 

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could you foster a rescue temporarily to see how it works out for awhile and then return if it makes things worse?
 

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To foster a rescue temporarily? That is cruel!
Taking yet another puppy would be better than struggling with an adult, especially if you are not experienced in bringing two dogs together for companionship. Whatever the temperament and nature of the second dog may be, they will manage to cope with each other good way, or bad way. One of them will be the dominant who takes the initiative, one submissive to his will, as it always goes in friendship not in dogs only, but in humans as well. But ... They might start attacking other dogs TOGETHER as friend will do, just think about it.
In my opinion, you don't have any problem at all. That fact that he was a singleton could affect him very little. Your boy simply reached that age when young males are driven by different instincts. He feels that he has to protect something, to prove something to other dogs. Besides attending classes for his socialization, find someone who walks his/her dog the same time as you do. It would be better if it were a bitch of a smaller breed. Only after a while your dog's reactions will be more distinctive for you, you would know what exactly to work on. At the moment he is simply confused with himself. Use the time while you've got it.
 
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