How to socialize my GSD? - Page 1

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by VonTrula on 27 August 2019 - 20:08

My first DDR GSD is a 15 month old female (Aloisia Dax Von Trula). I was advised to not socialize her if I wanted her to be attached to me only and to be a good protection dog in the future. I feel this was bad advice.

Dax does not like other people or other dogs at all. She does not accept being petted by anyone, and she is very dominant of the other pet dogs I own.

For socializing, I take her on daily walks on busy streets and at parks where there is a lot of activity. This doesn't seem to be making a whole lot of progress. I don't know what else to do to socialize her and make her feel comfortable being in different environments with different people, without risking further damage. I am afraid that if I push her into an uncomfortable situation, she may bite someone and make the situation worse (though she has never bit anyone before).

My goal is to have her be completely neutral to other people, not afraid of them and not aggressive toward them. How do I accomplish this?

by ValK on 27 August 2019 - 20:08

does she show any sort of aggressive attitude to anyone or anything when being in public places?


by VonTrula on 27 August 2019 - 22:08

When I have her in public, she is always in heel. I never let her leave heel. As long as she's in heel, she doesn't ever seem to bark at anyone like she would off leash or at home. When in public and in heel, she will show signs of fear, such as raised hackles or breaking heel to walk slowly behind me, but she doesn't bark or growl at anyone so long as she's in heel. If someone approaches to talk to me, I will allow her to sniff the person, but she does it cautiously as if she is ready to get mean if they turn out to be a bad guy. She shys away from allowing anyone to pet her, so I typically just tell people to not pet her because she's still in training.

by apple on 28 August 2019 - 11:08

Sounds like a temperament issue that is not likely to change. Does she have any desire to play with you? If so, you could build on that and later get another person involved in the play, but it sounds like she is what she is.

by Centurian on 28 August 2019 - 12:08

I understand what you are aksing in your mind , but you must first understand :

You state - "My first DDR GSD is a 15 month old female " . Socialization in terms of ' Growth and Development ' of the GS is a Critical Developmental procersds that takes place art a critical age in the puppy . That stage starts exactly at 7 1/2 weeks od to 12 weeks old and tapering to 16 nweeks old. The socialization nshould be continued to about 1 year of age of the dog. Socialzation os the puppynhaving all the environamental and social [ person /animals ] that are needed for the pupy to function day to day , inthe remaiederof it's life.

Your puppy had missed thos ' critical socialization ' period. Of course there is alwayus a genetic com ponent to the matutation of the dog . Both go hand in hand. A dog that has not had the socialization experiences in that period will never ever ever be 100% right. You cannot make up 100% what has been missed. Depending all the varaible factors and the puppies experiences as well as genetics , we can sometimes do counter conditioning to enable the puppy to develop coping skills and sometimes we can bring a dog top 95% what it should be. In your case the dog is towards adulthood and this becomes more involved as opposed to the dog being 5 or 7 months old. So what you are in essence asking is : how do I counter condition my dog so that it will cope and function better.

" As long as she's in heel " is what you write . Yes ... because that is where she is safe and secure. When you let people walk up to her , she has no choice. When she is behind you she is telling you that she is not feeling safe and secure. So r but rather let her approach people on her own will and terms . You can start by having someone holding meat and when she walks up to them have them feed her the meat. and then let her walk away . This is the short explanation and only a single comment on the counter conditioning processs.

Sometimes with these situations , I see another feature which is : ' Dependency ' . Many times people will actually actually unknowingly reinforce the dogs' insecurities and uncomfortable feelings. So that is something that you have to be aware of that . For example if the dog is not sure , I pretend that I am not acknowledging that beahvior. I do not feed into that behavior , nor do I push the dog to be more uncomfortable or insecure. Just looking at the dog can be reinforcing a behavior at times. We used to iron out this dependency in dependent dogs .. I'll skip that for now in this post .

Also realize : in the dog's mind animals and people are different. That is to say how a dogs percieves a person is not how they will perceive an animal . They are different social interactions and they require different counter conditioning processes.

This is a topic that invloves more than a 1 minute conversation with you .. But seek out someone that is experienced if you can to further help you and your dog.

Q Man

by Q Man on 28 August 2019 - 14:08

At this stage of life you have to "Set Up" situations where she can socialize with others...Socialization does not mean every person has to put their hands on your dog...At this point you have to be sure everyone is safe...but I would just have people and/or dogs close to you but only as close as your girl will allow without any problems...Then praise her and call it a good day...
If you have the resource you can have a few people in a large circle around you and have them toss her some pieces of food...Then over time you can have those people move in a little closer...NO ONE can move in close to you without you knowing what they're doing...Safety is #1...
You have to build on little things...One small step at a time...



by emoryg on 28 August 2019 - 14:08

Centurian had an excellent post and by all means follow his advice and seek help from someone who can work with you and your dog. I am taking from what you wrote that you may have an accident waiting to happen.

by ValK on 28 August 2019 - 16:08

you did gave quite confusing description.
according to it she is dominant toward another dogs but at same time fearful of people. that not compatible. any kind of dominance, if that is a dominance, foremost based on dog's selfconfidence, which cannot be applicable only to one species and not to another.
if she dominant toward dogs, it's not necessarily mean she would be dominant to human but should be confident enough to not be afraid of them.
having fearful temperament seems main cause in your case.

by Centurian on 28 August 2019 - 16:08

PS -- so sorry the text was perfect before I hit the 'submit button' and everything was written in paragraph form too . So sorry this mix up happens on the PDB . And I don't know why, with my posts , this happens ..

 Q man  wrote about having a circle of people around the dog . This is called " flooding' - this technique does have merite. But I do not think you are qualified to do this with your dog . At least your dog shoud be evaluated before doing this .Yes , it can be of value and work , but the flip side is that  :  if this is done to the wrong dog  and / or if this is not done correctly , the situation can be made 10 X worse.  In short I will tell you this  [ as my mentor had taught us ] if you [ or whoever you work with ] do not know / understand exactly from where the problem originates  [ genetic  and environmental conribution to the problem ]  then how in the world are you  going to address it and fix it ?  Flooding , has a time and place .. and someone has to now what they are doing to implement this flooding. 


by VonTrula on 09 September 2019 - 20:09

My issue has been resolved. I met with a friend and local trainer. It just turned out to be a matter of doing some focus drills to keep her attention where it needs to be. I've now got her to the point of ignoring other dogs or humans in public and at my home. Thanks anyway! Hopefully some of these responses help someone else though.



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