German Shepherd Dog > Scared Shepherd? Great Bloodlines (27 replies)
Scared Shepherd? Great Bloodlines
by blkred on 20 July 2009 - 18:43
|Any help would be greatly appreciated. I have a 4 month old GSD- Both Parents- SCH h3, and KKl1 classified. I did my research on this girl. She occasionally shows signs of fear to strangers,(least often) and other dogs, as well as anything moving at night. She barks a little and then hackles come up, and runs away. THIS IS NOT WHAT I WANTED THIS DOG FOR. She ran away whelping from a boxer this weekend that only sniffed her. Only thing that may take away any confidence is my lab that plays a little rough occasionally, but I try to limit this. She interacts with people that come over, but occasionally pees a little when meeting someone new. |
She seems to be very trainable, but want her for protection and not fear as well. I also worry about a "fear bite" with kids, although she has shown no signs of this. I work her daily with retrieving and sit/stay/platz/out exercises, and she gets plenty of exercise.
Think she will grow out of this, or should I contact the breeder for another pup, or any, I hate to say it, "doggie esteem" exercises anyone recommends?
by TessJ10 on 20 July 2009 - 18:55
"Only thing that may take away any confidence is my lab that plays a little rough occasionally, but I try to limit this."
IMHO the main thing you can do and do immediately, is keep her away from your other dog. She'll be an adult before you know it, so just be determined that this phase of keeping them apart is short term and you'll get through it.
I'm sure others will chime in with the doggy esteem exercises. Don't "hate to say it" but good that you recognize and are willing to build up this dog whose genetics you trust. Good luck!
by mollyandjack on 20 July 2009 - 19:07
|Don't know about other people but I would need more info to really answer you. How long have you had the puppy? If its only a week or two, the dog could just be adjusting. Also, unless it's in your contract the breeder may not give you a replacement puppy. Most breeders don't guarantee temperament. |
I've worked with a weak nerved collie since she was about 4 months old. Going out in public can still cause her to panic. She's come a long way, though. Drive-building exercises like they use in schutzhund training worked great for her...she has high prey drive. If your puppy does, that might be the way to go.
If you keep her, I'd advise moving more slowly. PM if you want the lengthy training details on my nervy collie girl.
by blkred on 20 July 2009 - 19:14
|Thanks for the input. The breeder is not a massive farm, all good SCH h3 to SCH h3 litters. Czech and Slovakian lines. I have had her since she was 8 weeks. I will try keeping my lab away from her, but not sure that's the issue. She is very smart and has great drives. Learns anything I can teach her in 5 tries. Thanks again!|
Anyone else go through this and they grow out of it?
by GSDPACK on 20 July 2009 - 19:22
|Every puppy is a "crap Schoot" (sp).|
Socialize, socialize, socialize. I would stop obedience, play time with your Older dog.
I am not going to ask for the pedigree, it does not matter since you already did the research. Not every pup from a litter will be a superstar. Some will be grat, some will be good, some will be ok and some will not cut it. It depends. I would find somebody to help you to develop drives and her confidence. Scutzhund club maybe? Even police dogs have to have prey drive development before they can handle pressure..
by Sunsilver on 20 July 2009 - 20:13
|What GSDPACK said. |
It is very common for pups to go through a fear period around 4 months. A lot get over it, and turn out okay.
by Sheesh on 21 July 2009 - 01:47
|I have to agree with Tess here, even if the lab playing rough is not the cause, (and I feel it is a strong contributor), it will only perpetuate a weakness that is already there. Get her out and about and exposed to everything you can right now, with positive reinforcement. Let her just be an inquisitive puppy right now, and take a break from the obedience. Good luck! Theresa|
by VomRuiz on 21 July 2009 - 04:35
|Sensitive! Thank You Tess! That's how I describe both of mine, Especially my male who is actually very dominant and brave. People never understand, or think I am contradicting myself but I'm glad someone else knows what I mean :)|
The submissive peeing should go away if you ignore it. It may take some time...I went through it with my girl. The more of a fuss people made over her, the more she'd pee. If you scold her she'll pee more. Also getting her into tug-o-war games (and letting her win) seemed to help build her confidence. Like everyone else said, socialize her as much as possible.
If you have a friend with a small, friendly dog, it may help her overcome her fear of other dogs.
When she acts frightened don't pet her and speak soothingly to her as that will encourage her and make her think she actually does have something to be frightened of.
Good Luck with your puppy!
by von sprengkraft on 21 July 2009 - 05:03
Haven't seen the puppy, but out of those lines, it could have high suspicion. Socialization is different things to different people. I don't want my dogs social with everyone. I want them to behave and be tolerant. I am the only person of value to my dogs. I can't expect a dog to protect me, if I inadverdently want it to trust and befriend every Tom, Dick, and Harry. there should be no boxer sniffing her. She is insecure. In that instance, you cannot console her. Praise what you like, correct (calmly) what you don't like. If she hackles, tell her "knock it off" and lightly tap down the hackles. Don't pet her. Don't scold her.
by Rik on 21 July 2009 - 16:24
|It is very unwise to allow an older dog to bully a puppy.|
At this point, I would ignore the pup's behavior. Do not try to correct her for it, also do not try to soothe her and by all means do not show anger.
Next, take the puppy some where often, in as many different situations as possible. Something new and different every day if possible. I know this is frustrating in a dog expected to be strong and bold and I have had puppies act in just the way you describe. For me, the more stupid they act, the more travel time thet get.
Also, some obiedience can be taught this early, but for me it never involves correction of any kind. And normally not even a leash. Only treats, praise and lots of love.
If they have good genes, it will work itself out,
And the fear period all pups go through is very real also.
by Mystere on 21 July 2009 - 16:52
|In addition to all the above, remember that ALL of them are prone to a "spooky" fear-stage at about 4 months. What you do and how you address it (or fail to) will decide how well the pup comes out of it. SOCIALIZE, SOCIALIZE, SOCIALIZE. But, don't force anything. If something spooks the pup, have patience and wait it out--let the pup go investigate and find out the "spooky thing" is really nothing. Encourage it.|
by DebiSue on 21 July 2009 - 17:30
|Take your pup to a good agility class. Learning to overcome the different obstacles really builds confidence. She'll get a chance to socialize under a controlled situation. Take it slow and be encouraging and patient. She should outgrow it. |
by Sheesh on 21 July 2009 - 17:45
|Also, just to clarify a little, "bullying" or "dominating" from the lab may very well seem like harmless rough play, but it is dog language to the pup, and could very well be telling your pup, "you will submit to other dogs" which is absolutely the wrong message for one you hope to be doing schutzhund, or personal protection. Theresa|
by windwalker18 on 21 July 2009 - 18:03
|what everyone said...|
and go lots of odd places with her. If you can find a puppy play group, or 2-3 other people with non Alpha pups that she can play on an even field with it wll help her also.
by blkred on 21 July 2009 - 20:59
|Thank You all for your input. She may just be a "soft" dog. Hopefully she can come out of it. I got her for a watch dog, as my lab is worthless when it comes to even barking. I will try some of these ideas and any other thoughts are appreciated as I will check back from time to time.|
by Mystere on 21 July 2009 - 21:06
I had a gsd once that was worthless as a watchdog. She would not bark, no matter what. Good thing I had a Scottie who was an excellent little watchdog. The gsd was my last American-line gsd. She had ROMs all over her pretty pedigree, was the daughter of a Select male (Woodacre's Dakota) and had everything under the sun wrong with her: extremely dog aggressive, extremely shy of people, extremely sensitive to noise (had to be tranked for July 4th), had pancreatic insufficiency, seizures, was 20" at the shoulder at 4 months (HUGE, 27 1/2") as an adult, "bird of prey eyes," weak, weak, weak pasterns, Malabsorption Syndrome, and a chronic poop-eater. She did have great hips, though!
by mollyandjack on 21 July 2009 - 21:22
|A dog that's a little nervy (or reactive, or sharp, however you want to call it) can actually be a very good watch dog. If she's more reactive, it means not only will she react more than the Lab, she'll be actively looking for anything unusual in her environment. A scary bark from a sharp dog will deter many.|
by blkred on 21 July 2009 - 21:43
| M&J- agreed. Hopefully she will get to that point. I wanted to get her titled. Minimum BH and CGC. |
Mystere- I guess I should be happy with what I have. I feel confident with a few "tweeks" she will grow out of it.
by VomRuiz on 21 July 2009 - 22:08
|Mystere, Your poor dog! Great hips...lol|
by Penny on 21 July 2009 - 22:35
Good luck with your little pup, but I picked two points from your posts. Firstly, you were willing to go back to your breeder for another pup ! - this is a drastic move, do you really believe in this pup and want he or she, because if you are not 100% commited to helping the pup through an uneasy stage, then no point - the pup has to feel the best and important, and GSDs of any type will soon pick up on negativity. Your post should have been only asking how you could help the problems at this stage, not asking if you should take her back
The second point you make, and probably the most important for me is that you post.....
. I will try keeping my lab away from her, but not sure that's the issue....
I hope that you have now read enough good advice from knowledgeable people on this board now, to know that it IS the flippin issue.... how else does a pup learn but from example at a young age....
Dont mean to sound rude, but I hate to think that the pup is being played with a little too roughly from the point of view of mental development and also physical development, and the owner is thinking its a scared pup that might have to go back... to sad...
Believe in your pup - take all of the advice from the posts, as its briliant advice, and work hard and be commited with her - put her under no pressure, make the pup feel like she/he really can walk on water, and that you will approve, and then you can mould that confidence to suit your needs.
Good luck. Mo - Mascani.