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#205998 - 01/16/12 07:43 PM Re: My dog is so scared of everything [Re: jeasy02]
shepnterrier Offline

Registered: 02/13/10
Posts: 2032
Loc: MA
Likes: 79
Originally Posted By: jeasy02
This is my first GSD and dog period and to not have his ears go up it was kind of discouraging. And I just didn't really take the initiative to go through the training and other things the proper way. I got tired of people asking me is he purebred, is he mixed, and I just had that "I don't care attitude." ... But he is still my boy no matter what

People ask that as well if you have a black or a sable GSD! With my sable, each day several people blanched and asked me whether she was a wolf or a coyote (and it was not a compliment). Few people know that GSDs can come in other colors than black/tan and that sometimes GSDs have soft ears. I currently foster a black GSD, and people ask all the time whether she is pure bred, or what she is mixed with, or what kind of a dog she is. Most think she is a GSD/black lab cross even though her ears are up and her conformation is unambiguously GSD. My beautiful sable was also a correct size for a working dog female - 55 lbs, very agile. At one event, someone asked me whether she was a dwarf GSD! So what!

My Border Terrier's tail is curly - some people ask whether this feisty, wiry spitfire is 'part pug'. Now that gets me going wink Border terriers' tails are supposed to be "like carrots" and i just say his tail is like a carrot that grew around a rock in the soil. I wouldn't want him to have another tail!

It's such a blessing to be loved for who we are, and maybe especially loved for those traits that differ from convention, that do not conform to an arbitrary mold.

Glad you love your dog, and now out with the two (three) of you into the training field, and have fun together!
Chip vom Dog Pound, border terrior, Director of Rodent Control, CGC
Elly von Rescue, GSD, CGC, HI(C)
Captain Jack, Mama Blue, Little Orca, BŁbchen, Tux, Cherub (pocket lions)

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#206004 - 01/16/12 08:08 PM Re: My dog is so scared of everything [Re: Wisc.Tiger_Val]
Qyn Offline

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 1964
Loc: Victoria, Australia
Likes: 47
Hi Jeasy02, thanks for being open to the suggestions you have been offered. I think with that attitude you can go a long way with improving your dog's reaction to things. Remember it is never too late to help your dog and it sounds as if you and your wife are prepared to do that. I wish you well and look forward to reading about your successes.
Nix (derivative of Phoenix) Black GSD born 6 June 2011 (Gotcha day 9 Dec 2013)

Quynne gsdhalo - Black Female GSD - Sept 29, 2004 - 11 Nov 2013 Deeply missed

If you don't agree with me ... you are just not listening well enough. smile

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#206013 - 01/16/12 08:55 PM Re: My dog is so scared of everything [Re: shepnterrier]
Wisc.Tiger_Val Offline
Member First - Owner Second "The Watcher"

Registered: 01/18/10
Posts: 8783
Loc: Wisconsin
Likes: 267
Originally Posted By: jeasy02
This is my first GSD and dog period and to not have his ears go up it was kind of discouraging. And I just didn't really take the initiative to go through the training and other things the proper way. I got tired of people asking me is he purebred, is he mixed, and I just had that "I don't care attitude." ... But he is still my boy no matter what

jeasy02, OMG get a long coat and people will tell you that your dog isn't a purebred, it has to be mixed with collie. rofl2

Beauty is more than skin or fur deep. The best things about GSD's are their looks but their dedication to their humans, their ability to do so many different things and their intelligence.

I think it is possible that your dog picked up on your lack of interest in him. Some dogs can be extremely sensitive and pick up all kinds of little vibes.

What might work good for you guys is to combine some training in play sessions. I do this with all of my dogs, for me to throw the ball they have to offer a sit and I say good sit and throw the ball. I will work other things in I want like down (platz) or what is called puppy push ups (a series of down-sit-down-sit) the I will throw the ball. This way Brushi knows you are happy and engaged with him which might be helpful.

The barking when a stranger comes in the house, leash your dog, have people ignore him. DeeDee used to do this with everyone that came in the house, I would let her calm down a bit and then I would go to her give her some treats and then have the stranger give treats. After a few times of this with my mom I could hear a different tone in her bark, she wanted my mom to give her treats. Make people you allow into your home treat machines.
Val da Tiger

Fuzzybutt the cat.
Neilla the Big White puppy.

RIP Cheyenne - AKA: Digger, CheyChey Girl, Cheyenne Large and In charge. 2/16/02 - 2/27/16
RIP Raya - AKA: Raz-a, Ray a Sunshine, RayBestos, the little one, Silly Girl. 9/21/05 - 6/27/14
RIP Lakota - AKA: Bubba, Big Boy, BooBoo (the other part of the Binky and BooBoo team). 1/19/03-9/19/2011
RIP DeeDee - AKA: DD Poo, Little Bit, Binky (part of the Binky and Booboo team) 6/23/02-6/20/11

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#207574 - 01/23/12 07:22 AM Re: My dog is so scared of everything [Re: Wisc.Tiger_Val]
DarkEyes Offline

Registered: 12/04/11
Posts: 208
Loc: Tennessee
Likes: 10
How is your dog's behavior going?
Abbey: 10 years old German Shepherd
Suki: 10 years old Calico kitty

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#208575 - 01/26/12 06:44 PM Re: My dog is so scared of everything [Re: jeasy02]
Shilohsmom Offline

Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 1729
Likes: 160
Originally Posted By: jeasy02
Ok so I have a big issue and I don't know what caused or is the cause of this. My dog is afraid of EVERYTHING - from cars, to the hamper rolling on the floor, to the sound of a trash bag, to EVERYTHING and I want to break that so bad. Any suggestions?

Also, the other thing that is really just not good is that he gets so excited when we come home after work. I have heard they have serious separation anxiety but when we get in the house he jumps all over us and he is just out of control for like 5 mins and it's bad - any suggestions on that? thanks

I don't think you 'break' bad behavior. Instead, you should encourage good behavior. If your pup is afraid of something then you should work with him to slowly build up his confidence.

I can't relate to his being so excited to see you as a problem. I'm thrilled to see my dogs when I get home and am happy they share in my excitement.

Good luck with working with your dog.

Edited by Shilohsmom (01/26/12 06:47 PM)

Proud Mom to Eli and Kodiak
and never to be forgotten, Shiloh and Shoshi
Every dog deserves to have a human that thinks its the greatest dog that ever lived!

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#208671 - 01/26/12 11:02 PM Re: My dog is so scared of everything [Re: Shilohsmom]
Schnickle Fritz Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/23/10
Posts: 3129
Loc: Fairfield, Ca.
Likes: 79
i think the OP will not be back for a couple of months...
Have a great day!!!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Fritz vom Banach TR1 TT RN RA BN NW1 BH 10/10/09
Cuvee' d' la Maze ORT-BCA BH 01/14/11
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#227334 - 04/26/12 11:55 AM Re: My dog is so scared of everything [Re: jeasy02]
Alexa Offline
New Member

Registered: 04/25/12
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
I have a great method of gluing your German Shepherd's ears up if you are interested... My pup had one up and one down around 7 months, and although I'm sure they both would have stood eventually I got nervous about it. My breeder recommended gluing them and it worked within a week and his ears are beautiful! Let me know if you are interested! I have heard that if you don't attempt to glue by 7 months the chances of it working are slim... but it may be worth a shot!

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#227694 - 04/28/12 05:00 PM Re: My dog is so scared of everything [Re: Alexa]
Selzer Offline

Registered: 05/14/10
Posts: 1311
Loc: NE Ohio
Likes: 70
We get all wrapped up in the ear comments and the big issue is the fear. I agree with WiscTiger, this dog is 20 months old, and it is what it is. You can modify its behavior and manage it, and improve the bond and trust that the dog has in you, but if it is genetic, then it is genetic.

Sometimes taking such a dog out to classes is the best thing to do, and sometimes, that too can be overwhelming. I think you really want to stay beneath the thresh-hold level and praise, reinforce good behaviors to build the bond. Set the dog up to succeed and praise him for doing so. At the same time stay consistent, and calm in your leadership. Have a good steady routine. A nervy dog is going to want everything in its place, and that means potty before breakfast every day.

No coddling, no nonsense. If you take the dog somewhere and it sees something that it reacts to, How Silly, and walk on. No big deals about nothing. If you stand around apologizing for your dog's barking, you are keeping the dog in a situation above their threshold, while emitting all kinds of embarrassed, frustrated, nervous feelings right down the leash. Turn into a rude idiot for a while. Your dog barks at someone, "Eh, that's just a man" and keep on going. The man will get over it.

If you have a normal pup, get the pup out and about, take them 1 place every day, meet 1 person, see 1 thing, great, great, great. If he is doing great, maybe go a little further, meet another person, awesome, excellent, a dog. Kool. Quit while you are ahead, and you have had a positive socialization day. If you have a nervy dog, then you need to be have experiences, maybe one per day, maybe three in a week. They will be an increased distance and a decreased endurance.

Watch how your voice and body language affects the dog. Crisp, harsh commands and corrections, may shut your dog down. You do not want your dog fearful of you. You may need to temper your voice, not to a whisper, but to a happy lilt, and forget corrections for now. Do not put your dog in a position to do a bad thing, and if it does, chalk it up as the cost of owning a young, nervy dog. If you have a special hanging worth thousands of dollars, or that was your dead grandmother's maybe it is best to pack it up or move it out of Harm's way. I like to say, there is nothing in my home I care that much about that if the puppies get it, I will cry.

Now, look how you are in public. Are you shy? Are you confident? Are you outgoing? Are you fearful. A whole load of fearful people get GSDs to make them feel safer, but if you walk out fearful to socialize your puppy, you will transmit that fear, and your puppy is going to be afraid. If you are terrified that your puppy will bark or snap at or bite someone, and have a death's grip on the leash, you are setting your pup up to fail. Of course using a loose leash around children when you have a dog that is already shown aggression, this can be terribly irresponsible. What you need to do is first become confident, fake it until you make it. Walk out with confidence. Have a plan. If the dog barks, "That's silly, and move on. With a plan, you will be more confident.

I am looking to rehab a puppy 5 1/2 months old, after she settles in a bit, and so I am kind of typing my plan out for her, so there might be some things that applies to your boy as well. I agree with the nutrition and less vaccination -- this pup has been vaccinated for everything under the sun already. Sometimes less is best.

The thing to do is to completely settle on a plan of action, outline it and get a good handle on it before ever starting. Then approach it from many angles.

1. Walk out in confidence -- build your confidence, and let your dog become confident in you.

2. Calm, consistent positive leadership, no-nonsense, regular routine, up-beat quiet voice. Limit any possibilities of negative behaviors, few if any corrections.

3. Training -- set your dog up to succeed and praise him for doing so. Keep praise level -- do not frighten your dog with your praise. Build the bond through training.

4. Slowly introduce distractions and the outside world. No nonsense. Remain calm regardless. Maybe training class once a week. That too much? Go for fifteen minutes and leave. That too much, sit on the outside and watch. Gravitate toward people who do not zero in on your dog. Your dog is shy? It does not want to be the center of attention. If every person the dog sees, raises their voice in exclamation over the dog while staring at its face, the dog is going to have problems. If you can have a conversation with someone while they ignore your dog completely, your dog can relax in the presence of a stranger, wow.

5. Build the dog's confidence through full-body games, agility, exercise, purely positive.

6. Assessment after six months, nine months. What do I want the dog to be? Who is the dog? Don't try to make a herding dog out of a retriever. If after 6 or 9 months, you find that you have a dog that really prefers to be a home-body, then let him.

All dogs should be able to manage reasonably well at the vet's, and at home. Not all dogs need to be dog-park socialites.

Good luck.
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