Why is my puppy so skittish and how can I socialize him?

I have a 9 month old German Shepherd and he has always been a bit skiddish. Whenever I used to take him for a walk outside in the city his hair would stick up like a mohawk. He was up in the country for a few months being trained and socialized with his breeder and his siblings. During his stay there he was attacked by another dog within the household. Now he is back and the city and still very skiddish. He seems to want to play with some dogs and not others. For example on a typical walk we will stop and say hi to one dog and then the next one he’ll either run away from or start barking at. It really doesn’t seem to matter the size of the other dogs. He is also weary of people, be them friends or strangers. I am wondering if it’s because of his breed or his attack or a combination of both. He plays well with his siblings whenever we go up to the country, so I am very confused and upset. I would love him to be able to play well with other dogs. If anyone has any advice it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

Answer #1

Yours is a familiar problem. I have 2 dogs. The younger one my wife brought home from the country. Off a farm. Oscar is skiddish too. He is also very hyper most of the time. We have tried to get him to calm down different ways but it seemed to never quiet him down. What we learned is, as Oscar is part sheppard, that he was kicked by a horse and we think that it traumatised him a bit. He interacts with our other dog and they do fight occasionaly as they are both males. Oscar is timid around some dogs and aggressive to others. Why? It has to do with what the other dogs demeanor is. If your pet seems anxious chances are he will be pensive. Your dog might do well to continue socializing but just be watchful of him. Really there is no “magic” cure for our pets. Just hang in there with him. If he interacts well with some dogs, then have a play date together at the dog park so he will become more comfortable in different environments. Training and reassurance will help him overcome the people problem too. Ask your friends to come over and have your dog “investigate” them. Do it while you’re visiting too as your pet will understand through repetition that everything’s o.k. As one dog lover to another. Keep barking up the right tree.

Answer #2

ok. my niebor had a papion and it hated kids, never went up to anybody but his owner. so, my niebor asks me to go over there since im a kid, and he wanted me to train him, so he would give me a handful of hot dogs and he would give one to the dog, then he would give the rest to me. I would call his name and if he came I would give him a hot dog. then I would take him for walks. when he was bieng good I would give him a hot dog, and when other dogs came I would turn him around so he wouldnt see the other dog, then I would give him a hot dog turn him around to face the other dog and neel down next to him so he feels protected. if he is calm until the dog leaves I will give him a hot dog. then I would bring one of my friends over to help me, then I would bring a couple so that the dog will get used to different people. and in no time the dog is jumping and acting as if he never had a problem. I hope my advice helps. also try hand feeding it so it can get used to your hand. then take it on walks and have its mind on you, not the street so its destracted. like, take some treats and give it a small piece every time it gets calm.

Answer #3

The German Shepherd is known for it’s calm demeanor- they are incredibly intelligent and very loyal.

I have a female white German Shepherd and have done a good bit of research on the breed.

I have actually never heard of “nervous” GSD (German Shepherd Dog) so I suspect this may either be a reaction to the attack OR a reaction to your own nervous disposition.

I suggest you start working with the dog on your own every day in the same atmosphere he has problems with i.e. with unfamiliar dogs.

Remember, they were bred as police dogs.

These dogs bark; they can be trained somewhat to reduce the barking, but again, barking is part of protection, and your GSD has generations of genes telling him exactly that.

Answer #4

We have a female 2 1/2 year old American Bulldog. She is very loving and fun. We got her when she was 7 months old and was very skittish then. I have worked with her takinig her to dog parks and playing around others. She has got better, but still is kind of wierd at the park.

Our main problem is that when I leave for work for 2 days at a time, our Bulldog is fine with my wife…per my wife and 3 kids. When I return home, she immediatly goes into a panic with my wife being anywhere near her. She cowers, runs…knocking things over trying to get away. She even will have a reaction from her voice from another room. It is getting worse and we do not know what to do. I have tried making her stay next to my wife and then praising her or telling her…NO…STAY and being tougher. Nothing seems to work. My wife wants to sell her because of this. She is a very loving dog and fun except for this problem. We also have a female 3 1/2 year old Puggle…they stay next to each other most of the day and night. The puggle is fine…besides being a dummy. lol
Does anyone have any advice…please? Thanks, Rob

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