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Shelby - our female GSD at 10 months

Discussion in 'Woof Memorial Critter's Corner' started by sdsnet, Dec 3, 2010.

  1. sdsnet

    sdsnet NRA Member CLM

    Feb 8, 2007
    Our GSD puppy has grown to be about 72 lbs at 10 months. She is fairly tall and has a very deep bark/growl. I have never owned a GSD before but am learning the breed. We have taken her to obedience classes and she minds me fairly well except in public.

    She barks at all other dogs when on walks and pulls her leash. My wife told me today she took her on a walk and our neighbor who has a two year old toddler was out walking him in a stroller. They are afraid of our dog probably because of her breed and this is the second time that they grabbed the child to walk back toward their home as if our dog is going to get off the leash. When they did this Shelby started growling at them. This is a young father and his baby, not another dog. I have never seen her do this. My wife admonished our dog and started walking her back to our house and tried to explain she is 10 months old and is really more scared of strangers than anything else. They said she doesnt look like a puppy which is true she is large.

    I'm very concerned because a dog should never growl at a person like this expecially when they are retreating. I don't know if it is because she sensed their fear or what. She has never tried to bite anyone. She snaps at other dogs out of fear or to let them know she doesn't want a male sniffing her or whatever but has never growled at people and certainly not a child. My wife told me that another time she was walking her that a man with GSD experience said he noticed that she was already getting possessive of my wife and was typical of the breed.

    I'm wondering what I can do about this or how serious this is. I don't feel good knowing that our neighbor with a small child is afraid of our dog. If she hadn't growled and they were afraid of her with her ears back wagging her tail it would be one thing but her growling at a man with a toddler is something we need to address asap.

    Input anyone with GSD experience ?
  2. sdsnet

    sdsnet NRA Member CLM

    Feb 8, 2007
    After more reading I have found what we need to do to curb this behavior. I am spending more time socializing her in as many different situations as possible. Whenever she does this, I give her a strong shhh and a quick jerk on the lead to redirect her.


  3. socializing them is very important. when correcting her, remember to pull to the side to change the direction of her attention instead of just jerking her back. as far as pulling, we tried everything up to the pronged pinch collars. those are what my two large male gsds wear when out in public. when she starts pulling, just stop and bring her back to sit next to you. it will take a few times to get it through her head. also dont say "good girl, lets go" when you start again. just walk and make her follow your lead.

    those are my experiences with my large males. females seem to be a little more hard headed in my experience.

    i also dont mind that all of my neighbors are shy of my dogs. it keeps them honest around my house.
  4. sdsnet

    sdsnet NRA Member CLM

    Feb 8, 2007
    Thanks for the advice. I had thought the males would have been more hard headed...

    This is a whole lot different than the retrievers I had in the past. She is one fine dog though.

  5. gsds are great dogs. the best all around breed imho. :)

    shed definately a good looking dog. my only experience with the retrievers was a couple of my buddies had them and they were just goofy playful dogs.

    every female dog ive ever had, gsd, pomeranian, or border collie, have all been very hard headed and harder to house break and such. just my experience though. i have been told that the females are quite a bit more protective and less showy about doing so. the males tend to put up a big show, just like their humans :)

    one of mine is in shutzhund training and the other is an abused rescue that my wife uses as a pet therapy dog in nursing homes and childrens hospitals. one extreme to the other is why i say they are very versatile dogs.

    be sure to gve her a job to do and training and confidence will come easier.
  6. just dont overload it for her.

    if you dont know, gsds can be prone to hip dysplasia. this makes their hips weaker as they get older and they are unable to function properly if it gets bad enough. with quality breeders, this isnt usually a problem but its always a possibility.

    that said, dont let that keep you from some great adventures with her. if she starts to act sore or has problems getting up off the floor after longer hikes, let her rest like you would need to. also a glucosamine supplement may help.

    im really not trying to say anything negative about your dog or scare you but its something to look for. at 2 years old, you can have her hips xrayed and they will give her a certification for good hips if you plan on breeding her. cant remember the cert name right now.