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Second puppy fear stage?

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am_21959
Just Whelped
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2014 10:47 pm
Tell us about yourself: I have 3 dogs - a 10 month DS, 10 year old GSD, and 8 lb. rescued dog. The GSD is SAR trained and the DS is my new SAR pup in training.

Second puppy fear stage?

Post by am_21959 » Mon Dec 29, 2014 11:23 pm

I am a first-time DS owner. I have a GSD who is trained for search and rescue and is moving into retirement. My DS is an 11 month old female. She is on the small side (a little under 50 pounds). She will be my next SAR dog.
There are many discussions on behavior in the forum but there is a topic that I would like to know more about... the "fear" stage that occurs between about 10 months and 18 months. My DS has never been the most social with other dogs but she definitely has her "friends." In the past few weeks she has become over-the-top reactive to dogs that approach her. She will snarl and lunge at them - I am sure she would bite if I didn't have her restrained (on leash). She has also done this with a couple of people (both male). She is much better off leash but not particularly interested in playing with most dogs. She is very friendly with people when she is off leash.
I am wondering if this is part of a stage or is a behavior that will become chronic. When my GSD was the same age he showed a milder version of similar behavior. He matured into a self confident and trustworthy dog.
I have tried increasing her exposure to other dogs and people but this doesn't seem to help. My gut feeling now is that I should limit her to environments that are less stressful until she (hopefully) gets over her fears, but this may make her even less adaptable.
When she is working she is 100% focused and has no problems with anything in her environment. Loud/sudden noises don't bother her. I have successfully loaded her in and out of a helicopter. She gets a lot of exercise most days. I don't notice a difference in her behavior that I can correlate with her level of exercise.
Have any of you been through this? How did you handle it?
Thanks,
SARK9 Handler

Raven
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Re: Second puppy fear stage?

Post by Raven » Fri Jan 02, 2015 5:56 pm

Welcome.

Moving to Puppies.

Your post may get more attention there.
Though I can only hope to become the person who my animals believe I am, the things that they have taught me have made me a better human being. ~~~Sharon~~~

stevek613
Just Whelped
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2015 3:04 pm
Tell us about yourself: My beloved Dutchie passed away in Nov 2014. She was a special dog with amazing jumping and catching skills as well as an unbeatable drive. She won the eastern Ontario Disc Dog in her prime (2007?) with (unbeknownst to us) a torn ACL that required TPLO surgery. Looking forward to our next.

Re: Second puppy fear stage?

Post by stevek613 » Thu Jan 08, 2015 3:14 pm

Hi;

My DS went through this as well and it was always the fact that her 'things' were within reach of another dog. We have a yellow lab as well and the only time my DS was aggressive was when another dog got close to her frisbee or ball. However, she never did this with humans, as humans could make these things fun. She never really got over this. She once fought a tug of war with another DS(male) over a soft frisbee for over 10 minutes until they managed to tear it apart andboth passed out with their half. She recently got into a bad fight with another dog at a kennel over her orange ball.

Steve

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Dutchringgirl
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Tell us about yourself: I am a mom of 6 life forces - 2 kids and 3 dogs 1 hamster. I live in Ct. I have trained Ringsport and Agility and have 2 DS, one 15 and 7 and a Basset Hound Cookie who is 2
Location: Ct, USA
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Re: Second puppy fear stage?

Post by Dutchringgirl » Tue Jan 13, 2015 2:24 pm

am_21959 wrote:I am a first-time DS owner. I have a GSD who is trained for search and rescue and is moving into retirement. My DS is an 11 month old female. She is on the small side (a little under 50 pounds). She will be my next SAR dog.
There are many discussions on behavior in the forum but there is a topic that I would like to know more about... the "fear" stage that occurs between about 10 months and 18 months. My DS has never been the most social with other dogs but she definitely has her "friends." In the past few weeks she has become over-the-top reactive to dogs that approach her. She will snarl and lunge at them - I am sure she would bite if I didn't have her restrained (on leash). She has also done this with a couple of people (both male). She is much better off leash but not particularly interested in playing with most dogs. She is very friendly with people when she is off leash.
Sadie is like this, she is not Mrs social and I dont force her. I would put her on a leash and stand on it when people come over. Dont force her to be social, like people, we dont always like everyone and I dont think you would like it very much if someone made you like someone you just didnt like. Socialization is a human want for our dogs.

I would also not allow people with dogs to just come up to her, I never ever allow that. That is trouble waiting to happen. Tell people to either stay over there, or wait.

This will turn worse if you dont handle it now. Work on your says, "look" and stand on her lease and allow her to learn to wait for your command.

If anyone new comes to the house, put her on a down / stay and have the person ignore her and hang out for a while with out touching or going up to her. Then if she is calm, let her go to the person first to sniff and the person should still stay quiet and not do anything but let her check them out.

am_21959 wrote: I am wondering if this is part of a stage or is a behavior that will become chronic. When my GSD was the same age he showed a milder version of similar behavior. He matured into a self confident and trustworthy dog.
I have tried increasing her exposure to other dogs and people but this doesn't seem to help. My gut feeling now is that I should limit her to environments that are less stressful until she (hopefully) gets over her fears, but this may make her even less adaptable.
When she is working she is 100% focused and has no problems with anything in her environment. Loud/sudden noises don't bother her. I have successfully loaded her in and out of a helicopter. She gets a lot of exercise most days. I don't notice a difference in her behavior that I can correlate with her level of exercise.
Have any of you been through this? How did you handle it?
Thanks,
SARK9 Handler
much of the behavior is just the defense mode coming alive, you can show her its okay and that she dosnt have to be so protective, or that the object she is barking at is okay.

Behavior and exercise dosnt always work together, only for getting the edge off if they are staying home alone all day so they don't tear apart the house. Sometimes that dosnt even work.

Dont make big deals out of noise and such, keep doing what you are doing with your training and be extra calm and be the leader for her. she may need extra leadership from you to learn.
Lisa, Thalie CGC & Sadie, Cookie the Basset, CT
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