My family and I recently took in a stray German Shepherd, does anyone have any good tips for socializing her?

She is also very aggressive towards other animals. There was once when she lunged at a bird, causing my mom to fall flat on her face. Thankfully she wasn't injured, but I was hoping that this sort of behaviour could be controlled. What's really interesting is that she has definitely been toilet trained by her previous owner, but it was pretty obvious that she had never been handled by a vet before (she was terrified by everything at the vet's), or socialized well with other animals, although she's perfectly fine with interacting with humans.
Also, she wasn't rescued from a shelter, so we don't know a lot about her since we've only been observing her for about 4 days.
We only found out that she was a white GSD when we brought her to the vet for her shots. The vet also told us that she's probably around 2 years old or younger.

Asked by Member 1111806 on May 21st 2012 in Socialization
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Jax (earned her wings 5/30/12)

The first thing I would do is get a "Gentle Leader" which is a halter style collar that you walk her with. You can get one from any pet store. With that collar, you have complete control of her head with out choking her every time she does something that has to be corrected. When I train my dogs, I hook the leash on both their regular collar and the gentle leader. The second thing I would do is take her to to a basic obedience class. That will not only help her with the socialization, but the trainer can help you deal with her behavior problems. I would call the trainer and explain her issues before you start the class. That way, they can be prepared if she's off the wall when you get there. She is very young, so with lots of patience and lots of work, I'm sure she will make a great dog. Good Luck!

Jax (earned her wings 5/30/12) answered on 5/21/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Chances are you have someone's beloved pet - have you checked with the pound to see if anyone has posted her as missing? Your local Humane Society will post a found notice for free. Do the right thing and try to find her owner before deciding to keep her.

Merlyn answered on 5/21/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


First, I hope the vet scanned for a microchip & y put ads in the papers & done everything you can to find this girl's home.
White gsds are more *sensitive/nervous than *regulars. They take extra special care to socialize & train. Do not assume she has not been vetted...mine is still freaked by the vet, & he will be 3 in a few weeks.
At 2, she is still a teenager, she may not mature for another year, so lots of time to help her.
I do not recommend a halti/gentle leader. This behavior can be modified, but it will take time & patience. Work on her heeling & obedience using positive training.
BAT can be helpful. Grisha Stewart has written a great book on this. Another method is to have her sit & look at you when people pass by. Treat her as soon as she sits & is looking at you. Keep it up until the person passes.
Another method is to do quick direction changes throughout the walk. When she tenses, turn around and go the other way. Hire a trainer. Out of room here. Good luck.

Member 904338 answered on 5/21/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I used to take my dogs to little league baseball games and just sit back and let kids come up to pet him. some days alot of kids came up, others you barely got any. But it did help to get them out. The other place is petsmart. You can get the employees to pet your dog. they may try and get you into a class, that would be the next step if you wanted to. But it is a way to get them out and see people.

Dunkin answered on 5/22/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer