Socialized Pup, Suddenly Fearful?!

I have a 5 1/2 month old mix breed (possibly GSD mix) who is about 45 lbs at this stage in life. We have had him since he was 10 weeks old, his mother was a rescue dog that gave birth to his litter in foster care. We started his socialization a few days after he came home with us. Once he settled in he was friendly, approaching people and allowing them to pet him. We enrolled him in puppy play and learn class right when we got him and he is currently in a basic obedience 2 class. About a month ago he began to show serious shyness, aversion to approaching people and flightiness.

He seems to do well at the dog park, running around people with little weariness. But on the leash he runs to the end of the leash and is frightened by people, noises... I know that there are many fear periods in puppy development. But, could it last this long? Our trainer is great, her advice is to keep things slow and let him "go through it"... I am still anxious that this will not end. Advice?

Asked by Member 1150835 on Jan 19th 2013 in Behavior & Training
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Kali earned her wings 10/21/14

He is probably going through a fear stage. Keep socializing him and just be patient. Good Luck!

Kali earned her wings 10/21/14 answered on 1/19/13. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


I agree with Kali & your trainer. It does sound like a fear stage. Oh..he has one more to go, btw.
It's important for him to see you as being reliable & trustworthy. GSDs need a calm, consistent, positive leader. Not in an "alpha" sense, but someone who can guide them through the stresses of life. "who's that? oh, human wants me to just keep walking. ok then." The more exposure he gets, the steadier he will become. No big deal to you, so no big deal to him. Umbrellas, people in funny hats, walk by schools, playgrounds, buses. Sit on a bench & let life come to you. Respect his fear, but don't make too much out of it.
Be aware of your body language. It is important to be calm & not get tense over what "may" happen. is part of life that you will walk by people on the street, or hear loud noises.
Keep working with your trainer.
And a month or two is not out of the question..depending on how you deal with it initially, & on your dog.

Member 904338 answered on 1/20/13. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer