My dog fears German Shepherds - help!!!!

(19 Posts)
Tinkobell Thu 09-May-19 19:47:25

DH had a really heart stopping encounter with our 15 month old Cockapoo bitch today - we need ideas on how to move forward please!!! He was half a mile into woodland with her off the lead. Her recall using whistle and treat is usually very good. A German Shepherd from about 200 yards away makes a B line at high speed - not necessarily at all aggressive. Our dog just scatters. Not so much as a backward glance. The run - chase instincts take over. She heads back home across a major road. Thank god in one piece.
I have noticed she has a fear (no grounded reasons whatsoever) of German Shepherds / large Husky types. It's a real shame as many just want to play. Having her permanently on the lead isn't a long term solution to this issue...we live in a big rural area. I'd really like some practical suggestions please, we can't go through this again! Thank you!

OP’s posts: |
Hoppinggreen Thu 09-May-19 19:51:03

Mine too!! (golden Retriever)
He loves all dogs/people but is nervous of GSD and Huskies. He’s never had a bad experience with them though
There’s a big GSD that we sometimes walk past, DDog does a terrified yap at him while he just looks at Ddog with a “shut up you gobshite” expression

AvocadosBeforeMortgages Thu 09-May-19 20:08:38

Mine too... And again, there's no clear reason why. His MO is to run up to them and stand 2m away barking while the GSD looks bemused. Clearly completely unacceptable on the part of PestDog. I generally scan the horizons for hazards anyway, and if I see one I put him on a lead and we avoid the GSD.

To be blunt, there aren't enough GSDs around here to make it a serious problem, or to be able to do much by way of consistent training, so the problem is managed by not cured.

Tinkobell Thu 09-May-19 20:41:11

Mmmm...clearly not an unfamiliar issue. Poor GSD's and Huskys! Chows and Akita types also nervy but not as bad. What we had today was a scary full on flight of fear ....she thought she was dead meat and I've trying to explain to DH (very upset) that if a dog genuinely fears its life then no amount of whistle and recall is going to work.
I'm wondering if anyone's heard of socialisation classes with big breeds like German Shepherds, I feel at 15 months youth is on her side and she can be trained still!

OP’s posts: |
NatureGal Thu 09-May-19 21:02:01

I have two working cocker spaniels, one is terrified of black Labradors. He will run if off lead or if on lead and they come near him he will just growl and even snap if we can't get away. It started when we met a very boisterous lab that jumped on him, then nipped him, he was ok prior to that incident. Has there been anything that happened with a big breed? We are working on it but every time we make progress we meet another.

Pleasedontdothat Thu 09-May-19 21:19:09

My dog is terrified of GSDs - it started when he was a puppy and another puppy we were walking with got attacked and pinned down by a huge GSD. The other puppy wasn’t badly hurt but screamed and screamed. Ever since then ddog has been very wary of anything that looks vaguely GSD-like - and unfortunately a couple of other GSDs have had a go at him so as far as he’s concerned it’s a perfectly justified fear ...

We’ve tried spending time with a lovely, friendly GSD but even though he likes this particular dog (and loves the dog’s owner), every time we see them in the distance he’ll get scared until we get close enough for him to see that it’s his friend and then he’s ok.

So no advice from me but it’s not an uncommon reaction for dogs

Tinkobell Thu 09-May-19 21:39:48

I think we are going to try and stick to bigger wider open spaces where we can see whose about a little easier. Apparently today's incident happened under heavy tree cover, very sudden, no anticipation or little chance to leash up. I think also if we see a friendly GSD maybe we try and friendly intro with a reward afterwards. GSD's are very wolf-like (I know that's their appeal to many) but perhaps a smaller, cowardly DDog worries that they might end up on the menu!

OP’s posts: |


KennyCalmIt Thu 09-May-19 23:40:09

I have a GSD and encounter this a lot. Some dogs have had bad experiences, some never.

Thankfully mine is the most friendliest goofball ever and becomes quite useful to help dogs who are scared of gsd’s

I don’t have much advice I’m afraid but you’re definitely not alone.

Yokohamajojo Fri 10-May-19 10:01:33

Mine too but he was bitten by a husky as a adolescent and told off by a very well behaved GSD also as a pup. It has gotten better though and if we do encounter one, I can see on his body that he is nervous or uncomfortable but if he is off the lead he will just ignore them now. On lead and he sometimes bark or growls. We have a lot of them in our local park and I sat on a bench and treated him, everytime we saw one, that has helped and also having a quick hello with friendly ones.

Dora26 Fri 10-May-19 10:11:05

In Ireland GSD are a Proscribed Breed and must be kept on lead and muzzled in public places. My last springer spaniel was absolutely paralysed with fear when one off lead would occasionally come barrelling towards her. If owner didnt lead immediately I would just take out my phone - manners immediately!! Could never actually cure fear but it improved over time as confidence grew - she was an abused rescue. I suppose I was lucky that her reaction was to lie and freeze rather than bolt

Knowivedonewrong Fri 10-May-19 10:45:39

My Golden Retriever absolutely hates German shepherd's no idea why never had a bad encounter with one. He also hates Huskies. Had an encounter with an unruly one when with our black lab when she was a pup and our Golden was protecting her, so I understand why he now hates Huskies.

I just pop him on lead and divert if we see German Shepherd's on walks.

Tinkobell Fri 10-May-19 11:49:33

I do feel for GSD owners ....this must be not very nice to get people leashing up from a distance, esp if you have a goofy play-dog. There has to be something instinctive going on here - perhaps other dogs find the body language of this breed hard to figure out from a distance away. I've noticed many have a pretty assertive stance and don't wag a lot to begin with, so it isn't hard to tell what they're about often until the owner says "very friendly".

OP’s posts: |
basquiatfan Fri 10-May-19 12:40:12

German Shepherd Dog Rescue run regular walks all over England. If you contact them I'm sure they would be happy for you to join them. Many many German shepherds to socialise with on these outings.

Branleuse Fri 10-May-19 12:43:16

our old dog hated them too

Hoppinggreen Fri 10-May-19 12:50:57

I wonder if it’s because they can seem aloof at first so are hard to read?
I think they are lovely, an old neighbour had a long haired one - but although he was a beautiful dog and not at all aggressive he wasn’t very friendly, he just ignored you
A friend who is a vet told me that she as a bit wary of them because most dogs give lots of warning before biting GSD could go from friendly to Bitey in the blink of an eye. No idea if that’s true though

Kattyy Sun 12-May-19 19:31:13

Ok, so funny enough have a GSD and he absolutely hated other GSD's, whiskies and akitassmile)) no problem with anything smaller than him, even though the smaller breeds often come over to bark and bite - yes BITE him. He s been trained to not pay attention though. I do get pissy with some owners though, as more often than not, they don't even apologize! Wtf, just cause your dog is smaller than mine- it can bite mine? Often enough, he wouldn't even need to bite - just swallow:grin

Paddingtonthebear Sun 12-May-19 19:36:41

Yes my dog (poodle x shih tzu) has taken a real dislike to huskies and black labradors and isn’t all that keen on GSD types either. No idea why. She barks at them quite aggressively confused

RedRiverHog Sun 12-May-19 19:42:50

My GSD didn't like other shepherds. He liked dogs smaller than him, the smaller the better! Adored Yorkies and Chihuahuas. He was a massive long haired beast that loved to crawl up to puppies and be chased by Jack Russel's but nearly shit himself when he met an Irish wolfhound!

Maneandfeathers Sun 12-May-19 20:45:02

I have two GSD and lots of dogs hate them.

I do think they must give off some sort of bad vibe to others but I have no idea why as neither has an aggressive bone in them.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in