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German Sheperd afraid of me

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Nicscala, Aug 12, 2018.

  1. Nicscala

    Nicscala PetForums Newbie

    Aug 12, 2018
    Likes Received:
    Hi everyone, I am new here. I have been scouring the Internet for weeks now looking for information related to this and nothing seems to works. So I figured I would sign up for some dog forums and get peoples input.

    My aunt died about two months ago. She had five dogs. My dad ended up taking two of them, a male (Kovie) and female (Blada). At first both dogs were apprehensive, Blada way more than Kovie. She would run away from all of us, hide, go to the opposite side of furniture that we were on, and if she was outside she would put good distance between us and constantly watch to make sure we weren’t approaching here. With time she has stopped doing that with the rest of my family which includes my father, mother, and sister. For some reason she is still terribly afraid of me and still exhibits all of this behavior around me and towards me. If I try to approach her and my family is around she will run to them and hide behind them while watching me.

    I have tried everything, giving her space, approaching her in a non threatening way (crouching down to make myself seem smaller while saying her name in a calm voice), giving her treats, etc. Nothing seems to be working. Does anyone have any advice or any ideas on what I can do to get her used to me?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. Jamesgoeswalkies

    Jamesgoeswalkies PetForums VIP

    May 8, 2014
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    My advice would be stop trying too hard. What tends to happen is that in an effort to 'make friends and try to interact' with a fearful dog, what we do actually exacerbates their fear of us. And by 'trying everything' in such a short space of time, you have to remember that you have probably tried nothing consistently so that the dog isn't given a chance to understand.

    My advice would be to stop trying to interact with her in human terms. Give her space (and time). Do not approach her. If you see her looking at you, turn your head away so you are the one to offer the calming signal that you are non- threatening. As she has decided you are a bit scary (because you always try to interact with her) then you will have to build up her trust again.

    I never really understood the crouching down whilst talking to them. In my opinion there is no such thing as 'approaching in a non threatening way' . Again I suspect that this has exacerbated the mistrust. So start again. Ignore her even if she appears to come closer (actually, especially if she appears to come closer), stand still, turn away, do not try to touch, give treats or stare at her. Think dog, not human.

    If you want to use treats throw them to the ground for her but remain at a distance yourself. Do not try to interact with her. Just let her see for herself that coming closer is ok.

    In time I am sure she will learn to trust you.

    Burrowzig, Jobeth, Twiggy and 3 others like this.
  3. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

    Feb 18, 2009
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    Best way to be non-threatening is to keep your back to her or be sideways-on, and not look directly at her. Drop bits of tasty food when she's near. Be the person that delicious food just drops off!
    Lurcherlad likes this.
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