kbcosp420: Why was my dog freaking out so much?
I have a 7 month old German Shepherd (purebred), and yesterday we went to the dog park. We have gone a couple of times before and he was okay. This last time though, something strange happened. Normally when we are at the dog park he will pretty much stay close to me to "protect" me. So when another dog starts to come up, he will bark fiercely. I will try to comfort him by petting the other dogs and showing him that protecting me is not my concern. He also seems to submit to all dogs once they start trying to play with him or bark at him. So yesterday, we were at the dog park, and there was a fairly large crowd and every time a dog came up to my dog, he would drop to the ground and kind of curl up very scared. I have never seen him do this. Normally he just runs away from the other dogs if he is scared. What is the best course of action to make him not freak out? I'm very concern this might have long term affects on him. Am I doing something wrong when this happens? I was kinda just letting it happen to see if he would relax, but he wouldn't. So then, another dog was trying to get him to play, but then started to bully him because he was so scared. What can I do to make my dog feel more comfortable and relax to be able to play with other dogs? I really hate to see him like this, as I feel now that I shouldn't bring him back to the dog park and that makes me feel bad. Please help.
By the way, he is a pretty obiedent dog. No classes, just trained by my hand. This is technically MY first dog that I've had to take care of full time. So any help would be appreciated. Thank you.
I guess my definition of comforting is different than what I posted. I am not comforting my dog by petting him. I'm petting other dogs that he seems to be fearful of. I'm not accepting his fearfulness by telling him its okay. What I did was walked away and allowed the dogs to do what they were doing, but after a little time I would tell him to come to me. He would get up and run like hell to me. So I'm not comforting him, I'm trying to get him to actually play, but everytime he would submit and freak out. I don't know whats wrong, I guess I must be the idiot that doesn't know how to take care of my dog. Training is not an option right now, as it's expensive and I've just been cut in hours and my employer, so that will probably not happen for awhile.
Can some of you people even read!!???! IM NOT COMFORTING MY DOG IN THIS SITUATION! I am simply letting him be. I'm not petting him or anything. I'm just letting the dogs do what they do.
Answers and Views:
Answer by raspberryph
he sounds like a fearful dog. A lot of dogs act scared or aggressive when they are fearul. You are making it worse by "comforting" him because dogs dont think like humans, he is seeing this as though you are telling him it is OK to be acting the way he is and that you like it, which you dont. You need to tell him a firm NO and dont give him any petting or attention when he is behaving like this.
He seems like he also is shy and gets ovewhelmed with a lot of dogs, I suggest you call a trainer... because they can evaluate your dog one on one.
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