Gracie, a Show Line German Shepherd Dog
Gracie is a young German Shepherd who used to struggle with overarousal issues, especially when people came over to the house. She would jump all over them, mouth and bite at them, and could not settle down. She would also get reactive when she saw people and dogs when out for walks. Some of this reactivity was rooted in fear issues, which also showed up with loud noises and hectic environments. We channeled her drive into games like retrieve and playing tug, and built up her confidence through obedience training. Now Gracie is thriving in her home, and is much easier to manage and a joy to live with.
We see these types of issues quite often in German shepherds. As working dogs, they need a job to channel their energy and drives. If they do not receive a job, German shepherds will seek out a job of their own, and it generally won’t be one you like. By teaching obedience and good manners from an early age, you can help your dog to never even develop bad habits. We were able to eliminate Gracie’s problem behaviors, but it would have been a much simpler process if we could have started working with her as a younger puppy.
You can also avoid some of these issues in the way that you socialize your puppy. Only allow your dog to meet people or dogs that you know will be a good influence. Do not allow your puppy to meet other dogs on leash. Make sure that your puppy understands that you are way more fun than anything else in the environment. Make note of any noises, objects, or environments that make your puppy nervous and discuss these with your trainer.
If your dog is struggling with similar issues, consider one of our board and train programs to achieve the same results.