Is my dog normal

Jump to Last Post 1-12 of 12 discussions (12 posts)
  1. Linda's Hub Pages profile image59
    Linda's Hub Pagesposted 12 years ago

    Is my dog normal

    I have a German Shepherd puppy,6 months old.My question is,He is afraid of everything,people,noices,fingernail clipers, this normal for big dogs?

  2. Lisa HW profile image62
    Lisa HWposted 12 years ago

    He's a puppy, even if his breed makes him a big dog.  The trouble for big dogs is that at six months they're pretty big in size, but they're still puppies.   Puppies aren't as sure of themselves as grown-up dogs are.  They can be skittish.  Dogs have those sensitive ears, so noises may get his attention more than it seems they should.

    I don't think it's possible for anyone to really know how extreme your puppy's "issue" is,  but unless it's extreme he's probably fine.  There are some households and people who may contribute to a dog's feeling particularly skittish, and if you have people around who aren't very sensitive to his need to feel safe and calm they could be contributing.  If someone expects too much of him in terms of behavior it could make him "frazzled".  If there's anyone who yells at him that can make a dog (especially one so young) frazzled.

    Also, dogs are like people.  They have their own personalities.  Some may be more nervous about some things at six months old than others.  Some that come from a shelter have had some emotional upsets (and worse) that can affect their sense of sureness too.

    I'd say just make sure he feels safe and secure.  He can be told "the rules of the house" without yelling or making him feel frazzled.  Treat with with lots of kindness and love, but make sure he knows you're a stable, in-charge, kind, "friend" capable of helping him feel safe.   Most of the time there's a reason dogs are afraid of people, but if they are made to feel secure and loved they'll calm down and learn to trust people.  (Something else is that if he's had a bad experience with having his nail clipped he may have learned to be afraid of the sound of clippers.)

  3. Linda's Hub Pages profile image59
    Linda's Hub Pagesposted 12 years ago

    Thank you so much for your reply.He was 8 weeks when we got him,he didn't get a lot of handling from the owners.But he gets lots of love now,never yelled at just spoiled but corrected.He's a great dog,very well behaved & learns really fast. has already learned to sit,lay,stay,catch,drop it,mama,daddy & a few others.Still learning the come command unless he sees something in your hand.We really love our big baby boy.He stays right beside me & watches every move I make.He cries when I leave him for a little while & he sleeps with my husband & I most nights so he always wants both of us in the same room.Well enough bragging.Thanks again for your comment,it put my mind at ease.

  4. Whitney05 profile image86
    Whitney05posted 12 years ago

    Don't coddle him when he's nervous, as you're telling him it's ok to be scared. Just look at him and tell him that it's ok let's go and keep going. If he's nervous and you say in a baby voice 'aw it's ok' then he's going to think he's supposed to be scared of whatever it is. Most dogs go through a fearful stage; you just have to socialize the puppy with new things.

    At 8 weeks, it's hard to say that the previous people didn't handle him much. How much handling were they supposed to do? If you just got the dog at 6 months, that'd be a different story, but at this point, you've had him for 4 months, so what the breeder did before 8 weeks old really isn't going to have an affect on his behavior now, unless the breeder beat him, locked the litter in a crate and dumped food through the bars, or something like that. Coddling though tells him it's ok to be scared of whatever it is, so keep that in mind.

  5. profile image56
    NNathanielStockposted 12 years ago

    It is normal for all dogs to be afraid i have a jack russel who is terrified of the vacum because of the noise and he does not like people eiher. I would give your puppy time to get use to different things. Take him out to the park and for walks and reasure him that you are there and nothing bad is going to happen to him. in away he is only six months old and still needs a mother type. Just take it slow and work with him.

  6. profile image51
    Willow1980posted 12 years ago

    I wouldn't worry too much. However if he had been a lot older when you adopted him then I would be worried. I adopted my pom from a shelter and he was scared to death when a car would backfire or say some one would yell and scream. He may just need a little time to adjust but I agree on the not coddling him.I truly feel that my Lucky was mistreated before I got him. He never leaves my side where I go he goes and if I leave to go out of town he will sit by the door and cry. He is just a sweet and sensitive boy like yours. I correct him when he needs it and he still gives me love and devotion. As do I try to give him all the love in return. Just give him time works wonders.

  7. catwoman89 profile image61
    catwoman89posted 12 years ago

    Well, I don't know the answer to that one, but my dog sure is a handful! Even in this photo you can see him doing his business on the floor...again...sigh...what's a dog mommy to do? Well, Russell is just a puppy I guess, but...

  8. profile image48
    cherish petcornerposted 12 years ago

    All dogs are considered puppies until the age of two. Reassure him with a soft loving tone in your voice the instant he shows an fear. Also,if you could address him by name first and perhaps a little pat on his side as you tell him it's o.k.! After a while he will come to know and trust your gentle tone of voice and immidiatly calm down.Just try and think of him as a baby who needs your love and reassurance,and you will be compensated ten folds with his lifelong protection and love for you!

  9. profile image47
    Natural Logarithmposted 12 years ago

    t is normal for a dog that hasn't been socialized to life with humans to be afraid of seemingly harmless things. German Shepherds are intelligent, but they also tend to be cautious.

    It is very concerning that your puppy is afraid of people. You need to spend some time addressing this issue NOW before your puppy grows up to be aggressive. Trust me...I unknowingly adopted an Akita/German Shepherd mix that hadn't been socialized. It has taken a year of training to get her to the point where she will even approach strangers. She still isn't happy about doing so.

    I would not just give your puppy some time. I think you need to take some action here. Also, I would not "correct" your puppy for being afraid of anything. That only teaches your dog to associate the strange, scary thing with something bad, which isn't what you want. You want your puppy to associate strange things with PURE HAPPINESS big_smile Do a Google search for ideas about "puppy socialization," "fearful dogs," "remedial socialization," or "cautious canine." You should get a ton of ideas to help you with your puppy. Good luck!

  10. paulej profile image56
    paulejposted 12 years ago

    I spent two years working with dogs.  Puppies are naturally afraid of everything.  They do not know what nail clippers are and initially fear them.  German Shepherds are especially afraid.  (that is why they make good gaurd dogs when they are older, they like to bark at things they think are out there.) Socialize your puppy! Right now is the best time to get him fimiliar with other things--it is harder the older the dog is.  If he doesn't learn that he doesn't have to be afraid of everything he will be more likely to attack out of fear.  Don't coddle him.  Puppies are going to cry and whine.  Just keep exposing him to new things and new environments.  Try dog parks (keeping him on leash at first), other parks so he can meet people and learn the noises. Take him for rides in the car--someplace other than the vet.  Use proper taining methods--rewarding good behavior instead of punishing bad beahvior.  Take training classes--this will expose him to a new environment and give him some bonding time with you.  Even board him in a kennel.  The first time you do this he will be scared, and it will be rough.  But if the kennel is a reputable one with good staff it will help him in the future.  He will become more fimiliar with different environments and hence less likely to attack out of fear (which many people mistake for aggression).  I think you may want to consider doggie daycare for half days or on slow days so he can really learn appropriate dog behavior (careful about taking him all the time though.)  Your puppy is perfectly normal, but this is not behavior he will just grow out of or behavior that should be rewarded.  Keep socializing him and exposing him to different scenarios.  I am confident that he will grow out of it and be a responsible canine member of society.

  11. akirchner profile image93
    akirchnerposted 12 years ago

    Totally - our Alaskan Malamute is 5 months old today and he is terrified of loud noises, cars especially but ANY loud thing sends him running or whizzing on himself! It is all about figuring out what their "safe" zones are and it will pass (too quickly) and we won't have a puppy anymore...booo hooo.  We just keep encouraging him that everything is okay and he seems to get over it - at least he quit peeing on himself every time!  They are truly just big, big babies - I think they need to have a mirror and see how big they are although that won't help either!

  12. Geocyn profile image59
    Geocynposted 11 years ago

    Your dog is normal.  It is not unreasonable for him to be anxious and fearful of things he has never seen, heard or come into contact with.  It's not as if you can simply explain to him either.  Now is the time that you need to expose him to a lot of situations, other dogs, people and noises in a controlled manner.  Always remove him to a quiet area if he gets too anxious.  Easy does it, and a little at a time.  Just be sure that you don't overdo the reassurance.  The other posters are entirely correct.  As his pack leader, he looks to you, and if you go out of your way to reassure him, then you are giving him the signal that there IS something to be afraid of.  Try and be quiet, low key, and matter of fact.  If you are not upset he will get the message and he will calm down.   Best of luck, Shepherds are really great dogs.

Closed to reply

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)