If your German Shepherd is scared of you then you’re probably wondering why and what you can do about it.
This post will show you a number of reasons why your German Shepherd might be scared of you and a number of things that you can do about it.
So, why is my German Shepherd scared of me? Possible reasons can include being aggressive towards it, being in a new environment, mistreatment by previous owners or it is ill or injured.
There are actually a number of things that you can consider when trying to understand why your German Shepherd is aggressive towards you. There are also a number of things that you can do about it depending on the cause.
Why your German Shepherd is scared of you
Each of the different reasons why your German Shepherd is scared of you will likely come with a number of clues.
Below, I will mention a number of reasons why your German Shepherd might be scared of you and the signs to look for.
You were aggressive towards it
If you were aggressive towards your German Shepherd then this could be why it is now scared of you. This would be more likely to be the reason if it became scared of you at around the same time that you were aggressive towards it.
If this is the case, then it would help to stop being aggressive towards it, to be calmer around your German Shepherd and to use positive reinforcement training instead of punishing it.
It is unsure of its environment
The reason why your German Shepherd has been scared of you could be that it is in a new environment. This would be more likely if you recently bought it as a puppy or if you just adopted it from a shelter. It could also be the case if you recently moved home but you have had your German Shepherd for a while now.
In this case, it is likely that your German Shepherd will become less afraid of you as time passes. However, you can speed the process up by spending more time walking it, playing with it and being around it calmly.
The cause of your German Shepherd being afraid of you could be that it was mistreated by previous owners.
This would be more likely if it is not just afraid of you and it is also afraid of other people as well.
In this case, it is also likely that your German Shepherd will become less afraid over time. You can speed the process up by being around it more.
It is ill or injured
The cause could be that it has gotten ill or injured. This would be more likely if it became scared suddenly or if it started right after something happened that would cause it to become ill or injured. If you think that illness or injury might be the cause then the best option for you would be to take it to a vet.
Related post: Why is my German Shepherd afraid?
Things to consider
Before trying to get your German Shepherd to be less afraid of you it would help to know exactly what is causing it. Below, I will mention some particularly helpful things to consider.
When your German Shepherd became afraid of you
It would help to consider the timing of when your German Shepherd became afraid of you. If it became afraid of you suddenly and it isn’t normally afraid of you then it would be more likely to be due to being aggressive to it, illness or injury.
However, there might be other causes of it becoming afraid of you suddenly. It would help to consider what else happened at around the same time that it started to get scared.
Things that you could consider would include:
- If you moved home
- If someone else was mean to it
- If you stepped on its tail
If it only becomes scared of you at certain times
It would also help to consider if it only seems to become afraid of you at certain times. If it is not always afraid of you then it would help to consider what is different when it is.
Some things that might be different could include:
- There is thunder and lightning outside
- It becomes afraid when it is dark outside
- It becomes afraid when a certain person is around
It would also help to consider how old your German Shepherd is. If your German Shepherd is still young then it would be likely that it will become less afraid as it gets older.
What to do about your German Shepherd being scared of you
There are a number of things that you can do to get your German Shepherd to be less scared of you that I will mention below.
You can look at the book Training Your German Shepherd on Amazon to get more tips about how you can train your GSD.
Be calmer around your German Shepherd
German Shepherds are very responsive to their owner’s emotions. If you get emotional or aggressive around your German Shepherd then it will usually cause it to react itself.
When you are around your German Shepherd it would help to be calm with it and to avoid getting overly emotional.
Play and exercise
One way to get your German Shepherd to become more comfortable around you would be to play with it and to exercise it.
You can play with it by playing tug of war, training it or playing fetch with it. Some ways to exercise it would be to walk it or to teach it to swim.
Avoid physical punishment
If you punish or reward your German Shepherd when it shows signs of being afraid you might be reinforcing the behavior.
Instead, it would be better to avoid reacting when it does things that you don’t like and to use positive reinforcement training techniques instead of punishing it.
If your German Shepherd is afraid of you then it is likely that it will become less afraid of you, over time, as long as you treat it well. This means that it is important not to get frustrated with it and to stick with it.
Take it to a vet
If you are unsure of what is causing it to be afraid, it has been afraid for months or you think that illness or injury might be causing it then the best option would likely be to take it to a vet.
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Our favorite: The German Shepherd Handbook - Shows you all you need to know to keep your GSD happy, healthy and well-behaved.