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I got a puppy malinois as a gift, she is 3 and a half months old and is with me for 3 days, and she looks at me as her guardian, when i take her on a walk(i am walking her without a leash and she is always by my right side) she is scared of everything. running away when people try to pet her, when i try to socialize her with other dogs she hides behind me even when the dogs are friendly, and want to have fun. Her name is Zoya and she is really shy, and there is no confidence at all. I am doing my best to boost it. And when we get home she just lies, doesnt want to play or anything. I am doing my best to entertain her. My friends are telling me she is just a baby and i get that, but i still have some feeling that she was bullied by her brothers and sisters or am i just overreacting and she just misses her mommy and this is completely normal? You have to understand me, its my first dog
 

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How much research have you done into the Mal breed? They are not an easy dog to raise, and depending on the lines (show/working/what kind of work they're being bred for) can range from difficult to insane. They are pretty much the opposite of what people would recommend for a first dog: high drive, high energy, some measure of reactivity is not uncommon even in well bred dogs, will become destructive if not adequately physically and mentally exercised and may be destructive even if they're fully exercised. I have seen people get a Mal as their first dog, but they specifically chose a well bred one and worked with the breeder to find one that fit them, and they did a heck of a lot of preparation. There is one member on here I remember specifically who had spent a few years preparing for a Mal as his first dog and when the dog was two years old he posted something along the lines of him loving his dog and how he turned out but probably not likely to have done it if he'd realized what he was really getting himself into. There is a tendency in the dog world for people to make Mals seem like something only a Dog God could manage, which I don't agree with, but I also don't think they're the kind of breed that should be given to someone as a gift unless that person was already taking steps to get one and had done extensive research as well as meeting Mals.

Has this puppy been the to vet yet? Laying around and not playing could be signs of listlessness related to illness.

Outside of that...

What you are describing sounds like a very fearful puppy- well beyond the realm of what is normal for a 3 and a half month old dog. To me, that description sounds like a dog who has some level of genetic shyness. In a Mal, this is not likely to stay as just shyness; as she grow up and her defensive drives kick in, this could very well likely turn into something more harmful, like aggression.

From your description, you are not over reacting. I would recommend finding a professional to work with ASAP, and given the level of fear you're describing I would recommend a veterinary behaviorist, not just any dog trainer who sounds qualified.

Also, please, please, please, please walk this puppy on a leash!!!! No 3 and a half month old should be unleashed in an unenclosed area, let alone one who is showing extreme fear responses.

Honestly, this level of fear in a pup that young is worrisome. This dog is going to need an educated owner ready to spend a lot of time and money on making her a functioning adult dog. I would start looking into everything you can find that relates to fearful dogs- look for methods that are rooted in positive reinforcement based training, avoid those that come from dominance based training (anything affiliated with or praising Caesar Milan or that throws around terms like "alpha" and "pack leader" in their descriptions). You need to teach your dog that the world is not a scary place, not subjugate her and create a robot dog that doesn't react because she fears retribution.

I'd highly recommend looking up info on confidence building, as well. Since she's fearful, don't use physical or vocal corrections. A marker word to tell her a reward will not be forthcoming for that behavior is good (I use "nope") is about as close to correcting a behavior as I'd get with a pup like this.

I highly recommend clicker training for cases of fear. She may be afraid of the noise of the clicker at first (mine didn't like it at first), but you can work through that quickly. Begin by just clicking and giving her a treat for a week or two. Eventually, when you click, she will begin to look for the treat. Mine can be five feet away and looking in a different direction and if I click she comes running to me for her treat. The click itself is just a noise that tells the dog they did something that has earned them the reward of a treat. When she's on a walk, turn the walk into chances for her to get a click and a reward. Click her for being in the right position, for looking at you, for not barking at a scary sound or dog, for walking through a puddle- literally anything that she does that you'd like her to do again can be rewarded with a click + treat. Free-shaping is a really good way to build confidence, as is trick training. Recreational Agility can be great for building confidence as well. For information on clicker training, I recommend karenpryor.com.

@PoppyKenna has a lot of experience with fearful dogs; she(?) has a fear reactive Cocker who has displayed fear from a young age as well, though your pup doesn't sound to be as bad-off as hers. She(?) will likely have a lot of good suggestions.

ETA: I don't mean to be a big 'ol bummer. I know how difficult and worrisome it is to get your first dog. Unfortunately, it does not seem like you've been gifted the easiest of dogs, both in breed and specific temperament. She is going to be a challenge, and she may turn from fearful to fear-based reactivity. Also, is there any chance she is not a Mal and perhaps is a GSD from a breeder who was looking to make more money on her? Given that she was given as a gift, I wonder about the ethics of the breeder- a responsible Mal breeder would not let a puppy go to someone who meant to give it as a gift, and certainly not to a place where it will be the owner's first dog. A lot of the time shelters or back yard breeders will promote GSD and GSD mixes that have the Malenois markings of fawn body/darker mask as Mals when they are not, especially in the last few years as Mals become more popular (unfortunately to their detriment, because they're not the dog your average person/family is going to want).
 

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I think @Moonstream pretty much hit the nail on the head.

I'm concerned that you received this puppy as a gift...it doesn't bode well for the quality of the breeder or the quality of the breeder's dogs. There could be genetic things working against you.

I will say, my single biggest regret with Chisum is not getting him involved with a good behaviorist sooner. The thing with my dog is that his fears and insecurities seemed to fluctuate so he was fearful of strangers, then fine with them, then reactive. And of course he had many additional fears as well. He was a hoarding dog, probably inbred, so for him it's a genetic thing. One of the reasons he's on meds :)

I know I recommend this a lot, but check into the BAT 2.0 book. I LOVE it. See if you can find a behaviorist who either does similar practice or can help you decode it. It basically lets the dog face his/her fears at her own pace and there are a lot of really awesome tips in there as well. It will allow you to socialize your pup and expose her to things, but at a way that she always feels safe and in control of her environment.

Do you have any good behaviorists in your area? Finding someone who is experienced with fearful dogs would be a great start. Non-aversive training ONLY. No shock collars or prongs or choke chains on this pup - ever. No dominance training - period. She needs to feel as safe as possible 100% of the time and above all, you need to become her rock. As @Moonstream said, no harsh punishments, not even vocal ones. You need to be the safe person to her.

If you can find a behaviorist that has worked with Mals or even GSDs that would be a plus, but do be absolutely sure that they aren't going to use aversive methods. Additionally, I would NOT recommend any "send away" training situations - you need to be present for it all, both to advocate for your dog and also to learn skills yourself.

And of course .... pictures!
 
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