I often say that I wish my dog were more handler sensitive, but sensitivity to such extremes would wear me down. The German Shepherd should not be needy nor clingy, but rather self assured and confident. Trent is aware of my emotions and does often adjust his behavior accordingly, but as someone who met him had once stopped to comment, "he looks like a dog that could take care of himself". I'll freely admit that I am a jumpy person. During the Fourth of July I probably was scared half to death about 5 or 6 times, considering we live right next to a huge, wildly popular fireworks display. Every single time I freaked out, Trent simply glanced in my direction and then we kept on going our merry way. If we are walking out at night, and someone in our vicinity is making me nervous by simply being there, there will be no reaction from Trent. If the person would start to approach us and make me feel genuinely threatened or scared - that's an entirely different story. But I'm not nearly as balanced as my dog is, I can be on edge, recover poorly from being frightened, feel extremely anxious about the smallest things, etc. If he reacted to my every change in emotion, we'd both be a complete mess. At home, he does not choose to be right up against me constantly, either. As long as he knows where I am in the house, he is happy sleeping in a few of his favorite spots. Sometimes he will come into a room to "check up" on me if he has not seen or heard me in a while, but then he'll usually leave the room again and lay down in front of the door, or go to another part of the house entirely. If he is sleeping, which he often is, and I walk past him, it's not surprising for him to barely lift an eyelid to look in my direction. And when he does look my way, he is always watching, never staring, and definitely not for prolonged periods of time. Absolutely and 110% agree. These dogs should be able to understand when enough is enough, what behaviors are appropriate in what contexts, etc. I hear the breed described as being pushy a lot, and yes, my dog could be exceptionally pushy if someone lets him push them around. But I don't, and there is a very firm understanding of what is and is not allowed... and before anyone thinks I'm implementing all sorts of Alpha of the Pack ideas in the house, that's not the case at all. If I had to force behaviors out of my dog through physical means, boy, I'd be at a severe disadvantage. With his temperament and the relationship we have built, it comes very naturally. Sometimes I chalk it up to luck, too, but honestly I didn't do nearly the amount of research I should have done when I first got this dog. I barely scraped the surface of understanding what I'd be getting into, and well, he turned out alright. Once we had been out for a good 7-8 hours (about 2 hours running/walking, 2 hours of off leash running/playing catch, and 3-4 hours off leash at the beach) plus some training/mental stimulation games, and he was still ready to go out for our nightly run and showed no signs of tiring out. Yet, that same dog rested inside the house for up to 2 weeks when he was injured, with only short, low key walks around the block, and he was perfectly well behaved and content to be lazing around. Now 8 weeks of rest would positively kill some dogs - and their owners, too :rofl1: When I hear friends tell me about their dogs' ACL injuries, I can always count on solemn oaths to throttle their Crazy Dog about a few weeks later. And they really do try everything in the book to keep their dogs occupied. I am always impressed by my dog's ability to settle down well, but I do hope we never have to deal with that for multiple reasons! Also agree on the different descriptions front... I used to call my dog vocal, a "velcro dog", pushy, etc. but now I realize I should use a lot of descriptive terms sparingly. But then again in some cases there is only so much room for flexible interpretation - by no stretch of imagination would I ever describe my dog as needy or nervy.