Is it ever too late to 'socialize'? - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 06-15-2014, 01:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Is it ever too late to 'socialize'?

Zeeva is almost 4 and Smokey is 5.

Today we had an off leash pup come up to us. Zeeva lounged but I don't think she bit...? It just happened so fast. I apologized profusely to the owner. He said "she's pretty aggressive huh." I was a little taken aback. Yes, Zeeva doesn't have the best greeting when it comes to other dogs. Yes, she is fearful of other dogs. But aggressive...? I think if the dog hadn't run up to her, if she wasn't in my grip, MAYBE she would've done the butt sniff and the play bow a second later...but I might be kidding myself :'C

Is it ever too late to 'socialize' a dog? When do dogs become set in their ways (so to say)?
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Old 06-15-2014, 01:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I believe that you can teach an old dog new tricks so to speak. Some dogs will give a rambunctious pup a pass because it's a pup, but others don't. I've noticed that my oldest is much more lenient with my younger golden then with any other dog ever, I find it almost weird. I think once they get older it's harder but still can be done and carefully.
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Old 06-15-2014, 01:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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How old was that pup? If it was older than about 4 months she probably told him to back off, like adult dogs do to these little brats. There is not much you can do against an off leash approach besides stepping in front of your dog and block the other dog. But that is complicated sometimes. Technically a "pup" is younger than 4 months but many people keep using this life stage for marketing or excuses. Tell an older dog, "he is just a puppy" when in fact it is an adolescent challenging him. No excuses in the dog world
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Old 06-15-2014, 02:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Can you remember if the leash was tight when the pup approached?
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Old 06-15-2014, 02:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chip18 View Post
Can you remember if the leash was tight when the pup approached?
Smokey's was not. I had taken Zeeva off leash a second earlier but when I saw the other dog approaching I grabbed her collar. She was pulling with my fingers in her collar...
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Old 06-15-2014, 02:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeeva View Post
Smokey's was not. I had taken Zeeva off leash a second earlier but when I saw the other dog approaching I grabbed her collar. She was pulling with my fingers in her collar...
This always caused a fight with my old dog... he'd be on edge to begin with and the feeling of being held back or pulled away from whatever was causing the stress to begin with made him lash out with aggression. Offleash or loose lead was very different, normally ignoring other dogs or if they ran up to him, bare his teeth and tell them to back off at which point I could recall him.
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Old 06-15-2014, 03:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Yes you may or not actually have a problem? But in this case...it sounds to me like you told your dog, uh oh we have a situation here!!!

He responded accordingly! Obviously not what you wanted but pretty sure that is how he saw it?

My guys never did other dog intros but I taught them what I expect. I would have told my guy "Stay" and stood in front of him. You were walking two dogs so yep it would be a bit trickier but the principle is still the same.

I don't think you have a serious problem here but if you want to get them or him better? You'll find links in post 8:

New Dog, Very Challenging

Once you train your dog how to behave by and large that is how they behave! Problem will be speaking for myself here, the guardian, strange friendly dogs approaching my guy always make me nervous! But I fake it, I fall back on my dogs training! He has never let me down!
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Old 06-15-2014, 04:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chip18 View Post
Yes you may or not actually have a problem? But in this case...it sounds to me like you told your dog, uh oh we have a situation here!!!

He responded accordingly! Obviously not what you wanted but pretty sure that is how he saw it?

My guys never did other dog intros but I taught them what I expect. I would have told my guy "Stay" and stood in front of him. You were walking two dogs so yep it would be a bit trickier but the principle is still the same.

I don't think you have a serious problem here but if you want to get them or him better? You'll find links in post 8:

New Dog, Very Challenging

Once you train your dog how to behave by and large that is how they behave! Problem will be speaking for myself here, the guardian, strange friendly dogs approaching my guy always make me nervous! But I fake it, I fall back on my dogs training! He has never let me down!
Could not agree more with your last paragraph!
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