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Old 01-23-2014, 05:25 PM   #11 (permalink)
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To be part of the random sample:

GSD - no forced socialization. Trained along the path of to ignore outside distractions to include dogs on or off leash. The result being a dog who is non reactive towards strange dogs, has no need to be friends with other dogs besides the ones at home.

Lacy - forced socialization (during Lacy events). Was a happy social butterfly until attacked by another male. I knew this specific male could be aggressive towards other males so I tucked my male (who was on a leash) under my chair before either dog noticed eachother. The male walked past me and attempted to dart under my chair, their owner raised their voice and began trying to pull their dog out, I was kicking my legs and striking the dog and the owner. My dog lost his mind. Now I have a reactive dog to males.
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Old 01-23-2014, 05:34 PM   #12 (permalink)
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The one thing I don't agree with is the window people say there is for socialization. Robyn was 12 wks when I got her according to some the window was closed or almost closed. She turned out very well. She had play dates with a couple dogs we knew. Other then that she went everywhere with me. Midnite was much older and had no training or socialization at all, by all means his window for socialization was way over. I still took him places, but he had no play time with other dogs until I brought home the golden puppy and the foster dog , which he did fine with. Both are very well rounded.
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Old 01-23-2014, 05:41 PM   #13 (permalink)
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We went against our vet's wishes and took our dog out early, to safe places. One place is a park that's two blocks away from our house, where we met a family with a Husky that wanted early socialization too, he was one month younger than Molly. They quickly became best friends and are still good friends. Molly thinks the park is her park. She wants to go there every night to sit and be a watch dog. The early exposure to the park really made an impression on her, probably because she has mostly good experiences there. I really don't think any of our early socialization did any harm. We watched her body language and clues to when she was done with a situation and wanted to go home. Molly is a very social dog, its her personality and responses to early socialization probably differ between dogs.

Personally, I think it does not matter - socialization or not as long as you have good obedience because when the adolescent stage sets in, at least for us, everything changed. So glad we had some basic obedience foundation. The early socialization at that point did not matter.

What is probably more important than socialization is being consistent and reliable for your pup. Our previous GSD mix was a rescue, we got her when she was about 3-4months old and had already been to 3 foster homes. She ended up being a great dog, never needed a leash, but there seemed to be an underlying fear or insecurity issue I really cannot put into words at this time.
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Old 01-23-2014, 06:19 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Foreced Socialization

My belief is that we set our puppy GSD (now 14 months) back a lot by taking him around other dogs when he was a "baby". It scared the devil out of him and they keyed on that fright immediately.

We're still working on his confidence and trying to keep the fear aggression at a minimum towards dogs.

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Old 01-23-2014, 06:51 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I honestly believe that genetics are what they are. Socialization is great, but a dog that can't handle it is going to be a handful down the road...and a dog with good nerves that hasn't been socialized all that much is going to be good to go in most situations.
Isolation or pushing the dog that is fearful are the extremes. My post is about the normal day to day things, letting a pup explore and get out and about in the real world.
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Old 01-23-2014, 07:18 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llombardo View Post
The one thing I don't agree with is the window people say there is for socialization. Robyn was 12 wks when I got her according to some the window was closed or almost closed. She turned out very well. She had play dates with a couple dogs we knew. Other then that she went everywhere with me. Midnite was much older and had no training or socialization at all, by all means his window for socialization was way over. I still took him places, but he had no play time with other dogs until I brought home the golden puppy and the foster dog , which he did fine with. Both are very well rounded.
There is a window where socialization gets potentially harder. Never means its impossible. The window is closer to 4 months or so but dogs remain fairly pliable in that regard until they hit 2 or so and then it gets much much harder. These are generalities they are not laws of behavior though.
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Old 01-23-2014, 07:53 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carmspack View Post
take note of the word "popular"

How many dogs have been damaged by early socialization .
If the forum is a fair , random, sampling , I would say quite a few.

so let that be the opening salvo to open the discussion .
With socialization, do you mean with dogs? If so: I only let him hang out with stable adult dogs that will teach him. He has gotten a good dose at his breeder already. When WD was about 7 months old, he was still being corrected by adults when he met them too rough, but he was very gentle with young pups. I don't think that he would have been that way if he had been allowed to hang out with pups his age when he was younger than 7 months.
I do take them into the world and expose them to everything possible two times a day for short sessions. Further, people visit the house and play and work at home. For that reason I skip puppy class and go straight to the basic class.
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Old 01-23-2014, 07:56 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Anyone have any examples of early socialization doing any damage?
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Old 01-23-2014, 08:14 PM   #19 (permalink)
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It's interesting to note that a lot of dogs (herding breeds especially) seem to notice when we're trying too hard at socializing/trying to build a positive reinforcement. And MANY of them with anything less than stellar nerves, get weird about it. This, IME, can CAUSE fear and issues in them.

I tried really hard to make my Border Collie puppy like gunfire because Frag is gun shy. It backfired on me.

I have a friend who adopted a fearful BC/ACD mix.... VERY fearful of men all his life. She tried so hard for the longest time to treat him and make men happy places. He wanted nothing to do with it and remained fearful/possibly got worse. I talked to her about this issue, so she stopped acting like men were awesome/drawing attention to them. In the last week he has approached, on his own, over 4 men... of huge sizes/weird facial hair in some cases, and even crawled into a few laps. UNHEARD OF.

It's like they wouldn't notice the odd thing unless you had brought light to it, and then they get skeptical. "Why do I care about that? This is freaking me out, mom's making a big deal about this, maybe I should be concerned!" and the cycle continues.

Something to keep in mind.
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Old 01-23-2014, 08:14 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Had a gsd puppy come in for two weeks board and train. She was a fearful mess when she first came in at 14 weeks old or so. Fear drooling growling at people and peeing as soon as anybody touched her. I really wish I had taken video of the before and after because she was practically paralyzed with fear of both the people that worked there and the other dogs.

We put her in the yard with 10 other dogs of various ages some puppies some adults. Then put the others in lock down. They were not allowed to investigate her or play with each other. They were to calmly "just be." It gave her the opportunity to realize everything was under control and nobody was trying to hurt her. She started investigating slowly at first. Some would consider this flooding, but she was a baby and has no excuse to not be a dog.

By day three she was playing with the other dogs and enjoying her time in the yard. Her drivey nature was revealed. She was a fiend for kibble and we used it to reward her during environmental desensitization. Spooky loud sudden noises announced food.

We started approaching her with stupid energy toned down at first and towards the end like people who have no idea how to approach a dog. Screaming her name squared up at her and charging. Soon as we got near we marked and rewarded her holding her ground bravely. She was conditioned to like it.

By the end she was confident with other dogs and people. She could chase and be chased by adult dogs even as many as 3 at once without fear. She played rough and gave as good as she got. Came out of it a different puppy. Took 2 weeks.

Exposure socialization isn't good enough. At the best your dog makes neutral associations at worst it becomes fearful. You have to take steps to manipulate the experience and ensure it turns out positive. Some dogs won't need it. With gsds many will.

Last edited by Baillif; 01-23-2014 at 08:17 PM.
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