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Old 07-23-2014, 12:06 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Puppy Socialization advice/plans?

I am hoping to get a puppy in the near-ish future, so I've been reading a lot about young puppy socialization, and there are so many different and contradicting methods and schools of thought. From "do not take your puppy anywhere until they have all vaccinations!" or "take them out but don't let anyone touch them" to the opposite of "your puppy must meet 100 people by 12 weeks" or "socialize everywhere as possible/you must socialize every day".

With all the different thing I've read, I've been getting a little confused as to how to properly socialize and acclimate to different people/places/things.
I am hoping this puppy will grow up to possibly do therapy and/or service dog work so I want to do it properly. Of course I'll also be doing puppy classes but that is only once a week for an hour or so.

I was wondering what people here do or recommend for socializing, or if anyone knows of any good sources of info (books, websites etc)?
I know the basics such as being careful where to take a young puppy due to diseases, and making sure their interactions are positive as much as possible. I've read all the typical articles online and several puppy books. What I am unsure of is how often, how long, and where/when to socialize.
Unfortunately I don't know any puppy-friendly dogs so I will have to figure out what to do about that as well.

I am also not sure if just observing things "counts" as socialization. For example if you go to a park, and event or some place in the city and just have them hang out and watch what is going on around them without actually interacting with things. Does that help with socialization/acclimation-- if they are not actually getting close to people/objects/places?

I have also seen CDs that you can buy for puppies, with different types of sounds on them such as city noises, babies, fireworks, alarms, etc... I was wondering if people think those are useful or no. If it is helpful I figured I could probably make a youtube playlist with the same type of stuff on it.
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Old 07-23-2014, 12:17 AM   #2 (permalink)
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just take the puppy places when you go. let them go at their own pace. socializing doesnt always mean interact. exposing is a better word. expose your dog to stuff.

also no need to download cd's and such. thats overkill. if the live in new york city whats the point of youtubing horse and cow sounds. the dog most likely will never meet one. expose the dog with things in your life because thats what the dog will encounter repeatedly.
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Old 07-23-2014, 12:38 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I forgot to mention, this puppy will hopefully be doing therapy and/or service work when he grows up. So that is partly why I want to be sure I do proper early socialization.
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Old 07-23-2014, 12:56 AM   #4 (permalink)
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http://www.petprofessionalguild.com/...n-Download.pdf

I like this little chart. It's got some good basic tips to go by as well as some good bases to cover. Hanging out and observing can be excellent socialization. The pup doesn't always have to be directly involved in something to work on socialization. I played sounds for my pup when he was younger because i wanted him to get used to lots of things. I had some recordings (or found them online) of crazy party sounds, carnivals, thunderstorms, etc. It wasn't my main form of desensitizing to sound, but it was a good stand by if I couldn't get out very much.

I'm a believer in safely exposing the puppy to as much as possible. My pup went with me to every public place possible. We went to the dog park and sat a distance away, outside the fence, on concrete to get used to other dog sounds and seeing dogs running around. But other places like pet stores, patios, friends houses, outdoor malls, even drive through's are great places to take them. I even took mine to sit outside fire stations, police stations, and hospitals to see people in uniform, radio crackle, sirens, people in scrubs, walkers, wheelchairs, and with canes.

I just go until the puppy gets tired. If I see him not showing as much interest, or showing any type of discomfort (ears back, tail tucked, excessive licking or yawning) then I take him back home, make note of what I was doing and how long we had been out, then tried again another day. I also usually pick two days a week to have "off" days. We'll go on walks and play like normal, but won't do the heavy socializing at super stimulating places. It gives the puppy a chance to recuperate a bit.
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Old 07-23-2014, 01:10 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pax8 View Post
I even took mine to sit outside fire stations, police stations, and hospitals to see people in uniform, radio crackle, sirens, people in scrubs, walkers, wheelchairs, and with canes.

I had been thinking it might be useful to take the puppy around near the firehouse and police station, to get him comfortable with people in uniforms and such. I'm a little worried though, that if a siren went off, it might scare a puppy too much? A hospital is a good idea too.

I don't have the puppy yet so I am just planning things out right now, we will hopefully be bringing him home this winter. That does throw a little bit of a wrench in things though since we have very cold winters here which means not being able to spend as much time outside and plus other people won't be hanging around outside much either for us to socialize with them!
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Old 07-23-2014, 01:13 AM   #6 (permalink)
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If you're worried about the sound, you could play soft recordings and pair it with reward or play, increasing the volume slowly before taking him where he would encounter the real deal. I did this before I took mine to the gun range. We did recordings for a little while, maybe a couple weeks, before going to the actual place. And we started out a ways from the range before going in closer.
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Old 07-23-2014, 01:52 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicagocanine View Post
I had been thinking it might be useful to take the puppy around near the firehouse and police station, to get him comfortable with people in uniforms and such. I'm a little worried though, that if a siren went off, it might scare a puppy too much? A hospital is a good idea too.

I don't have the puppy yet so I am just planning things out right now, we will hopefully be bringing him home this winter. That does throw a little bit of a wrench in things though since we have very cold winters here which means not being able to spend as much time outside and plus other people won't be hanging around outside much either for us to socialize with them!
I did the firetruck and police thing with Robyn. I approached an officer with his radio going and asked him to pet her. He did and she liked him. If there was any ambulances or fire tucks with lights on I walked her past if and all the commotion. I did the same with landscapers, construction workers and even the airport. Thd end result? She does not bark at anything and she is not afraid of any loud noises.
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Old 07-23-2014, 01:56 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I also don't think there is a window of socialization. I think it's ongoing and at the dogs pace. If it was true Midnite wouldn't be the dog he is. It was obvious his previous owners didn't do much with him and then he sat at the shelter for several months. He was about 10 months when I got him. He was about 14 months when he became a certified therapy dog.
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Old 08-09-2014, 12:53 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Yes it's true that socialization is ongoing, but there are also critical socialization periods in young puppies.
Here's some info on that:
Proper Socialization and Critical Periods

http://www.connemaraterrier.com/Nuts...20Training.pdf
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Old 08-09-2014, 02:59 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicagocanine View Post
Yes it's true that socialization is ongoing, but there are also critical socialization periods in young puppies.
Here's some info on that:
Proper Socialization and Critical Periods

http://www.connemaraterrier.com/Nuts...20Training.pdf
I can't open the links(my internet issue) but from what I read and remember, the window is up to about 16 weeks? I got all of my dogs except one toward the end or after that age. They started school within two weeks of coming into the home and were socialized as they would have been if they came to me at 8 weeks. They are all well adjusted, so I'm not sure how much different they could be if I was able to hit the time frame that is recommended.
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