So this is my first post. I'll give a brief introduction first:
I am a single Dad with a stepdaughter that lives with me part time. I have a beautiful female German Shepard mix that is 3 yrs and 2 months old. I have a problem that I could use some help with, and I don't know where to turn.
First off, I want to clear something up. I am very confused about when an appropriate time is for someone to start socializing their dog. I was given explicit instructions from the rescue that I should not bring my dog, Natasha, around people or other dogs until she is vaccinated completely. But that doesn't happen until she's 1 year old (rabies). I keep hearing about (and seeing) dog owners bringing their dogs out waaaay before that time frame is up. So what's the deal? I followed those instructions and did not risk socializing my dog before she was fully vaccinated. Any clarification would be appreciated.
On to my other topic: socialization.
When we got Natasha at about 2 months old, my wife and step daughter agreed to do their part in raising her, training her, and socializing her. Unfortunately, they did not do their part. I pretty much did 75% or more of the work. On top of that, I later got a divorce and now my daughter is 16 and with me only half the time... 'nuff said there. Bottom line - she is a working-class Shepard who I think did not (and does not now) get out enough. She cannot control herself around other dogs, and it's a gamble as to whether or not she'll 'click' with a particular dog. I walk her every day, sometimes twice. And at least 2 or 3 times a week, I'll bring her to a reasonably busy plaza or park where there are people running about.
I took her to the dog park regularly when she was young, but around 2 years old she started acting differently. She would continually bump other dogs away from me, and eventually, she started getting aggressive to the point where we could no longer return. I took her one or two times a week (all that I could manage). On top of that, she started getting aggressive with certain people. I hate this... I feel like she needs to find a new home, but I love her more than any other pet I've ever had.
Anyway, I decided it was time to get some professional help. So I got a trainer and we started working with her. Unfortunately, I think she needs more exposure to other dogs and people every day, and the training sessions were only once a week. I just don't know where to go or who to meet for that. And it would need to be a support group of some kind. Does anyone have any suggestions?
I live in San Diego, Rancho Bernardo area.
Thanks in advance. Please feel free to ask questions. I suppose this post should actually be somewhere else. Sorry.