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Thread: Socialization tips for an introvert? Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
08-27-2014 09:32 PM
lalachka I'm not diagnosed yet but I like being alone.
08-27-2014 09:29 PM
glowingtoadfly Introvert here.
08-27-2014 08:44 PM
lalachka about making things a non event. every time we pass a loud truck or a lawn mower or whatever makes my dog uncomfortable I go back and try working with him around it.
It's not working, he's still avoiding.

so making it non event is the way to go? and that will stop them from being uncomfortable?
08-27-2014 08:39 PM
buttoned_up Wow thanks for all the great responses everyone! I especially appreciate the distinction made between needing to interact and needing to be exposed. I feel a lot better knowing that, as I do make quite an effort to expose Summer to a variety of new places, sounds, environments, etc. I've opted to be very selective in her interactions with other dogs -- I figure having little direct socialization is preferable to having bad socialization experiences. And Carmspack and Castlemaid you are especially right about how I should react when she seems skittish of a person on the street. I think perhaps in my eagerness to make sure she grows up to be a confident dog, I've probably been overthinking it a bit

I'm glad to know there are so many other introvert GSD lovers out there! This is my first time raising a dog in a major metropolitan area (I grew up in the sticks) and I've found that when I'm out with Summer, people are either REALLY friendly and want to pet her or REALLY rude and either shoot me dirty looks or tell me to keep her away. Of course, neither situation is ideal for an introvert But we get by and still enjoy our walks and training sessions.
08-27-2014 11:32 AM
Castlemaid Excellent advise and right on the nose by everyone!!! I can beat all the introverts here, I'm high-functioning autistic. I also live out of town in a quiet rural area with almost no traffic. When raising a young dog, as everyone else did, I made the extra effort to take my dogs out to different places - I never considered it important for them to migle with people (they are outgoing and friendly anyways), but I did consider it important that they get exposed to as many new places and experiences as possible, even if it was just to drive to a residential area for a leash walk. Now they get exposed to people, other dogs, bikes, cars, buses, skate-boards, etc . . .

Be careful of your own energy - you have to communicate that everyhing is normal, and you are in control. A five month old should NOT have to feel that it is theri job to protect you, and your demeanor and attitude should be clear on that - your pup needs to know that you will protect her, that you will not put her in a situation that is unsafe, and that she can just relax and take in the world. You communicate this by being a stronger leader, having more rules, more expectations, more confidence, more predictability. If she reacts in a fearful way to something, laugh it off, or act like this is the most boring thing in the world - can't even spare a moment of your time being worried or afraid, and neither should Summer.

For about the first year of having my dogs, I would plan on daily/weekly socialization trips: out to the ski hill to watch the skiers and snowboarders, to the riding arean to sit in the bleachers and watch the horses being worked. Walk in to the hockey ring and watch the kids having hockey practice. Walking downtown. Hanging out at the horse-shoe pitch, or the skateboard park, etc . . . It was an effort, but seeing my dogs just watch and decide that all this stuff is normal was well worth it.
08-27-2014 08:48 AM
carmspack button up said "Today, she sort of backed away from a mom walking with her little girl who was maybe 5 years old. Usually when she does this, I tell her it's ok,"

keep on moving as if nothing is wrong . Don't tell her it's okay , which may be unintentionally rewarding her , giving your approval , which will lead to promoting an enhanced (unwanted) response "but today, she barked and frightened the little girl."

show her by your actions what you think of meeting an adult and young child on your walk . It is nothing threatening . All good and normal . So keep on walking without telegraphing a reason for hesitation , suspicion , threat .
08-27-2014 12:22 AM
Magwart Sent you a PM.
08-27-2014 12:18 AM
trcy I'm also an introvert. I took him to a group training class. There was not a lot of talking/socializing I had to do. I focused on my dog, but he got around other dogs and people. We also went to dog club for IPO. He got to be around a variety of GSD's of different ages.

Other than that, there are the vet trips, the pet store or lowes trips.

I don't have my dog interact with people or other dogs. I just wanted to make sure he was not reactive around them.
08-26-2014 09:26 PM
Moriah Puppy just has to be exposed, not interact. Strip malls, outside grocery stores, parking lots are good places if you find a spot out of the way where pup can watch. It's the interacting that does me in.
08-26-2014 09:14 PM
Moriah Well, I am very much an introvert, too My shepherd has helped me to get out more to parks and other places because I have him for company. I have a unique situation in that I live on a "dead end" street in a downtown area and I have cedar fencing in back and 4 ft. chain link in front.

It is like a train station in front of my downtown house! I am literally 5 houses from McDonalds, Taco Bell, Subway, and Dominos pizza. My road dead ends into the back side of these fast food restaurants. All manner of people walk, skate board, roller blade, run, bike, etc. right in front of my house all day long and at 11 pm, etc. going to and from. Screaming kids, families, strollers, homeless, teenagers of all types, disabled in electric chairs, etc.

So as an introvert, it has been wonderful for my boy AND me. I have a fabulous covered porch all across the front of my house so I can sit comfortably while a parade goes by. My guy takes it all in stride.
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