Re: socializing older pup w/ LOW threshold
I feel your pain, I truly do. I live in Northern New Jersey. When we first got our Pug puppy it was winter. It was cold outside and they are prone to having issues in extreme weather. For fear of his health, I didn't take him out much to socialize. Plus in the winter months here you don't find many people out anyway it gets too cold.
Anyway, I am paying for this big time now. My Pug is always on edge when we are out and about. He barks at people and dogs who walk by and pay him no attention. It's really embarassing and annoying too. Correcting him doesn't help, taking his attention away from the immediate issue doesn't help, he is so locked onto his target that nothing can break it.
I was actually out last night with my new GSD pup for some socialization (not making the same mistake twice) and we took the pug with us. Went to an Ice Cream shop down the street from our house. The GSD was a joy to be with. He just lay down and took it all in. Never barked once or even made a peep. I have been introducing him to all sorts of things (It is my goal with this dog to have a friendly giant) the Pug however was a tyrant. People staired at him wondering what was wrong with him. He just kept barking like a madman. An annoying, screechy, ear piercing, embarassing bark. There was no stopping him.
I have tried introducing him to new things, places, people, and he just doesnt snap out of it. While riding in the car he barks at everything that moves. He doesn't ever calm down.
I'm at a loss for ideas on getting this behavior rectified. So I feel your pain.