Allowing Playdates When You Have a Reactive Puppy? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-12-2012, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
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Allowing Playdates When You Have a Reactive Puppy?

Along the same lines as my other thread....When you have a reactive puppy, how do you keep up socialization & other dog interaction??

I want Jazmyn to be able to play with other dogs, but my fear is that the bigger she gets, the harder it will be to teach her to play nicely with other dogs

She has had essentially a few days of "puppy playtime" at puppy kindergarten, 1 hour of "puppy social" with about 10 other dogs and did interact with our friends 2 small dogs at their house, but they're very tiny compared to her (3-6 pounds) so she can't really "play". She barks at them, but also plays fairly well once shes comfortable.

We don't have any adult dogs, that I would consider stable enough to not react if she were to really bark at them. My sister lab mix (7-8 months) is highly excitable and rough plays, our neighbours GSD (7-8 months) they don't trust around puppies/smaller dogs, and we don't know any other people that have large breed adult dogs.

I do have 1 friend that has an 1 year old male adult GSD that we're going to try and let Jazmyn meet on Saturday. She knows about Jazmyn's barking, advised that Dudley ignores barking dogs, and that she'd wait it out with us for her to calm down.

We're in classes, and we are going to another puppy social on March 18th but I'm not sure this is enough.

Lisa
Jazmyn - 11/11/2011

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-12-2012, 06:44 PM
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Whatever you do, keep it structured and instead of correcting Jazmyn, redirect her. Try to build up her confidence so she'll see that the dogs she reacts to are not a big deal. If you correct her when she reacts, she may see the correction as coming from what she's reacting to so backfiring. Dudley sounds like a good dog to work it out with.
Do you use a clicker when training? I would get the book Control Unleashed by Leslie McDevitt, there are great exercises for reactive dogs.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-14-2012, 11:46 AM
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I agree with Jane in keeping it structured.
My thinking is, socialization isn't building her ability to play with other dogs, but building her ability to work and behave around other dogs.
See if your trainer has a stable older dog that Jazz can be around. As you may have read, my trainer brings out his bullet-proof older dog just to ignore puppy and get her used to another dog ignoring her so she sees that dogs aren't a big deal. That is the behavior I want from her, so I am happy with this arrangement.
Interactions can easily go wrong, especially if the pup is too forward and not adept at reading dog body language. Mine was pinned recently, and I NEVER want to repeat that experience again.
So for now, my personal approach to socialization is
a)meeting VERY select and VERY stable dogs with my trainers present (have met Michael's dog and my Kingston trainer's older dog)
b)go to class. The class I attend does not allow dogs to mingle. Greets are kept under 10 seconds and dogs are expected to be kept apart for the duration of class. This is an ideal working environment for me. You might want to consider it too?


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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-14-2012, 11:53 AM Thread Starter
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I definitely agree with keeping it structured.
Jazmyn doesn't seem to understand how to greet dogs, and when she does, its the nose sniff and then their eye contact with hers tends to set her barking off. Although, off leash, she is able to be directed and the barking stops. On-leash is of course another story.

We don't have a personal one-on-one trainer as of yet, but if we aren't able to correct the issue soon, we are going to look into this option. Our "School" that we go to occasionally offers a "Canine Communication" class that is specifically for reactive dogs and to train owners how to cope & manage their dogs behaviours & reactions. I've already emailed asking when this class will start.

We're enrolled in a "Basic Manners" beginner obedience class. The dogs here, unlike her puppy kindergarten, are not allowed to interact other than the brief greeting when we enter class. During class, she'll be a little chaotic at first, but settles quickly and will focus on me (with treats) intensely. Their a positive reinforcement school that fully supports clicker training, which we enjoy and Jazmyn seems to respond to.

I'd love if we had an older, stable dog around but so far, none that I can think of within my family/friends/etc.

Lisa
Jazmyn - 11/11/2011

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