Puppy socialization advise - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-08-2012, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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Puppy socialization advise

I have a 12 week WL GSD from a good pedigree. He has solid nerves, but is afraid of other dogs. He will bark at them quite boldly, without raising hackles, but when the visiting dog comes near, will retreat on the flexi leash and avoid meeting the dog. If the dog leaves he will follow and bark at it quite boldly. He has not been attacked by any dog, and his puppy videos actually showed him to be amongst the dominant in his litter.

I was wondering what's a good way to socialize this dog. Should I wait for him to grow up some more ?.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-08-2012, 09:10 PM
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Based on what you just stated, he does not have solid nerves. A 12 week old puppy should not be barking 'boldly' or retreating and avoiding meeting other dogs. He may have appeared to be dominant but he could also be what is called a 'wannabe alpha'. A 12 week old puppy should be outgoing and happy to meet any situation, person or dog. Some aloofness would be ok, but not barking or avoidance.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-08-2012, 09:19 PM
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get him in a puppy socialization class where he can interact off the leash

Achilles was similar - he would act all tough and what not while on a leash, barking and all. But once in the class and off the leash, he receded to the corners for the first two times in the class, all timid. After a few more classes he is playfully interacting with other dogs.

I've heard of this concept called "leash anger," which may be something you are experiencing, as I had. You need to get him into a class where he can socialize without being constricted by the leash. Over time, he should be able to interact appropriately.

We go to Petco once a week for the class - its free. Check out local large pet stores and see what they have/recommend.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-08-2012, 11:25 PM
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Think you just need to get him out and about more but make 100% he's with friendly dogs (puppies?) and not overwhelmed. Off leash is always better cause they don't feel confined.

The world can be a very scary place full of lots of new things! So WE need to act happy and normal in all new situations. WE need to carry tons of teeny treats to help reassure and do small training/focus things. WE need to use distance if being too close to something is overwhelming.

Another really useful thing for me has been truly exercising my pups with off leash activities. Tends to make them calmer and quieter and less likely to react and instead wait and judge new situations more calmly.





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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-09-2012, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, I know that a few sessions in a puppy socialization class will cure him. Even now when on the flexileash, he will bark at the dog, but if the dog comes to meet him he will run back. As soon as the dog goes back, he will immediately bark and follow him. Almost like a game...again and again.

He is otherwise quite stable with surfaces, loud noises, vacuum cleaners almost everything else.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-13-2012, 09:16 PM Thread Starter
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Update: Took him to a puppy class at Petco, after about 15 min he was fine with or without the leash. Looks like the problem is solved...thanks
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-13-2012, 09:59 PM
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Good news Practice makes perfect, the more good experiences he has the more comfortable he'll be

Shanna

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-13-2012, 11:13 PM
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Also, burn he flexi lead! He will be happier with a fixed distance to manage. He needs off leash time, or when on leash, needs to know his boundaries. A flexilead makes the world too big for a pup like this.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-15-2012, 08:36 AM
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I'm going to suggest that you listen to the advice given from the members around here VERY CLOSELY.

Just based on your original post, you're setting up your pup to have his confidence shattered. I've been down this road, and not an easy one to recover from.

Go slow, and be very leery of strange dogs playing with your pup.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-15-2012, 08:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guddu View Post
Update: Took him to a puppy class at Petco, after about 15 min he was fine with or without the leash. Looks like the problem is solved...thanks
Fantastic!

But shows how we ALL need to be pro-active with this socialization thing mostly the first year but really continuing for the dogs life.




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"Nothing new can come into your life unless you are grateful for what you already have. ~ "--- Michael Bernhard, gratitude
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