Settle this socialization issue? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-10-2012, 08:21 AM Thread Starter
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Settle this socialization issue?

Hey all! I got my puppy a few days ago (as some of you know), she's a couple days shy of 8 weeks old and so far she's adapted really well to our home. She seems really good with just about everything. Stares at people/dogs but doesnt bark (unless their coming onto our property). Comes back when I'm done watching things as well, accepts people when I do, really good with noise etc etc. So its a really good start. I've begun doing a socialization routine with her that will vary by week. Like this week I'm introducing her to the store, the park/children, tile slippery floors, lous noises, and stairs. Next week will be more intense and include a trip to the warehouse where I work as well as more outings to public places.

The issue that I'm having is actually with my boyfriend. He's never had a dog before, and sees her as a cute little delicate thing that we sort of have to handle with gloves on. He gets nervous when she plays tug with me. Anyways, I like to bring my boyfriend Jay along with me everywhere because a) she's Xena (puppies) daddy, and b) Jay has never had a dog and this is good for him, and c) I need the extra hands hehe. But whenever I tell him 'ok were bringing her *place* today' Jay sort of freaks out and complains and says 'Your doing way too much with her, she's just a baby!' I tried telling him that there is a window from 7 to 16 weeks where socialization is very important and she HAS to do a lot, but he still frets. To the point where he's starting to make me anxious and thats not good for anyone.

I'm careful not to over stimulate her, and visits anywhere are generally 10-20 minutes. To the park yesterday was her first time walking up a sidewalk on a leash, and she did pretty well for it. There were children yelling and people vaccuming their cars and she was inquisitive but quiet and stayed by us. When she charged forward we'd stop and she would double back when the leash tightened. Treat and praise. We ended on a really good note. Walked away from the car, walked back to the car, and drove home. All in all it was probably 15 minutes not including the car rides. We did the same with taking her to the store sunday. That was about 20 minutes of being in the shopping cart and then on the floor (though Jay sort of made me cut the floor time short with his constant complaining). Again not including the car ride.

I personally think Xena is doing fine with this, but I'd like to hear other peoples opinions. What is 'too much socialization' really? Is what I'm doing now good or can I give her longer sessions out? Whats a good time span? I try and give her a new 'big' stimulation (usually new places) once every day and she has small stimulations (new floors, bushes, trees, textures etc) a couple times a day with different things (this week its slippery floors, stairs, and loud noises). How's this sound to everyone?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-10-2012, 08:42 AM
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At this age, she hasn't had all her shots. I would avoid letting her walk on the floors in the stores you visit and anywhere else there has been dog traffic. Carry a towel and let her have fun riding in the buggy. Same with a park, spread a blanket out for her to play on. It may seem like overkill, but right now she could easily pick up something.

The rest of it sounds good as long as she isn't overwhelmed.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-10-2012, 08:50 AM
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You are correct about the socialization time. Now is the time to introduce as many new sounds and smells and sites as you can safely. Be sure to not put the pup down where there may have been other dogs at this point since you aren't out of the immunization slot yet. It is a really good idea to socialize as much as possible. Your boyfriend sounds like an overprotective new dad - too cute. When mine were young I stood in front of the grocery store and picked certain people to greet and treat them. It will be a few weeks before you reach that stage but it sounds like you have a good beginning.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-10-2012, 08:50 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for that! She had her first set of shots on Friday, and recieved the DA2PPC (distemper, adenovirus t2, flu, parvo, and coronavirus) and recieved the last of her de-wormers today. We put a towel on the shopping cart bottom too. In another day were going to bring her to the park again (different park) and I'll bring a beach blanket since we have a ton of those.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-22-2012, 01:20 PM
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My vet, at 12 weeks, said not to be too paranoid about this. As long as I don't take him to the dog park or to pet stores where she said there could be rescues that are incubating Parvo, it should be fine. She said to use my common sense about not taking him where there could be unvaccinated dogs, and not to worry too much. Socialization is key right now.

Good places to go are grocery store parking lots. Usually people do not bring their dogs to them, so there is plenty of opportunity for your puppy to experience sight, sounds, and all sorts of people. Bring lots of treats and have her focus on you.

By the way, congratulations, and which breeder did you end up choosing?


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Last edited by Sunflowers; 04-22-2012 at 01:24 PM.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-22-2012, 02:39 PM
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My husband sounds a lot like your boyfriend. He thinks I'm hurting Stosh when I brush him!
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-22-2012, 09:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stosh View Post
My husband sounds a lot like your boyfriend. He thinks I'm hurting Stosh when I brush him!
THank goodness The Mate isn't like this, or I'd wind up smacking him. He IS much gentler when brushing and doing things than I am, but that's just how he is. He doesn't seem to think I'm too rough though, so it works.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-23-2012, 06:36 AM
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I think we did most after the 2nd set of shots, though I did get him at 11 weeks and the breeder had done a lot. I did go places at least a few times a week, but not places with a lot of dogs or where a lot of dogs go. I don't think they have to see EVERYTHING just enough new to be comfortable with new things.

We took my 9 month old to downtown Greenville yesterday and I realize there were a lot of things we missed during that phase. He was like a kid in a candy shop wanting to check everthing out. Not at all stressed with what had to be sensory overload for a country dog.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-23-2012, 08:15 AM
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Listen to your vet on this one....he is knowledgable enough to neither under estimate nor overestimate the threat. Critical time for this puppy to get out and deal with sounds, sights and different footing. Use common sense.
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