socialization - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-21-2012, 01:13 PM Thread Starter
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socialization

we are looking to take out puppy with us around town to get her socialized but a lot of stores dont allow dogs. petsmart and tractor supply are the only businesses that allow dogs. does anyone have any other good ideas to be able to go around town? we have park nearby to take her too and we have also signed her up for puppy classes
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-21-2012, 01:18 PM
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Make sure that she is vacinnated so that she can be safe being where other dogs have been. Do you have ball fields nearby where there are lots of adults and children, this time of year they should be playing soccer and baseball?

karen, mom to:
ace-gsd (bi-color) 6/14/2010
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-21-2012, 01:18 PM
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Do you have a pedestrian shopping area- like a downtown area or something? You can just walk around the restaurants and shops and meet lots of people. We also enjoy taking our dog to festivals/street fairs where he meets tons of people. We also go to lots of different parks and hiking trails.

ADCH Mikko (USDAA) SCH-B; (NADAC) EAC, EJC, TN-E, TG-E, VerO; (AKC) NAJ, CGC; (NACSW) NW1 - 9 year old GSD

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-21-2012, 01:22 PM
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You have to balance health/socialization, but since puppies are not fully vaccinated til 16ish weeks and the critical socialization window is up til 12 weeks, in my opinion you have to take some calculated risks to ensure they get the exposure they need.

We take our puppy on the sidewalks around my neighbourhood, and we do take her to the park but we keep her moving and ensure she doesn't eat random things. We avoid dog parks, dog water bowls and I don't let her greet other strange dogs.

If you go sit at the local ice cream shop or patio of a coffeeshop, many people will want to say hi.

I read that more dogs die of socialization issues than from parvovirus, and that rang very true to me.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-21-2012, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Armitagecm23 View Post
we are looking to take out puppy with us around town to get her socialized but a lot of stores dont allow dogs. petsmart and tractor supply are the only businesses that allow dogs. does anyone have any other good ideas to be able to go around town? we have park nearby to take her too and we have also signed her up for puppy classes
Not sure where you are, but where I am, we can take dogs to outdoors mall and even indoor ones. Some stores leave water bowls outside their stores even though they have nothing to do with dogs. There was an indoor mall that even rents out doggie strollers. I rented one once to haul my peke around so that I don't have to worry about him getting into things while I look at stuff. People came over, especially teenagers, to pose pictures with him. He got lots of attention at the mall. My GS when small, I took her to an outdoor mall once. I cannot go into a shop without half the people in the store coming over. She enjoyed it immensely but I wasn't... too much attention. Plus she was in this intense "look a leaf! look a person! look a fountain! look another person! look a trash bin! Look a chair!" mode. Even the parking structure was an adventure for her.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-21-2012, 01:57 PM
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Just taking your puppy/dog to training and back home does not cut it. That is their safe zone. Even people that supposedly have been in the breed for years fall into the habit of being….lazy and complacent.

Walking paths, parks with lots of people, bikes, rollerblades, etc. Into Lowes, Tractor Supply to see and experience narrow aisles, other slippery floors. Keep it up as the puppy goes thru the funky teenage months, post teething.


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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-21-2012, 02:37 PM
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I've been going to the vet every so often with my pup Ava just to say hi, puppy social at Petco, cruising the Petsmart aisles couple of minutes before they close, the outdoor patios of restaurants, Starbucks (they have been getting a lot of my business as of late), and my local ice cream parlor (totally gaining weight from this as I feel compell to buy something as we sit there). We also take rides to local parking lots with lots of foot traffic to sit and chill to people watch (don't want her to bark out the car window). I've also got in the habit of taking her to my friends house and have her play with my friend in the driveway. Even if its for like 10-15 mins, I figure my puppy gets something out of it.

It doesn't hurt that my neighbor across the street have three kids who have unofficially adopted the puppy as their own. Saves my neighbor from actually getting a puppy! Ha!
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-21-2012, 03:05 PM
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Our stores do not allow pets either - so other than the park, we take her to Walmart or other stores when we do not have a lot of shopping to do. One of us will go in and do the shopping, and the other one will wait outside - most stores have benches out front so we sit there with her and let her watch all the people going in and out!
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-21-2012, 03:50 PM
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Home Depot, Lowes, Urban Outfitters. If you Google it you'll see that someone put together a list.

Be careful at the parks. Children will do unpredictable and (to the dog) threatening-looking things, like running up screaming with excitement. YOU have to anticipate this and prevent it, while still communicating a relaxed vibe to the dog.

Also, 90% of the parents there understand and like dogs and don't mind if their kids approach. The other 10% will call the police to report you in violation of the "no-pets-on-these-premises" ordinances. You know the type. If someone casts you a dirty look, it is IMHO better to relocate, and live to fight another day.

We still go to these places and get great socialization--just remember to be aware at all times of what is "about to happen" to make it a successful outing.

Liesl, b. 1/1/11
Maxie, 1994-2009
King, 1963-1968
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-21-2012, 04:56 PM
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We have been going to our small farmers market. We also went to an outdoor festival last weekend. We try to go early in the morning when the crowds are lighter.

~ Dori ~

Koda: 14 yr old Samoyed
Nita: 7 yr old GSD
Ryder: 5 yr old Samoyed
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