How to socialize with big dogs? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-10-2013, 10:07 AM Thread Starter
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How to socialize with big dogs?

So Rogue has done great with socializing so far but only with people and little dogs. If there is a dog that is larger she is terrified! We have tried to casually introduce her to bigger dogs and we cannot get her near them. She does everything to get away. I do not want to force her and make her more scarred but I just do not know what to do about it. When it comes to people and little dogs she is all happy go lucky and runs straight up to them wanting attention and wanting to play. In our fence she is the same way when people pass by and when little dogs pass by but when big dogs pass by her hair on her spine (not sure what it is called) stands up and she is barking at them like a crazy dog. Rogue is 16 weeks old so I know some of this just has to do with her being a puppy but I would like to be able to bring her more places that has dogs that are larger than her and she won't freak out. My Vet told me I need to start correcting her because she is showing territorial tendencies when dogs come near our fence because of her hair standing up but maybe i am just naive because I just think it is because she is a puppy. Her hair will also stand up when she is playing with my 2 year old (chow/shepherd) dog. I guess this is something I should be correcting says the Vet??? Rogue already shows her dominance tendencies with my older dog by trying to stand over her, hump her, and other things but once again I don't really think she understands what she is doing considering she is so young. Am I being naive or should I be correcting some of her behaviors and how in the world do I socialize her with big dogs if she is terrified of them? Thank you all in advance.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-10-2013, 10:12 AM Thread Starter
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One last thing! Rogue goes completely crazy when we get around a lot of people. For example, when we go to the vet she is barking and freaking out the whole time trying to get to everybody. I bring in treats to try to redirect her but she does not even care about the treats because she is too focused on barking at everybody and trying to get attention.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-10-2013, 10:13 AM
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Get her enrolled in a puppy or basic obedience class so she can be around other dogs of all sizes all in a formal setting without interaction. Learning structure and proper behaviour while on leash around other dogs will be a big help in the future. She's still very young and should pick things up quickly

Also a formal trainer should be able to help diagnose and give you help with any other issues you'd like to address

Shanna

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Jasmine - Female Miniature Poodle - born Aug 15, 2010
Loker Delgado Von Stalworth - Male GSD - born Jan 26, 2012
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-10-2013, 10:22 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the response. She is in puppy classes but the problem is there is only puppies and little dogs. The trainer has tried to introduce her to larger dogs but rogue freaks out! She does great in class but there is only a couple of us in there so I do not think she is faced with the temptation like at the vet to bark and go crazy. I need some ideas for in the house and that I can personally work on because my trainer does not seem to be of much help and we will be changing trainers after this class is finished.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-10-2013, 10:25 AM
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All trainers have their strength and weaknesses

Have you researched LAT (Look at This) or BAT (Behaviour Adjustment Training), LAT especially should be useful

Shanna

My Pack:

Jasmine - Female Miniature Poodle - born Aug 15, 2010
Loker Delgado Von Stalworth - Male GSD - born Jan 26, 2012
Koda & Zazu - 7 year old male cats
Alex - Male Cocker Spaniel (rescue) - RIP Cuddlebug 2007-2010
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-10-2013, 10:41 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you. I just printed off a bunch of stuff regarding LAT and BAT and will start reading up on this and trying implement it. Do you think that the behavior she is doing with her standing up is normal puppy behavior or not normal like my VET said?
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-10-2013, 10:47 AM
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My 8 month old was the same way at your pups age. Even at 5 months we kept him on the small dog side..lol. If we we went to the dog beach , which has both small and big dogs together he would immediately run to me or run away and cry if a big dog wanted to play. My son said he was a wuss..lol. Somewhere between 6 and seven months he just stopped being afraid. Now he tries to play with dogs way bigger than him. A few Great Danes were having a play date at the dog park and I had to call Dex and my maltipoo who thinks he's a big dog, back to me so they didnt get trampled. Dex whined the whole time because he wanted to get in the mix. So now I'm on the other side of the fence, I want to teach Dex not to run up to every big dog and try to initiate play.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-10-2013, 11:02 AM
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She's young and still learning what the world is about just like a little kid, so I would focus on making experiences positive and working with the thresholds she has at the moment.

Have you asked the vet's office about taking her in just to sit in the waiting room and get used to the sight and smells. Most have no problem with allowing you to come in, she can get weighed, get treats from the staff if they have time, etc. All to desentitize her to the overall atmosphere, see if there's a time like just before closing or lunch time when it's quieter when you can slip in. Take a favourite toy and impliment LAT when she's rewarded for focusing on you

Same thing with the big dogs, allow her to see them from a distance and find her threshold for when she reacts and work from there. Whether it's 5 ft, 10 ft, 20 ft - use what she gives you and work slowly towards the goal of walking by them without a peep

Shanna

My Pack:

Jasmine - Female Miniature Poodle - born Aug 15, 2010
Loker Delgado Von Stalworth - Male GSD - born Jan 26, 2012
Koda & Zazu - 7 year old male cats
Alex - Male Cocker Spaniel (rescue) - RIP Cuddlebug 2007-2010
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-10-2013, 11:10 AM
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Xerxes was exactly the opposite. I was worried about him when I took him to a play date with Jasira, my female, who was a year old at the time and her year old friend when he was only 10 weeks old. We went in the dog park and the " big kids" were wrestling. He ran right in and was biting legs and tails trying to get in on the action with the "big kids." They ignored him. LOL
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-10-2013, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
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I think I am just going to take it slower and just let her watch from a distance and let her move in closer when she feels like it.
Do you know anything about food agreession (well not really aggression but when she goes in the zone when food is around) She can be a bit over the top at times and I have completely stopped that when it comes to me. I can leave my food anywhere and she will not go near it but my children are a whole different story. I have tried a little here and there on my kids working with her but they are young (6,4, and 2). Last night she went to a whole new level. I usually put her outside at dinner time because it gets chaotic in here (I work with her on table manners at breakfast and lunch though) well all but 1 of my kids (the 6 year old) were done eating and I had them in the living room well as I was tending to my 2 year old, my 4 year old went and let Rogue inside. Well Rogue went straight after my 6 year old who was eating a piece of chicken. He jumped up at him and stole the chicken out of his mouth. It scarred the crap out of my 6 year old and he crying afterwards. I put Rogue back outside to let me cool down for a minute because I was highly upset at that point. I have decided to start working with the kids holding food in their hands and even dog treats and I will stand by and correct Rogue as needed. I think I need to make it that they NEVER give any type of food to her and that I am the only one she can receive anything from (and my husband as well). Do you think this would work? She would bite my kids in order to get food from them (not hard but enough to scare them). This whole situation surprised me as she is so good when it comes to me and having food. She knows she is not even allowed to look at my food when I am eating but the kids she just sort of bullies
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