Socialization and Leeburg (moved to puppy dev and soc) - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-22-2014, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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Socialization and Leeburg (moved to puppy dev and soc)

I just want to do a quick intro before I post my question. I am new here (new to posting, been lurking since November-ish). I am getting a GS pup from a well known breeder in our area in a week. My parents had 3 GSD and loved them. I have always wanted my own, and after much research and waiting, now is the time.
I have done A LOT of research into training, (still going) and have read how important socialization is for a pup. Most sites/books I have read so far talk about exposing them to different dogs/people/situations. I looked also at Leeburgs site and his recommendation is to NOT allow them to interact with other dogs/people and in fact have the pup ignore them and ask people not to approach or pet your pup?
What do you guys do? Has anyone tried this approach? Asking people not to pet or approach the pup for me seems a little daunting; we live on a cul-de-sac with kids in the neighborhood(I have a 6 and 8 yr old) and thought from the other sites it would be best to let them interact with the pup.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-22-2014, 04:46 PM
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"Asking people not to pet or approach the pup for me seems a little daunting; " why? It is your dog , not the community's .

there is an entire thread on the subject - at least something to think about



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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-22-2014, 07:32 PM
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I have no problem with people meeting my puppies as long as it's a positive experience for the puppy.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-22-2014, 07:38 PM
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You should try get your puppy socialized to being around people and other dogs and cats. That way you'll have a sweet and well behaved dog later in life.

My GSD and my cats aren't best buds - but they respect each other and every one seems happy! Keep in mind dogs are individuals and don't always conform to the breed standard.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-22-2014, 08:04 PM
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My experience with WD was that, as a puppy, he enjoyed meeting and interacting with people. Once he was one year old he basically ignored everyone. He would allow them to pet him but it looked like he didn't care. I am going the same route with the new pup DD. In fact he met a homeless man who was begging for money and he petted him. Since the breeder socialized the litter well, DD was fine and started pulling on the man's scarf. It was a sweet encounter where most people would have just walked by.

Last edited by wolfy dog; 02-22-2014 at 08:06 PM.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-23-2014, 01:52 AM
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First before you pick a strategy, know your dog! Early socialization works well for most dogs. And they can roll with it. Some dogs can't and such dogs need time to adjust. If you run around cramming people and other dogs in the face of a dog that can't handle it, your going to have problems in the future.

Having said that...I used the Leerberg approach on my GSD, he was 7 months old when I got him, And the first time we had company over he did a low growl, he give me the distinct impression he was not messing around?? Clearly out the box, this iwas not a people friendly dog!!! I walked him and taught him to ignore people.

If someone approached I stood in front and he stood behind me as I spoke. I did say"No you can't touch my dog, he is training".

Nobody touched him, people weren't giving him treats and so became furniture to him. He just doesn't care. Took maybe a year or six months can't remember. Anyway after awhile when I could read him, I was on a walk and I crossed the street when someone approached like I usually do. This guy then crossed the street to approach us (GSD) guy! He asked if he could pet my dog?

I looked back at Rocky, he stood behind me like he always had, no change of expression no reaction at all. I told the guy yes and stood to the side he petted Roc and said nice dog! My job was done!

Today he is safe in public, people are of no concern to him. He has been petted by children (always under my supervision) and on walks in the city and is just fine. And even impressed me more, when we walked by an active trench digger without a flinch from him!

This was in effect late socialization (there is a thread on here somewhere). Rocky told me early on that he had people issues and my job was to solve them. I didn't think cramming people into his face and strangers/company giving him treats was going to get me the dog I wanted!

I was right, I'm very proud and impressed with him, he gives GSD's around here a good name!

Oh and if your at the Leerburg site be sure and look at "Why dog parks are a bad idea". Rocky's not a dog park dog, Dominate Male. I don't need the headache, no dog to dog intros were every done. He learned to ignore other dogs.

I didn't need the headache of dog park dynamics, screwing up my work and at a dog park Dominant Male dogs tend to find each other and weak submissive dogs get there butts kicked balanced dogs tend to stay out of the way. Suppositions on my part based on a small sample. Dom dogs found each other balanced dogs stood back.

Oh and the cat thing my guy lives with 9 cats, no issues...added benefit if a cat pops out of nowhere, it's of no concern to him.

Last edited by Chip18; 02-23-2014 at 01:55 AM.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-23-2014, 08:26 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for the input! I have read Leeburg's view on dog parks; they never really seemed like a great idea to me anyway.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-25-2014, 04:24 AM
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Well with me I started bringing her to home depot for walks as a puppy. Everyone loved on her and got face kisses. I brought her to a dog park and she got tackled by bigger dogs. But that happens to every dog at a dog park, if the dog cant handle it dont go back.
Shes great at 14 months, she loves all people and dogs. She also does well at shutzhund and seems like she will progress. At home she settles down fine and doesnt react to any neighbors or stuff. I guess it all depends on what you want out of your dog, I wanted a really nice lapdog whos also a bad#@!, and I have it so far. Shes a monster athlete, the most athletic gsd ive met.

Last edited by volcano; 02-25-2014 at 04:27 AM.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-25-2014, 05:38 AM
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Here is the thread Carmen referred to.

rethinking "popular" early socialization

It's a very good discussion on this topic.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-17-2014, 07:09 PM
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To be fair everyone has there own way of training there dog urn hairdresser will be a lot different from ur neighbour but from my experience leeburgs i believe it's right I've went for a lot of his advice and jake is a completely different dog so it's down to u on how u want to raise ur dog but if ur dog snaps at ur kids not yr dogs fault it's urs or whoever is with the dog

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