Socializing sure has changed?.... - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 08:46 PM Thread Starter
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Socializing sure has changed?....

I have been reading and researching socialization and while I always knew dogs needed socialization ( and have done so in the past ).. it seems that things have changed a bit over the last few years.

I planned on taking said puppy everywhere, but after reading a few things, I am not suppose to let people pet it ... or give it treats?
So basically, I just take said puppy out and just expose it to as many people and things as I can but no touchy?
And I don't like or do dog parks, but have a few well socialized dogs that can tolerate/ignore puppy ( and put in his place if needed) but planned on doing a puppy K class. But if when do I cut off the puppy play dates ?
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 09:02 PM
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You can do whatever you like. Everyone here has very strong opinions. I let people coming into my home who I invite to throw treats. I stopped doing that in public because I don't want my dogs eating random junk. I let the vet's office feed them because I want them to love the vet.
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 10:21 PM
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Go with what YOU think feels right for YOU.
Socialization for MEis not about being petted by everyone and meet dogs etc... Its about making the dogs see everything around them as normal. So they can ignore everything around them and see there is nothing to it.
This works for ME because I found in the past that my dog did not always feel comfortable with random people petting him. I know I wouldn't like it. Also found that it can also create excitement and I do not want an excited dog out in public. I want a calm and confident dog. As for dogs , well I don't go to dog parks and I don't let my dogs play or greet other dogs as I do not know them. The only dogs I trust are my dogs. My bernese mountain puppy got attacked by a off leash little dog on her very first walk. She bounced back but she doesn't care for dogs. I never pushed her to either except our new pup.
As I said this works for me. And the other methods work for others and that is also fine. So whatever YOU feel comfortable with is the best way to go.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 10:39 PM
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I try to expose my puppies to as many different places and people as I can. I don't go out of my way to ask people to pet my dogs. But if we are approached, I allow it most of the time. I just ask people to wait until I have the dogs seated before they are petted. I also take my dogs to puppy classes, if the class is led by a trainer I trust. I don't go to dog parks, however, because I can't control what goes on there. We train outside the dog park fence all the time, though. My poor dogs have to work while the others are playing. I think they like to work though.

Last edited by sebrench; 01-10-2017 at 10:41 PM.
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 10:46 PM
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It is individual. It is making sure any outing is fun for you and the pup. You should know how to read your pup's body language to make sure your pup is having fun and not overwhelmed and over stimulated.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 10:47 PM
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It's a good question and yeah I can imagine it ... can get confusing?? I flat out don't recommend "screwing around" with treats and strangers! A dog can take treats and still bite the crap of someone ... I have no desire to "prove that" theory myself. But you know if you want to dig into it ... "Michael Ellis" talks about it. I call it "tricking a dog into letting people into his space."The dog gets focused on the treat, gobbles it up and then looks up and "Holy Crap???" Where did this person come from and "Bam!" Dog bite number one on the record!

What I'd always done ... is the second link here.:

Except with my American and Dawg and my Boxer ... I'd "always say "yes" if asked to pet (that is always a requirement that should be strictly enforced.) Those dogs "never had people issues! But ... when I found myself with an OS WL GSD on my hands that had already made it "crystal clear "... that he was must definitely ... not a fan of people??? I found ... I had a "problem on my hands???" The "who Pets" thing is not a "H/A" dog rehab protocol but that is how I used it! With my H/A OS Wl GSD if asked to pet ... instead of saying "Yes" I said "NO!" He went behind me for awhile and I would ... "assertively keep people out of his face!" I never said a word but I made it pretty "crystal clear" don't even ask!! And it worked out fine that was many many years ago ... "Rocky" got that "Daddy" had his back! If I'm there he's good, and he has interacted with many many "strangers" to this day with "zero" issues!

And the first time I became aware that I had a problem was the first time "Company" came over ... he greeted guest from "Place" fortunately enough ... with a "Cold Hard Stare and a Low Growl???" As he was already in down as it were .. I'm on guard and hands off it was! But I was like ... WTH is this ... I'm a "Boxer" guy so this crap was new to me???? But ... back to basics ... "leerburgh" was what I'd always done anyway ,accept instead of saying "NO" to may I pet?? I'd always said "yes!" Well ... you know ... what if instead of saying yes ... I said "NO???" That's what we did and yes ... full "Bubble Dog Protocol" at first ... use a freaking muzzle in public!

I'd stop and talk as required "Rocky" behind me ... don't even ask to pet him!! Rocky after a while got that and became pretty "bored" with the whole deal! If he were off leash and I'd stop and talk to someone ... he steps five feet away and lays down and waits. Kinda like ... sigh ... this old bit again??? After a short bit I dropped the use of the muzzle ... as it was no longer required ... I now better under the "this old bit look!"

There is no requirement for a dog to like "anyone" (in public) but if a dog is out in public ... there is a requirement/responsibility for the dog to be civil!! Had I done the exact thing with "Rocky" that I did with "Struddell" meet and greet uh .... "everyone!" I don't think that would have worked out well??? So I "adapted and worked with the dog in front of me" and it became a "firm" NO instead of a YES ... "to may I pet??"

Hope that helps some ... as it's not really a yes or no kind of answer??
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 10:47 PM
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Some dogs don't mind neither by strangers, and others are more picky.. My girl expects manners from people.. They ask to pet and I have them stand and do nothing, allow her to greet them, sniff (basically shake hands as a human) and if she is comfortable then they can pet her (which to a dog would be like some stranger hugging you.. It's personal).. If she isn't comfortable with it, I just say 'no' it isn't the person's right to pet my dog... And she has an opinion and right to not be infringed upon.. She doesn't have the right to growl, snap or be inappropriate (which she doesn't) but if I see she is uncomfortable with the situation I know how I feel if told to hug someone or accept a hug from someone I don't know..

As to socializing, exposure is very important.. But I agree, everyone has their own way of doing things and you need to find what works for you and your dog
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 10:49 PM
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Just make sure the puppy feels confident with you, then take him where you want. I am not a fan of dog parks, doggy daycare or puppy kindergarten if they allow puppies to romp and play with each other.

I am picky who offers my dogs treats or pets them. If a harassed mother with 3-4 kids in tow comes up and some of the kids reach to pet the puppy, I will say no. If a polite, calm parent or child comes up and asks permission to pet the puppy, I will usually say yes, or I will qualify it: one at a time, or he has to sit.

Socialization is an opportunity for you to set your puppy up for good experiences. Watch your pup, and if he seems to have had enough, either backing away or getting hyper, then tone it down, go home for today. Like any type of training, keep it light, keep it fun, and quit when the puppy still wants more.

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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 10:56 PM
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I expose mine to everything I can. She went to Lowes, to Festivals, to the pumpkin patch, to craft fairs to a Christmas Walk through the woods at night to see the lights. If people wanted to pet her I left it up to her. I'd tell her to day 'hi'. If she didn't move I'd tell them maybe another day. As a young pup she didn't want to be petted. That was fine. When she hit about four months she decided she loved to meet people. At five months she still does. I expect when she is an adult she'll go back to not wanting to be petted, and that's all right with me. It's her choice.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 11:01 PM
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I would definitely avoid allowing the dog to go up to someone and then get petting everytime the pup feels like it unless the pup is timid with people and you guys are counter-conditioning. My dog develops this problem of crazily needing to jump on everyone to pet her I think because of this.
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