Puppy socialization suggestions? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-14-2019, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
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Puppy socialization suggestions?

Quick background summary. I live in a rural environment with basically a 15 minute drive to get anywhere with a significant population. I have an existing (and awesome) GSD-Norwegian Elkhound mix that is 11 years old. In a few weeks I am adding a new GSD puppy to the mix. I have read, watched videos, and talked to the breeder about the right way to introduce the two dogs. But I'm pre-worrying about how to handle the puppy's socialization.

When I socialized my now 11 year old when she was a puppy I took her out almost every day to somewhere where she could meet people--like a hardware store. I'm not exactly sure how to do that with the new puppy now that I have two dogs.

1) Ideally I want to socialize him when it is just him and me. That way I can supervise the interactions closely and make sure they are positive experiences.

2) On the other hand I want to limit, especially at first, the number of times I leave my current dog at home and just take the new puppy. That seems like a path to jealousy.

3) I am worried about bringing two dogs into a hardware store (or park, or wherever) especially when one is a hyper, unsocialized puppy.

4) Given the drive times and all the other new things (housebreaking, training, feeding schedules, etc) it really isn't feasible for me to make separate trips into "civilization" each day, first with the current dog, then with the puppy.

There are tons of resources on the hows and whys to socializing a new puppy. But I haven't found any good advice on how to do this when you also have an older dog in the picture as well. I feel like I am overthinking things. Any suggestions welcome.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-14-2019, 03:04 PM
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I live on land away from town and have for all of my years of dog ownership. I have to make special trips or take the young dogs/puppies with me when I have other errands to run (weather permitting). I take the pup that needs the time and the older dogs stay home. I spend the time I must with my puppies/young dogs, but make sure my older dogs get their time at home or on other days.



I head off to club several times per week and leave the two older dogs home. I take my current competition dog and my young dogs with me. I just make sure the two older dogs get their time either before I leave, later that day or on other days. It has worked for years. Dogs adjust. Yes, you are over thinking things.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-14-2019, 03:44 PM Thread Starter
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That's great to hear. I was just worried because my existing dog loves going on errand runs with me and that is going to have to be less frequent with a 2nd dog in the picture.

And at least I know I'm overthinking things. I have a spreadsheet with over 50 possible names for the new pup.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-14-2019, 04:52 PM
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And at least I know I'm overthinking things. I have a spreadsheet with over 50 possible names for the new pup.

Wait until you meet the pup or at least get a feel for the pup before naming and then pick the name that makes the most sense or just "feels" right. My call names are not always the same as my registered names. LB's registered name is Firien (mountain or something like that in Dwarfish), but LB has fit her since she was a puppy.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-14-2019, 05:32 PM
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Is LB short for what I think it is?

To answer the OP, some dogs need more "socialization" than others- and it really depends on the dog. My current pup hardly needed any, she is and will remain naturally friendly. Other dogs needs much more exposure when young. But if you get a solid pup from a good breeder, bringing the pup into town for errands, etc, a couple times a week should be fine.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-15-2019, 09:01 AM
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Is LB short for what I think it is?

Probably.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-15-2019, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
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Wait until you meet the pup or at least get a feel for the pup before naming and then pick the name that makes the most sense or just "feels" right. My call names are not always the same as my registered names. LB's registered name is Firien (mountain or something like that in Dwarfish), but LB has fit her since she was a puppy.
Yup. I'm sure I will have a top choices but I won't make any final decisions until I get to meet him.

Since I see the LOTR addict marker under your name I'm happy to report to you that six of the 50+ names are Tolkien inspired.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-15-2019, 11:41 AM
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When I've brought puppies home, one of the things I do is I try to not alter the older dogs routine. With your dog being 11, it wouldn't be too hard to set a little less active routine now, before you have a puppy.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-15-2019, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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When I've brought puppies home, one of the things I do is I try to not alter the older dogs routine. With your dog being 11, it wouldn't be too hard to set a little less active routine now, before you have a puppy.
I am very curious how it will work out. To your point, right now I don't always take my 11 year old when I'm going out on errands. If none of the errands are to places I can bring her or it is super hot out in the summer then I don't subject her to a boring 2 hour car ride. So she is used to the routine of waiting at home when I run errands and she is excellent at it. She has free rein of the first floor and never chews or gets into anything.

The big (unavoidable) change is that I'm still going to sometimes leave her at home when I run errands it is just these "errands" are going to be socialization trips with the new puppy. My fear was that she is smart enough to notice the difference and jealousy will ensue. But it has been nice to hear that people take younger dogs out to training sessions and leave older dogs behind without any concerns.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-15-2019, 02:23 PM
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What I've generally seen is leaving the one at home didn't cause any problems beyond a little "Where ya goin" moment when you leave. What matters most is what you do at home with the two of them. Her freedoms and place on the couch, those kind of things and not allowing the puppy to pester her. Even like Lisa was touching on where you are more "Retiring" a dog from a routine of training, they adapt pretty well to staying home as long as thats a good place for them.

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