How do you socialize a schutzhund prospect puppy? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-02-2015, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
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How do you socialize a schutzhund prospect puppy?

I'm trying to further my knowledge by doing research now for when I get my second working dog and one question I have, is how does raising a puppy you plan to compete and work differ from that of a family GSD in regards to socialization with strangers, non strangers, other dogs etc.
For example one club I went to was stern on the fact that they don't socialize they're puppies besides the people and dogs amongst the club and instilling the fact that you are the source of everything that is good in your dogs eyes as a handler.
I think what would be ideal is that my future pup could care less for interaction with other people and dogs but at the same time Id like to do outdoor stuff such as camping and hiking so I don't see how to have that and him behave appropriately if I don't socialize him a ton. Do you see my contradiction and confusion? lol cuz my current WGSL is secretely a lab and wants to play and be friends with everything that moves (except cats)..
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-02-2015, 10:09 PM
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I don't really socialize my pups in the way that means seeking out people or dogs to play with...socializing to me, is introducing the dog to new experiences, textures, scents, sounds and letting the dog know I am the one to look to for 'excitement'and direction. I want my dogs to be neutral and aloof to others, dogs and people alike.
There is no reason a dog that trains in IPO can't be a family companion and do the same things pet dogs do(camping and hiking).

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-02-2015, 10:15 PM
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An ideal prospect (for me at least) usually doesn't need much socialization if any. Dogs with really nice temperaments are confident out of the box. Socialization is more something done with dogs that have a problem from the get go. People don't like to hear that but its the truth.

As for how you socialize the puppy it isn't that important. Be aware that direct contact with different people isn't necessary but it can be useful. You want your dog confident with strangers because you will often have to practice with new helpers and new decoys and it helps to have a confident dog so that they will be able to do the work even if they're looking at a total stranger at an end of a leash or wearing the sleeve. It's always a little embarrassing to have a dog that is too nervy to work with someone new without warming up.

You just really want to take steps to avoid bad experiences and chalk up good ones, but if you have a really nice solid dog it won't really matter the dog will turn out fine.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-02-2015, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by onyx'girl View Post
I don't really socialize my pups in the way that means seeking out people or dogs to play with...socializing to me, is introducing the dog to new experiences, textures, scents, sounds and letting the dog know I am the one to look to for 'excitement'and direction. I want my dogs to be neutral and aloof to others, dogs and people alike.
There is no reason a dog that trains in IPO can't be a family companion and do the same things pet dogs do(camping and hiking).
I agree. This is what I did. It's more about exposing your dog to the world. I don't want mine to play with everyone and every dog. But surfaces, sounds, scents, different objects.




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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-02-2015, 10:46 PM
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I let Crank play with all the board and train dogs or any dogs under my direct supervision. He plays with Zebu. He can meet and greet anybody as long as we aren't working or going somewhere with purpose. When it is work time it is work time. All that silly Leerburg talk about dogs becoming "doggy" is just that, it's talk. When you train the right way the dogs know when it's time to focus and get down to brass tacks.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-02-2015, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Baillif View Post
I let Crank play with all the board and train dogs or any dogs under my direct supervision. He plays with Zebu. He can meet and greet anybody as long as we aren't working or going somewhere with purpose. When it is work time it is work time. All that silly Leerburg talk about dogs becoming "doggy" is just that, it's talk. When you train the right way the dogs know when it's time to focus and get down to brass tacks.
And as far as strangers and non strangers? Do you limited that interaction or is it irrelevant? I socialized my current girl to every type of person that exists that I was able to think of so now she is very approachable and not necessarily indifferent, more so, that she LOVES attention from new people.

As mentioned, it seems like a good balance for socialization is more of just a lot of exposure as oppose to encouraging actual physical interaction?

I love that my girl is social and that's her personality, but is it wrong that I don't want my next dog to be as approachable, but instead aloof and more neutral??
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-02-2015, 11:31 PM
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DMS92 - there are a thousand ways to get to the same place and nothing is as simple as it's portrayed to be on an internet forum. I don't know what this "silly Leerburg talk" is referring too and don't care. I have an excellent trainer and excellent support so I'll continue doing it my way.

You need to teach your puppy when she can go to a person to say hi. she shouldn't just be running up to someone willy nilly for attention. You send her to greet.

My dog can play with our dogs at the house. He does not need to play with strange dogs nor dogs at training. There is a huge difference between the two and setting the criteria on what is allowed early is crucial to all aspects of training. Puppies at the club play together. Young dogs and adult dogs do not. So find a set of dogs your dog can play with. Whether it's the ones she lives with or friends dogs.

As far as socialization, yes I would say it exposure rather than physical interaction.




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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-02-2015, 11:33 PM
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I love that my girl is social and that's her personality, but is it wrong that I don't want my next dog to be as approachable, but instead aloof and more neutral??
To an extent, your blurring temperament and training. A friendly dog is a friendly dog, teaching her how you want her to behave, thats not going to change her temperament. What I do all depends on the dog. My friendly, social dog enjoys contact from people, so I let him have contact with people. My nervy one has limits on what he can handle, so I keep him close, but just a little bit out of reach. I match everything to what their temperament is.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-02-2015, 11:35 PM
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Leerburg has a great video called 'Raising a Working Puppy'. It's over an hour long and has great info. A bit pricey ($30 for on demand, $40 for on demand plus the DVD version), but it has great ideas and visuals. It covers socializing/neutralizing with other dogs, people, types of collars, the car, etc.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-02-2015, 11:38 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Persinette View Post
Leerburg has a great video called 'Raising a Working Puppy'. It's over an hour long and has great info. A bit pricey ($30 for on demand, $40 for on demand plus the DVD version), but it has great ideas and visuals. It covers socializing/neutralizing with other dogs, people, types of collars, the car, etc.
I'll definitely have to check that out!
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