Working Line GSD socialize with other dogs? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-12-2015, 05:43 AM Thread Starter
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Working Line GSD socialize with other dogs?

This question is for those of you who have a working line GSD who also allow them to socialize with other dogs (outside your immeidate pack). By socializing I mean greeting/ correcting each other/ playing/ and simply being a dog.

Q: How do working line GSD tend to do when they interact with other dogs? A dog park for example. given other dogs are neutral (no behavior issue, etc). Do they tend to be more assertive toward other dogs? dominant? reserved? care little for other dogs outside it's pack? playful?

I have heard so many people equate drive to personality. I have also read that a dog's drive means nothing to it's personality when interacting with other dog. A dog can have crazy prey drive but is submissive around other dogs..I just wanted to get a better picture via experience of you guys.

I ask this because I want a working line GSD to do IPO with, the sport really attracts me. However, having a dog as a family member and pet to me is more important than sport titles. And if the dog is to be a part of my family I expect him/her to come to work with me daily and be comfortable being around many dogs. (I am a dog walker, I do off leash pack walks)



I understand a lot of people (from those I met in my area) believe working line GSD trained in IPO should not play/socialize with other dogs, unless the purpose is to make them ignore other dogs. I understand this is to let the dog focus more on sport/work and make play with other dogs not rewarding. This logic is sound, but it simply does not align with my philosophy and belief.

I believe before breed and sport/work, we should respect the dog as simply a dog. And part of being a dog, an extremely social being, is the ability to socialize and communicate with there own kind with there own language. I do not expect all dog to be typical lab puppy playing kind of dog, what I do expect from an ideal dog though is the ability to correct another dog fairly when enough is enough, ability to use calming signals during play and everyday interaction, proper greeting, etc. etc.



Anyways I think I reason I am so confuse by this whole subject is because very rarely do I ever see people with IPO dogs or other working dogs let there dog interact with other dogs.

Thanks all
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-12-2015, 08:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dvt510 View Post
This question is for those of you who have a working line GSD who also allow them to socialize with other dogs (outside your immeidate pack). By socializing I mean greeting/ correcting each other/ playing/ and simply being a dog.

Q: How do working line GSD tend to do when they interact with other dogs? A dog park for example. given other dogs are neutral (no behavior issue, etc). Do they tend to be more assertive toward other dogs? dominant? reserved? care little for other dogs outside it's pack? playful?

I have heard so many people equate drive to personality. I have also read that a dog's drive means nothing to it's personality when interacting with other dog. A dog can have crazy prey drive but is submissive around other dogs..I just wanted to get a better picture via experience of you guys.

I ask this because I want a working line GSD to do IPO with, the sport really attracts me. However, having a dog as a family member and pet to me is more important than sport titles. And if the dog is to be a part of my family I expect him/her to come to work with me daily and be comfortable being around many dogs. (I am a dog walker, I do off leash pack walks)



I understand a lot of people (from those I met in my area) believe working line GSD trained in IPO should not play/socialize with other dogs, unless the purpose is to make them ignore other dogs. I understand this is to let the dog focus more on sport/work and make play with other dogs not rewarding. This logic is sound, but it simply does not align with my philosophy and belief.

I believe before breed and sport/work, we should respect the dog as simply a dog. And part of being a dog, an extremely social being, is the ability to socialize and communicate with there own kind with there own language. I do not expect all dog to be typical lab puppy playing kind of dog, what I do expect from an ideal dog though is the ability to correct another dog fairly when enough is enough, ability to use calming signals during play and everyday interaction, proper greeting, etc. etc.



Anyways I think I reason I am so confuse by this whole subject is because very rarely do I ever see people with IPO dogs or other working dogs let there dog interact with other dogs.

Thanks all
Others who know more than I do can tell you details, but in general, German shepherds, especially working line, do not make good candidates for dog parks.

Susan
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-12-2015, 09:57 AM
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Not sure about dog parks in general.... have to be careful about what other dogs are in the mix no matter who you are...

I think you need to socialize any pup when young so they are used to everything and calm and confident no matter the situation. If you isolate a pup, then meeting other dogs becomes way to 'different' and distracting. Rather than something normal the can be noticed and then easily the pup can move on.

When you are TRAINING and in a WORKING situation, that's different. But our dogs are smart to know, hmmmm out with the family at the playground/soccer game where other dogs are normally, from the 'at dog training and here to work '




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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-12-2015, 10:15 AM
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I'm sure everyone will disagree, but in my experience other then their 'family', German Shepherds are not super social dogs.
I don't do dog parks because in my experience they attract lazy, uninvolved dog owners who really just want to let their untrained dogs run wild.
That said, and I don't know much about sport dogs, no dog should be doing IPO if they are unstable. It follows therefore that a stable dog should be fine around other dogs if it has been properly socialized.
My working patrol/protection dog was fine at social events and while not fond of random rude dogs, she was easily able to behave in an appropriate manner without it ever impacting her working behavior.
It was as simple as the cues. When at work, nothing else mattered. When not at work, behave and be a dog.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-12-2015, 10:20 AM
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................... When at work, nothing else mattered. When not at work, behave and be a dog.
That's key.

And the way dogs learn to 'be a dog' is by being around other dogs when during that first year. Pups have to LEARN 'normal' and how to behave with manners and appropriately around other dogs. And they can't learn that from humans, we have our own set of rules.

So to learn to be a dog, my pups need to be around other dogs. They learn TONS from dogs by just being around them.




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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-12-2015, 11:34 AM
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I don't do dog parks or own dog park type dogs. If I wanted that I would own another breed. Getting together with a couple of friends and having dogs that see each other often and have a good mix of temperaments can work if you have a dog that likes playing with other dogs. Most of mine would be totally happy as only dogs. They played in a very controlled puppy class when little and know how to behave around other dogs as adults, but I am their world.

Dog parks can result in your puppy getting badly injured, scared, ruined by nasty, bullying unsupervised older dogs. As adults you can end up with very nasty fights. Dogs don't need doggy friends outside their pack (and, for some, even inside their pack).

Friend of mine was a dog walker until she moved. She had her GSD puppy and young adult around a lot of dogs all the time. These were dogs she knew and situations she controlled. He was very good when she got a new puppy and works great around other dogs without being distracted now at 2 even though he no longer sees dogs all the time (they now live in the country). A dog with the right temperament could do well in the environment you are inquiring about, but not likely a dog park unless a very soft and submissive dog (one unlikely to make a good working dog).

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-12-2015, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by lhczth View Post
I don't do dog parks or own dog park type dogs. If I wanted that I would own another breed. Getting together with a couple of friends and having dogs that see each other often and have a good mix of temperaments can work if you have a dog that likes playing with other dogs. Most of mine would be totally happy as only dogs. They played in a very controlled puppy class when little and know how to behave around other dogs as adults, but I am their world.

Dog parks can result in your puppy getting badly injured, scared, ruined by nasty, bullying unsupervised older dogs. As adults you can end up with very nasty fights. Dogs don't need doggy friends outside their pack (and, for some, even inside their pack).

Friend of mine was a dog walker until she moved. She had her GSD puppy and young adult around a lot of dogs all the time. These were dogs she knew and situations she controlled. He was very good when she got a new puppy and works great around other dogs without being distracted now at 2 even though he no longer sees dogs all the time (they now live in the country). A dog with the right temperament could do well in the environment you are inquiring about, but not likely a dog park unless a very soft and submissive dog (one unlikely to make a good working dog).
Well said.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-12-2015, 12:50 PM
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Q: How do working line GSD tend to do when they interact with other dogs? A dog park for example. given other dogs are neutral (no behavior issue, etc). Do they tend to be more assertive toward other dogs? dominant? reserved? care little for other dogs outside it's pack? playful?
I think it really depends on the dog. Halo is our first working line shepherd, and she was in daycare twice a week for a few months when she was younger, at a boarding facility that we use when we're out of town. My reason for that was partly to get her used to being there as a fun place, so when we did have to leave her for boarding it wouldn't be brand new. This particular place has private rooms for the dogs, and puts them into play groups based on age, size, and activity level. The dogs have several play/potty breaks outside per day, and then go back to their rooms, it's not an open free for all kind of place. The staff loved her, and reported that she had several "friends" that she enjoyed seeing each week, and very good play skills.

Another reason was to separate her from our other dog, Keefer. We wanted them to not be too bonded to each other from her early weeks and months, and also to learn good social skills without him around to depend on. When she was 15 weeks old she started going with us to off leash parks. These are large multi-acre places where people walk around with their dogs and play ball, not little fenced parks where everyone stands around and watches their dog play with other dogs. We have a tiny yard, so in order to play and get exercise we take our dogs to places where we can chuck a ball for them to chase, and to go swimming in the SF Bay and the ocean. We don't go there for our dogs to socialize and play with other dogs, they play with us and each other.

Far from ending up being too into other dogs, Halo is actually the most neutral GSD we've ever had. Being off leash around lots of other dogs was never a novelty for her because she was used to that situation from a young age. At the park, other dogs are merely an obstacle to run around to get at her ball, like a bush or tree. She does greet her flyball teammates with a sniff and a tail wag, but other dogs she's just not that interested in. We sometimes get together with other GSD people in the area and go on hikes or to the beach, so pack walks aren't a big deal either.

Although Halo is my sport dog, our dogs have always been first and foremost our companions. She's wild and crazy and loud racing in flyball, but has a terrific off switch so she's really easy to live with at home. I don't think what you're looking for it out of the question, by any means. A dog that's not that interested in other dogs in favor of being more focused on you can still be perfectly comfortable walking in a pack with other dogs, and even become friendly with some of them. Socialization is about exposure, your dog doesn't have to actually play with the other dogs in order to benefit from the experience. I understand it's not what everyone wants, but I personally enjoy having dogs that are friendly and social with other people and dogs, so when my friend comes into town with her dogs we can meet at the beach and walk and play with our dogs.

This is from a large meet up at the beach in SF from a few years ago, I think we had a total of 16 dogs, mostly GSDs:



And another more recent on on the same beach (one of these is not like the others! :


-Debbie-
Cava 1/6/18
Keefer 8/25/05-4/24/19 ~ The sweetest boy
Halo 11/9/08-6/17/18 ~ You left pawprints on our hearts
Dena 9/12/04-10/4/08 ~ Forever would have been too short
Cassidy 6/8/00-10/4/04
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-12-2015, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dvt510 View Post
This question is for those of you who have a working line GSD who also allow them to socialize with other dogs (outside your immeidate pack). By socializing I mean greeting/ correcting each other/ playing/ and simply being a dog.

Q: How do working line GSD tend to do when they interact with other dogs? A dog park for example. given other dogs are neutral (no behavior issue, etc). Do they tend to be more assertive toward other dogs? dominant? reserved? care little for other dogs outside it's pack? playful?

I have heard so many people equate drive to personality. I have also read that a dog's drive means nothing to it's personality when interacting with other dog. A dog can have crazy prey drive but is submissive around other dogs..I just wanted to get a better picture via experience of you guys.

I ask this because I want a working line GSD to do IPO with, the sport really attracts me. However, having a dog as a family member and pet to me is more important than sport titles. And if the dog is to be a part of my family I expect him/her to come to work with me daily and be comfortable being around many dogs. (I am a dog walker, I do off leash pack walks)



I understand a lot of people (from those I met in my area) believe working line GSD trained in IPO should not play/socialize with other dogs, unless the purpose is to make them ignore other dogs. I understand this is to let the dog focus more on sport/work and make play with other dogs not rewarding. This logic is sound, but it simply does not align with my philosophy and belief.

I believe before breed and sport/work, we should respect the dog as simply a dog. And part of being a dog, an extremely social being, is the ability to socialize and communicate with there own kind with there own language. I do not expect all dog to be typical lab puppy playing kind of dog, what I do expect from an ideal dog though is the ability to correct another dog fairly when enough is enough, ability to use calming signals during play and everyday interaction, proper greeting, etc. etc.



Anyways I think I reason I am so confuse by this whole subject is because very rarely do I ever see people with IPO dogs or other working dogs let there dog interact with other dogs.

Thanks all
When you get ready to get your puppy, look for the best dog you can and then his temperament will dictate how you do most of what you're wondering about. I'm never a dog park type with any of my dogs, period. But other then that, my dog goes to work with me, anyone who asks, I let pet him. I don't worry about other dogs because of his temperament.

What you may find, the amount of time you spend training is going to be the biggest reason why you don't spend the time concentrating on other dog interactions with him. You'll be training enough things, its just easier to have them not so interested in other dogs. He still gets to just be a dog 90% of the time, but once you've done some things in formal venues of any kind, you'll see how much easier things are when your dog can behave and not have playing with the other dogs on his mind.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-12-2015, 08:29 PM
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The WL GSDs I've had (and the WL/SL cross) have not been that interested in other dogs. I have taken these dogs to various parks or outings with other loose dogs and they are fine, they stick with me and prefer to do things with me (fetch, swimming for toys, etc) and not play with other dogs other than when they're pretty young, but have not been running around trying to pick fights or pester other dogs. All my WL GSDs have had "relationships" with other dogs in *my* pack and will play with them, but are not real interested in outside dogs. Really the same goes for my SL, in fact he's the most neutral and aloof of all my dogs including the working lines. I do not generally bring any of my dogs into a situation where it's a free for all, like a dog park where there are 50 dogs loose in a smaller area and the owners are just standing around. I will take my dogs to offleash parks or dog beaches where were are doing something together and other dogs are around.
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