Public training and other pet question - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-16-2016, 05:55 PM Thread Starter
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Public training and other pet question

I won't be getting my pup for a couple months but I'm wondering when is a good time to start training in public places? Not socialization but engagement, recall, heel, etc.?

Also does anyone have suggestions where to take the pup to meet cats and other animals? I don't have any other pets but nor do I plan on getting a cat (I also don't know anyone who has a cat) but want to introduce her to them.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-16-2016, 07:01 PM
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I don't take my dog anywhere to meet other animals. I let them interact only with dogs whose owners I know and trust. That will vouch that their dogs are good with puppies and have all of their shots and haven't been anywhere lately that might have picked up contagions.

For training in public, once they have all of their shots, you can work on training in public. Start with low distraction areas and keep training sessions short. IE start with only 1 or 2 commands and be in a quiet deserted area.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-16-2016, 07:35 PM
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I take my pups to dog classes, not to interact with other dogs, but to interact with me in the presence of other dogs who are controlled by their owners.

I do not go out of my way to socialize dogs to cats. Generally if a pup is homed in a house with a resident cat, they are fine. They can be fine with pets and not fine with invading cats in the yard. I don't expect my dogs to be walking down the street and experience someone's pet cat walking with its owner. If they see a stray cat it is the same as a squirrel or bird or rabbit, a quick, Eh! and With Me, or Leave It, ought to do the trick.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-16-2016, 07:51 PM
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I won't be getting my pup for a couple months but I'm wondering when is a good time to start training in public places? Not socialization but engagement, recall, heel, etc.?

Also does anyone have suggestions where to take the pup to meet cats and other animals? I don't have any other pets but nor do I plan on getting a cat (I also don't know anyone who has a cat) but want to introduce her to them.
Petcos and PetSmarts around me have on site adoption centers for cats and you can take a puppy to expose them to cats there. It is a good idea to expose around cats if you plan on having your dog be a go anywhere kind of dog. I have seen people with cats in Petco, walking them on leashes, laying on front lawns and even in parks. Worst case scenario, because sometimes things happen beyond your control, cat exposure will help if your puppy would ever need to be fostered or rehomed.

I wait until my puppies get their big boy shots before I let them around other dogs. Parks are okay, most dog parks are good, most dogs in dog parks are very well behaved and trained and most owners stay on top of them, if they don't, others are quick to step in.

Regarding when to start training in public places, I start all training in the quiet of my basement, once it is absolute, I move to other more active parts of the house, then the yard, then quiet public places and continue to progress once the dog demonstrates that it will be reliable in each phase. You can't put a timeline on that, each dog, owner, and bag of tools is different and each dog will progress in its own time.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-16-2016, 07:59 PM
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Another point - I train my dog to ignore other animals. Period. End of story.
Not allowed to greet dogs in public. Not allowed to sniff or play with dogs we see out. You get the idea.

It ends a lot of problems before they even start
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-16-2016, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies. As far as the cats I will take her to pet stores and if we run into some, great, if not oh well. I'd really like to teach good focus so other dogs and animals won't be an issue in public.

For training I will move to different locations slowly. There are so many things I feel I should expose her to that I don't want to forget anything. I will definitely be signing up for puppy classes.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-16-2016, 09:11 PM
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Thanks for the replies. As far as the cats I will take her to pet stores and if we run into some, great, if not oh well. I'd really like to teach good focus so other dogs and animals won't be an issue in public.

For training I will move to different locations slowly. There are so many things I feel I should expose her to that I don't want to forget anything. I will definitely be signing up for puppy classes.
I do exposure and formal obedience training separately for pups, except for recalls. When I take my pup somewhere new, I want the pup to focus on the exposure, although there are always exceptions.

I let my dogs interact with other dogs and I don't have any problems with them. I make sure I do a lot of bonding with off leash hikes, swimming, etc., and although my dogs usually enjoy other dogs, they are always focused on me, where I am, and whether I am coming, going, or staying and they make sure they don't get left behind.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-05-2016, 11:17 AM
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As the owner we have the responsibilities to train our dog, or our pets. There are a lot of techniques to learn just understand and teach your dog. Just be patient
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-05-2016, 12:30 PM
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Petcos and PetSmarts around me have on site adoption centers for cats and you can take a puppy to expose them to cats there. It is a good idea to expose around cats if you plan on having your dog be a go anywhere kind of dog. I have seen people with cats in Petco, walking them on leashes, laying on front lawns and even in parks. Worst case scenario, because sometimes things happen beyond your control, cat exposure will help if your puppy would ever need to be fostered or rehomed.

I wait until my puppies get their big boy shots before I let them around other dogs. Parks are okay, most dog parks are good, most dogs in dog parks are very well behaved and trained and most owners stay on top of them, if they don't, others are quick to step in.

Regarding when to start training in public places, I start all training in the quiet of my basement, once it is absolute, I move to other more active parts of the house, then the yard, then quiet public places and continue to progress once the dog demonstrates that it will be reliable in each phase. You can't put a timeline on that, each dog, owner, and bag of tools is different and each dog will progress in its own time.
It's been my experience that most cats at those places are in cages with signs that read, "Please do not let dogs approach me or bark at me."

ONE time in my dog's entire life, she was allowed by staff to approach a cage with two kittens. What happened next was pretty adorable (she laid down and let the kittens sniff her ears), but that's the only time I have seen staff let a dog anywhere near cats up for adoption.

For training, we train in classes, and I started doing a few exercises here and there on walks in neighborhoods or at lake/park space once she was reliable in class. I don't train in public as much as I should, but you can build up to it. Keep it really simple at first - literally nothing more than a couple of sits or downs at the park, or heeling for half a block on a walk.
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