Problems with socialisation during the winter - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-14-2018, 09:29 AM Thread Starter
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Problems with socialisation during the winter

So I am a bit concerned that we are not socialising our puppy enough. He is 11 weeks old now and during the 3 weeks we have had him we have not been able to leave the house much as the roads have not been driveable due to snow and ice. We live half hours drive into the forest from the nearest town. The second week we had him we were able to take him out twice. So we visited the vet just to say hello and saw a little bit of urban life. Other than that socialisation has been at home. Getting him used to our toddler, being groomed, household items and noises and a few visitors. Another 30 cm of snow expected tomorrow so the situation is not looking good for this coming week either... Advice?
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-14-2018, 09:45 AM
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It's ideal to do it early but you can socialize a dog later as well. But don't forget. Socialization doesn't mean strangers petting the dog. Doesn't mean playing with random dogs at the dog park. It means getting your dog to exist undisturbed in a variety of environments. It should exist around people. It shouldn't expect them to greet it, shouldn't want to greet them. They don't have any business petting it and it doesn't need to learn to pay attention to distractions anyway. Out in public it's sole focus should be you, nothing else at all. It should simply be neutral at their existence, that's what socialization is. The only people it needs to learn physical interaction with are people who will be a regular part of it's life. The vet. Neighbors that may watch it from time to time, family members, friends that come over often and so on. There's literally no reason at all for it to interact with random strangers or dogs. That can bring nothing positive and can ONLY bring negatives. Often it won't, but it just takes one 1 bad experience to wreck months of training and socialization/confidence. Never be afraid to say no. I've had to put my dog behind me and physically place myself between strangers and my dog because they think dogs are public property.

At that age things can be overwhelming and new issues can crop up if you introduce too much too fast or in the wrong way. So honestly I'd prefer to take it slow anyway. It sounds like you're on the right track. Don't panic.

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Whelp Date: Feb 11, 2018

Correct bad behavior, don't redirect. Redirecting is rewarding, not resolving.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-14-2018, 09:59 AM
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Learn to make an eye to eye connection with your puppy. When out in public where are there millions of new sounds, new smells, etc constantly talk to your pup re-assuring them. Work hard at training them to focus on you above all and any distractions.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-14-2018, 10:06 AM
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Don't worry about it. I brought Seger home during the coldest winter on record. Seems like it hit -15 and stayed there for months.

Socialization does not mean take the puppy out around hundreds of people. there is plenty you can do right at home. My favorite blog on this is this article on The Naughty Dogge
http://www.naughtydogge.com/blog/soc...it-should-look
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-14-2018, 10:32 AM
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Two weeks after we brought Russell home, our neighborhood was hit with an EF-5 tornado. There was no going for walks, or even hanging out in the backyard since the fences were gone (and tiny pieces of debris EVERYWHERE). Our neighborhood was quarantined, so there was no getting in and out for a couple of weeks. Not a fun situation to have a puppy, but he’s grown up to be proper GSD. Aloof to strangers, fun with the people he knows, loves kids.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-14-2018, 10:32 AM
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Might be a good time to do nose work!

~ Diane ~

CARLY ......... Ch. Lauremi's No Reservations (AKC GCh pointed, HIC)
SCARLET ..... Lauremi's Almost Wasn't (AKC pointed)
and absent friends... SAGE ~ Lauremi's Whim Z v Jakmar ~ AKC major ptd, HIC ~ 2010-2015
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-14-2018, 12:41 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all your reassuring replies! The goal is for him to accompany me to work eventually so I would like him to ignore everyone and everything and just focus on me. The plan now then will be to work on engagement, focusing, walking on leash and ignoring distractions we can provide around the property and in the forest around us and then once the weather is better we will take him to see the rest of the "world" and just treat it as more advanced distractions for him to ignore. We made the mistake of trying the Ian Dunbar way before which says puppy has to meet hundreds of people and take treats from all of them. It did not go well so we will not be doing that again!
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-14-2018, 12:51 PM
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Yes, I was going to recommend The Naughty Dogge article too!

Monique, the author of the blog, is currently raising a young puppy. I strongly recommend subscribing to her FB blog, because there is a LOT of very good info there for puppy owners!
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-14-2018, 01:05 PM
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you can get him used to your cars, driving them in and out the garage while he watches and you play with him. Is there a snow plow once in a while? They don't need to see any imaginable vehicle to be able to get used to traffic.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-14-2018, 02:50 PM Thread Starter
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Good idea! We will do that tomorrow!
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