"Social Isolation" ?? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-11-2015, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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"Social Isolation" ??

So I’m looking up ways to integrate my new dog into my family once I get her, and Leerburg is the first one that comes up on Google. They recommend “social isolation” of the dog for the first week or so – putting the dog in a kennel, feeding & watering in there, and only taking the dog out to use the bathroom. Something along those lines. They state that if you act aloof to the dog and nearly completely ignore it, it reinforces your alpha status and will, essentially, create a better dog. I have never heard of anything like this before.

It seems to me that socially isolating a dog would create more issues – the drive for attention would overrule any good behavior I should want to see. Has anyone here done this? It sounds cruel to me, and I realize I’m going to train my own way; but is this something that actually works without issue to the dog?

Bullet Male GSD 6/19/09
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-11-2015, 11:48 AM
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Not a lot of advice from me but I have heard of it, they call it the two week shutdown.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-11-2015, 11:56 AM
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i have no clue. but IMO the first 2 weeks is the most important. carry it around petsmart let people pet it, let children pet it, introduce it to the cats and your other dogs, lots of car rides especially to BK for chicken sandwiches (for you not the dog). they have the 2 for $5 chicken sandwich promotion still going on.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-11-2015, 11:58 AM
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I read those types of articles too, including the leerburg one. I have a 9.5 female shepherd and just adopted a 3 year old male from a rescue.

I decided to take some of the advice and leave others.

The things that I did were -
-Introduce the dogs on neutral territory
-Take them for a walk together before bringing the boy into the house
-Put away all the toys so there was less to cause conflict
-Feed them separately (I crate the boy while he is being fed).
-Do not leave them alone in the house together (supervise all interactions)
-Keep both dogs on a leash in the house
-Let him have some quiet time (if he went to lay in the kitchen or in his crate, just leave him alone)
- Try not to have a lot of guests, introduce new people and pets

For the most part, I think it went pretty well. It helps that he is VERY LAID BACK and not dominant... which I knew was what my female needed. There have been some skirmishes over toys and such but for the most part I think it's been as smooth as it can be.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-11-2015, 12:25 PM Thread Starter
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excellent. The dogs have met and aside from my husband's dog trying to be a lap dog out of jealousy (darn big dog!) it went pretty well. I will definitely take it slow with the two of them.

I want her to be a Schutzhund dog; I don't want her aggressive or mean, but I don't want her looking to every stranger for love like Bullet does. Should I still let strangers pet her?

Bullet Male GSD 6/19/09
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-11-2015, 01:46 PM
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It is called the two week shut down, and there is a A LOT of good that can be accomplished from this.

It is important to note that the dog is not isolated from people … but is in a crate and able to watch, hear, smell, etc. everything that is going on around it.
A lot of rescue groups highly recommend this and the reason is the dog is overwhelmed – ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING is new, and the dog has no idea what the rules are.
Start SLOW and give the dog a chance.
I certainly wouldn’t have the dog in the crate 24/7 for 2 weeks … but I wouldn’t be running off to socialize it with everything that moves, breathes, walks, etc.
You don’t really know anything about this dog’s background, so give the dog a chance to get to know YOU.
A routine could be (I’m putting out a hypothetical LOL … I know nothing of you and your family or your lifestyle!)
Wake up in the morning, take dog out of the crate (put a slip leash on the dog) and walk through the house to the backyard and go out with the dog to use the bathroom (I’d take the leash off LOL to let him do his business). Give him a couple of minutes to sniff around and check things out … Call him, if he doesn’t come, just walk up slowly towards him (not stalking, just don’t run at him!) and slip the leash back over his neck and back in the house.
Shower / getting ready for work … I’d tie the leash to something study (door handle) so he has enough slack to lie down while he watches you get ready.
Back in the crate while you’re at work.
Home from work, take dog out of the crate (put a slip leash on the dog) and walk through the house to the backyard and go out with the dog to use the bathroom. I’d give him about 15-20 minutes to sniff around and check things out … this is new yard, let him get used to the smells!
Getting supper ready … same idea as when you were getting ready in the morning … tie him up somewhere so he can watch – is not in the way and go about your business.
Evening – ALONE – NO OTHER DOGS – take him for a nice long stroll around your neighbourhood … take about an hour or so and let him see what his new environment is like. Let him sniff, let him lead a little bit and check things out (I don’t mean let him be a complete and total whack job on the leash, but if he’s leaning towards checking out a tree, let him check it out).
Back in the crate for about an hour or so while you putter around the house (you can feed him in the crate too!)
Outside for about an hour or so in the back yard … test his obedience – what does he know? Not know? You could have a toy or two and play with him for a bit.

The biggest mistake people make is bringing home a rescue dog and throwing everything at it … the dog cannot handle it and will react … the new owners are SHOCKED that their new dog did “X” and have no idea how it could have happened.
Here’s a link to a website that talks about it: http://www.wagsandwhiskersrescue.org..._SHUT_DOWN.pdf

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-11-2015, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
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Wow...thank you for all the info!

I brought this pup home to help her breeder socialize her with new people and sights, etc, and the first thing I told my boys was leave her alone - let her come to you. She was with us for just the day, so no crate. What is the first thing my boys do? Jump around, chase her, and corner her. And then get nipped at, screaming how awful this dog was and how "terrified" they are of her.

Why can't we teach kids the same way we do dogs? Prong collars, crates, etc? Ugh!

I'm hoping she won't remember the "bad" experience. When it was just her and I for part of the day, she was relaxed, checked out the house with me, watched the horses, played fetch, and cuddled. She is a very intelligent girl, and I'm hoping to get her comfortable around all the commotion without stressing her too much. The kids don't know I'm bringing her home for good yet, and I figure if I don't tell them first, they can't "plan" how they want to "train" her. i.e: they are training my husband's dog to jump up, refusing to listen that teaching an 80lb dog to jump on people is stupid. UGH.

Anyway. Is it ok to ask them to not pet her? Or will I be creating a dog that is fearful of her surroundings? I want to train her in Schutzhund, and while I don't want the kids messing with her, I don't want her to think she is above them. Is it ok to not let strangers pet her?

Also, almost a week after I get her, she will be traveling with me to work. I will maintain as close to the same routine as I would at home - up/potty/feed/potty/etc - this won't hurt her training and adjustment period, will it?

Bullet Male GSD 6/19/09
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Sioux Female GSD 10/5/13
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Last edited by burdock87; 02-11-2015 at 02:23 PM.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-11-2015, 02:29 PM
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Social isolation is not the same as what's referred to as a 2 week shutdown: http://www.webring.org/l/rd?ring=pet...2Fsocialis.htm

It's for a very brief time, just a couple of days, and can be helpful for rank issues. The 2 week shutdown is usually for rescues, who need some time to adjust to their new home without being overwhelmed.

Regardless of why kind of training or what what sport you want to participate in, it's always okay to not let strangers pet your dog. For me, if I have a social dog that likes people and we come across people who like dogs, it's perfectly fine for them to meet. I wouldn't force a shy or timid dog, or one that doesn't have a lot of confidence to interact with people if it doesn't want to.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-11-2015, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
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Ok. Sioux has lived in a very busy family home that's frequented by strangers (the home is also a business), so she's fairly used to the hustle and bustle; but I still want to get her used to my family (we're an odd bunch) and our routine without stressing her. The last thing I need to do is bring her home, stress her out, and then have behavioral issues because there is too much going on.

I am absurdly excited about getting this dog. I have been waiting for a dog of my own since I left home at 18. I've always had dogs around, but it hasn't really been the same. I keep checking to see if my tax return is in so I know I can pay for her. I'm sure it's going to be flagged soon since I've checked like, every hour. Just in case. lol

Bullet Male GSD 6/19/09
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Sioux Female GSD 10/5/13
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