Training/Socialization/Pack behavior - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-02-2008, 09:42 PM Thread Starter
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Training/Socialization/Pack behavior

I worked all day, so forgive any mistakes in my post

I work at a dog daycare center/boarding kennel (part-time about 20-25 hours a week).

I really enjoy my job, and as I have mentioned before, I can bring Jasper with me.

When I first started, I was really enjoying the idea of bringing Jasper, and letting him have his fun out in the play area with the other dogs.

In the past few weeks, I have been giving it some thought, and I am now not so hot on the idea of having him play in the play area.

For starters, Jasper has been socialized really well, no issues to date. When he meets people, he slithers around them like a snake, and with dogs, I haven't had any issues, however he doesn't take a backseat to any dog (only when he goes to my friends house, who he stays with when I go away, is he more submissive to the male GSD there-basically he respects my friends home and dogs).

A week or so ago, I made the decision to get another GSD (puppy), I will be getting it in the beggining of the year. During this time, I decided that I wanted to get more serious about how I raise my dogs, training, and having the new pup have a job.

My initial plan with Jasper was to have him participate in Schutzhund, however elbow dysplasia put a damper on that (per the surgeon).

With Jasper, I break up my training between swimming, soft trail hikes, bite sleeve (very short periods of time), walks-softer surfaces and basic obediance.

Now with a pup on the way, I pulled out the old books (reading again), bought some new training DVDs, and will place another order for more training books.

In reference to my thoughts about Jasper being at the daycare center. From my readings, studies, etc, I have a strong belief that the family is the pack, the family is/should be the main focus, not other dogs, not other packs, etc.

When I am at work, and I watch Jasper (I observe the pack alot more when Jasper is in it, basically because I am more concerned because one of my own is out there)-I still consider all the dogs very important, but my boy is out there.

So in observation of the pack, I see so much out there. I see stress, dominance, fun, panic, avoidance, I see everything, and to be honest, it really bothers me. Today I ended up seperating a few dogs that were being completely overwhelmed, and since I care about what is going on out there, I removed them (they were so stressed)-I also put a dog (Boxer) was completely a troublemaker out of the mix.

I am the pack leader, however the past two days Jasper and a Bulldog were just following each other and trying to establish dominance over each other (at least it looked that way), and of course I finally put a stop to it. They weren't doing it in a really aggresive manner, however I don't let things get out of hand (I don't need a full blown fight on my hands). I love to learn, and see if dogs can work it out, however I think a pack leader nips the Bulls-it out asap

I am kind of at odds in how I want to work things for my pup. I know that socialization is important for life, however in some of my new readings, it is mentioned that socialization (to other dogs, people) isn't neccessary (you should be the dogs world?).

I will say I am not the type of dog owner that goes out to meet people/other dogs, however if a person wants to pet my dog, I let them. I don't like on lead greetings with my dogs/other dogs (I don't think its neccessary (does he need this to make his life better, since his family should be the pack?).

If my pup is a working dog (which he will either do schutzhund, or OB), then does things change (is he still socialized like a regular house dog and for what I have mentioned, if the family is your pack, is it still neccessary to socialize with other dogs

I guess for now, my thoughts are that I will socialize my new pup with people, but I am still debating about how much outside my family pack (besides my friends dogs) that I will socialize my pup (with other dogs)

I love the way Jasper is, however I guess from things I read, every author, trainer, method is different. I just want to know if the family is the pack, how important should other dogs be?

I will say that I hate dog parks, and after the past few days, taking a deep, long look at the playard reminds me of things that go on at dog parks that I completely hate.

I just want to say that people who take their dogs to dog parks or who differ from what I have mentioned, aren't wrong, it's just a difference in belief. I didn't like dog parks prior to starting my job, and my job just reminds me of alot of the dog parks.

I am just curious on other peoples thoughts on pack behavior, socilization, training (with working dogs, family dogs), and differences you have noticed, or anything you can offer in what you see, and your opinions (anything)-of what I have mentioned.

Prior to getting Jasper, I joined this forum, and it has been the biggest help, so now I am looking again, to further my training/learning.

I am so open to want to do all the right things

Authors/trainers/behaviorists of who I like/read/follow.

With these trainers, I will say I am not 100% on board with all, I take bit/pieces that work for my pack.

Ian Dunbar
Patricia McConnell
Cesar Milan
Jean Donaldson
Patricia Mcconnell
Turid Rugaas
A few unamed sources (about the non socialization thoughts)

Thanks.

~JACK~

Jasper
Loki Van Den Heuvel III
Finn Van Den Heuvel
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-02-2008, 10:55 PM
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Re: Training/Socialization/Pack behavior

It really depends on the dog's genetic makeup. You need to identify prey/defense ratios and temperament then select the training plan for the dog. Blanket statements are not very accurate.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-03-2008, 06:36 AM
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Re: Training/Socialization/Pack behavior

Socialize your pup with GOOD, SOUND, STABLE dogs. In the event your dog does get nailed by another in the future, it'll have these good experiences to fall back on rather than just the one negative event.

Renji - 6 y/o M GSD x chow rescue


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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-03-2008, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Training/Socialization/Pack behavior

Quote:
Originally Posted By: DianaMSocialize your pup with GOOD, SOUND, STABLE dogs. In the event your dog does get nailed by another in the future, it'll have these good experiences to fall back on rather than just the one negative event.
Ditto, thank yo DM

Chris W sent me a nice long answer to what I was looking for, and wanting.

I will continue on the path from what Chris gave me , and what you have said.

Thanks again.

~JACK~

Jasper
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Finn Van Den Heuvel
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