Ha, no... thats the reason I made it a point to reference sf dog culture. I don’t trust the majority of other people’s assessments of their own dogs unfortunately. As a general rule, I don’t allow my dog to interact with any dog I’m not familiar with.... the exception is off leash hikes but those interactions are brief because I call him and keep things moving (we’re able to keep things moving because he has a foundation in me being more interesting and rewarding than other dogs). Fortunately Keystone is a very tolerant and relatively neutral dog - his tolerance and neutrality didn’t come from play dates or dog parks or greeting strange dogs on walks.
But you got the first part right! I think it helps if people replace the word socialization with exposure or acclimate.... because the idea is teaching a dog to be confident and behave appropriately in a social setting. Basically meaning society. For example, I don’t have be outgoing and friendly in order to know that I shouldn’t scream at, spit on, inappropriately touch or run towards/away from others people (normal circumstances). I can also confidently walk down the street unfazed by children at play, cars driving by, lawns being mowed or uneven surfaces. I sit in chairs at restaurants, I don’t stand on tables. And so on and so one. You’re basically introducing your puppy to various real life situations but also remaining age appropriate and understanding early signs of stress. There is valuing in being able to just watch the world and not always feel like you have to engage in it.
I could talk about this all day... seems like,
- Most don't take their dog out & about until 4months, before that it's only to potty
- 6-12months is outside, exposing to sights and sounds.. if they're interested in the environment do you just ignore and keep moving?
- Exposure to adult dogs you know the temperament of, only. I'd love to take my (future) dog to the dog park - would love for him to be social however respond and bring it back to 1:1 him and I when asked... So, never dog parks? Or only after 1 year with training/focus on reeling back it and focusing on command?