From my experience, puppies are happy little sponges ready to soak up attention......or they should be IF they are genetically sound!!!! A puppy needs to be confident yet cautious, happy yet discerning.....these are GENETICS!
The whole idea of "socialization" has gotten to be popular due to the amazing numbers of GSDs being produced in this country....probably 80% (and I am probably being generous) of which do not have a sound genetic makeup....these pups need additional help to be safe and solid members of their families and society.....
Socialization opportunities are or should be taken advantage of for some basic manners and obedience imprinting....not jumping, attention/focus, stays and releases......when your puppy NEEDS to be socialized to be approachable, to be handled, to walk with you without hiding, hackling or grumbling - then you have a puppy whose genetic makeup is NOT 100% sound.
LOL, when I fostered an 8 month old pup he was the cutest thing in the world to me. I remember I took him through a bad neighborhood, it was the funniest thing seeing "hard gangbangers" crossing the street and walking around me, and little kids running up to pet him. (I kind of liked it )I worked with them in a similar way as any other pup I have raised. The WLs never became social butterflies after they started to mature. They became more aloof naturally, yet very stable around people. Also when they lost the cutesy factor at around 5 months of age, people left them alone (except when they had or have had GSDs) or actively avoided them, sometimes even picking up their kids. Fine with me.
I prefer "Exposure to people rather than Socialization with people.How do you guys socialize your WL dogs? Do you even socialize them? Or do you keep them away from strangers completely?
I guess I'm curious because I am actively looking for WL breeders. Many people who get these dogs get them for protection, and they refuse to socialize them. Kind of like "don't pet my dog he's training for being a seeing eye dog". Or "he's training to be a bomb sniffing dog, don't pet him".I prefer "Exposure to people rather than Socialization with people.
But ultimately it depends on the dog, if you have a dog that likes people, socialize away but even then .. it's best to set some terms calm behavior before you say "Yes" is best.
Otherwise you run the risk of creating excitement to see/meet uh everyone. Blowback from that approach will be seen when company comes over. Put another way, if you train your dog to be excited to meet people, then when your dog meets people ... they will be excited.
On the other hand ... some dogs don't much care for people and with them Exposure to people is the best and safest (in my view) course of action. They just need to be out and about and be civil and calm but they don't need to be a dog you allow just anyone to put hands on. Been there done that worked out fine.
But ... I'm not really "this" brief.
The rest of the story is here:
So yeah ... ask questions.
That is soooooo untrue. I don't think you have a good understanding on "protection" or "socialization"Many people who get these dogs get them for protection, and they refuse to socialize them.
Give it time. I don't know that the Law Enforcement, Personal Protection Dog folks hang out much in the Puppy section??I guess I'm curious because I am actively looking for WL breeders. Many people who get these dogs get them for protection, and they refuse to socialize them. Kind of like "don't pet my dog he's training for being a seeing eye dog". Or "he's training to be a bomb sniffing dog, don't pet him".
I see why this is preferred, but in my opinion it's good for a protection dog to learn that most people are good. You may never even come in contact with a perpetrator.
Hey, its not me, its what I read. And when I said they refuse to "socialize" I meant they wouldn't let anyone come and pet the dog or handle the dog besides the handler. Obviously you have to take them to different places and let the pup see and hear many things.That is soooooo untrue. I don't think you have a good understanding on "protection" or "socialization"
People will get a working line for a variety of reasons. Out of all my dog's siblings, some went to SAR, some IPO, some pet homes, some AKC competition homes. They get working line for the drives, some because of looks, some for temperament, some for sports, some for real work like K9's or SAR.
Socializing a dog does not mean immersing them in people in the Walmart parking lot. It means exposing the dog to the world.
Personally, I let all the little kids that want pet my dog. It's the adults that aren't allowed to because they do stupid things and don't listen to me.
did you read the list on the blog I posted above? That is from one of Canada's top trainers.
Ok but you stated the above comment as fact. Which it is not. Do some people do this? Of course. But do many? Not in my experience. My advice, again, is go to a club, watch the dogs and talk to the handlers.Hey, its not me, its what I read. And when I said they refuse to "socialize" I meant they wouldn't let anyone come and pet the dog or handle the dog besides the handler. Obviously you have to take them to different places and let the pup see and hear many things.
I am not stating it as fact, go back and read. I said that many WL owners do not socialize their dogs. (socialize as in no-touch human interaction except the handler). Many top trainers go by this method.Ok but you stated the above comment as fact. Which it is not. Do some people do this? Of course. But do many? Not in my experience. My advice, again, is go to a club, watch the dogs and talk to the handlers.
Why would you let another person handle your dog? The only people that handle my dog other than me are my trainers, my breeder, my fellow club members if I need a hand, the vet and the vet techs. There is no reason for anyone else to be handling your dog or giving your dog commands (which people WILL do. Constantly...drives me nuts. Sit! Dog ignores them. SIT!! No, you go sit...far away)
And remember....dogs are not public property! People will act like they are. As if they have a right to pet your dog. They do not. Nor do they need to. The general public do not need to have their hands all over your dog. Would you let them handle your toddler?
Great example as to why! I'm training at a park and this woman yells over how great he behaves. She can't hear my response so she meanders over and I let her pet him. She's jabbering on about something and he's laying quietly at my feet. She leaned over and start SMACKING him in the back of the head while babytalking "whatchoo doin? huh?" SMACK "whatchoo doin?"
BACK AWAY FROM MY DOG RIGHT NOW!!
So no, sorry....adults do not get to pet my dogs anymore. They do incredibly stupid things before you can stop them. Kids...Kids are awesome! Any kid can put them anytime as long as they ask.
Thank you.You know - I have met people who refuse to let anyone pet a puppy/dog - a couple of big time trainers in the sport have that perception....one of my owners was in a bad wreck, his wife killed, injured badly - I got his mature titled male back after having it fostered for a short time....the dog was FINE....not in your lap social with everyone, but approachable, sane and safe. I even took him to a fun day at an AKC obedience/agility facility and did the CGC with him - put him in a down beside a crated yippy shih tsu, handed the leash to a 12 year old and walked away for that exercise - passed with flying colors.... The owner never let anyone pet this dog, put him in a crate when family and visitors came to the house as per his instructions from the trainer ......Again, bottom line is genetic soundness....