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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My puppy is 10.5 weeks old and I'm working really hard on making sure she receives all the right early socialization. Everyday after work we go out and meet people at grocery stores, restaurants, parks (not dog parks) and anywhere in between. I'm pretty sure she has been introduced to at least 100 people already.

She love meeting new people. When she sees a person she wants to meet she walks up to them and sits infront of them. She learned fast, that strangers just can't resist her puppy eyes and good manors.

My one little issue is, I want to be equally diligent about socializing her with dogs, but I'm finding that is a lot harder. It's much easier to find well behaved people then dogs. None of my friends have dogs that I trust with a puppy :)

She goes to puppy classes, but it's a small group of 4 dogs, and they are only german shepherds because it's a specialized training facility. There is a puppy socialization group here, but the problem is it's during the same time as her training.

How do you find dogs to socialize with your puppy?
 

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The doesn't need to interact with them. Just to see them and not react.
 

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I socialize with dogs at the clubs I train with. Let them sniff each other - let the pup know other dogs are not a threat. Keep it light and fun. If you see hackles, lips curling up, snarl/growl etc, separate them.

I have fosters and my own dogs so I'm lucky in that way - don't have to travel far for some socialization!
 

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Can you ask your trainer if they know any other owners/dogs you can maybe meet with outside of class?
I have the same problem, I don't really know dog-friendly dogs so I am not sure what to do except for relying on puppy class for dog socialization... I might try asking on some of the local dog meetup groups (I don't know if they have any in your area, on meetup.com for example) or ask local dog trainers I know, to see if anyone has puppy friendly dogs we can meet with.
IMO they do need to interact some with other dogs, not just see them in the distance, to learn/practice "social skills".
 

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Hmm I've had veryyy good luck with taking my pup to a crowded place and having random people exclaim "Oh I have a ____ back at home!" and then I just ask if their dog is friendly and maybe offer to have them have a playdate sometime. I've met a bunch of people this way and a bunch of dogs.

You can ask your vet for training clubs they have heard their clients work with and maybe visit a class that isn't all gsds too
 

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I really want to socialise my puppy - we have other dogs in our village but they're all older and smaller than him and he tried to drag me to meet them if we ever see any of them in their gardens when we walk past. this is the only contact he has with his own kind so I kinda feel bad! There's not much other chance for him to meet other dogs as everyone always thinks he's too big to play with their dog when we meet strangers and their dogs out on walks on the beach and stuff. It's a shame for him really. He doesn't meet lots of people either and this is probably leading to him getting agressive and scared when the postman visits every day :S I wonder if we had a second dog if that'd help?
 

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Our GSD puppy has been really great around people. About 4 days after we brought him home I took him to an outside bar that is dog friendly and he did great. I have done this quite often to get him used to loud noises, distractions and different people. He is so acclimated to it now that he will just lie down and take a nap.

It is also important to socialize your gsd with other dogs. His first trip to Pet Smart showed me that I need to work on this right away because he would just bark and bark at other dogs. I started to socialize him with dogs that my family owns and with my friends dogs. I would keep him on his leash and they would keep their dog on their leash until mine would stop barking. Then I would let him get closer and start sniffing. Eventually I could take him off leash and let him play around with the other trusted dogs.

You do have to be careful thought because puppies teeth are very sharp and although he might be play biting the other dog could get mad because his teeth hurt.
 

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I notice people here talk about bringing their dogs into shopping centres, grocery stores etc. but I would have thought that dogs would not be allowed in these places?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I notice people here talk about bringing their dogs into shopping centres, grocery stores etc. but I would have thought that dogs would not be allowed in these places?
I live in Austin, TX and its a very dog friendly town. I can take my dog into many stores, restaurants and bars here, but I have lived in other places that aren't so dog friendly. It's also a warmer climate here, so most restaurants and bars have patios that are open year round that allow pets.

It just depends on the city you live in. One of the reasons I choose to move to Austin was because it's so dog friendly. However, I have still found that many people are hesitant to let their dogs meet strange dogs, or puppies. Which is understandable, but makes it harder for me to get her socialized.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I wanted to post an update to my puppy socialization quest. Thanks for all the great advice. I took your advice and asked my trainer about possible puppy friendly locations to socialize. I also hung out in a place that I figured would have a lot of dogs. Both resulted in successful socialization interactions.

My trainer mentioned a trail around a lake by my house that is leash free zone for dogs, that she often takes her dogs too. It's not a park where all the dogs are crammed into one area, so that's a plus. She said because it's on a leash free path, and not fenced in, most of the dogs that you come across on the path are a little more well behaved. So, I took my puppy there and was able to introduce her too a handful of dogs. She was pretty cautious at first, but not too bad considering this was her first interactions with some pretty large sized adult dogs. I used treats to reward her for approaching the dogs.

The next day I took her to a festival that allowed dogs. I was able to find another good handful of dogs for her to meet and have short interactions with. She did even better the second time around.
 

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Sounds great! I took my puppy on vacation with me pretty soon after I got him, and the vacation was our yearly family reunion, and everyone in our family brought their Yorkies (plus we have one!), so Kody got to interact with 4 Yorkies and 1 chihuahua (also ours) for a couple weeks straight :). After that, we took him to the dog park a lot (on a leash). I personally like our dog park; the dogs are generally well-behaved, but I still keep a close eye on and stay within "rushing over to" distance of my dogs just to be safe. He's only had positive experiences with this :).
 

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Our first walks were in home depot, it was cold out and they are dog friendly. Apache got used to strange sounds and carts and automatic doors, beeping lift machines etc. Not to mention everyone she saw had to meet her, at 4 months tomorrow she hasnt met a person she doesnt like. That said protection is in her genes, if I run a few feet she bites my pants. i looked into her pedigree and her grandparents are out of the czech police kennels.
 
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