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Discussion Starter #1
So-- I am trying as fast as I can to find help in doggy socializing Grimm. But, Grimm is 13 months old. Is it too late to make much impact or help him learn dogs are no big deal, and that he can't play-bow and ignore Mom when he sees a dog zooming between his front paws? He is Czech lines-- and EXTREMELY PUPPYISH for 13 months. The instant you meet him, your first impression would be "Puppy-brain."
But, this won't last long, do I have a tiny window where beyond that timeframe, he will be too adult or too serious to learn to be socialized a bit better?

Anyone with rescues seen any changes in adult dogs re learning to relax around other dogs?
 

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Patti--

I adopted Basu when he was 4.5 years old. He had been abused and neglected for his entire life--kept in a cage in the garage 14 hours a day and a cage (and I use the term advisedly) in the house the rest of the time. At some point in there the people bought a rottweiler and she bullied him. Other than that he made maybe interacted with one other dog. When we got him his idea of an appropriate greeting was to mount another dog...immediately!
The first time we got a foster puppy he thought he was an alien and wanted nothing to do with him!


After quite a bit of supervised socialization with dogs that had both good and bad manners (I took him to the dog park every day) he became SO good with other dogs that he was a sort of dog whisperer for dogs. He was the sweetest foster brother you could imagine and somehow was able to calm the most anxious or hyper dog.

So, yes, there's a large window there for Grimm. He can learn anything! And with some help, you can teach him!

Have faith in both of you--you're doing great!
 

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Is he play bowing when other dogs come past? (if I read your posting right?). Or is he over aggressive and over reacting?

If he's merely over interested in new dogs, and ignoring you, you have nothing to worry about and are lucky! That's ideal for my dog's personality/reaction with other dogs.

BUT the ignoring me is an issue. Which is easy to fix by continuing with leadership skills (for me) and general obedience training for my dog.

http://www.spinone.com/ObedArticle1.htm

http://www.expertvillage.com/videos/dog-agility-focus-attention.htm video blog

Have you been working on attention training yet? Or what else are you working on in dog classes.
 

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although the developmental stages of puppies are important, they are not written in concrete and dogs can and do change; i did police k9 some 30 yrs ago when we went to shelters and pulled dogs; i've been active in rescue ever since; w/concentrated work and dedication, you can get your dog better socialized

get him out daily around other people and dogs; make him do obedience around other dogs; tolerate no aggression; reward the positive, correct the negative and w/time he'll come around in all likelihood;

he's still a puppy; a teenager really and there's lots of room to grow at that age

good luck
 

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I don't think socialization is your problem, if that were the case your pup would be from plain scared of other dogs to acting agressive (in the philosophy of shotting first because he sees other dogs as a menace) and what you have is a pup that want to play, play, play


My advice can sound harsh, but don't let him play freely with any dog, NEVER. He is actually nice with other dogs (maybe he lacks of some manners, but it could be worse) and what you less want right now (you, in your particular case, not necessarilly any pet owner around) is that he sees other dogs as the maximum fun, and sadly we can never compete in how fun can be the play with another dog. Let him play in the hope that if he gets wats he wants from time to time his needs of doggy contact will be fullfilled won't work, for an averly friendly dog it's never enough (been there, done that).

If you can and if you are in your good days carry on your walks his preferred toy and in the instant he pay attention to another dog, show him the toy and play with him in the most exciting way you are able. Show him how much fun are you compared to those boring dogs. If the other dogs are leashed, ask people to keep distance, since your pup is an assistance dog in training.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Grimm barks and lunges sometimes when he sees another dog (it seems sometimes partly to be not being sure of the idea of other dogs.. and other times this is clearly 'recreational', he's having fun when he does it). But if the dog is offlead, he play-bows, bum in the air. The two times he has (Goddess forbid!!) gotten away from me (told you I was looking for help) he began happily chasing, then being chased by, a Labrador-- and the second time, nerdishly play-bowing and barking loudly around a leashed wirehaired Dachshund. BOTH times he did return when I called (miraculous).
I cannot tell you how many offlead tiny toy breeds have raced up between his front legs on our walks, maybe at least 3, and he barks loudly, play bows-- I am positive he will crush the little things.

But sometimes, he does bark because dogs are new to him and the idea is unfamiliar.

Oddly, if he barks at another dog and I bellow a thundering, Wrath-O-Goddess "PFFFUUUUIIII!!!!!" at him with lead corrections, he looks all embarrassed, and we can then pass 3 dogs on our walk and nary a peep from him.

So, I think this is fixable-- but I *do* think remedial doggy socialization is in order! We need to take 'the WOW factor' out of this.. and THEN teach him that he can, will, and must work around, ignore, and walk right on past other dogs. (after all.. he'd know they aren't space aliens anymore then, right?)
 

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Depends on the "bark and lunge". There is defensive barking and lunging, and there is excited playful barking and lunging. While I can't be sure without seeing it, I'd guess from all you've said about Grim and his general reaction toward other dogs that his falls into the play category.

Doesn't really sound like a socialization issue to me. Sounds like an obedience issue. He is comfortable enough around other dogs to want to interact, and he's not fearful, so he's plenty socialized around them. However, he is also overly stimulated by them and focuses too much on them, when he should be able to tune them out.

My goal for socializing is to have the dog comfortable enough around anything and everything that he isn't bothered and can focus on the job at hand, if there is one. Perhaps a better term for the way I look at it is "desensitization". I do NOT want my dog to think every outing is romper room or to learn to look at strange people and dogs and an opportunity for socializing. IMO, some people take socializing too far and end up teaching just that. And some dogs just naturally tend to develop that social hour attitude without much practice at it at all. Either way, getting the dog to focus on you and tune out the other dogs is an obedience issue, not a socialzation issue.
 

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Originally Posted By: Chris Wild
My goal for socializing is to have the dog comfortable enough around anything and everything that he isn't bothered and can focus on the job at hand, if there is one. Perhaps a better term for the way I look at it is "desensitization". I do NOT want my dog to think every outing is romper room or to learn to look at strange people and dogs and an opportunity for socializing. IMO, some people take socializing too far and end up teaching just that. And some dogs just naturally tend to develop that social hour attitude without much practice at it at all. Either way, getting the dog to focus on you and tune out the other dogs is an obedience issue, not a socialzation issue.
How would you deal with such a dog? One that wants to play with every dog he meets and gets bouncy, whiney and pulley when he sees just about any other dog. The dog in question is usually very obedient with the exception if this one scenario.
 

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Originally Posted By: Pedders

How would you deal with such a dog? One that wants to play with every dog he meets and gets bouncy, whiney and pulley when he sees just about any other dog. The dog in question is usually very obedient with the exception if this one scenario.
He needs more proofing around distractions, with other dogs appearing to be his most irresistable distraction. Many dogs are very obedient at home, or in calm environments or familiar surroundings where they know what is expected and and the environment is conducive to focusing on what they're supposed to be doing and they aren't being overstimulated or sent into a frenzy by lots of activity. But they need to be taught to be able to focus under high levels of distraction. A dog who always sits perfectly at home in the kitchen isn't necessarily going to do so in the middle of a pet store, and that's perfectly natural. It's not that he doesn't know sit, it's that he hasn't yet learned to globalize the command or developed the self control to be able to do it amidst distraction. This is why proofing around distractions is a highly important, but often skipped, part of sound obedience training. For some dogs it's harder than for others, as some dogs genetically have lower trigger thresholds for stimulation and are more easily worked into a silly, excited state.

Determine his threshold for when he just absolutely cannot control himself, and start working just ouside that. So if he goes nuts when other dogs are 20' away, at first do obedience with them 25' a way. Near, but outside the threshold so he has a chance of success. Work on focus, heeling, whatever.... Corrections may or may not be necessary, but the main focus needs to be for the handler to make herself more fun and interesting than anything else, and to block him from getting any sort of reward or reinforcement for his behavior if he does momentarily get distracted. Over time, as he gets the idea and learns more what is expected and also learns to look to his handler for the fun and for the reward, gradually move closer and closer to other dogs.

One thing we always make sure to do with our young dogs when we're socializing them is we teach them a "go say Hi" cue phrase. We let our pups and young dogs socialize with lots of people, and (rarely) the occasional other dog, when out in public. But we give them permission first. This starts when they're pups. Before we let them socialize, we say that phrase. As pups of course it doesn't mean anything to them. But later, when we're taking them out and about more for desensitization and working around distractions, we use that phrase a lot. If we *don't* say it, it tells the dog that our expectation is for them to ignore what's going on and focus on us and whatever training we're doing. Then once done with that, if we decide to let them socialize, we make sure to give them the cue that its ok. They quickly pick up on it.

One of the best ways to break a dog from a behavior is to also teach them when that behavior is OK, not just focus on showing them it's not Ok. Barking problem? Teach your dog to bark on command, and this will make it easier for him to learn when he shouldn't bark. And so on. We had one dog that the only way we could teach her not to jump up on people was to teach her TO jump up on people with a "Gimme a hug" command. Once she knew under what circumstances it was allowed, it was much clearer to her and easier for her to understand that there was to be no jumping unless she was told to.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Very good input, Chris! Currently, my thinking is that there is SOME insecurity.. unfamiliarity?.. here for Grimm, as his intensity of gaze and hackles up makes me think he needs the novelty to be less. I am hoping for someone ELSE to handle Grimm during some doggy meetings (actually, that is 100% imperitive at the beginning, my hands are weak). The other things I am hoping the trainer to do is be my hands for teaching Grimm to stroll by another dog. I will myself follow up, without doubt. Grimm is an everyday-project, and I enjoy being a part of his learning.. even his learning to not try to break away and have a wacky social hour. Thing is, eventually, he WILL meet other dogs (too many are off-lead here in my new city) and need to accept them calmly and without the doggy equivilent of nerdy, over-enthusiastic, Jerry Lewis goofiness. It's hard when you have a canine nerd!
 

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Patti

Is Grimm wearing a 'service dog in training' vest? Isn't there a German equivalent? I'm thinking that J Q Public might be more aware of their dog's behavior around a service dog or that, at least, you can ask for compliance it there is an issue.

I would think your goal would be less socialization than training Grimm that his job is to focus on you and your direction.

In other words, not so much acceptance of other dogs and more ignoring them totally?
 

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Anne, I thought so too. I had no concept at all until I moved here, of how dog-CROWDED the city is. In Schweinfurt, dogs are crammed onto the bus next to us, squeeze into the building elevator, barge down the tiny, narrow walkways that honeycomb the city, stroll right into the restaurant, pub, shop, post office, and bank.. and on walks-- dogs ZZOOOMMMM right up to you off lead. Guess what? Here, we can't get away from 'em! Or, currently, I try to-- but it takes a HUGE amount of work/vigilence. Add narrow city sidewalks to the list.. remember, we can't even use the entire width of sidewalk here.. there's a very heavily-used, marked, bicycle lane taking up 1/2 the sidewalk.

Focusing on me when other dogs are near must necessarily be my second objective. The first, for my safety as well as Grimm's, needs to be removing the newness, the 'wow' factor, that gets Grimm's hair up, and causes him to get tense, excited, bark/lunge. Learning to socialize correctly is important, as we don't have a choice-- offlead dogs WILL race right up to us.
He needs to learn dogs are no big deal... learn a few manners too.. and then, also, learn to ignore other dogs when out with me.
 

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That does make it hard!

I hope time, familiarity and maturity will help, though I know you need all these things 'yesterday.'

Good luck with the trainer.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks Anne.. I truly appreciate your guidance and input! I had no idea how doggy-crowded this European city would be. The hunt for a good trainer is on!
 
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