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Discussion Starter #21
Not trying to be critical, but I wonder why you feel so pressured to "train" this ity bity puppy. Slow down, stop overwhelming her, it's not helping her! It's a marathon not a race!

People talk alot about the "socialization window" ending, supposedly at 16 wks. In my experience that's a bunch of baloney!

When a puppy is young they are unafraid, because it hasn't yet dawned on them that there really are some scary things out there. After 16 wks or so they do, and it's not at all uncommon for a puppy to have what is known as a "fear period" at that point, because they are adjusting to their newfound reality. It usually passes in a week or two. But continuing to push them with "scary" encounters is not at all helpful until they do!

At 14 wks your puppy hasn't had his final round of vaccines, so taking him frequently to places frequented by other dogs is risky for his health, not to mention his peace of mind!

Snapping at kids, and you're still asking if you should take him down to the school crossing each morning? Wow! Listen to your puppy! It's too much too soon!

Socialization is exposure, not being petted by strangers or kids or other dogs for that matter, at least not taking it beyond what your puppy is comfortable with. Instead introduce her to new floor textures, elevators, stairs, walks in the woods, farm animals, bleachers, a ride in a wheelbarrow, motorcycles, bicycles, baby strollers, back packs...you get the idea. Just lots of stuff. But all the while, honor her feelings. If she's showing signs of being uncomfortable give her time, let her watch from a distance she seems comfortable. You'll make better progress if you do!
Tim it really didn't feel like I was rushing anything. On your specific comments about what to expose her to I see the benefit. In my case the crossing walk activity Maple was comfortable with. She was not comfortable with all the cars but in the school zone they slow down and I felt she was handling it. She was relaxed enough to lay down, mill around not paying attention to the kids but looking for things in the grass etc. Only when the kid approached did it become a problem and I take full responsibility for how that went down. For me I live next to two schools (one middle one elementary (one block distance). Kids are walking to school, parents are walking their kids to school, middle school kids hang out in my front yard waiting for their parents to come get them. So for me early socialization in this area was important. Way more than the things you referenced above Up until the close hand over head contact all was fine.

We have not been back to the school crossing but I have been letting her meet people (no kids at this point). We have had painters, carpenters, and counter people in our house for the last two weeks. I asked if they mind if she greats them and I'm upfront about what has happened in the past. I have told them when she comes in don't pay attention to her and just let her come in and sniff you and see if she licks you. If it goes that far then hand them a treat to hand her low and open hand. She has done well. The thing is adults have not been a problem for her. Kids in 2-3 feet proximity are. 10 feet no problem. Probably even 5 feet. So will need a plan to how to work it the best way for her and the kids. As for cars we are just staying off the main road. So still get cars in the neighborhood but not big loud trucks etc. Our walks have been good. Lucking she doesn't pull and stays by my side and if slows or speeds a very small tension and she comes back in line. With praise and treats when I feel it is best. Thing is I don't feel like I've had anything to do with that. I'm definitely a lot more relaxed then my dogs in the past but walking on leash I've just been shocked how she has handled it after the initial omg what is this thing around my neck while in the back yard and then some sessions back in forth in our yard. Even then I think I waited a decent time before I went out for walks to make sure she was comfortable with the leash and staying with me.

Well as everyone sees I can write for hours. All positive thoughts your way and thanks again for the comments good or bad.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Ok see what I've done. Long posts but just broken up. Well here is the training update. Three options where I live. Puppy Love group socialization basic training class I've been partially through with my daughters beagle and husky. Sit Means Sit which is franchise I'm sure. My son is using them. He has referenced electric collar use. Well I decided to check out the 3rd. K9SENSEI. Former martial arts instructor and dog trainer and boarding now. His personal Shepherds are rescues. Traveled a lot and likes to surf. 61 I think. So reading to much on the internet the first question that came up is he uses a prong collar. I have tried with former Choc Lab the prong and admittedly didn't know what I was doing. The first session was us talking and discussing Maple. Maple getting used to him. He had me show me how I walk her. He added the prong and took her. She did the dance but within 1 minute was settled and she was walking with him. Heel (I have not worked with her on that command yet because on walks she is right beside me), stay, sit. The in a rhythm of this action over and over. She was doing good. She looked to me often. He instructed as he was doing it. Then I tried and she did the dance again and didn't want to settle for me which is unusual since she is a calm walker with soft rope slip. He took her one more time then I took her. She settled and was doing well. He felt I was doing good but I knew my own mistakes some of which he pointed out. Next he brought out his 12 year old Shepherd female. Maple was was on a low platform sitting. His Shepherd gave a few barks from about 15 feet away. Maple barked back. He then went in a walk with and had me follow them with Maple. All was good. Then he had us go ahead and they follow us. Well Maple did the flat feet jump turn around dance several times but settled to a degree. He then came along beside us and we walked together. Him between his dog and Maple (Maple walks on my left). Finally we set down about 4 feet away from each other as his dog sprawled out and he petted her and we talked. Put Maple in down and she just set there. We moved to about 2 feet away and and Maple set on my feet looking at her. His dog still relaxed and sprawled out. He said when he got her she was supper anxious and would make what they called crop circles in their yard. Training ended. $70. I was there for about 1 hr 15 min. He is looking for 2-3 more session and some introduction to other dogs of different temperaments and more general training. Then maybe back in a few months.

So for me this doesn't address kids, cars, and another trigger which is restraining her by holding my arms around her (hug but with purpose) or head lock which the vet asked for to treat her She took a snap at the vet when trying to check her teeth the visit before. Still had issues this visit but no where near biting. She felt Maple was much better. So I'll see how things go. As always would like to know your thoughts.

Side note. Our house is being worked on (painting and kitchen updates). Think puppy with no doors anywhere because they are being painted at once. Bought a couple of gates but man not good timing.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Your dog is anxious obviously.She seems to do better when you keep your distance and observe rather than interact directly.A really effective way to build her confidence is to reward her with treats/praise whenever she looks away from the scary thing and looks at you.She'll feel safe with you and less concerned about what's happening around her.My boy has an aversion to people getting too close or staring at him.He avoids proximity by leaving my side and walking behind me for a moment,then right back in position.If I stop to talk to someone he sits calmly behind me and has been known to lay down and nap if I'm yaking for a long time.Every so often he'll decide a person is ok and greet them.Also every so often someone will reach out to pet him and he deftly slips out of reach and goes on with his day.
Terri,

Thanks and I have applied this. And forgot in Training update one command was eyes. So will be working on that.
 

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Best of luck to you!Sometimes puppies become more confident as they grow up,others like my guy feel most humans are untrustworthy and need a comfortable distance.
 

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I've had a somewhat similar experience with my pup.

Significant fear reaction to people with onset at 14-16 weeks.

Characterized by running away when anyone (adult or child) approached.

Normal, low-key upbringing w/o events or interactions prior to that time to explain his behavior.

Socialization same as prior puppies.

The breeder states no litter mates with same.

He's better at 11 months old, but remains far more fearful than prior GSD's.

Although the fear is likely genetic, is there any fact based research to suggest a role for vaccination?

His personality change occurred shortly after the 14 week vet visit with multiple vaccinations.

Likely coincidental, but interested in other's thoughts.

Thanks.
 

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.A really effective way to build her confidence is to reward her with treats/praise whenever she looks away from the scary thing and looks at you
That is basically the principle my trainer recommended.
1. I taught the look command in the house to create great value for looking at me.
2. We very slowly add stressors/distractions while continuing the look command. If Ole ever voluntarily looked at me after looking at something scary, I jackpotted. This was tricky because the glances happened so fast.
3. We increased the glace to a full head turn. IE it took a full head turn with full engagement to earn the same reward. I use a vocal trigger to let Ole know this is what I expect.
4. The glance increased into a full recall with Ole standing in front of me facing me directly. I use a vocal trigger to let Ole know this is what I expect.
5. The recall increase into a full sit with Ole facing me. I use a different vocal trigger to let Ole know this is what I expect.

I am currently working on the two second rule. When he is in 'go play' mode, I let him sniff and look at whatever he wants. However, if it looks like he is starting to fixate on anything for more than two seconds, I redirect towards me. Then let him go back to sniffing and playing.

Now, I have a toolbox of different levels of redirects for use in different situations. Since we took it slowly, I think dealing with these induced stressors has become Ole's favorite part of the day. He hops out of the car with his tail and rump wagging; his eyes are intense. He looks like he wants to get to work.

This is probably overboard for most dogs who are just going through a phase. But you might pick out steps that help your dog move through its fear.
 
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