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Rocky my GSD taught me the value of ignore and move on. The breed of dog has a bearing on the issue also. My BullMastiff/Pit mix and my Boxer loved, people they learned to ignore other dogs,Vet visits and dog parades were not an issue for them.

Everyone one wanted to see Struddell White Boxer and she loved the attention and Pitt people loved Gunther ,neither of them had an issue with strangers it was just there nature. So they were free to engage if people "chose" to do so

Rocky Blk GSD...not so much! I got him as a 7 month old as a rescue and I would have though he would have been used to strangers??:confused: We had guest over for the first time and he growled at them???:confused:

Got him away from company, got a muzzle and instituted "move on and ignore" step in front and a "no you can't pet my dog policy" no forced intros whatsoever, No people meeting no doggie intro, dogs and people became furniture to him.

After a few weeks dropped the use of the muzzle, when I knew how to "read "him. We went to vaccine day (without the muzzle) all kinds of howling, barking, vet biting, little dog craziness. Kept Rocky by my side on a loose leash, He stood calmly by my side observing the goings on without interest. His turn comes and again no issues, no muzzle and no problems,:laugh:

He still doesn't welcome company with open "paws" but he's no longer a threat to guest. Had I insisted on him being the happy go lucky "never met a stranger I did not like" I love everybody kind of dog my other dogs were, I don't know what I would have today?

But today he's a confident, self assured, safe in public example of a well behaved GSD! That's all I wanted from him and it's what he delivered once, I understood what his limits were and made allowances for his needs !:)
Hi Chip! Yes, I agree that breed means alot. Everyone loved our Boxers, and they absolutely loved everyone! I don't expect or want that from my GSD. I want him to acknowledge then ignore people, and I don't want people falling all over him/her.
 

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I have to say that I was very concerned about our GSD's temperment after bringing him home at 8 wks. He seemed too shy and a bit nervy. Bringing him out to a park seemed too much for him and he would mostly bark and acted like a wild animal in public. And he had had come from a great breeder who exposed the litter to noises and people/kids, etc. Consistent training at home and plenty of car rides within the comfort of his crate have paid off. My husband and I took him out this weekend to a very busy downtown area and farmer's market and he was really good! He's 6 months old now and I will be bringing him out much more now that he can handle it. I think if I would have pushed him with too much when he was younger it wouldn't have turned out so well. I questioned myself a lot during the last 4 months though. Everyone says, socialize, socialize, socialize. I think you can only do what your pup is ready for.
 

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I currently live in Costa Rica, where there are many many street dogs; they trot around downtown, appear to know how to cross the streets without getting run over, and never make a nuisance of themselves. Most of the dogs in the main part of downtown are fed scaps by people, and don't appear starving (unlike all the strays in the country!). Many of the locals have pet dogs who follow them around town unleashed, but they follow their folks and never run off. The locals are not known as being dog lovers, but their dogs are very well behaved! It is somewhat of a mystery to me!
When I grew up, there were no leash laws. The dogs were also very well behaved and responsive to their owners. To this day, I can see the same in dogs who are given plenty of freedom off leash starting at an early age vs dogs always housed inside, and/or fenced / tied outside, and always leashed off property regardless of length of leash.

I don't know, maybe it has something to do with just letting a dog be a dog unfettered. I can't fathom how a dog can be mentally and emotionally healthy when constantly restrained.
 

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Growing we had a dog that lived down the block his name was mulligan- he was a beagle mix- medium small sized. The owners always let him roam the streets. My mother nicknamed him Mulligan Stew because many neighbors would get angry with him as he got quite a few female dogs pregnant or raided their garbage. they were not happy with him. I heard 1 man shot him in the eye with a bee bee gun because he impregnated his dog- yeah the man was not well like regardless. Mulligan was blind in one eye because of that and yet the owners still let him roam free. We would see him trot down the middle of the road always looking like he had somewhere to go and was late. Anyway this dog out lived 2 of our dogs- I swear he lived to be around 18-20 if that is possible. I was in 2 grade when he was a pup still around when I was in college. Mulligan I'm sure he can tell quite a few stories. Not that I would let my dogs free roam Just always thought mulligan was a mystery.
 

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Yes, I do see the merit in allowing a dog to be a dog and run free, but safety is a concern. A solid recall first will be essential, I assume!
 

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Yes, I do see the merit in allowing a dog to be a dog and run free, but safety is a concern. A solid recall first will be essential, I assume!
Young puppies are very reluctant to leave your side when off lead, it is natural for them to want to follow and stay with you. You can build on it from there. Of course, you would do this somewhere safe, but many on this forum use this method with great success to teach solid recalls. Leashing puppies all the time can be counterproductive to this simple method.

Ask the owners of the well behaved dogs you admire in Costa Rica. Don't be surprised when they tell you they have never leashed their dogs.
 

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When I grew up, there were no leash laws. The dogs were also very well behaved and responsive to their owners. To this day, I can see the same in dogs who are given plenty of freedom off leash starting at an early age vs dogs always housed inside, and/or fenced / tied outside, and always leashed off property regardless of length of leash.

I don't know, maybe it has something to do with just letting a dog be a dog unfettered. I can't fathom how a dog can be mentally and emotionally healthy when constantly restrained.
When I first got Elsa, my last GSD, she had lived in an apartment, and had apparently been crated a lot, when she was in the apartment, and on a leash outside. When she first went out into my fenced yard, (I have an acre and a half, though only about an acre is fenced), she was obviously amazed and astounded that she was outside and free to run. The expression on her face told it all. She zoomed around like a crazy thing,

That being said, there's a lot of advantage to living in a neighborhood where one can walk a dog on a leash. Beside the socialization advantages, I live in a rural area, and while there are fields near me, they are full of deer and deer ticks. Walking therefore is rife with the inevitable possibility of getting a bitten by a deer tick and getting lyme. My understanding is the lyme vaccine doesn't really work and has its own dangers. And its hard to see a deer tick on a longcoat GSD. I used to drive Elsa to neighborhoods where we could walk. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with Blitz. We'll probably do the field walking, but I know it means I'm putting him and me at risk for lyme. That's true just for being in my backyard, of course, but it's more so in the fields nearby where you can see the deer roaming.
 

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When I first got Elsa, my last GSD, she had lived in an apartment, and had apparently been crated a lot, when she was in the apartment, and on a leash outside. When she first went out into my fenced yard, (I have an acre and a half, though only about an acre is fenced), she was obviously amazed and astounded that she was outside and free to run. The expression on her face told it all. She zoomed around like a crazy thing,

That being said, there's a lot of advantage to living in a neighborhood where one can walk a dog on a leash. Beside the socialization advantages, I live in a rural area, and while there are fields near me, they are full of deer and deer ticks. Walking therefore is rife with the inevitable possibility of getting a bitten by a deer tick and getting lyme. My understanding is the lyme vaccine doesn't really work and has its own dangers. And its hard to see a deer tick on a longcoat GSD. I used to drive Elsa to neighborhoods where we could walk. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with Blitz. We'll probably do the field walking, but I know it means I'm putting him and me at risk for lyme. That's true just for being in my backyard, of course, but it's more so in the fields nearby where you can see the deer roaming.
It is not so easy to walk a dog in most communities nowadays. The risk of attack by other dogs is very high in many areas. Although dog parks get the blame, most people I know whose dogs have been attacked by other dogs had it happen in residential communities.
 

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Discussion Starter #210 (Edited)
inspired by http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/puppy-behavior/672689-6-month-old-puppy-growling-barking-other-dogs.html#post8176410

There is a published study offered in the Journal of Veterinary Behaviour - clinical applications and research
which is titled Analysis of correlations between early social exposure and reported aggression in the dog

Briefly , data gathered from close to 800 Australian participants who had dogs within an age range of one to three years,
acquired at the ages of 10 weeks or younger , not breed or gender specific.
The questionnaire asked them about their experience -- at what age did they take the dog to public places whether parks or sidewalks .
They asked how many encounters did that young pup have with unfamiliar dogs and how much time was spent making encounters per week.
They were asked whether they restricted their pup's exposure based on how THEIR dog reacted . (fear or aggression)
Finally they were asked whether their dog had displayed aggression.

The average age for this socialization was approximately 13 weeks of age. - 51% responded that they "socialized" before the timeline of the final booster vaccination.
I said the timeline , the average age when the standard vaccination protocol is typically completed because not every one adheres to it . With some the vaccinations (if any) are completed in a staggered , longer time period .

Of this group 34 % reported having experienced their dog reacting aggressively toward an unfamiliar dog.


The findings were that when an owner waited longer to begin public social exposure the chances of their dog becoming an adult with aggression towards other dogs was reduced .

**** quote **** "that every week that an owner waited to begin public social exposure reduced the odds of their dog becoming aggressive to other dogs as an adult by 4.2%"

Spending more time with unfamiliar dogs , or spending time with more unfamiliar dogs in public areas made no positive change to the likelihood that the dog would not be aggressive (dog to dog) . In fact the negative experiences predisposed them to later aggression.
Early exposure to a range of public exposure

Not doing any good in the long run.

I know that people like to get the young pups out there . They are fantastic ice breakers - bring friendly attention -- dog doesn't care . Rewarding and lovely for the person . Who doesn't love a cute pup ?

this was not covered in the study (to my knowledge) - I would add exposure to other dogs in structured puppy classes --

Do what is right for the dog.
 

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Sometimes I take a youngster to puppy classes, but I ensure there will be no free-for-all. Other than that, I really don't go out of my way to expose puppies to other dogs early on. I think it is counter-productive.
 

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Sometimes I take a youngster to puppy classes, but I ensure there will be no free-for-all. Other than that, I really don't go out of my way to expose puppies to other dogs early on. I think it is counter-productive.

I do the same. I have Enya starting class next week, she'll be 4 months old. She'll see the dogs, but not play with them. While I've taken her with me to stores here and there, I've avoided other dogs other than the ones here.
 

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Discussion Starter #213
I have to say that I was very concerned about our GSD's temperment after bringing him home at 8 wks. He seemed too shy and a bit nervy. Bringing him out to a park seemed too much for him and he would mostly bark and acted like a wild animal in public. And he had had come from a great breeder who exposed the litter to noises and people/kids, etc. Consistent training at home and plenty of car rides within the comfort of his crate have paid off. My husband and I took him out this weekend to a very busy downtown area and farmer's market and he was really good! He's 6 months old now and I will be bringing him out much more now that he can handle it. I think if I would have pushed him with too much when he was younger it wouldn't have turned out so well. I questioned myself a lot during the last 4 months though. Everyone says, socialize, socialize, socialize. I think you can only do what your pup is ready for.
how is your pup doing?
 

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I socialized August constantly from 10 weeks old. He'd do 4 hours 3 times a week til he was 8 months at a doggy daycare where I could watch him via video feed. I supplemented that with Petco and Petsmart puppy playtimes twice a week. August is now 3 years old and is not good with other dogs. I stopped the daycare because of the neutering requirement and my older GSD is not dog friendly so that's what I have now,2 GSDs,one temperamentally fearful and reactive to other dogs (attacking and attempting to bite other dogs aggressively since 8 weeks old) and the other lacks the benefits of continued dog socialization. They do have 1 other dog buddy they've known since they were pups who they love,so I know they are capable.
 

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Discussion Starter #215
I socialized August constantly from 10 weeks old. He'd do 4 hours 3 times a week til he was 8 months at a doggy daycare where I could watch him via video feed. I supplemented that with Petco and Petsmart puppy playtimes twice a week. August is now 3 years old and is not good with other dogs. I stopped the daycare because of the neutering requirement and my older GSD is not dog friendly so that's what I have now,2 GSDs,one temperamentally fearful and reactive to other dogs (attacking and attempting to bite other dogs aggressively since 8 weeks old) and the other lacks the benefits of continued dog socialization. They do have 1 other dog buddy they've known since they were pups who they love,so I know they are capable.
and that is why I started this thread !

I am sure you were acting on your best intentions . You are not alone .

I don't know when this concept of socializing young pups, or dog parks was "sold" to the public .

It is so contrary to the nature and needs of the dog . Have we lost common sense , are so urban that we no longer understand an animal as an animal, have humanized them , pressured by some peta agenda that makes the person feel good ?

PLEASE, NEW PUP OWNERS, DO NOT DO THIS

Dogs do not need to be "socialized" to the contact of other dogs.

When I was a kid there weren't any puppy or doggie daycare, or commercial playtime sessions.
Certainly no dedicated facilities with two way mirrors or video feeds.

This is the worst . You weren't even there for your pup to look toward you for support or guidance.

I wonder if there was any successful customer.

a bit of passion here - not singling you out -- I honestly think you had the best of intentions.



.
 

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and that is why I started this thread !


I don't know when this concept of socializing young pups, or dog parks was "sold" to the public .

It is so contrary to the nature and needs of the dog . Have we lost common sense , are so urban that we no longer understand an animal as an animal, have humanized them , pressured by some peta agenda that makes the person feel good ?

PLEASE, NEW PUP OWNERS, DO NOT DO THIS

Dogs do not need to be "socialized" to the contact of other dogs.




.
It's so so hard not to get stuck in this mindset today though. Klaus was fearful of most other dogs right off the bat, and everyone around me, in puppy training groups, etc. was pushing the whole "expose him to more dogs, make him play with them" thing. It feels so urgent, because everyone stresses that there's a limited window for this, and if you miss it, your dog will turn out to be some dog hating monster. Luckily I found this thread and people here, and instead we just gave other dogs a wide berth as much as possible and let him grow up a bit.

He now has almost no reaction to most dogs we pass, or he wants to play - the polar opposite of how he was. He's still improving, and he'll never be a "dog friendly" dog, but he doesn't need to be. When he does still have his occasional fearful reaction (interestingly usually towards really small dogs), people sometimes tell me, oh, he should have played with more dogs when he was younger.
 

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When I was growing up, there were no leash laws, doggie daycares, dog parks, etc.

It was common for people to own two or three dogs, all kept intact, all ran loose in the streets.

The dogs, even new puppies, all hung together with the kids, played with us, walked with us, and chased us on our bikes.

Dogs grew up being savvy in doggie social skills. Fights were rare, even when females were in heat and males followed in packs.

All of this ended with leash laws and helped create leash reactivity and a lack of doggie social skills. Most don't qualify these behaviors as good family pet material nor does it remind us of our childhood dogs from back then.

Perhaps this is where and why doggie daycares, dog parks, etc., have risen to popularity.
@carmspak What was it like with dogs when you were growing up? What did families and children do to enjoy them?
 

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and that is why I started this thread !

I am sure you were acting on your best intentions . You are not alone .

I don't know when this concept of socializing young pups, or dog parks was "sold" to the public .

It is so contrary to the nature and needs of the dog . Have we lost common sense , are so urban that we no longer understand an animal as an animal, have humanized them , pressured by some peta agenda that makes the person feel good ?

PLEASE, NEW PUP OWNERS, DO NOT DO THIS

Dogs do not need to be "socialized" to the contact of other dogs.

When I was a kid there weren't any puppy or doggie daycare, or commercial playtime sessions.
Certainly no dedicated facilities with two way mirrors or video feeds.

This is the worst . You weren't even there for your pup to look toward you for support or guidance.

I wonder if there was any successful customer.

a bit of passion here - not singling you out -- I honestly think you had the best of intentions.



.
Everything I've read says it is pertinent to get a puppy socialized by 4 months old. I complied with August and I don't believe he had any negative experiences at this doggy daycare. All the dogs there are vetted and all are dog friendly. Despite all his socialization and again I never saw anything negative,he is mistrustful of dogs. I think it might have been different if I had continued the socializing,but early socialization was not a magic cure.
 

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I took Enya to Lowes with us today. In the parking lot was a GSD barking from the open bed of a pickup truck. Since he was barking at everyone, it was nonstop barking. Enya looked once and then ignored him. Inside as we were leaving two small dogs walked past us as we stood in the check out line. They barked and lunged and were dragged away. I told her sit, she'd get up, I'd tell her sit, she would, then get back up. But not a bark or growl from her, merely curiosity and wanting to go see closer. As they passed the couple in line behind us loudly said 'It's nice this dog is so nicely trained'. Well, if you count a puppy sitting, standing, sitting, standing well behaved. *G* Had we not been standing in line, I would have moved away from them. The dogs waited until they were almost on her to act aggressively. So you don't know what another dog will do. It's not worth it to walk up to a strange dog thinking they 'look and act friendly'. Friendly can change in an instant.
 

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Discussion Starter #220
Hello folks. I just want to say that I love this web site. Some of my fondest memories I have is when I was a young boy spending time with my German Shepherd. But like pups turn into dogs so that young boy turned into a grown man trying to help my wife raise our kids and get them grown. I never realized that I said it all the time but my youngest son told me I would always say that I wanted a German Shepherd for ME. FF years and all my kids are gone, the the plant I had worked for 33 years is shut down. Old with an empty nest and unemployed. I got that German Shepherd and we became fast friends. Then I got a job 200 miles from home. Took my new best friend with me. We lived in a camper on the river. The bonding is impossible to explane but those days went from being the worst days of my life to almost the best and it was because of a GSD. My best friend recently died and shortly afterwards I found this site and read many posts where people really felt the same pain that I did over their GSD loss. Thanks for all the tender hearts out there. You guys helped. Im soon to be getting a full brother to my previous GSD. Thanks everybody for your posts, I love em all!

Maybe I should have put this with my introduction post.
You Tube
[/QUOTE]


There is a lot to learn from this one . I hope shooter will give a periodic update - video journal to show how it is done with good sense , feeling and patience .
 
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