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Discussion Starter #1
Rügen is getting big (4 months old) and sweet as ever. I have been socializing him every chance I get. We go to home depot and lowes (a lot since my sprinkler system sucks), the boat yard (friends own it), just started puppy class, to the park to play with random children, schutzhund training ect...

He loves to meet strangers! I tell him to "go say hi" once someone has asked to pet him- He walks over tail wagging so hard it looks like it would break off and gives them a polite kiss on the hand, gets a few love pats and comes back my way when they stop petting. Then usually I end up in conversation with the stranger for a while. He is so use to this he just takes it easy and plops down in the middle of everything. He is so CUTE!

He is different when it comes to my family (parents and adult sister). I hadn't realized how much until I met them for dinner Tuesday night. He sees them all probably every week or two. It was a rush to get there after his puppy class, it was raining and cool out, so we brought him along and left him in the back of the Ford Escape with the windows cracked while we went in for dinner. (he is set up well in there- the back seats lay flat, he has a no spill travel water bowl, and his giant sized bed).

After dinner everyone wanted to see Rügen. So I pulled the escape over to the covered entryway of the restaurant (still raining). He was excited to get out- he looks at them, walks around the circle, give each one the polite kiss on the hand then TOTALY ignores them! They call him and he doesn't even look over. They reach down and pet him but he shows no interest. He just sits in front of me- happy, but totally focused on me.

Strangers walk past and ask to pet the puppy. I allow it, bring him over and he goes nutz (with my confused family looking on) giving the strangers a very warm welcome, tail going crazy, kisses and more kisses, and he lets them pet him as much as they want. The stranger leaves and he sadly watches them go until he can't see them anymore then reluctantly comes back to the family- still ignoring them - and sits in front of me. Repeat this three time as different strangers walk past us.

Now my family thinks he just doesn't like them. It didn't make much sense to me until I really thought about it.

When he sees my family usually it's because they have come over to the house. I have been using them to work on his manors with guests. I have him sit in front of me while they enter the house (using bits of kibble). Then he can go say hi. Usually we show off his obedience skills to them (more kibble), they are always so impressed how well he does.

Last week we took Rugen over to their house him for the second time. We had just done his first puppy tracking at schutzhund a few days before. So I wanted to show them. I laid a 5'x5' tracking puppy sent pad in their back yard with kibble scattered in it. He did GREAT! He really loves working with me and I adore that about him... He always does wonderful in front of his audience...

DUH.......

Strangers= love and attention

Family= kibble positive training sessions

He's a smart puppy, but I'm a idiot
 

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na you want your baby focused on you
give your family a ball or kibble maybe he will pay attention to them
but last I checked he was your pooch
 

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Discussion Starter #3
yeah- It's great he can tune out distractions and focus, (that is why we practice everywhere).

I just felt bad for my family. They don't really understand GSDs, and felt less important to him than the strangers.
 

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I can sympathize to a degree.

I spent a night in a house full of GSDs, and I must admit, it was REALLY strange being around Shepherds and having nobody interact with me *ROFL*
 
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