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Discussion Starter #1
Can it be done? ...is it possible? Or is the reason that certain rescues say 'needs to be an only dog' because it's not really do-able?

This morning was Kai's visit to the vet to get him checked out. I'm so nervous about the results of all his tests and exams-but that's a different post entirely. SO this was also going to be the first time I've seen Kai's behavior around other dogs.
It wasn't great. It could have been worse, but it was FAR from desirable/acceptable behavior. When I was at the counter speaking to the receptionist, an adult golden retriever came in w/ his/her owner. Kai pulled on his leash to meet it, and when I pulled him away, he just started barking. It wasn't a ballistic attack-type bark or anything. He just stood at my side and barked a little in its direction. He may have just wanted to make 'introductions' but I can't be sure...I don't THINK his heckles were up, but I can't be positive.

It was pretty obvious that he's had little to no socialization with other dogs.
Can this be worked on with an adult? I was under the impression that socialization needs to take place as a puppy. If he's a one dog kinda guy, I'm fine with that..we'll just stay away from dog parks and Petsmart! BUT I was wanting to do some group classes at some point...

What do you all think?
 

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I would start socializing with walks. Do you have any neighbors or friends/family that have a dog you can walk with?

Your dog can get used to being around another dog, but not expected to totally interact as they will be distracted by scents and sites on the walk. It might take some pressure off.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I would start socializing with walks. Do you have any neighbors or friends/family that have a dog you can walk with?

Your dog can get used to being around another dog, but not expected to totally interact as they will be distracted by scents and sites on the walk. It might take some pressure off.
That's a great idea! I don't know of anyone off the top of my head, but I'm sure I could find someone. Do you think a female would be preferable to a male? Kai is still intact. Once he's put on some weight and I have the green light from my vet, he'll be neutered. :eek:
 

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That's a great idea! I don't know of anyone off the top of my head, but I'm sure I could find someone. Do you think a female would be preferable to a male? Kai is still intact. Once he's put on some weight and I have the green light from my vet, he'll be neutered. :eek:
Maybe, as an adult I have not owned a male dog. When we are out walking and have come across dog owners with intact males, they are always relieved to find out our dog is female. They say frequently other male dogs try to challenge their males, especially if they are a larger breed.
 

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Yes, it absolutely can be done with an adult and your dog isn't even an adult yet! What you've got now is a puppy inside a big body! Rafi was about 18 months when I adopted him and had very poor dog manners. Basu was 4.5 when I adopted him and had had NO socialization with other dogs.

It took about 6 months or so but Rafi came around really well and is now excellent with other dogs. Basu also did very well with other dogs.

It sounds like a lot of what needs to be learned is on your end so that you can teach Kai good doggie social skills. Dogs almost always want to greet other dogs. They don't understand this is "undesirable" behavior. Most likely his bark meant, "Hey, I really wanted to meet that other dog!"

They need to learn through clear, confident and kind leadership what their human considers desirable behavior around other dogs. This starts with building a bond through basic obedience, exercise, games, NILIF etc. at home with their human(s).

There are plenty of trainers who are willing to work with excitable dogs in classes. I would look for someone who teaches clicker or marker training to start.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Awesome, BowWowMeow, Thanks.

Yes, oddly enough even with all the rescues I've worked with over the years, I've never had to deal with this. I got lucky in that socialization was never the issue. There may have been LOADS of other issues, but this was never one of them.
I always pitied the person with the crazy barking dog at obedience classes or out in public! :laugh: Guess that's me now!!

Malachi is so eager to please, and so very smart. I found out yesterday at the vet that he is barely a year old, so that makes even more sense now. He is still very much a big puppy baby.

I'd be curious to know how many people here prefer clicker training. I have no experience with it. I'm sure there's a thread somewhere in regards to people's experiences with it...

Also, since I've only had him a week and this was my first time with him around other dogs, I believe I was a little more hesitant in trying to 'read' what his barking meant. I don't know him well enough yet to know his 'language'. I think you are right, he just wanted to meet this other dog, but I wasn't about to take the chance that he wanted to do WAY more than just introduce himself!! This was actually the first time I had ever even heard him bark! He doesn't usually have much to say. I think it startled me a bit!
 

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I understand how you feel. I have never had a leash reactive dog in my life, now I do. I'm going out to get the gentle leader today, to see if this can help direct him. He is coming along great in every other aspect.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I've found out since, that it was def bc it was a big golden that came in. Our neighbor's smaller dogs bark at Malachi every morning when we walk-but he pays them absolutely no mind. He doesn't even look in their direction haha...so perhaps it was a dominance thing??
 
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