German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,564 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have been reading and researching socialization and while I always knew dogs needed socialization ( and have done so in the past ).. it seems that things have changed a bit over the last few years.

I planned on taking said puppy everywhere, but after reading a few things, I am not suppose to let people pet it ... or give it treats?
So basically, I just take said puppy out and just expose it to as many people and things as I can but no touchy?
And I don't like or do dog parks, but have a few well socialized dogs that can tolerate/ignore puppy ( and put in his place if needed) but planned on doing a puppy K class. But if when do I cut off the puppy play dates ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,602 Posts
You can do whatever you like. Everyone here has very strong opinions. I let people coming into my home who I invite to throw treats. I stopped doing that in public because I don't want my dogs eating random junk. I let the vet's office feed them because I want them to love the vet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
111 Posts
Go with what YOU think feels right for YOU.
Socialization for MEis not about being petted by everyone and meet dogs etc... Its about making the dogs see everything around them as normal. So they can ignore everything around them and see there is nothing to it.
This works for ME because I found in the past that my dog did not always feel comfortable with random people petting him. I know I wouldn't like it. Also found that it can also create excitement and I do not want an excited dog out in public. I want a calm and confident dog. As for dogs , well I don't go to dog parks and I don't let my dogs play or greet other dogs as I do not know them. The only dogs I trust are my dogs. My bernese mountain puppy got attacked by a off leash little dog on her very first walk. She bounced back but she doesn't care for dogs. I never pushed her to either except our new pup.
As I said this works for me. And the other methods work for others and that is also fine. So whatever YOU feel comfortable with is the best way to go.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,123 Posts
I try to expose my puppies to as many different places and people as I can. I don't go out of my way to ask people to pet my dogs. But if we are approached, I allow it most of the time. I just ask people to wait until I have the dogs seated before they are petted. I also take my dogs to puppy classes, if the class is led by a trainer I trust. I don't go to dog parks, however, because I can't control what goes on there. We train outside the dog park fence all the time, though. My poor dogs have to work while the others are playing. I think they like to work though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,601 Posts
It is individual. It is making sure any outing is fun for you and the pup. You should know how to read your pup's body language to make sure your pup is having fun and not overwhelmed and over stimulated.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
7,657 Posts
It's a good question and yeah I can imagine it ... can get confusing?? I flat out don't recommend "screwing around" with treats and strangers! A dog can take treats and still bite the crap of someone ... I have no desire to "prove that" theory myself. But you know if you want to dig into it ... "Michael Ellis" talks about it. I call it "tricking a dog into letting people into his space."The dog gets focused on the treat, gobbles it up and then looks up and "Holy Crap???" Where did this person come from and "Bam!" Dog bite number one on the record!

What I'd always done ... is the second link here.:
http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/5296377-post8.html

Except with my American and Dawg and my Boxer ... I'd "always say "yes" if asked to pet (that is always a requirement that should be strictly enforced.) Those dogs "never had people issues! But ... when I found myself with an OS WL GSD on my hands that had already made it "crystal clear "... that he was must definitely ... not a fan of people??? I found ... I had a "problem on my hands???" The "who Pets" thing is not a "H/A" dog rehab protocol but that is how I used it! With my H/A OS Wl GSD if asked to pet ... instead of saying "Yes" I said "NO!" He went behind me for awhile and I would ... "assertively keep people out of his face!" I never said a word but I made it pretty "crystal clear" don't even ask!! And it worked out fine that was many many years ago ... "Rocky" got that "Daddy" had his back! If I'm there he's good, and he has interacted with many many "strangers" to this day with "zero" issues! :)

And the first time I became aware that I had a problem was the first time "Company" came over ... he greeted guest from "Place" fortunately enough ... with a "Cold Hard Stare and a Low Growl???" As he was already in down as it were .. I'm on guard and hands off it was! But I was like ... WTH is this ... I'm a "Boxer" guy so this crap was new to me???? But ... back to basics ... "leerburgh" was what I'd always done anyway ,accept instead of saying "NO" to may I pet?? I'd always said "yes!" Well ... you know ... what if instead of saying yes ... I said "NO???" That's what we did and yes ... full "Bubble Dog Protocol" at first ... use a freaking muzzle in public!

I'd stop and talk as required "Rocky" behind me ... don't even ask to pet him!! Rocky after a while got that and became pretty "bored" with the whole deal! If he were off leash and I'd stop and talk to someone ... he steps five feet away and lays down and waits. Kinda like ... sigh ... this old bit again??? After a short bit I dropped the use of the muzzle ... as it was no longer required ... I now better under the "this old bit look!" :)

There is no requirement for a dog to like "anyone" (in public) but if a dog is out in public ... there is a requirement/responsibility for the dog to be civil!! Had I done the exact thing with "Rocky" that I did with "Struddell" meet and greet uh .... "everyone!" I don't think that would have worked out well??? So I "adapted and worked with the dog in front of me" and it became a "firm" NO instead of a YES ... "to may I pet??"

Hope that helps some ... as it's not really a yes or no kind of answer??
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,835 Posts
Some dogs don't mind neither by strangers, and others are more picky.. My girl expects manners from people.. They ask to pet and I have them stand and do nothing, allow her to greet them, sniff (basically shake hands as a human) and if she is comfortable then they can pet her (which to a dog would be like some stranger hugging you.. It's personal).. If she isn't comfortable with it, I just say 'no' it isn't the person's right to pet my dog... And she has an opinion and right to not be infringed upon.. She doesn't have the right to growl, snap or be inappropriate (which she doesn't) but if I see she is uncomfortable with the situation I know how I feel if told to hug someone or accept a hug from someone I don't know..

As to socializing, exposure is very important.. But I agree, everyone has their own way of doing things and you need to find what works for you and your dog
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31,877 Posts
Just make sure the puppy feels confident with you, then take him where you want. I am not a fan of dog parks, doggy daycare or puppy kindergarten if they allow puppies to romp and play with each other.

I am picky who offers my dogs treats or pets them. If a harassed mother with 3-4 kids in tow comes up and some of the kids reach to pet the puppy, I will say no. If a polite, calm parent or child comes up and asks permission to pet the puppy, I will usually say yes, or I will qualify it: one at a time, or he has to sit.

Socialization is an opportunity for you to set your puppy up for good experiences. Watch your pup, and if he seems to have had enough, either backing away or getting hyper, then tone it down, go home for today. Like any type of training, keep it light, keep it fun, and quit when the puppy still wants more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,381 Posts
I expose mine to everything I can. She went to Lowes, to Festivals, to the pumpkin patch, to craft fairs to a Christmas Walk through the woods at night to see the lights. If people wanted to pet her I left it up to her. I'd tell her to day 'hi'. If she didn't move I'd tell them maybe another day. As a young pup she didn't want to be petted. That was fine. When she hit about four months she decided she loved to meet people. At five months she still does. I expect when she is an adult she'll go back to not wanting to be petted, and that's all right with me. It's her choice.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
118 Posts
I would definitely avoid allowing the dog to go up to someone and then get petting everytime the pup feels like it unless the pup is timid with people and you guys are counter-conditioning. My dog develops this problem of crazily needing to jump on everyone to pet her I think because of this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
287 Posts
Correct me if I am wrong, but instead of using the word "socializing" it seems to me that a new word is in order for the new definition. It is causing to much confusion. Most people when they think of socializing most likely equate it with going out in public, interacting with others and having fun. Now all of a sudden someone comes along and decides to change the definition, well it doesn't work that way. If you have a new method of training a dog how to behave in public then you need to give it a new name. In horse language it would be called bombproofing or desensitizing.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
7,657 Posts
Correct me if I am wrong, but instead of using the word "socializing" it seems to me that a new word is in order for the new definition. It is causing to much confusion. Most people when they think of socializing most likely equate it with going out in public, interacting with others and having fun. Now all of a sudden someone comes along and decides to change the definition, well it doesn't work that way. If you have a new method of training a dog how to behave in public then you need to give it a new name. In horse language it would be called bombproofing or desensitizing.
Actually there is term and it was what I did and what some of the old timers still do and advocate.

Socialization vs Exposure typically people tend to do "Socialization" ie contact with people because you know "everybody" wants a people friendly dog! But some dogs just can't handle that crap hence ... plan B ... "Exposure," in it's purest form ... no touch, no talk, no eye contact!

For quite a while ... I did the latter with "Rocky" big as he was ... "strangers could only get a brief view of him becasue Daddy took point! The eye contact thing ... interesting there ... I only saw that as a possible issue once?? I got caught in a crowd "Rocky off leash and was the center of attention by and large he was good with folks, off leash and free to interact or not as he saw fit. He accepted affection from a few folks just fine. Frankly I wanted to get him and me out there but I was trapped. One women however knelled down and just kept staring hard at him??? I could see something in "Rocky" I'd not seen before and I was concerned!! I'm getting ready to intercede ...but then while she continues to pet him ... she breaks eye contact and "Rocky" is once again just fine?? I'd not seen that happen before and have not seen it since?? But I remember it happening ... I'm not sure what that was about??? :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31,877 Posts
Socializing was the term used a number of years ago, but people went nuts and made socialization almost into flooding. 100people, 100places, 100 things, by 100 days old. And you already should have missed out on the first 56 days, so you have 44 days to make 300 positive associations. And most people work, and maybe they can only do it on the weekends. I think it is more like 16 weeks, so you have 56 days or 16 week-end days to get your dog out there and meet a host of everything.

What you end up with are over-tired puppies, over whelmed puppies, and owners who are less confident than when they began the process, and a pup that has less confidence in its owner to protect him than he had when he first came home.

Socialization is a period when the puppy carries forward experiences and can feel comfortable down the line because this was ok during this period. Of course if this wasn't ok during this period it can also become much worse down the line. It is also a time when most dogs honor the puppies' puppy license so puppies are less likely to have a negative response to other dogs. And, this is generally a time when puppies do not have as much suspicion of strangers. So it is a great time to take your puppy out and expose the puppy to strangers, and with care, other dogs, and such.

But you also have to have common sense. The puppy is a baby, and gets tired quickly and can more is not better as the puppy starts getting tired. The pups's signs of having had enough are too often met with pushing the pup forward into yet another situation, and the puppy can become over-whelmed, frightened, what have you. It may even growl or snap. Which frightens the object, frightens the owners, and that frightens the puppy even more, and congratulations, you just knocked yourself back to zero on socialization. And maybe some trainer down the line will recommend flooding to deal with the problem.

Puppies do not become acclimated to the big bad world by staying at home and being comfortable in his own little world. But that would be better for the pup than for someone who has little experience and no confidence to parade the puppy everywhere. Socialization is great, but if the puppy doesn't trust you, than it isn't worth a hill of beans. Relax when you get your new puppy, practice being calm, and not flying off the handle about a little urine or a chewed up rug. Give your pup a few days to acclimate to his new surroundings and then a few more days. Then go out and have fun with him. Pay little attention to things and strangers. Your pup is an antenna. He notices people and cars and carts and other dogs, but if you aren't worried about them, and he trusts you, then he can just file them away as ordinary, nothing to worry about, stuff. Go home before the two of you are tired.

It IS socialization. And yes, some people will want to pet the puppy. Let them if they aren't crazy or if they are not likely to ignore instructions. All within reason of course. If he meets one set of people per outing, that's enough. If he doesn't meet people on half the outtings. Fine. Quantity is less important than your reaction to what is going on.

If some lady asks you what kind of dog it is, and you tell her, and she wrinkles her nose and says, "That's a Nazi-dog!" or "It's going to kill your child." And it really pisses you off, you are creating a negative socialization experience. Instead, thank her for her kind remarks, and take your puppy home, and play with him. Then come on here and tell all about it. It is our reaction and our confidence that can shake a puppy.

Think of it this way. You step on your dog's foot, break her toe. And you say, "whoops, sorry, pup" and keep moving, yes the toe is still going to be broken, and you might have to get it looked at by the vet. But the dog is not going to be afraid of you or your feet forever. But if you bend down and check the foot all over, and lavish pity and sympathy all over your dog, you are creating a major incident, you are drawing it out. So maybe the broken toe is a bad example. If a kid runs and screams from your puppy, instead of getting worked up and worried about what this is going to do, just say, matter of factly, "yep, kids run and scream" and move on. The pup will take his cues from you. Your reactions are far more important than strangers. Every stranger is a blank sheet to a puppy, but if you tense up the lead and worry about his response whenever you come across a stranger, you are teaching your puppy to be scared.

Much better to expose the puppy from a distance or not at all, than to transmit your anxiety to the pup. But it is all socialization. Sorry the word was mutilated in the past decade or two. The answer is not to change the word, but to educate people on what socialization ought to be.
 
  • Like
Reactions: zetti

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
It all depends on how you want the dog to behave in conditions that the dog will be exposed in its life living as your pet. Then you exposed to most of it so the dog full fills its role as your pet and feel comfortable with what you want to do .
Example
My dog has to spend extended time living in the camper in campgrounds with 2 small kids and us . She needs to be able to be handled by other day care. We camped at Hersey park after the poconos wilderness camping. So. Enjoyed the wilderness ,lake and hikes .But when we went to Hersey theme park off she went to day care she has never seen before.i used Yelp to get a good one.
She goes to alot beaches ,swims in oceans.
She definitely has to handle dog parks not only the neighbourhood one but also the one in all the campground so we can chill and she gets a workout .
So we have exposed so we can be a part of out travels and be with us.
Kids take her for walks and kids in campground pet her .

So for me it is getting her ready to live with our lifestyle .

Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,120 Posts
Actually there is term and it was what I did and what some of the old timers still do and advocate.

Socialization vs Exposure typically people tend to do "Socialization" ie contact with people because you know "everybody" wants a people friendly dog! But some dogs just can't handle that crap hence ... plan B ... "Exposure," in it's purest form ... no touch, no talk, no eye contact!

For quite a while ... I did the latter with "Rocky" big as he was ... "strangers could only get a brief view of him becasue Daddy took point! The eye contact thing ... interesting there ... I only saw that as a possible issue once?? I got caught in a crowd "Rocky off leash and was the center of attention by and large he was good with folks, off leash and free to interact or not as he saw fit. He accepted affection from a few folks just fine. Frankly I wanted to get him and me out there but I was trapped. One women however knelled down and just kept staring hard at him??? I could see something in "Rocky" I'd not seen before and I was concerned!! I'm getting ready to intercede ...but then while she continues to pet him ... she breaks eye contact and "Rocky" is once again just fine?? I'd not seen that happen before and have not seen it since?? But I remember it happening ... I'm not sure what that was about??? :)
He perceived the stupid woman as challenging him. By looking away first, she signaled her submission. And possibly avoided a messy incident.

Direct, sustained hard eye contact is a display of dominance and a challenge. And an incredibly moronic thing to do with an unknown GSD.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,564 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
I appreciate the reply's, they all make very good points.
This is not my first rodeo, just the first one in 17 years! As i thought about the dogs I have owned in the past, I realized i did lots of exposure, socializing and desensitization . it just wasn't really broken down that way ( i'm talking 27 years now).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31,877 Posts
It all depends on how you want the dog to behave in conditions that the dog will be exposed in its life living as your pet. Then you exposed to most of it so the dog full fills its role as your pet and feel comfortable with what you want to do .
Example
My dog has to spend extended time living in the camper in campgrounds with 2 small kids and us . She needs to be able to be handled by other day care. We camped at Hersey park after the poconos wilderness camping. So. Enjoyed the wilderness ,lake and hikes .But when we went to Hersey theme park off she went to day care she has never seen before.i used Yelp to get a good one.
She goes to alot beaches ,swims in oceans.
She definitely has to handle dog parks not only the neighbourhood one but also the one in all the campground so we can chill and she gets a workout .
So we have exposed so we can be a part of out travels and be with us.
Kids take her for walks and kids in campground pet her .

So for me it is getting her ready to live with our lifestyle .

Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk
Is this a labX or a GSD?

GSDs are not bird dogs. A bird dog has been bred for a thousand years to be non-aggressive. When a lab or golden bites, then that's a serious temperament issue. And unfortunately, bites in both breeds are increasing with popularity. But evenso, it is comparing apples to oranges when considering doggy day-care and dog parks, and kids walking the dog around campgrounds, letting other kids pet it.

Even with awesome GSDs that have never come close to biting anyone, and that are good with kids, there are not many owners who would allow a couple of children to take the GSD on walks around a campsite. Not with people and other dogs being so unpredictable, and people being so quick to sue. A child is no match for a GSD. If a Yorkie came running up and bit your GSD dog, what's a kid going to do? If your dog bites the Yorkie, that's nothing any kid should see. I don't hear about these incidents with labs. Do the upright ears and stature of a GSD make them a likelier target to little punk terriers?

Of course, in the old days, I took Princess, our shepherd/hound cross wherever. We never thought, in those days, "what if?" What if she bites a kid? What if she attacks another dog? What if another dog attacks her. I am not saying stuff didn't happen. My little brother had her loose on the porch, and they both fell asleep, and some Dominos man was passing out fliers ran up the steps, and Princess jumped up and bit him once in the chest. Not bad, and he was understanding, my dad came running out onto the porch and thrust the dog inside. But the fact remains, she did bite someone, however understandable it might have been. And my little sister was bitten by a friend's Rottie and she needed a drain put in her chest and stitches. No one was sued.

It just seems that nowadays, you can't get homeowner's insurance and the whole nine yards if your dog scratches someone. I expect lab owners aren't as likely to worry about these things like shepherd, rotty, pit owners do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31,877 Posts
He perceived the stupid woman as challenging him. By looking away first, she signaled her submission. And possibly avoided a messy incident.

Direct, sustained hard eye contact is a display of dominance and a challenge. And an incredibly moronic thing to do with an unknown GSD.
Looking away is good, but yawning is another thing you can do to difuse a situation. I had a gal from work come and take pictures of Arwen with a 3 week old litter, and she was worried about Arwen. She was looking at her, and Arwen was looking back, and she was in momma-bear mode. I told the lady, "yawn." And she did, and that was all there was to it, Arwen was fine, and the lady was surprised. It's a calming signal.

When you see your dog licking its lips, yawning, etc, you have to pay attention. Dogs do body language big time. That's why when we give the signal for DOWN and say, SIT, they generally go down. So now, everyone, go and confuse your dog, so you can prove me wrong on that. LOL!
 
  • Like
Reactions: squerly and car2ner

·
Registered
Joined
·
31,577 Posts
I have been reading and researching socialization and while I always knew dogs needed socialization ( and have done so in the past ).. it seems that things have changed a bit over the last few years.

I planned on taking said puppy everywhere, but after reading a few things, I am not suppose to let people pet it ... or give it treats?
So basically, I just take said puppy out and just expose it to as many people and things as I can but no touchy?
And I don't like or do dog parks, but have a few well socialized dogs that can tolerate/ignore puppy ( and put in his place if needed) but planned on doing a puppy K class. But if when do I cut off the puppy play dates ?
It all just gets confusing, doesn't it? I think people took socialization to mean flood the puppy with as many people and other dogs as possible.

Yes, let people give your puppy treats. Just don't force it on him and overwhelm him. Yes, let him meet other dogs. Safe dogs that will teach him, not terrorize him. Safe dogs you know. Not every strange dog out there. Definitely do puppy class! Cut off puppy play dates if they aren't working for you and your dog! Not because someone said you had to.

This is my favorite blog on socializing a puppy
(don't follow it verbatim, just read the intent behind the exercises)
Socializing Your Puppy: how it should look | Naughty Dogge - Monique Anstee
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31,577 Posts
He perceived the stupid woman as challenging him. By looking away first, she signaled her submission. And possibly avoided a messy incident.

Direct, sustained hard eye contact is a display of dominance and a challenge. And an incredibly moronic thing to do with an unknown GSD.
Stupid. Just stupid. A woman did this to Jax when she was young and Jax wanted to eat her.

And the woman says "oh I did that on purpose to see what would happen because I got bit last month"

Thanks. Can I get your address to send you the training bill? So appreciate your asshattery.
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top