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@Jax08 Amen !

As the years go by, and my experience with puppy rearing grows, I have come to think the following about socialization.

They need experience with how to meet a strange dog (not too aggressive and not too submissive) and how to ignore other dogs. They don't need a wrestling partner to actualize their life as a dog.

They need to learn that people are acceptable out in the public. Ideally they are comfortable if a stranger pats them. They do not need to be an excited puddle of goo when they get some attention. Aloof and calm is just fine.
 

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After 2-3 years with Rumo...met neighbor’s new dog...
He jumped on me a lot, licked me, sniffed my crotch, and ran excitedly around me, I thought it was so odd...I was like, you don’t even know me!! To me, my aloof reserved dog seems a lot more sane. He only gets excited for family, not strangers...isn’t that more normal? Shows intelligence and discrimination... 😀
 

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No dog parks for us.
I am pondering if it will be a good experience for Lex if my friend would bring her E.Mastiff who is just a big baby and let Lex to see a giant nice mellow dog while she is on a leash.
Or the next thing, a lab, friendly but still a bit crazy.
 

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Socialization does not equal dog parks. It means taking your dog lots of places and showing him as many things and people as possible, while ensuring these are good or neutral experiences. For example, automatic doors, or having him walk on plastic and concrete, or being near cars or buses or people wearing hats. Otherwise, your dog may end up being afraid of these things.

Dogs don't need to play with other dogs, but they do need to be comfortable being around them. How we handled this was take group obedience classes at a good place in a setting where the dogs aren't allowed to interact. The dog repetitively does fun training and gets lots of treats while there are other dogs a few feet away, all ideally minding their own business. No one gets bit or rolled or attacked. The dog learns that other dogs are okay (Because he's not getting bit or body-slammed, and he's having fun) and thus has less a chance of developing fear-based barking/lunging that afflicts seemingly 50% of all pet dogs I see on walks.

I did go to the dog park with Jupiter for about 5 months, and we had a good time. However, he did a number of bad experiences, being mounted, rolled, chased, even attacked, that could have resulted in permanent dog aggression in him (luckily it did not). Also, he nipped and aggressively corrected several puppies around 8-9 months for no good reason, so I realized it was time for us to leave. While it was overall a good experience for us, looking back, it was a huge risk and could have easily turned out bad.
 
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