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Old 09-20-2005, 04:24 PM
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SummerRiot SummerRiot is offline
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Default Socializing your puppy..

How did you do it, and how did it turn out for your puppy and you?

So far.. Riot being 11 weeks old and only his first set of shots I haven't been able to take him many places.. but so far hes been to "grandmas work" (a local elementary school, shes a teacher). He was fairly nervous about that, but he has done well, hes been there three times now and each time he gets better about all the kids coming up to him and wanting to pet him. I let them know not to run at him, not to grab his face, not to pull him close etc etc and they are fairly good about it. He'll sometimes till run and hide behind me.. but hes starting to wag his tail when he sees kids and he'll lick their face etc etc.. Then hes been to Great Nannys house. She has an agility dog there that my mom trained for her and they had a BALL playing together today. The first time he met her he was only 8 weeks old, then the second time he was about 10weeks and he ran from her every time she came to play.. and today he was chasing her around the yard and everything it was soo nice to see lol Hmm.. hes been for a few walks in the conservation area and of course the walk sup and down the street.
He is getting his 2nd shot on Friday. Is there any other place that you can think of where he should be exposed to??
Hes also already been downtown and went to City Hall(my base unit for work).
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Old 09-20-2005, 04:57 PM
sheps4me sheps4me is offline
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What a stunning puppy! He's just gorgeous.
You could take Riot to a Home Depot store or something similar. Just bring a blanket for the cart, put him inside and wheel around the store with him. I'm sure he'll get lots of attention and you'll still have control over who gets to say hello.
Anytime you expose him to a new place, bring along his favourite toy. If he's at all stressed by the new surroundings, playing with a toy or "working" for a bit of food really helps to ease the stress and make the experience a positive one.
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Old 09-20-2005, 05:33 PM
Fran27 Fran27 is offline
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It's harder with bigger dogs, you can't quite pick them up to make sure they are safe, lol.

I don't have much more advice, I personally didn't take Tips out much at all before he was 16 weeks and had all his shots. But again, he was small enough to fit in my arms at first, so it made it easier. Just car rides are helpful, in my opinion.

Honestly... I wouldn't worry too much about it. Just make sure you let your pup sees lots of people when he's done with his shots, and it should be fine. I know people say the most important socialization window is before 16 weeks, but it continues until they are several months older. What matters a lot as well is how socialized the pup was before you got him, too. If he saw plenty of people and dogs, it really won't be an issue.
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Old 09-20-2005, 05:57 PM
femke femke is offline
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We took Penny to socialization classes my vet was organizing for young puppies. They had all had their shots (that was manditory to join) etc and basically just got to play around with eachother while the vet gave us all kinds of information about owning a puppy Penny LOVED it, and because it was at the vet she actually likes going in there lol.

We took her lots of places and she's seen a LOT of people when she was very young. I think it did a world of good. She is a sheltie and they are supposed to be really shy. Penny however is not the least bit shy, she'll go up to anyone and loves to be pet also by people she doesn't know. I'm sure a lot of that was in her character but i do think exposing her to a lot of people/places and making it a pleasant experience for her helped.

She still loves other dogs, she doesn't like it when they bark at her tho... that scares her. SHe loves going to the dogpark and playing around, but prefers dogs her own size and breed over any other. The big ones are usually a little too rough for her.
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Old 09-20-2005, 09:16 PM
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I certainly didn't wait for the vaccinations to be complete before socializing them. I was careful, but exposed them to as much as I could immediately and ongoingly. I took Lyric every day somewhere to see new people, dogs that I knew were friendly and vaccinated. He saw traffic because where we live it is very wilderness like. So, I'd take him to the city and walk along sidewalks. I realize the risk of parvo, but the risk of undersocialzation is equally grim IMO. It is very important to saturate them with pleasant experiences ONLY by 16 weeks of age or so. Later, their personalities are pretty much formed and it's very difficult to socialize them well. You keep on doing it anyhow, but those first 16 weeks are extremely important. You don't want to overwhelm or frighten your dog. All experiences with dogs and people, objects should be pleasant.

I did not go where many dogs frequent or into the pet store until later. I took him into the local bar for a beer and a game of pool. LOL. He got lots of attention there. As time went on and he had all his shots done, we went to puppy kindergarten and the other choices of where to take him opened up...pet stores, feed stores, gradually getting him use to "scary things;" elevators, people with equipment, grocery baskets, electric doors in front of Walmart, parking lots, kids on bikes. Just everything I could think of...different ground surfaces, enviornments etc. I also stopped by the vet's about once a week for a cookie and pat by the staff.....5 minutes and onto somewhere else. Now he's not nervous when we go to the vets.

Sounds like you did a great job Femke. That's what it takes.
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Old 09-21-2005, 03:35 AM
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I have problems with my new puppy too (she is a white german sheperd, 16 weeks now), she is afraid to go out of the apartment, tried cookies, treats, toys, nothing work. She is also not fully vaccinated (a lil old now but she have had problems since I got her back from the breeder with loose bowels so the vet wants her to be 100% before she is given her shots) but I drag her along to supermarkets, sidewalks to get her socialised with other dogs and people. She is doing better now but I still have problems getting her to walk without her tugging me back at the direction of the apartment
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Old 09-21-2005, 04:17 AM
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skyhigh skyhigh is offline
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Wings, bring treats with you. Little nibblies that you usually dont give her. Polony works great. My GS pup is 17 weeks now. She loves going for walks because she knows that i always have treats with me just in case she's been extra special. Maybe try bringing her favourite toy. Anyway, hope this helps.
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Old 09-21-2005, 07:16 AM
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Would it be ok to take a pup out before they have their injections? Not walking in the park, but in your arms, round to other houses, along roads etc... So they experience all sorts of noises and people from a young age?

What are the risks of contracting a disease?
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Old 09-21-2005, 08:31 AM
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What can I say? I can't tell you in numbers what the risks are. There are so many variables. But there are risks. Parvo is out there. Puppies die of it and it's quite common. It lives in the ground for years even when a puppy hasn't been there in a while. It's deadly and chances are good that if your puppy contracts it, it will die.
A puppy is not fully protected until around 16-21 weeks when he's had 3 or 4 shots of the vaccine.

The part of a puppy's personality from life experiences is developed at about the same time. If a lack of socialization hasn't taken place by then, he will see the world as a very frightening place. He will develop into a shy, fearful, unbalanced dog who will have a very hard time adjusting to life. A shy and fearful dog is miserable his whole life and can be dangerous. They tend to bite out of fear and it's just not a fun life.

So, you're damned if you and damned if you don't. You weigh the two horrible outcomes and you take what precautions you can. You do the best you can but socialize your puppy.

When I got Lyric, my most recent pup, I was driving him home from the breeders in the adjacent state, Montana and I stopped at a gas station. I saw a field next door and asked that cashier if she thought it would be OK to let him out to go potty. She informed me that I should not let my pup out anywhere in that town as there were many cases of parvo. So, I got in my car and drove on and stopped about an hour or two later along side the highway and let him out.....somewhere where I figured not too many dogs had been and it was well away from that town. When I got home, I washed my shoes off in the garage with some harsh chemical (chlorox or ammonia) and my brake and gas pedal and floor of my car.

I live in a low population area. I took my puppy for walks around here. I took him to the golf course. Not that many people take their dogs there and mostly the dogs I see are adults, not pups. Sure, there might have been a pup there once upon a time with parvo, but I hadn't heard of any cases around here. I also took him into the city on the sidewalks....again....don't see too many dogs walking there, hardly any. I took him into the little corner stores here, to see my hairdresser, the hardware store, the bar. I didn't carry him as he was too heavy. He played with a couple of dogs who were vaccinated and older.

So, ask around....see if anyone's heard of any cases in your area. Ask your vet if anyone has come in from your neighborhood with parvo. Take you pup to places where not too many dogs are and the odds are lower. Don't go to dog parks, boarding kennels, dog shows. Even going to the vet's could pose a risk. But life is risks. We do the best we can to lessen them, but locking away your pup and not getting him out, as I said, will have a lifelong, negative effect on his outlook on life, people, dogs, places, objects. He will be emotionally screwed up. And that is not a risk. That's a given.
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Old 09-21-2005, 08:51 AM
Fran27 Fran27 is offline
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Well, lots of people let their dogs out at 12 weeks because they are supposedly fully vaccinated already, or so they say, and the dog doesn't catch anything. So it's a blurred area for me as well... It seems lots of vets don't even bother with the 16 weeks old vaccination anymore.

I think it's really up to you. Your pup will obviously go to the vet when he isn't done with his shots, so you can take him there regularly, or you can just drive around with him in your car, stop at supermarkets etc. Just avoid other dogs and places where you know dogs tend to go.
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