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Thread: Trouble Socialising

  1. #1
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    Default Trouble Socialising

    Dora, my 14 week old Tenterfield, is having trouble socialising. Whenever she sees another dog she takes a stance and starts growling the second they come near or I walk past them. Sometimes she sniffs them, but immediately goes to hide behind me. How do I show her that the dogs are OK and won't hurt her?

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    Has she been to puppy preschool?

    Do you want her to see other dogs and automatically think 'play' or do you want her to just not care about other dogs?

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    Ok heres my advice which was recently passed onto me as I have a similar problem with Bailey although not with other dogs but with MEN!

    I was told the best way to deal with it is NOT TO FORCE THEM! otherwise it can make the problem worse!

    When she takes her stance and growls....give a deep low NO!
    When she stops growling etc tell her it is ok and she is a good girl.

    I know it sounds contradictory but it has slowly been working for me and Bailey. Now she hides behind my legs for about 2 seconds and then will actually approach and have a sniff

  4. #4
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    You need to get your dog out to puppy pre-school asap.

    Obedience clubs are closed at the moment but private ones are still in operation.

    Also are you expecting your puppy to say hello (and not be frightened) of large dogs? The puppy classes I am involved in are sorted by breed not age.

    Make sure your body language is relaxed and don't force introductions on a young puppy. Keep your lead relaxed and give her the option of backing away rather than having to react.

    Stand back let her see the other dog when her body language relaxes reward her.

    There are so many things that you could be potentially doing wrong and so many things you should be doing that posting on a forum doesn't allow for. So find a puppy class and join. There is an exceptional one run at Mosman Vets in Sydney, I don't know if you are close to that. 3-14 weeks of age are crucial development stages. Don't delay.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Masha View Post
    Dora, my 14 week old Tenterfield, is having trouble socialising. Whenever she sees another dog she takes a stance and starts growling the second they come near or I walk past them. Sometimes she sniffs them, but immediately goes to hide behind me. How do I show her that the dogs are OK and won't hurt her?
    Puppy pre-school is a MUST and she is getting "up there" in age for the best time for socialisation. Your socialisation "window of opportunity" is between 8 - 18 weeks, so you have a lot of work to do in the next 4 weeks.

    She is a terrier and with all other terriers....they can be somewhat temperamental with other dogs. Like I said in another thread...Tenterfield's can be like Staffordshire Bull Terriers towards other dogs if not socialised early and the correct way. The difference is though...Staffords were originally bred for pit fighting...Tenter's were not. That doesn't alter the fact that they can become quite aggressive with other dogs and you need to nip this in the butt.

    Did you get her from a registered breeder? The reason I am asking is because if you did...the breeder can be an excellent help regarding your pup if you should encounter any problems/issues. Also, if she is from a responsible registered breeder, they should know whether her breeding lines have problems with Luxating Patella's.

    How many dogs do you or have you socialised her with since you got her? Really, she should have been enrolled into puppy pre-school immediately when you got her at 12 weeks (I am not sure if you have already done this). I know you take her for walks with another dog...is it always done with the same dog? There are ways of socialising without putting puppy's health at risk. For example...you could visit people who have dogs if you know 100% that these dogs do NOT show any form of aggression and are up to date on vaccination. You could take her to a shopping centre, having her sit on your lap and let people feed her a treat. Taking her to a beach does not protect her from Parvo. Other people take their dogs to the beach too and you do not know whether their dogs are infected or not. The worst place to take dogs here in Newcastle is a particular part of our beaches...there is a high risk of Parvo there...just food for thought.

    Having a dog that is dog aggressive is NOT much fun...trust me I know all about that and mine was a 55 kg male Rottweiler. It must be dealt with promptly and immediately NO matter what size of the dog. Terriers can be fiercly protective...independent and quite stubborn...and I DO know what I am talking about regarding this! A lot of people think it is "cute"...this little puppy barking its head off at other dogs and they think "awww...how cute...he is trying to protect me". It is not cute and it is not acceptable. I understand you are a first time terrier owner and we all are at some point...it is all about listening to other peoples advice without thinking they are having a go at you

    You can get a lot of great information from the Tenterfield Terrier Club in your state...it might be worth a try to look at their websites.

    I kinda agree with Fedra regarding Cesar Millan. Look...I like Cesar...I think his TV show is great and I have his DVD's. I think he makes some good points and some not so good. I think his methods are dangerous if you are not 100% sure about what you are doing!!! I also think there are dangers in trying to implement what he does without knowing exactly how to. Remember...he states..."do not try this unless consulting a professional". I disagree with Fedra in that I DO believe dogs have primal instincts which domestication hasn't eradicated...for example burying the bone (no need for that in our society because we feed our dogs, but they still do it just in case no food comes their way)...I believe they definitely have a pack mentality...I see it on a daily basis here with my dogs. Does it mean you have to ram the "alpha dog" issue down your dog's throat...nope, it just means you have to be consistent, kind, fair and understanding.

    From what I have read...I get the feeling you are treating your puppy like it is in a "boot camp". With this I mean you are very strict with her...am I right? Look...she needs to be allowed to be a puppy and puppies do silly things...they play around...they have fun...they are naughty. There are such a thing as too much Cesar especially when you are not Cesar and can't fully comprehend what he is doing and how he is doing it. You can do more damage than good. I asked whether she was allowed on the furniture etc etc. Mine are allowed on the lounge, but not in our bed or bedrooms. They eat doggy food, but are still allowed to have something from us when we feel like it. They sleep in their crates at night, because that is their special place. There are things I do not tolerate and they are...mouthing humans...ANY type of aggression towards other dogs...ANY type of aggression towards humans.

    This is the time for bonding with your puppy...not running a boot camp...if you get my drift. You can still train her to do or not to do things...teach her things, but it needs to be fun for her...and you. I will say it again though....the walking regime you have in place is too much for her. I know you want to do what is best for her, but this isn't in her best interest. If you do not believe me...ask any vet or someone from the Tenter's club. You say you are not "forcing" her to do anything, but inadvertently you are...by having her out for that long (way too much mental overload for a tiny puppy) and also physical overload which can cause her MAJOR problems with her patellas/joints/muscles/tendons and MAJOR problems to your wallet should she need surgery at some point.

    Before you go on about me "flaming" you...read the post again...it was written to try and educate you...not having a go at you!

    I do have a question for you...how much homework did you do regarding the Tenterfield Terrier before you purchased her?
    Last edited by Cleasanta; 01-12-2010 at 09:25 AM.

  6. #6
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    Also I have a couple of general rules for building puppies confidence.

    I like the tie up exercise. (I can give more info on it if needed)
    I ignore puppy at least 3 mornings a week, (eg not greet or pay attention to for at least 1 hour.)
    Put puppy outside for time on it's own even when you are home.

    I do not like selling puppies during school holidays and never recommend people take holidays (unless they are experienced dog owners).

    I do like selling puppies on long weekends. Or people tacking on a couple of days leave to a weekend to settle puppy then getting into their general routine.

  7. #7
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    Masha,

    Please read Cleasanta's post and take it the way it is intended. (she obviously can type much faster and more eloquently than I).

    I have made dogs my life and my living. I have attended lectures and courses etc etc from both school of thought.

    I have bought Puppy Pre-school programs etc and still I have deleted information from them because I have doubted that the students can successfully replicate the programme.

    I also believe that Cesar Millan's methods are not always interpreted correctly nor do we see the full picture. Believe me all TV trainers are edited.

    Have fun with your puppy. I am in NW Sydney if this is of any help to you?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mouseandchicken View Post
    Masha,

    Please read Cleasanta's post and take it the way it is intended. (she obviously can type much faster and more eloquently than I).

    I have made dogs my life and my living. I have attended lectures and courses etc etc from both school of thought.

    I have bought Puppy Pre-school programs etc and still I have deleted information from them because I have doubted that the students can successfully replicate the programme.

    I also believe that Cesar Millan's methods are not always interpreted correctly nor do we see the full picture. Believe me all TV trainers are edited.

    Have fun with your puppy. I am in NW Sydney if this is of any help to you?
    I 100% agree with this...we have NO idea what goes on "behind the scenes" and I really think it is dangerous to try and replicate Cesar. If he is what he says he is...then I take my hat off for him. But not all people are born assertive and trying to assert yourself "in the wrong way"...can cause major issues. I believe when he sayd there is a difference between discipline and punishment. I do not believe in him showing "the alpha roll" on TV, because THAT can end with huge issues and dogs attacking you if not done properly.

    I believe he has a "deeper" understanding regarding dogs, but us mere mortals do not and THAT is what can cause problems. If you do not know 100% how to read a dog's body language...you are setting yourself up for trouble.

    I also think however he is a "show man"...he would have to be for his viewers. How many of the dogs he "treat" do you think are unsuccessful? He for sure would not put those in his show...that would kinda defeat the purpose.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleasanta View Post
    Puppy pre-school is a MUST and she is getting "up there" in age for the best time for socialisation. Your socialisation "window of opportunity" is between 8 - 18 weeks, so you have a lot of work to do in the next 4 weeks.

    She is a terrier and with all other terriers....they can be somewhat temperamental with other dogs. Like I said in another thread...Tenterfield's can be like Staffordshire Bull Terriers towards other dogs if not socialised early and the correct way. The difference is though...Staffords were originally bred for pit fighting...Tenter's were not. That doesn't alter the fact that they can become quite aggressive with other dogs and you need to nip this in the butt.

    Did you get her from a registered breeder? The reason I am asking is because if you did...the breeder can be an excellent help regarding your pup if you should encounter any problems/issues. Also, if she is from a responsible registered breeder, they should know whether her breeding lines have problems with Luxating Patella's.

    How many dogs do you or have you socialised her with since you got her? Really, she should have been enrolled into puppy pre-school immediately when you got her at 12 weeks (I am not sure if you have already done this). I know you take her for walks with another dog...is it always done with the same dog? There are ways of socialising without putting puppy's health at risk. For example...you could visit people who have dogs if you know 100% that these dogs do NOT show any form of aggression and are up to date on vaccination. You could take her to a shopping centre, having her sit on your lap and let people feed her a treat. Taking her to a beach does not protect her from Parvo. Other people take their dogs to the beach too and you do not know whether their dogs are infected or not. The worst place to take dogs here in Newcastle is a particular part of our beaches...there is a high risk of Parvo there...just food for thought.

    Having a dog that is dog aggressive is NOT much fun...trust me I know all about that and mine was a 55 kg male Rottweiler. It must be dealt with promptly and immediately NO matter what size of the dog. Terriers can be fiercly protective...independent and quite stubborn...and I DO know what I am talking about regarding this! A lot of people think it is "cute"...this little puppy barking its head off at other dogs and they think "awww...how cute...he is trying to protect me". It is not cute and it is not acceptable. I understand you are a first time terrier owner and we all are at some point...it is all about listening to other peoples advice without thinking they are having a go at you

    You can get a lot of great information from the Tenterfield Terrier Club in your state...it might be worth a try to look at their websites.

    I kinda agree with Fedra regarding Cesar Millan. Look...I like Cesar...I think his TV show is great and I have his DVD's. I think he makes some good points and some not so good. I think his methods are dangerous if you are not 100% sure about what you are doing!!! I also think there are dangers in trying to implement what he does without knowing exactly how to. Remember...he states..."do not try this unless consulting a professional". I disagree with Fedra in that I DO believe dogs have primal instincts which domestication hasn't eradicated...for example burying the bone (no need for that in our society because we feed our dogs, but they still do it just in case no food comes their way)...I believe they definitely have a pack mentality...I see it on a daily basis here with my dogs. Does it mean you have to ram the "alpha dog" issue down your dog's throat...nope, it just means you have to be consistent, kind, fair and understanding.

    From what I have read...I get the feeling you are treating your puppy like it is in a "boot camp". With this I mean you are very strict with her...am I right? Look...she needs to be allowed to be a puppy and puppies do silly things...they play around...they have fun...they are naughty. There are such a thing as too much Cesar especially when you are not Cesar and can't fully comprehend what he is doing and how he is doing it. You can do more damage than good. I asked whether she was allowed on the furniture etc etc. Mine are allowed on the lounge, but not in our bed or bedrooms. They eat doggy food, but are still allowed to have something from us when we feel like it. They sleep in their crates at night, because that is their special place. There are things I do not tolerate and they are...mouthing humans...ANY type of aggression towards other dogs...ANY type of aggression towards humans.

    This is the time for bonding with your puppy...not running a boot camp...if you get my drift. You can still train her to do or not to do things...teach her things, but it needs to be fun for her...and you. I will say it again though....the walking regime you have in place is too much for her. I know you want to do what is best for her, but this isn't in her best interest. If you do not believe me...ask any vet or someone from the Tenter's club. You say you are not "forcing" her to do anything, but inadvertently you are...by having her out for that long (way too much mental overload for a tiny puppy) and also physical overload which can cause her MAJOR problems with her patellas/joints/muscles/tendons and MAJOR problems to your wallet should she need surgery at some point.

    Before you go on about me "flaming" you...read the post again...it was written to try and educate you...not having a go at you!

    I do have a question for you...how much homework did you do regarding the Tenterfield Terrier before you purchased her?
    I do not think this is a flame Thank you for the advice. I've being taking her for two short walks the last two days and she seems to respond well (two 10-15 minute walks). You're right, I was taking her out for too long. I don't mind her doing silly things, I only tell her "no" when she is doing something I do not want her to do when shes older, such as jumping on the furniture.
    I admit that I didn't do too much homework on Tenterfields before I got Dora. My parents chose the breed, and they said it seemed good and I wanted to look into it further but then we saw an ad for Dora and we fell in love.

    I want to ask you how you tell your dogs that it is not tolerated when they play bite and/or snarl at other dogs. When Dora sees another dog, she sometimes either runs forwards, trying to drag me with her, or cowers between my legs, snarling. I want to tell her that I dont like this behaviour but I'm not sure how.

    Clea, your advice was very helpful and I totally dont think you're having a go at me . I take her on a walk with the same dog, he doesn't have aggro issues unless another dog starts it. He's up to date on all his vaccs, too.

    I've enrolled her into puppy classes, but she didn't take too well to them. She sat under my chair, scared, and growled at any dog that came close. I'm not sure what to do about that.
    Also, about Cesar. The only method I take from him are the way I walk her (shes getting better!) and her waiting for her food. Also the doorway thing. But I'm not too bothered about that since she already knows that I go first and will sit and wait for me.

  10. #10
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    Keep attending puppy school, I've had puppies that have sat under the chair for several weeks.

    They often come out when all the puppies are tired and are resting to have a sniff

    Also a good puppy pre-school will have an area cornered off where a frightened puppy can be socialised with a puppy that is indifferent.

    If she starts growling and carrying on walk away, do not speak to her at all. When she calms down bring her back in a bit.

    Look for the distance that she is reactive but not over the top, let her see the other dog, watch for body language to relax, give her a reward.

    As I said before it is so hard to type this out. Others may be better at it than me.

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