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Thread: Ideas for socializing a GSD pup

  1. #11
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    LOL how gorgeous are they just following him round

  2. #12
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    How cute, Nekhbet.

    What happens when he gets the vaccuum cleaner out?

    My dog - is fine with the local tractor mower (provided the driver doesn't speed), and the local cricket pitch roller machine, and some really heavy duty machinery like tractors, graders, dump trucks, airplanes. She gets less annoyed about model planes and model cars than I do, but she isn't completely comfy. Too many owners of these things chase her with their toys. And I declare their toy fair game to be ripped to pieces if they do that.

    But take her near a busy road (defined by her as - more than two cars) and she freaks. She's also not the least bit happy about the lawn mower etc.

    She's getting better with the busy roads - but I'd rather she stayed away from them so not sure whether I should try desensiting her to them or not.

  3. #13
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    Thank you for the tips guys. We have a main road right near my house so I've started taking him on walks in the morning by himself.

    He is very alert, looking at everything around him. When he stares at something particularly new and scary I try to let him look for a couple of seconds and give him the command to keep walking and I try not to acknowledge it. I'm unsure if this is the right thing to do? My theory is if I make a fuss over him it tells him there's something to be afraid of. I let him look, let him work it out in his little puppy head and go on our merry way.

    Another issue that I'd really like to tackle is he's quite afraid of new people. He is amazing with people he knows but if he meets someone he's never seen before he won't let them touch him. I think this may stem from the many vet visits he's had (he had emergency surgery at 12 wks old and went in for a couple of nights a week ago with some more tummy issues) and each time he's been taken away from us by a stranger. Maybe I'm reading a little too far into it.

    He doesn't snap or get stand-offish, he just won't let them touch him. He's quite friendly about it. Any ideas?

  4. #14

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    Now i know lots of people here will frown upon my suggestion(and i acknowledge some of them are proffessional dog trainers, so i mean no disrespect) but i would be taking him to an offlead dog park. I would initially keep him onlead until you get to know some of the regulars, or maybe even go to the parks by yourself and chat with some of the regulars before you take your dog with you. Cruickshank park i think is a fantastic option for socialising your dog, the other option(which is where i take my dog everyday) is the altona dog beach(just on the eastern side of the altona boat ramp). If you keep your dog onlead and keep your wits about you, there's no reason for your dog to have a bad experience(which i assume is why most say not to do it?). Another good tip is to pick a day when the weather is crap(by crap i mean a day like today, 20 degrees at best, a cold southerly wind - i reckon i saw less than 10 other dogs today, and not one of them would i be concerned about - most of us that turn up everyday no matter what the weather know each other), that way you'll only have the dedicated dog owners there i.e i wouldn't suggest taking him to altona dog beach on a nice warm sunny day - i always wonder where all these dogs that appear get walked on the crappy days, or during winter! I think if you're smart and do things right you can make a big positive out of these sort of dog parks. Anyway, thats just my opinion

    ETA : at altona dog beach, keep you dog either out on the cricket field or down on the beach, there are thousands of snakes in the wetlands nextdoor(keep your eyes open on the cricket field too, but in the past three or four years i've only seen one)
    Last edited by mymatejack; 03-06-2012 at 09:39 PM.

  5. #15
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    Your puppy has had a excellent start.
    Socialisation phase for your pup has now closed. But needs constant re-enforcing to maintain it. Especially when your pup reaches the 9 month mark, and he fancies his chances at the title for boss around the home. He'll become selectively deaf, disobedient, pushing boundaries. A teenager basically.
    Keep walking with other dogs crossing your path. Controlled introductions where you guide your dogs behaviour with silly "look, who's this, nicely, say hello' gentle encouragement voice that this is something/someone you are to be well mannered around please.

    I took up some odd behaviour with Bernie, i took him to the local primary school gate at kick out time, kids running and screaming everywhere.
    I took him to a local cafe on saturdays in the town centre
    I took him past fences where dogs were barking and aggressive, and had him behave calmly
    I took him every morning to a off leash dog area, where he met plenty of dogs also off leash, and had him behave friendly
    I took him camping as a pup, and had everyone want to cuddle my bear of a pup
    I took him to work and have him lay at my feet whilst i do counselling

    Any behaviour that would not be called "nice manners" i corrected, immediately, and guided the dog to behave as requested. Any aggro, and he'd go back on leash, and not allowed to play with other dogs. Then let him off again a little later.

    But the biggest trick for me, has been getting him obsessed with fetching his ball or frisbee. When i produce either of these tools of training trade, Bernie switches on, and will watch me like a hawk. He cant then even 'see' other dogs, or whatever the distraction is. Mine's a GSD. They do ball obsession REALLY well, believe me.

    As a basic rule of thumb, imagine your dog fully grown, adult male, can do a LOT of damage. So nip everything in the bud.

    NB. I notice a different dog when Bernie is being walked by my 16 yr old daughter, who rarely walks him. She doesn't have the control over him. He will bark and behave on guard over her, not allowing people close. He see's her as a kid to be protected. Whereas he has no need to do that with me. He trusts me, he does not trust my daughter to lead him through scenarios that challenge him. so you get different behaviour. Bear this in mind. Whoever trains the dog will get control of the dog in my opinion. 2ndry family pack members wont necessarily get the same behaviour out of the same dog. If that makes sense?
    Last edited by bernie; 03-07-2012 at 07:39 AM.

  6. #16
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    Altona Dog Beach, oh yeah!

    take 1 hot day, 50 or so offleash dogs, and voila! haven according to my dogs anyhow.
    me, im always thinking of the dog poo that's floating in the water, its gross!

    Altona dog beach IMO should be part of the schuzthund temperament testing lol

    Another litmus test, is take you pet, to a show dog training class. Coz generally, they aint dog friendly dogs, and will behave will appalling manners, your dogs test is to keep its calm, when 5 adult entire males want to kill it but cant because of a piece of leather. Try Victoria GSD club, Fern Tree Gully. They have some excellent very aggressive show dogs there!
    Last edited by bernie; 03-07-2012 at 07:44 AM.

  7. #17
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    Thank you for the tips Bernie! I don't thing he's quite ready for aggressive show GSDs just yet, he freaks when he's barked at through a fence! Altona beach sounds like the best thing for him right now, I've been there with my old Maltese and he loved it. I had only planned on going on a hot day but I've only now just remembered there is the huge field next to it as well. I will be there this weekend! (I will bring our Jack Russel too so he has a bit of confidence to draw from)

    One thing I found interesting though is the ball obsession. I bring the ball out and he lights up, but not at the ball. He is bang on focused on the Jack Russel, who in turn is focused on the ball, lol. Perhaps I'll take Prince out by himself and try and get him playing - he just doesn't seem to have that much interest in it at the moment.

    It's funny how you mention the one that trains the dog will get a better response out of him. In puppy school the instructor tried to tell him to lie down - a trick he had pretty much mastered already - and he just looked at her like she was stupid. My boyfriend is getting better at getting his attention but I train using positive reinforcement... he's the "yell at them until you get what you want" type.

    Pup definitely has eyes for me instead, haha.

  8. #18
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    My husband is the "if i use a gruff voice, the dog will obey me" even if he's never met the dog before. Testosterone's a bitch sometimes innit!

    But if we walk together, and hubby throws the ball, dog brings it back to me.

  9. #19

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    This weekend low tide is 11.30am on saturday and 12.45pm on sunday. Low tide is def the best time to be there. A week day might be better though for his first time, although i doubt it will be all that busy this weekend

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by bernie View Post
    My husband is the "if i use a gruff voice, the dog will obey me" even if he's never met the dog before. Testosterone's a bitch sometimes innit!

    But if we walk together, and hubby throws the ball, dog brings it back to me.
    That made me laugh. I have a male friend who will yell "SIT" at my dog in an obnoxiously loud and deep voice when he visits. Occasionally she had sat down in front of him but only because she was thoroughly confused about him sounding like a truck engine and wanted to get comfortable to watch the show.

    Some great socialisation ideas there!

    We had GSDs at home when I was a teenager and we had one big, black, long-haired male that was obsessed with those soft rubber squeaky toys. Some of them were tiny too. If we had visitors, he would go and deposit one of his toys onto their lap and then stand in front of them staring intently at it, wanting them to throw it for him. I can tell you, it totally freaked some people out but it always cracked me up, this big dog with his baby toys.

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