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Socializing

raingirl
May 26th, 2005, 04:10 PM
THis may be a stupid question, but how do you socialize your dog if you don't know anyone one who has one. We go to the dog park and so far Odin is fine. I mean, he isn't a puppy anymore, but we would like him to be ok with all dogs. Little dogs he doesn't like so much because one bit him in our building, but other than that he is great.

No one that we know owns a dog. NO ONE. No family, no friends. We only know people who we have met online that we can't always meet with often.

I would think that if you don't know anyone with a dog, the best place would be a dog park. Am I wrong? Isn't the associated risk of a dog park better than having an unsocialized dog?

levimh
May 26th, 2005, 04:40 PM
I personally enjoy the dog park, and I know Levi loves it. Maybe you could take Odin to a socializing class or maybe ask an obedience class trainer if you could come in at the end of his class so Odin could meet the other dogs (with their owners persmission). But I think the dog park is an excellent way to socialize a dog. I agree that dog parks are a risk, but I'm very aware of the dogs that come into my dog park and I watch each dog closely so I know who's not as nice as others. Plus, Levi usually stays around the dogs he knows.

Dog Dancer
May 26th, 2005, 04:46 PM
I am taking my Halo to doggy day care for a half day tomorrow to see how she handles that. She's four and used to play all the time at the park with other dogs, but since Shadow is very dog aggressive we tend to mostly avoid dogs we meet on our walks now and Halo has lost much of her skills when it comes to socializing with other dogs. Shadow goes to this day care all the time due to her separation anxiety and they are really great so tomorrow they're going to take Halo instead of Shadow (she'll come to work with me) and if Halo copes well we'll try to mix her into the day care routine regularly. A half day is only $15 and if you don't have to do it too often perhaps you could afford that? I know money is always an issue (it is for us anyhow), but at least it would be a safe environment.

levimh
May 26th, 2005, 04:53 PM
Oooo, that's a good idea! Day cares! I also remembered...dog walkers. You could get someone to walk Odin on group walks (other dogs) or you could even walk several dogs, along with Odin yourself. Or what about making an ad in your local paper and getting together some non-aggressive, friendly dogs for some socializing fun!

raingirl
May 26th, 2005, 04:53 PM
I just don't see the difference between the soclizing classes etc (like groups and things) as being any different than a dog park. Or even doggy day care. They are all dogs in one place, playing, right?? If anything I would think that a dog park would be better because there is at least one human for each dog...where as a doggy day care is a few people and huge number of dogs.

Beaglemom
May 26th, 2005, 05:05 PM
I don't like some dog parks because of what I've seen. Some people take their dog to the leash free area, let them loose and then are off socializing themselves oblivious to what their canine friends are up to! I know that not all dog parks are like this, though.

With doggie daycare and classes, the people running them are supposedly trained and know how to handle situations should they arise. If you do want to put Odin in a doggie daycare, ask them what the ratio of dogs to humans is. The dogs will have play time as well as nap times.

Dog Dancer
May 26th, 2005, 05:20 PM
I wouldn't take my dog to a day care unless I had checked it out first. With my place there are 25 dogs and just two people, but I gotta tell you, these two people have it covered. They TOTALLY understand dogs, which is more than you can say for most of the people who go to the park and let their dogs run at large. Shadow is extremely dog aggressive but at the day care they know her issues and they know the other dogs. They segregate the dogs into groups that get along and groups that don't. It's always under complete control. I don't believe all day cares are like that. I know they're not, I looked at a few. I am VERY LUCKY with my centre. I know when they take Halo tomorrow they'll assess her first and introduce her slowly to dogs they know are tollerant. I'm not worried at all about it, where as at the park, no way I'd let her go run with dogs I was not familiar with. I trust my doggy day care guy (Ryan - gotta love Ryan) more than I trust myself with my dogs. I know this will be great for Halo, it will be controlled from the minute she goes in there. So no, I wouldn't suggest just taking Odin to some old day care and throwing him in the door. Spend half an hour there without Odin and see what they do with the dogs. Are the dogs relaxed and happy, are the people relaxed and happy??? I also think that a good obedience class never hurts anyone and it gives the added bonus of training both you and your dog and letting the dog learn to behave with other dogs and distractions and to socialize when given the time. Halo could seriously use a good obedience class!!! :D

Lucky Rescue
May 26th, 2005, 06:41 PM
If anything I would think that a dog park would be better because there is at least one human for each dog

People at daycare places presumably know at least something about dog behavior, signs of aggression etc. while MANY people at dog parks have no clue. Read Gripenfelter's post about his puppy being attacked.

With the climate of hysteria and hatred in Ontario towards any dog that bears a resemblance to a pit bull or bulldog, the last thing you want is an incident.

Prin
May 26th, 2005, 07:28 PM
I worked in a "reputable" doggie day care in Montreal, and while there are 3 staff there all the time, the dogs are OFTEN left ALONE. One dog was killed there, but nobody is aware of it and they haven't changed anything in their procedures. This place is quite upscale and very well known in Montreal. Nobody doing any research would know what it's like in there. You go see and there's always someone in there. I WANTED to be with the dogs all day, but they wouldn't let me. I had to do laundry, grooming, cleaning etc, outside of the daycare room, and such that I couldn't even SEE the dogs. We're talking 40 dogs on a good day and at least 10 on a slow day. ALONE. But like I said, outsiders think there are 2 or 3 people in with the dogs all day.

I prefer dog parks, because if you are knowledgeable enough, you can tell the dominant ones from the friendly ones, and the neglectful owners from the well-intentioned ones. Plus the more you go, the more people you will recognize. Plus you are THERE.

raingirl
May 26th, 2005, 07:43 PM
I'm not necessarily talking about my situation, or my dog, but in general.

What if you have someone who has a puppy, but no where to go BUT a dog park. What if there are no puppy socialization groups, and they know no one with a reliable dog??

coppperbelle
May 26th, 2005, 08:05 PM
How about obedience classes? It is always a good idea to take a puppy to puppy classe anyways and at the end the trainer usually allows the puppies to play together.

I tried the dog park. While it may be great for some people, I am not a fan. Many people go to socialize themselves and don't watch their dogs. When my human kids were little and I took them to the park there was always the mom off in the corner talking and not watching her kids. The same applies to dog parks, there is always a few not paying attention or caring how their dog is behaving.

Lucky Rescue
May 26th, 2005, 08:06 PM
Plus you are THERE.

Yes, you are there and can watch as your puppy's ear gets ripped up, or your dog tears another dog's face off 20+ feet away from you - or gets HIS face torn off. Even if you have the speed of a gazelle, how would you get there in time to prevent this?

Eleni
May 26th, 2005, 08:29 PM
Yes, you are there and can watch as your puppy's ear gets ripped up, or your dog tears another dog's face off 20+ feet away from you - or gets HIS face torn off. Even if you have the speed of a gazelle, how would you get there in time to prevent this?


that is exactly the reason I only socialise sammy with people who I know them and their dogs, and how they and hopefully their dogs would react with sam.

I hate to say it but i just dont trust dog parks. not saying I dont trust dogs, but I dont trust owners who may, or may not be responsible. And im not one to make a judgement call the first time I meet someone.

I spend money and time trying to give sammy the best, much to much so to have an irresponsible dog owner allow there dog to hurt sam, and I would be devastated if sam for whatever reason hurt a dog at the dog park.

just my feelings on the matter, I am probably over protective, but id be heartbroken if ant incedents happened that involved my dog


Eleni

Prin
May 26th, 2005, 09:31 PM
Yes, you are there and can watch as your puppy's ear gets ripped up, or your dog tears another dog's face off 20+ feet away from you - or gets HIS face torn off. Even if you have the speed of a gazelle, how would you get there in time to prevent this?
My park is not so big that my doggies wander terribly far away. They stay close to me. And like I said, you start to be a better judge of your dog's and other dogs' body language too, so you know when to be more alert. Of course accidents do happen, but I'd much rather they happen in my control and I know what happened, than in the care of a stranger getting paid $5.50 an hour... :)

doggy lover
May 26th, 2005, 09:56 PM
I'm lucky at my cottage a neighbour of ours has a young GSD and her and Tucker just have a ball togeather, they are allowed to run off leash as we have 16 acres of property and the road is 1000 feet away. But living here in the city Tucker thinks he can play with all the dogs and he likes to play rough, he gets excited when he meets other dogs and can get a little pushy. One dog already put him in his place and I allowed her to do it she just nipped him and he soon learned to sit and leave her alone. Other people here have dogs with attitude and they just freek out start growling and snapping as you walk by, I just stay clear of them. My last dog wasn't a social dog, he would just walk past other dogs and pay no attention to them. He was good with dogs that came over as long as they didn't bother him and get in his face. If they did he would just grumble and if they got too pushy he would snap at them, never bit or hurt one though.

levimh
May 26th, 2005, 09:57 PM
My park is not so big that my doggies wander terribly far away. They stay close to me. And like I said, you start to be a better judge of your dog's and other dogs' body language too, so you know when to be more alert. Of course accidents do happen, but I'd much rather they happen in my control and I know what happened, than in the care of a stranger getting paid $5.50 an hour... :)

I'd have to agree. I know all the dogs that come to the park (at the time that I do) by name. I know all their owners (maybe not by name) and I have never witnessed any ripping of ears or tearing of faces...or any blood. Period. Yes, there are tiffs, but they never amount to anything. I think it really depends on the park though. Mine is a quiet - usually only 5-25 dogs at a time - and the dogs are usually spread out throughout the park, so each dog is only with 5 or so other dogs, at a time. I'm very responsible and very aware of all the dogs that come around my dog. If I see any sign of aggression or bullying, I call Levi over to go play with a different dog. :)

Princesss04
May 27th, 2005, 10:44 AM
We do not have a "Dog" park but you can take your dogs to the people park as long as they are on a leash! Which is fine with us they are when we are out around people anyway!

People around here see Chino and are like it the a Rott or a dobi and you can tell they are not the happy about it. But he would not hurt a fly!

So anyway I can not say if I like the parks or not! I do not think I would but I might. I do not like the idea of that many dogs runnning around with my dog. I would not know them or now if they got their shots,etc. :D

Dog Dancer
May 27th, 2005, 11:56 AM
Well I just dropped Halo off at my doggy day care centre. First time for her going there, she's 4 1/2, lab x. For a dog who likes to bark at every dog she see's on the road she was a big sissy at the day care. New environment, new people (although she has met Ryan - the owner - before). I have spent a lot of time at this place over the past four years that Shadow has been going there, and yes sometimes the dogs are alone in a room, but there are no closed off full room areas (other than the kitchen) and there's always someone about - even the laundry area is open to the dog areas so that the staff can see and hear what's happening. Yes there have been the odd incidents - just like in children day care's and yes like at dog parks. But no face off's in the corners or anything. Shadow did get her foot bit by once by the GSD that goes there, who is her arch nemesis. They have agreed to kill each other if ever given the chance, which will never happen as the staff know all about it. They have assured me that Halo will not be introduced to this GSD just in case the other dog decides she smells like Shadow. So I'm not worried about Halo other than she just may be too nervous to enjoy it today. She'll only be there for three hours then we'll take her home. Ryan will call me if she doesn't relax and enjoy and we'll go get her earlier. He's already planned who she'll get to play with. I'll let you know how it goes...

newdad
May 27th, 2005, 12:54 PM
At what age can you start socialing a puppy? My pup is 6 weeks old, and I am a little nervous of taking her to an off leash park, she's still very little. Do I not need to worry? Are the other dogs usually pretty gentle? I live in a pretty fair sized lot, but I like to take her places that she can really stretch her legs. I also learned from this site, that maybe she should have stayed with her mother a little longer, and that I need to socialize her as much as possible. Do you think an off leash park is enough, or should I look into a daycare?

Dog Dancer
May 27th, 2005, 01:06 PM
Hi Newdad, you can see from this thread alone that opinions on dog parks and daycares varries greatly! With such a young puppy as yours I would certainly not be inclined to take her to an off leash park where she could be tormented by other dogs - young dogs are easy prey. She does need socializing though and your best bet would probably be to find a good obedience program for young dogs so she can learn and socialize at the same time. Good luck with the puppy! :)

Dog Dancer
May 27th, 2005, 01:07 PM
Oops, me again. I thought your msg said six months not six weeks. Puppy should be fully up on all her shots before being socialized I believe. And six weeks would still be too young for obedience anyhow (in a class format). This is truly a baby. Get her used to people and kids and let her see other animals but no touchy until she's protected.

Writing4Fun
May 27th, 2005, 01:15 PM
Another issue for a 6 week old puppy is that she hasn't had all of her vaccinations yet, and so can be vulnerable to a host of life-threatening diseases. You don't want to expose her to areas frequented by unfamiliar dogs, such as parks. I think your best bet would be to get her together as frequently as possible with some friends' dogs who you know for certain are up to date on their shots.

Raingirl, you're more than welcome to bring Odin up here for a romp in our yard with Phoebe. :D Personally, I'm not fond of parks at all - dog parks or people parks. I've taken the kids to our local park a handful of times, and each time I've found broken beer bottles beneath the swing sets and decomposed dog doo under the climbers. :yuck: At least I know there are no broken beer bottles in my yard. :p

BeagleMum
May 27th, 2005, 01:22 PM
No off leash parks until your pup has had all 3 rounds of vaccinations plus a waiting period of about a month afterwards. I learned that here, everyone jumped down my throat for suggesting the same thing a few months ago.

BeagleMum
May 27th, 2005, 01:25 PM
Raingirl, you're more than welcome to bring Odin up here for a romp in our yard with Phoebe. :D Personally, I'm not fond of parks at all - dog parks or people parks. I've taken the kids to our local park a handful of times, and each time I've found broken beer bottles beneath the swing sets and decomposed dog doo under the climbers. :yuck: At least I know there are no broken beer bottles in my yard. :p


Where are you guys in Ontario? Just curious because Spencer loves other dogs and I want to be able to let him play with others but for a beagle, an off leash park is not an option.

Cactus Flower
May 27th, 2005, 01:30 PM
There are exactly TWO dog parks in the entire STATE of New Mexico, and they are both in the big city (Albuquerque)- hours away.

But, as I've said in the past, I wouldn't take my dogs to a dog park, even if we had one here.

I took Raj to Petco. She had serious issues and needed socialization with both dogs AND humans. I would literally spend hours in Petco, as other people shopped with their dogs. Raj had to get used to people walking past her, people stopping to pet her, dogs stopping to sniff her, etc.
The Petco employees knew that I was socializing her, and welcomed us both to stay as long as we needed to. They'd even come and bring her treats now and then, and ask me how it was going.

When we were in Colorado recently, I met a Great Dane breeder. She invited me to bring Raj over to play with her Danes. This will be wonderful, because there are very few dogs that can (or want to) actually play with Raj, due to her size.

Do you know any breeders?

You could always get another dog....... :p .

Princesss04
May 27th, 2005, 01:36 PM
Cactus I think you should get Raja a brother or sister in her size! Maybe another black dane that we can all enjoy! Good idea I think! :D

nymph
May 27th, 2005, 01:40 PM
Newdad: I did not even walk my puppy Diego until he had all his shots at 13 weeks. To this day, he's one week short of 5 months, I have not yet brought him to dog parks since he's still learning to walk on leash, so I really wouldn't worry about taking your pup to dog parks.

I did however play mini fetch at home and in my backyard with Diego. At 7 weeks, he was sleeping most of the time. I should assume that your pup is doing the same thing. Diego is enrolled in puppy kintergarten now, so he gets to meet other 5 puppies once a week for an hour. I also bring him to SuperPets and PetsMart and my friends' house. My neighbor's kids occasionally come over to play with Diego, under my supervision of course. I think socializtion doesn't necessarily mean socializing only with other dogs. Take your time to enjoy puppyhood.

Writing4Fun
May 27th, 2005, 01:46 PM
Grover, I'm about an hour north of Toronto. A bit of a drive for you, I think. ;)

Cactus Flower, I love taking my pup to places like PetSmart. It's a great place to socialize them, once they've been fully vaccinated, and Phoebe loves the attention. Getting in touch with a breeder is a good idea, too. They can help you get in touch with other owners in your area (I don't think they'll give out other owners' phone numbers, but if you give them yours, they might be willing to pass it along).

Sorry, but every time I hear "Albuquerque", I think, "I should've taken that left turn..." :p

Dog Dancer
May 27th, 2005, 01:50 PM
Just went and got Halo. She was too stressed with the new environment at the day care to relax enough to enjoy it. Ryan said she was waiting for the other dogs to correct her (our Shadow is quite dominant). Anyhow, she spent just about two hours there and that was enough for today. We'll definitely take her back again for another short visit next week and work it up. Socializing is SOOOO important and I see now that Halo has paid the price for missing out on it lately.

Cactus Flower
May 27th, 2005, 02:08 PM
Oh DogDancer, I'm sorry it didn't work out. Give it time. Maybe they'll let you stay a while the next time Halo has to go there.

Writing4Fun, it was an unsheduled left turn that took me into New Mexico....best left turn I ever made :D !

Princess, Raj would NEVER forgive me if I got another dog. NEVER. She has a hard enough time dealing with the fact that I do indeed have another dog named Chloe, and I do indeed give Chloe love and attention, too. She makes SUCH a fuss when I love on Chloe. Jealous girl!

But it was a nice suggestion anyway :) .

Dog Dancer
May 27th, 2005, 02:25 PM
Thanks for the thoughts CactusFlower. Actually when I went in this morning with her I hung around for a bit, but she was so nervous Ryan and I both agreed my being there probably was not actually helping her - just giving her mommy to suck up to. We will try it again another time - I know when she learns to relax with it she'll have fun and it will be good for her to be around other dogs. Ryan had two dogs he thought she'd do well with but neither were in this morning - we'll time it better next time. But it really does show how important socializing is doesn't it! She has Shadow at home but she leads a sheltered life - albeit a good (aka spoiled) life. :angel:

Cactus Flower
May 27th, 2005, 03:49 PM
You're right, it does show the importance of socializing. I hope you have better luck next time.

I can relate completely. Raj is now VERY nervous around small dogs because she's had so many little ones bite her. She's confident around on-leash small dogs. But if I were to leave her in a room full of unleashed dogs that included small breeds- she would FREAK.

Princesss04
May 27th, 2005, 03:53 PM
You're right, it does show the importance of socializing. I hope you have better luck next time.

I can relate completely. Raj is now VERY nervous around small dogs because she's had so many little ones bite her. She's confident around on-leash small dogs. But if I were to leave her in a room full of unleashed dogs that included small breeds- she would FREAK.


Poor Raja! My sweet girl! :D

newdad
May 27th, 2005, 05:14 PM
Yes nymph, seems like all she ever does is sleep. Whenever she wakes up I try and play fetch with her, but it's more like me throwing the ball and me retreiveing the ball......

Cactus Flower
May 28th, 2005, 12:13 AM
Thank you, Princess :) .

SarahJane
September 6th, 2005, 08:08 PM
this was supposed to be a PM so oops! :sorry:

wAggie
September 8th, 2005, 11:33 PM
meh, whether u socialize your dog with other dogs/pups or people, make sure u still socialize.

on walks, in plaza's, on the bus, that's all socialization.

keep it up and enjoy your neighbourhood.