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ThaiGhing September 2nd, 2004 01:42 PM

Socialization For Older Puppies - Answered by J. Sansregret
Anyone have any ideas how to socialize an older ( almost 7 month old) puppy?? Thai is super friendly to those he sees regularily (ie. me, my husband, my parents, my siblings, neices and nephews, my husbands parents, sibling, grandparents, etc). But when we are out walking in our neighbourhood, and people approach us (which they do often as he is quite a looker! LOL)... he always backs away from them. There is no barking, or growling, just slowly backs away from them. When they do not speak to us, and simply walk by, he will often approach them and sniff at them as they walk past us. I am just curious, as to how I can socialize him a little more. I understand the breed is not very social ( he is a smooth chow chow)... but I still would like him to be a little more confident around strangers. Any suggestions would be helpful. He has graduated primary obidience, and I am successful in getting him in a sit-stay around strangers, but when they want to pet him... he slowly moves backwards... like he is not sure if they are ok or not... Pls help us... so we can be more social... by the way, he loves all other animals.. and does not respond this way with strange animals he hasnt met before.. Thanks

mastifflover September 2nd, 2004 02:19 PM

Chows can be aloof, but don't despair it just takes time. When a stranger is approaching get him to sit and kneel down with him and talk to him I always tell Bud it's okay. Bud is a rescue and very leary of men. If he starts to back away I tell him it is okay and bend down to his level and I also find that if he is still scared and watching me I will touch the persons arm and say it is okay again and he will usually let them pat him, he is not aggresssive with stangers he is more scared than anything. He trusts me not to let anybody hurt him and if I say it is okay he will usually be alright, if he still wants nothing to do with them then I don't push him. Always reward him and tell him how good he is.

Lucky Rescue September 2nd, 2004 02:46 PM

Agree with mastifflover. Chows are not sociable dogs, and generally do not like strangers. I wouldn't allow strangers to approach him. I"ve never known any Asian breeds who are friendly to strangers.

IF people want to pet him, you'll have to say no. He sounds great and loving with family, and that's about as good as it will get.

ThaiGhing September 2nd, 2004 02:55 PM

I think its the towering over him that he doesnt like.... children approach us daily on our walks... he has no problem with children petting him, cuddling him, etc. But they are more on his level. So maybe the crouching down thing will work. I am gonna try that. One of the people I know suggested getting strangers to give him a treat, what do you think of this???

GsdDiamond September 2nd, 2004 03:40 PM

Personally, I don't let any strangers give my dog treats. Only people she sees on a regular basis, and only if I (or my partner) tell Diamond it's ok.

The main reason for this is to prevent her from possible poisoning/illness in the future. You can't trust all strangers, and the dog should learn that you, or those you allow, are the ONLY sources of food. Petting and playing is ok, but not food.

mastifflover September 2nd, 2004 04:41 PM

I don't allow anyone to give Buddy treats unless they are from my pocket. I have had a dog poisoned and I would not want that to happen to anybody else's dog.

petdr September 14th, 2004 11:28 AM


Find other people you know that like dogs and are willing to help you out. This is a breed that loves the family but all dogs love food and rewards, so get others to reward him under your strict supervision. They can throw a ball, give the dog's favourite food rewards etc. Start off with acquaintances and then move toward total strangers. They don't necessarily have to touch him, just interact with him or work with him. This will teach the dog that good things come from others.

Try bringing his breakfast to a dog park and get others (acquaintances then strangers) to give him the food. Be very aware of the dog's behaviour but the fact that he hasn't growled before is good.

Another good tactic is an agility course where there are tons of people around. Other participants don't have to touch him just interact with him. So many pet owners stop courses after basic obedience. EXTRA courses are GREAT for builing up a dog's confidence and socialization skills. This may well help.

Julie Sansregret - AHT, Dog trainer
Guides Canins
1313, rue PineRidge,
St-Lazare-de-Vaudreuil, Qué.
J7T 2M7 (450) 424-1469

Writing4Fun September 18th, 2004 06:45 AM

Here is what the AKC website has to say about the breed standard:
Keen intelligence, an independent spirit and innate dignity give the Chow an aura of aloofness. It is a Chow's nature to be reserved and discerning with strangers. Displays of aggression or timidity are unacceptable. Because of its deep set eyes the Chow has limited peripheral vision and is best approached within the scope of that vision."[/I]
No one is saying they are vicious, just not easilly accepting of strangers. ;)

Lucky Rescue September 18th, 2004 09:52 AM

[QUOTE]b.s. negative stereotype.[/QUOTE]

Calm down. My comments were in no way meant as negative, or sterotypical, but merely as a fact concerning a breed trait.

I did not say they were vicious - merely that they are not as accepting of strangers as some other breeds may be.

Of course every dog is an individual, and there may be many Chows who love strangers, but that is not a typical breed trait. And that is just a fact, not a criticism. Can you see the difference?

Many dogs are wary or suspicious of strangers because they were bred that way, to do a job. A Neapolitan mastiff or an Akbash dog wouldn't do it's job very well if it fawned all over strangers, would it?

debanneball September 21st, 2004 09:34 AM

My best friend has a chow, he is aloof, stand offish, doesn't bark or growl at strangers, but does back off. I agree with Lucky, Mastiff and Writing, sorry Dinah. Shelby does not play with toys of any kind, will not run, jump or have fun with Stella. But, he does tolerate it when she jumps on him...

Terrie September 21st, 2004 03:52 PM

While we are on the subject, i'm at my wits end.... As most of you know I have a GSD and he's now 20 months old. When he was a baby, I would take him to work with me because I worked 12 hour shifts, and the people there were awesome, they would take turns taking him outside for his rest etc... this happened till he was 8 months old, but then my shifts changed, I was taking him to obedience classes but I had to stop them for two reason #1 and foremost, I had to go for abdominal surgery and #2 the trainers were very impatient with my dog. Now I try to walk him every day but in the morning before I go to work, when I walk him around people, he cries like he's being hit because he wants to see people.
When I was in training, he did the same thing, crying because he wanted to play and the trainer would yell at us. Although telling him this is why i'm here and paying him to help me, stopped his yelling, it didn't stop Kuma from wanting to see people, I'm just afraid that if I do bring him around anyone, he might bite... A muzzle will be purchased for that reason, but how do I get him to stop crying... I even tried distraction by changing my direction of our walk, and walk the other way but he looks back.. It's almost like his lil heart's breaking...
Someone please HELP STOP THE MADNESS !!! :(

LL1 September 21st, 2004 08:32 PM

Why would you think he would bite? And why get a muzzle? Why not let him be properly socialized with more people and strangers? If you don't do that you will be sorry.
[QUOTE=Terrie]when I walk him around people, he cries like he's being hit because he wants to see people.
........................ it didn't stop Kuma from wanting to see people, I'm just afraid that if I do bring him around anyone, he might bite... A muzzle will be purchased for that reason, but how do I get him to stop crying([/QUOTE]

mastifflover September 22nd, 2004 11:26 AM

Yes Dinah I have owned a Chow and a Sharpei and both were great dogs and not the social butterflies of the park until they really got to know somebody. They were standoffish and no they were not aggressive but definite alpha dogs. Two others I know own Chows and they are also aloof until they get to know you and trust you.

Jackie467 September 22nd, 2004 02:29 PM

I don't want to hijack this thread but I seem to have a similar problem with Candi my Italian Greyhound. I know the breed is known for being timid but i would at least like to walk her around people. she never growls or makes any notion that she would bite, but she slowly backs away and trys to get as far from them as she can or hide behind me. she is especialy afraid of children, I have no idea why because since i got her when she was 12 weeks she has never been around a child unsupervised, so she has not been abused by one or anything. she is great with people that she sees all the time, except the children. the strange thing is that when our other dog is around (who loves everyone immediatly) and goes up to the people even children she is ok with them right away too. I'm having such a problem with this because when i walk her everyone always wants to pet her (I usualy let them if she seems ok enough with them, she lets me know by sniffing them on her own instead of running the other way why she selects certain people is beyond me and i can't find a link between the people she does like so i have no idea why) but the hard part is when we are walking and someone comes past she jumps on me and wants me to pick her up and carry her. I only do this if she seems really uneasy with them, otherwise i just make her walk around them. she is great with other dogs, loves them all immediatly and wants to play, just doesn't like people that much. my vet told me that is normal with this breed but i would still try to help her over come this. any ideas?

Lucky Rescue September 22nd, 2004 04:27 PM

[QUOTE]it didn't stop Kuma from wanting to see people, I'm just afraid that if I do bring him around anyone, he might bite[/QUOTE]

I, too, am really wondering why you think your dog will bite??

Jackie467, do not allow strangers to approach your dog and loom over her to pet her. The most important thing is that she must be confident that you will "protect" her. If she wants to go up to someone, let her do it. Otherwise, why is it important that she allow strangers to come up to her?

Some breeds can be timid, shy or aloof. You can socialize them to a certain point, but genetics often DO rule.

Small children frighten many dogs who have not grown up with them. Their shrieking and quick erratic moves make many dogs nervous. My last dog was this way with little kids, so I didn't let them do anything to frighten him.

Terrie September 22nd, 2004 05:10 PM

I've never owned a Big dog. When he sees people he cries, but i'm not sure how he would react if he actually approached them. I know he hasn't seen my brother in a long time and the only thing Kuma did was Lick him to death, so I think the fear is more in me then in Kuma? With all the talk about pit bull banning in our city and dog bites etc.... I'm more afraid to take the chance than anything... I'm on vacation this week, and it will be the test, because I plan on taking him to the woods for a walk and to the beach... Brrrr but I will muzzle him to begin with, feel him out ( sorta speak ) then take his muzzle off if he behaves.

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