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How much socialization does a puppy actually need?

(8 Posts)
abearcalledpaddington Wed 24-Jun-15 14:09:19

I have a 9 month old black lab who i have posted about before (just questions about exercise)

She has a lovely temperament and is great with my children, other peoples children, and other dogs.

Her training is going well, her recall is great and she can sit, lie down, drop and i am teaching her to stay.I have done this without any puppy classes just from books and youtube!

I take her for 2 walks a day (mostly off lead,beach and countryside), and we usually bump into some other dogs on the way,she says hello and sometimes they will have a little play and then we will get on with it.

Is this enough? I would like to get another dog somewhere down the line, not yet but when she is around 2. She loves other dogs, i just want to make sure this is enough for her so that she stays sociable.

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Wed 24-Jun-15 15:58:34

It's not just about getting used to other dogs, it's about showing her things like bikes, lorries, pushchairs, trains, bin lorries, the sea, boats, horses, crowds, anything that might scare her. Although you've missed the prime window of socialisation, that's up to about sixteen weeks, it is important to get her used to everyday sights and sounds before she's grown up and scared of everything new. Once they're older and already have that ingrained fear of anything new it's very hard to undo. That's when you get the danger of fear aggression.

EdwinaLIzzard Wed 24-Jun-15 16:32:50

To support socialisation, my puppy trainer gave us a great long list of people, animals, places, things and situations to try and introduce our cocker spaniel to - with the aim of ticking off as many as possible within the first 16 weeks.

We turned it into a game and actively sought out heavily bearded men, loud people, fish in tanks, car boot sales, train stations, pubs (that one wasn't so tricky!!) lorries, crying babies, elderly people with walking sticks, buskers etc …… all on our list

And, I now have a very laid back 9 month old pup, who appears comfortable and relaxed in all sorts of situations ……. with just one exception to date, he freaked when my daughter came downstairs in a flowery Cath Kidston bath cap - clearly I failed miserably to introduce him to shabby chic and strange head gear grin

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Wed 24-Jun-15 20:51:25

I don't like shabby shic either. grin

abearcalledpaddington Wed 24-Jun-15 22:16:31

Hmm thats interesting. Where we live isnt exactly rural but its a quiet seaside village and we mainly go to the beach,through the wheatfields or up to this hilly sort of place for walks.So she hasnt ever been anywhere that busy or loud i guess, but i also dont see a situation where i would need to take her to a shopping centre or a pub? So guess its not all bad. I take her to pets at home with me once a week to get her frozen dog food!

She does bark when someone comes into our house unless its me, ex dh or the kids,she is ok once i tell her its ok and they give her a stroke, but im guessing this is normal?

pigsDOfly Thu 25-Jun-15 00:14:48

Was your daughter's bath cap brightly coloured Edwina? My dog used to be really freaked out if she saw someone in a brightly coloured dress or scarf in the distance, or even a bright handbag. Thankfully, she seems to have grown out of it now but it was a real pain in the summer with all the colourful summer dresses around (used to live in a seaside town).

OP, it really is important to get your puppy used to as many sights and sounds as possible regardless of where you usually walk her. You never know what you might come across even in a rural area.

I also live in a semi rural area but we still have plenty of things that have the potential to frighten a dog that hasn't been fully socialised.

We were in the park recently and someone was letting bangers off in the woods nearby. Thankfully my dog didn't turn a hair, but I know someone who's dog bolted in similar circumstances and was knocked down by a car - although I realise fireworks are a hazard of a special kind and that's probably more to do with how any particular dog copes with noise.

Dogs really need to get used to all sorts of people, places and sounds. Hopefully your dog will live a lovely long life and you never know what sort of things she might come across in the future. The more experiences she has early on the better she'll be able to cope with the unexpected.

EdwinaLIzzard Thu 25-Jun-15 11:27:10

Pigs - yes the bath cap was particularly loud and garish, it was a joke birthday gift which had never been worn before (and will never be worn again) and she was just messing around with it pulled down on her head!

Dpup was very unimpressed, barked like mad and then ran to hide behind me.

We made no fuss, she took it off and then played with Ddog as per usual, but it does show how dogs can be unsettled and genuinely scared by something out of the ordinary, and yes, there can be tragic outcomes if a scared dog bolts.

Op, does your village get very busy in the summer, as it may be worthwhile considering the impact of visitors, extra traffic, events etc

abearcalledpaddington Fri 26-Jun-15 13:01:57

The beach has been really busy because of the weather recently and she has been fine. I've started taking her for extra mini walks to the shop so she gets used to the sounds of cars as the road is quite busy. She doesn't seem bothered by them.

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