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Socialisation question.(9 Posts)
I'll be getting a second dog (puppy soon and I am really keen to avoid the mistakes I made with my first dog.
With new puppy I plan to use treats to teach puppy to walk past and ignore other dogs.
I am not willing to allow puppy to interact with strange dogs that I don't know myself.
This is due to a large number of usually unprovoked aggressive encounters to my older dog and multiple frightening incidents where there was no malice from the dog involved but the other owner had no control meaning my dog been barked at, chased, jumped on and squashed flat on the floor on one occasion...
Which has obviously been scary for her.
The result is a dog who started out confident and friendly but is now comfortable with other dogs around but generally, cannot cope with actual meetings and will react aggressively.
New puppy is a large breed and I absolutely do not want a big reactive dog.
I am a little worried that if I never really allow puppy to interact with strange dogs aside from mine and a selected few I know, is the puppy likely to grow up anxious around other dogs??
Am I worrying unnecessarily?
I desperately want to get it right this time.
I follow this rule with my dog.
He gets to play with the dogs at daycare.
Outside I don't let him play with unknown dogs for the reasons you have given but if one does pass and they have manners e.g. it's a sniff and the body language is ok, I wait a brief time so they can say hello and then call him and walk off.
I can usually tell those that will bounce on him as it's usually the dog running full speed from miles away with no owner in sight. I tend to walk away to avoid the encounter or if they are pestering my dog I try and stand between and shoo them away.
Personally I think it's far better to have good interacts with a few known dogs than bad ones with unknown dogs.
Yes if you restrict your puppy too much from playing with other dogs he may become weary of them. Rough play and tumbling about are pretty normal puppy interactions, there is no reason your puppy will become reactive because of that. Are you planning on taking to puppy classes? A good puppy class, supervised by a trainer will allow for appropriate socialization, e.g. puppies of similar ages and sizes, encouraged to move around, stopped from getting too rough.
I think you're more likely to end up with problems if you don't allow your dog the chance to say hello politely to other dogs when out and about tbh.
It will also very much depend on the puppy, some puppies will be naturally more wary of other dogs but some will want to say hello and play.
I think it's a bit sad to have a blanket ban on all other dogs interacting with your puppy and I imagine your puppy would pick up on your anxiety and react to it.
I think you definitely need to find other dogs/puppies your dog can safely play with. It seems cruel to block off communication and play with the rest of his species because because of a few bad experiences your other dog had.
I have my own dog plus 3 small dogs in the family I know and trust.
I am planning to use treats to walk past and ignore, in practise I'll probably allow a quick few second greeting maybe if the other dog seems to have good body language.
It isn't 'a few' bad experiences, it's a LOT of bad experiences.
I view it the same as us not needing or wanting to have in depth conversations with everyone we meet.
I have a giant breed. She wasn’t allowed off lead to play with other dogs for a long time. She was allowed to greet dogs we knew whilst she was on lead.
She loves meeting other dogs and is very sociable.
BUT. She remains very focused on me on a walk and if I say a dog is on a lead or she can’t play then she won’t. It’s very useful.
I have small dogs and they have never been allowed to play with other dogs, I allow a sniff of calm dogs as we pass but over eager dogs, we stop sit and I try my best to block approaching dog, as I have found being still and boring normally gets rid of dogs wanting to play if not waving a foot towards them usually gets their owner to step up and retrieve them.