View Full Version : Puppy socialisation.
9th July 2007, 10:36 AM
Okay, I have heard & read a lot saying that this is necessary to prevent fear & bad social skills with people and/or dogs. My puppy loves people, if way too much, so that's not a concern. What I am "concerned" with is her socialisation with dogs. I have been looking for a puppy class to coved this that was near for months. I finally found one & it doesn't start until the end of the month (she'll be five months old then). She's not met THAT many dogs sadly despite trying. All the dogs she has met, unsurprisingly, are huge next to her. Golden Retrievers, Labradors, Weirmaraners, collies etc. All the Weirmaraners she has met have just stood there & smelt her & that's it. But the rest want to play, forgetting their size & it ends up with them chasing her a bit but running faster & standing on her legs accidently. Should I stop it before this happens as she ends up crying at this point. Also, yesterday, we met a fat Labrador who didn't know it's own size! It knocked my sister over & then shoved it's head into my dog's personal space & knocked her on her back & then ran into her as well as standing on her too - when it was distracted by saying hello to me, my dog started trotting off to hide in the grass! It took three calls to get her to come back (never before has it taken that long) to ensure, in her eyes, that the Labrador had left. I'm not sure if all this effort with these dogs is detrimental or not. Generally, she loves everything & everyone & when she meets a new dog (to be fair, most are on lead & sniff her & walk on when their owner walks off..) her tail drops but still wags & she wants to sniff back too until the other dog goes a bit too far.
I think what I want to hear is whether this is the right thing? I asked on here since people will surely have had the same or similar issues due to having such a small dog & very small puppy.
9th July 2007, 11:23 AM
ok so the real purpose of puppy socialisation is to build a good coping ability within your dog so that other things in life will not be so hard to deal with.
YES you should stop play if one puppy is smaller. This is primarily from a safety point of view. Try to match size to size although I will say that sometimes we pair quieter large puppies with smaller feisty puppies and it works well.
A good socialisation class will pair the puppies appropriately, supervise all play and let you know what each puppy is signalling with their body language. We will allow small manageable amount of stress but only if the puppy recovers fast and goes back for more as such. Puppy socialisation is important and not attending a rubbish course is better than attending a badly run course.
I may try and video some of ours on Wednesday to show you how it all works. I could write for pages and pages about it. LisaW runs it and she is really into the puppies and knows a lot. She wrote the puppy soc course and it's her baby!
9th July 2007, 11:33 AM
Sorry, I am not sure if you followed what I had said. The dogs she has met, so far, are dogs around when we go for a walk not puppies!
9th July 2007, 12:02 PM
The importance of puppy class socialisation as opposed to meeting dogs on a leash or on walks, is that the dogs get to interact together off leash. Your puppy will learn that some dogs, both adult & puppy are very rough, and he will learn the skills to dodge & avoid getting hurt. He will also learn correct doggy body language. Meeting other dogs on walks is great, but I don't think it really replaces the puppy class socialisation.
In our classes sometimes Beau had to deal with other dogs that were probably 4 times his weight and some were terribly rough. Our teacher told us that it is best to let them sort these things out themselves and only intervene if one dog started to get nasty or if there was a risk of injury. If the little dogs were just getting knocked over & run into occasionally we had to just leave them to it.
Beau very soon learned to keep an eye out & be fast on his feet.
However, in a situation where your dog in on a leash, I don't think it is fair to let him get knocked about as he does not have the freedom in that situation to get away. It then is up to you to ensure he doesn't get hurt.
9th July 2007, 12:07 PM
Ah, right. Thank you. She isn't on the lead when she meets other dogs & I have never intervened so far unless I just want to walk on anyway. I just worried whether bigger dogs being a bit rough might be a bad idea - she is going to puppy classes, they just haven't started yet & I have tried my best to make do until they do.
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