View Full Version : puppy socialization

Super Princess
12th January 2013, 05:19 AM
Our local Bosleys (pet store) dose a drop in puppy socialization class once a week. an hour long, 2 proffessional dog trainers. only for puppies under 12 months.
I thought getting maggie socialized with dogs woudl be a good idea.
the location closest to us has one on thursday nights..the one a little farther away is sundays.
i like the idea of the sunday one much better..but we went to our first lastnight.

Im not really sure what i expceted, but it was a little more overweming then i thought.
25 puppies..all different breeds and sizes. and their owneres..in many cases..more then one owner..so a LOT of people.

they only had one pen, and next time they will bring two. but because they had one..half hte puppies went in right away..and half did not.
maggie was in the 2nd group..meaning they would get passed around to strangers. this part she loved. she loves people. im sure she wondered wtheck was going on..

but then it came her turn to go in the puppy pen.
judging fromt he reaction of the puppy playdate with her sister..i kinda predicted what would happen.
tail between her legs, ..she sat with two other newbies (brother and sister westies) shaking. it was all i had not to push everone aside grab her out and take her home with me.
some dogs were passed back for pee breaks and i had a plan in my head to just LEAVE if maggie was given to me.
i felt so bad for her. (i am one protective mama bear)

so when this bigger dog..started bugging her..i was screaming in my head..but silently watching .
A little jack wrestle..got infront of maggie and was trying to get hte bigger dog to bugger off..almost protecting her.

except..the trainers were keeping an eye ont he situation..

the big dog..was on his side on the ground..inching his way closer to her..so he was under her..nipping up..trying to get her to play back.
finally she had enough.snapped..and her shell broke..she was ontop of him playfully nipping at the bigger dog.
and the trainers got the attention of the whole room to point this out.. theyre like 'look..look at what _____ has done to this little cavalier puppy..he was on his side..tryign to engage her..in many different techinques when one didnt work" and at this point im like ..fighting a tear or two..so proud of her and this remarkable breakthrough..which i had been so upset about ..because i thought he was BUGGING her..he was acutally tring to help her break through..and did.
so then she goes "so whos the mama bear of this little cavalier" now fighitng off the tears i was like "its meee" lol.

they also explained..(as if reading my mind) that had we (me and westies mummie) taken our puppies home while they were that afraid..they would have learend to be afraid instead of facing their fears and learning that it was OKAY.

i think its a good class for both of us to go to. to help us BOTH get over things like that. however i really wish it was smaller..it was so crowded and overwelming.

she of course..gave me the growly treatment afterwards ;) dont think she was quite pleased with me that i did that to her lol.

12th January 2013, 02:02 PM
I think its a great idea however I agree its needs to be a smaller group. The store "should" do something about that (but earning money is their goal). Maybe the Sunday class at the other store will be smaller. IF it was on a smaller ratio I would say just go away, you know from working in childcare what I mean you don't allows need parents hanging over your shoulder.

I know what you mean about the Mama Bear thing but just like with kids you can't be OVER PROTECTIVE. But of course you have to be watchful.

I never worried too much about socialization with Fletcher as a young pup. I took him to the childcare center and met so many people. Also there's a total of 7 family dogs and tons of dogs walking in my neighborhood daily. Well, plus a large ground of neighborhood kids who play outside all the time. We did do a puppy class and Fletcher loved it. There is a fairly large dog park right in my neighborhood but when I take Fletcher we usually have the whole thing to ourselves sometimes Joey a black lab is there and we have met the 2 little poms who are aggressive towards other dogs!!!!!!!!! Nice, but the owner is cool he leaves if some shows up. But if there was a social hour at local pet store I think I would do it. One of the things I have rarely be able to give Fletcher is play time with pups his own age. Except his human litter mate Mr. Monster:rolleyes:

12th January 2013, 02:11 PM
I've been to one of these before. But the people were in the pen with their puppies. The puppy I was with (my friend's new dog), was larger than most but absolutely terrified. And this tiny yorkie kept trying to play with him (lab mix), she would just follow him around and around and he just kept trying to run away from her and hide.

He grew up just fine, actually ended up being a very socially confident dog.

If I was guaranteed a small group, I'd be willing to do one of these with a new puppy, but the large groups are just overwhelming. Several private trainers near where I was in the state would also organize puppy play groups for free (again to recruit for the classes), usually on Saturdays, but they were always limited numbers and advance sign-up only. Maybe you should check online for other playdates in your area.

Super Princess
12th January 2013, 07:38 PM
im kinda wanting to check out the sunday one.. not this week..mabe next.
Mostly because thursdays SUCK for me. I am such a hermit on weekdays. I get home around 5 after picking maggie up from grandpas, and we start to get ready for bed at 830. I really dont like going out at all.
I think they wanted us around, (they dont let you leave your pup there..although that would be cool) they were trying to educate us as well as the puppies. They were teaching us ..kinda like the dog whisperer..body lanuage..and actual dog speak. We were supposed to turn our backs if the dogs cameup to us.. so the dogs learned to focus on eachother. When the dogs come up to you though, you turn your back..so they focus more on eachother.

Krista used to take Oliver to the school grounds..i guess there was quite a few dog families that met there every night.. im no where near as social as she is. But there was one puppy family..that eve 8 years later..if they saw olvier..niko would drag his owner all the way down the street to see him. he was so excited.
Maggie and i have only seen two dogs on our walk..and shes always kinda unsure.

but hm...now that im thining about it..maybe ill google and see if theres other puppy socializatin classes. that have class limit sizes.