Socializing Puppy

Discussion in 'Puppies' started by achieve1dream, Apr 10, 2008.

  1. achieve1dream Experienced Member

    It has always been slightly frustrating for me that the fear stages and socializing stages run into each other with puppies. I am always terrified of scaring my puppy in some way that will become a problem in the future, such as the day I took Storm outside to pee and saw people shooting off fireworks. I walked to the front of the driveway (still a good distance from the fireworks, couldn't see people, just the fireworks shooting into the sky). Storm seemed fine at first, but the continual popping sounds eventually scared her. Now she is sound sensitive to guns, thunder (only occasionally) and firecrackers.

    I definitely cannot afford for this to happen with Jackal as he will be a squirrel dog and must NOT be afraid of guns.

    So if anyone can give suggestions of ways to socialize him without making him afraid of people or situations I would really appreciate it. I don't want to make dumb mistakes with him just because I didn't know any better. I would appreciate it if everyone could share their own stories of successes or mistakes made during the socializing and fear periods.

    I find it highly irritated how when people see puppies they immediately start talking in loud, excited voices and get really animated. I want to teach my puppy to greet strangers calmly, not peeing all over himself because he gets excited. Which is one reason Storm is also not very good around kids. For one thing I didn't know very many young children at the time and the ones I did know were too excitable and would not listen to instructions, so I steered clear.

    So please share any tips, suggestions or stories. Thanks!

  2. leema New Member

    Re: Loud noises - I would look at how you treat them. I know a family that has had two thunder-scared dogs in a row and I can't help but think that their anxiety about having a dog scared of storms has actually produced this!

    So what do you do when there's storms? Not to say that you go and cuddle them and tell them it's okay (we all know that's not appropriate). But I'm just like, "Guys, did you hear that? That's pretty loud. Let's go see."
    The most my dogs react is Mac will bark at the loud sounds like it's someone knocking on the door.... Then he stops when he realises that the intruder continues despite his barking.
  3. achieve1dream Experienced Member

    Storms and Fireworks

    Well like I mentioned in my initial post it isn't thunder that she is really afraid of. She will react when there is a sudden crack of thunder, but that is all. She doesn't even pant or anything. But when there is fireworks going off she refuses to go outside and pants and paces the house. Since the first time she exhibited fear I have done nothing. I figured ignoring the behavior would be the least reinforcing. I just refuse to acknowledge it. So long as she isn't asked to go outside she is fine for the most part.

    And I'm not really worried about Jackal becoming afraid of thunder, because Storm isn't, so he won't learn it from her. And we have had some really bad storms the past couple of weeks with tornado warnings and everything and he hasn't shown any fear. I was mostly using it as an example. I messed up with Storm that day I took her up the road so I could watch the fireworks and I don't want to inadvertently do anything like that to Jackal. I am also asking advice on the best places to take your puppy for socializing with humans. And where to take them to socialize with other dogs. How to avoid problems when you are socializing with strangers (not many friends, just moved to this town) and stuff like that.

    Thanks for any help in advance. :dogsmile:
  4. drgnrdr New Member

    (has at least 3 sets of shots?)Petsmart is a good place find a quite section, near the back of the store, keep an eye out and when ppl start to look ask if they'd help you, just stand there and let your pup make the first contact with their nose, tell them he's in training, they will usually cooperate, have some treats, pass them one while your dog is sniffing, and have them give him a treat if he's done sniffing and is looking at them, not if he backs away from them scared like, only if he's non chalant like, and they can give the pup a treat, thank them for their help, the pup will think the ppl approaching are good treats come with them, if he knows sit have him sit before they give him a treat,
    loud noises can be gradually exposed by getting a recording of it and play games use treats and such as you turn the volume up slowly in short sessions and only if the dog acts okay as each decibel level is reached.
    Never pet or say it's okay when a pup is acting nervous, be calm and let them feed off your energy, even yawn a few times if they seem nervous, yawning is a calming signal dogs use to calm them selves and other dogs.
    If you don't have a store like Petsmart, use a strip mall area with traffic, you can use a table and put a sign up to tell ppl, help me train my dog not to be scared of ppl or help socialize my pup, explain to get a treat before approaching..etc..No talk no touch no eye contact...let the dog make the first move.
  5. achieve1dream Experienced Member

    I don't have a Petsmart, but I do like your idea. I will give it a try at the strip mall. And yes he has had his complete set of shots. Thanks again.
  6. lorina Experienced Member

    relax yourself and not worry about Jackal being scared of loud noises. If you're relaxed and show it, Jackal will see there's nothing to be afraid of.

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