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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-24-2005, 09:59 AM Thread Starter
 
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Desperate: Socialization ?

My Doxie is just a year now. She is comfortable in being with my family and friends. She is comfortable with my parents dog. But, any other dogs or children she is almost scary. She barks and growls and I hold her back, because I fear what she might do. After she is with the other dogs and children for a while, she is okay, but as soon as a toy is picked up, a loud noise is made, or food is brought out, she goes nuts again.

I do not thing she would harm anyone, I think she is just trying to show "who's boss" or maybe she is just scared, but, in a few years my husband and I are planning on having a baby. So, I do not want to have a problem with the dog and the child. I know to many people who get rid of dogs because they were not socialized. And when the get the baby the get rid of the dog. This is not an option to me, I love my dog to much. Plus, when my husband and I get a bigger house (to fit a family) I was thinking of helping the local animal shelter out and fostering some dogs. I can not have my doxie acting this way if this is the plan.

I was thinking of taking her to the park every Saturday in hopes that their will be other people there and other dogs. But, do you have any other ideas that I can do to get her more socialized?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-24-2005, 10:19 AM
 
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This is a good question and I'm having the same problem with Trinity and even Chelsea... I hope you get some great replies that I can use as well.

With Chelsea - I know she wont bite but boy she sure looks like she is going to. I can't walk her around petsmart or anything because she goes NUTZ when she sees a little dog and she barks at EVERYONE. With her she's just over excited but people do not want to "help socialize" her because they're scared to death of her.

With Trinity - I fear she will be a fear biter...the rotty on the news. She is sooooo scared of strangers it's crazy. At home a newcomer is someone she ducks and runs from. In public...like at petsmart...she growls and barks at everyone. I can give them treats to give her which calms her down with "them" but she stills freaks about everyone else. She also hates a stranger her reachs for her head to pat or pet her.... and with her being sick it's hard to get her socialized because she couldn't handle too much "out time" or walking etc...

One thing that I have done..and will do again now that she is feeling better is leave her at the vets office for a day which for me is in petsmart. They keep her at the front counter and really try to work with her...the nurses are great about that and it helps to get Trinity in public where she has no choice but to "deal with it" for a day. I had her scheduled to do that every Wednesday but again, when she got sick that got nixed...I'm hoping we'll be able to do it again but she's not getting smaller and the bigger she gets the more complicated it is to socialize her because people are scared of "big growling dogs" :/
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-24-2005, 10:44 AM
 
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Well I've learned some tips from the Dog Whisperer on Tv (national geographic channel). He actually has a lot of rescued pitbulls, rotties and a bunch of other dogs that he has rehabilitated. Really guys...you HAVE to check him out. He would say that holding the dog back and acting nervous and/or handing out treats to calm is "rewarding" the dog for this behavior. There is no easy solutions now that the problems are accelerated and you probably need to seek professional help.

My male dobie was a very fearful puppy also. I always thought he would be a fear biter and so did a trainer. I just kept up with socializing and acting calm and assertive around him. Obedience helped immensely to build up confidence. He still doesn't like to be forced into new situations but I can trust him with company. I always tell people, let him check you out FIRST and then you interact with him. Good luck.

P.S. I don't think it is uncommon for little dogs to be fearful of children. Kids CAN be scarey with their fast movements and rough behavior. This is why it is critical that their early interactions with kids as puppies is SUPERVISED. Any rough behavior and they seem to remember forever. I also know a lot of small dogs that are great with THEIR kids but not so great with others. The parents just put the dog away when company comes over.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-24-2005, 11:33 AM
 
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Have you tried dog training classes?
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-24-2005, 11:44 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CTChin
Well I've learned some tips from the Dog Whisperer on Tv (national geographic channel). He actually has a lot of rescued pitbulls, rotties and a bunch of other dogs that he has rehabilitated. Really guys...you HAVE to check him out. He would say that holding the dog back and acting nervous and/or handing out treats to calm is "rewarding" the dog for this behavior. There is no easy solutions now that the problems are accelerated and you probably need to seek professional help.

P.S. I don't think it is uncommon for little dogs to be fearful of children. Kids CAN be scarey with their fast movements and rough behavior. This is why it is critical that their early interactions with kids as puppies is SUPERVISED. Any rough behavior and they seem to remember forever. I also know a lot of small dogs that are great with THEIR kids but not so great with others. The parents just put the dog away when company comes over.
Great points Brenda. When someone comes around Gazoo, I used to hold his collar. Until I realized he was reacting like he needed to protect me. A signal he got from me, unintentionally or not.

Obedience is always helpful.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-28-2005, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
 
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Well, this weekend I brought my doxie to the park. There were lots of animals, kids, people, and loud things going on. We walked around for about an hour. Just randomly moved about the park slowly so my doxie could take it all in.

She did not like the animals to much, she barked excessively at the chickens, pigs, rabbits, and the horse. (can you imagine a little doxie barking and scaring a horse?). What was good, was we walked away from the Petting zoo for a bit and came back about 20 minutes later. She slowly approached the same animals again and this time she did not bark at them or growl. She actually jumped up to smell the horse. She was nose to nose to the horse, until the horse opened its mouth. Then she barked again. But, I thought this was a good sign.

Well, then I walked her around the kids play around. There were tons of kids running, screaming, and playing. It was a perfect spot. I brought April right in the middle of the action to have her just observe everything. She was actually pretty good. Just sat there and watched everything go past her. The only time she barked was when the kids would run toward her and scream pretty close to her. Which only happened once. She had tons of kids come up to her and I brought a lot of training treats, for them to feed her and get close to her. I sat there for about 15 minutes and then we walked away.

What made me feel good, was during Easter, we were with our family, and there are two children under the age of 6. She usually would bark excessively at them. However, this time, she walked up to them smelled them and played with them. Much better than past.

I think this is a good thing. I think that with a lot of patience and a lot of time, April will adjust nicely. I am going to take her every weekend I have open to some kind of park, whether it is a normal park or it is a dog park. The next time will be a dog park, but one step at a time. She needs to get comfortable with people and kids first. Then I will adjust her to other dogs, (other than the ones in our family already).

Does anyone have any tips or suggestions on how socialize April other ways, other than parks and dog parks?
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-28-2005, 01:02 PM
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Good ideas everyone and great tips! Glad she seems to be doing better, Liz! I think the dog park idea is great, too. One more thing to add.. it might also be a doxie thing. My 2 doxies are very protective of us and bark at everything. I can't even take Kahlua to walk around PetSmart b/c he barks at everyone and everything. Especially men, he does NOT like men he doesn't know. Penny barks at first but as soon as you pet her, she's all warmed up to ya. Kahlua barks madly at a newspaper that got left outside floating in the wind! I think socializing her as much as possible is good. Have you thought about any training classes for her? Also, being in a class with all types of other people and dogs could help, you could also talk to the instructor on things to try at home, etc. But part of it could just be the dachshund traits, too. They are very big protectors. But a training class/instuctor might help this. Hope that helped some? lol
Keep us posted!!

~* Jackie *~

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-28-2005, 01:22 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the idea about the training classes. I have looked into them. I wanted to see if this would work first. April barks excessively at other dogs she does not know. So, I am trying to get her at least use to them so that when we are in a training class, she wont bark excessively and people can actually hear what the trainer is doing. But, I figured that if this does not work in a couple weeks, then I will invest in the doggie training classes. Thanks for the tip!
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-04-2005, 11:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AprilsMom
Thanks for the idea about the training classes. I have looked into them. I wanted to see if this would work first. April barks excessively at other dogs she does not know. So, I am trying to get her at least use to them so that when we are in a training class, she wont bark excessively and people can actually hear what the trainer is doing. But, I figured that if this does not work in a couple weeks, then I will invest in the doggie training classes. Thanks for the tip!
You should still invest in the dog training classes anyway...generally they have somewhere for the noisy dogs to go so they can't see the other dogs and they teach you how to get the dog to focus on you, not what else is happening. Biscuit is an extremely noisy dog, especially when she's around other dogs that she can't get too. Our fist lesson, we learnt the focus command...she learnt it very quickly, as did all the other dogs in the class, and she was actually the best one in the class when it came to giving me the attention and ignoring what was going on around her. It's a really useful trick for them to know. The class I went to told us that we socialise puppies, and that as adults if they aren't socialised well enough you need to teach them to ignore, more so than being friendly...if they can ignore they generally play better and will walk off when they don't like something. It makes sense to get a dog aggressive dog to ignore the dog next to them and have them focus 100% on you, than to try and get them used to that one dog, but have to start from the beginning every single time a new dog is around...it's impossible and strangers don't usually want to stick around while you train your dog.
I use the focus command a lot now! Biscuit has a habit of jumping on people when they enter the house....so now I get the guests to ignore her when they come in, fold their arms and turn their head...I call her into the dining room, and make her focus on me, and the guest approaches Biscuit, in the dining room, when she's calm. I do it all without treats, just pats and praises and her treat really comes from the person she's dying to get attention off giving her exactly that! It's working wonders so far! So as you can see the focus command has more than one use.

Edited to say....When Biscuit is being noise cause of another dog all I have to do is say her name to get her attention, I say 'focus' and she sits down and stares into my eyes...forgetting about the other distraction. I thought I should mention that cause it kinda sounded like she still wasn't obedient around other dogs, outside of the training lessons.

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Last edited by RSbunny; 04-04-2005 at 11:11 PM.
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