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English Dogge Yard
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I decided to make this thread for a few reasons mostly due to there being quite a few questions it seems lately with getting new pups and socializing them, what it is etc. Before i begin i just want to express that mods can feel free to move this to another section or VIP if needed as it seems my threads tend to attract many people, this can be both positive or negative. I will also point out that these are strictly my views on socializing, if you choose to disagree and post at least keep it constructive so anyone here that may have questions may view this keeping it educational vs. anything else.

I've noticed both that on this forum as well as people i cross on a day to day basis that have puppies or young adults have questions about socializing and the best methods of going about it. One of the most popular misconceptions (at least IMO) with socializing is play dates. (i will leave dog parks out of this)

What is Socialization?
The name says it all, socializing. A well socialized dog will remain confident and calm in new surroundings and situations, not just those that are the "norm". Socializing a puppy is probably quite obvious as to how to go about doing this but in short you want to introduce new sights, smells and environments at a young age. (generally i will start around 2 - 2.5 months) Introducing to new people, sniff and greet other dogs and animals that may be in contact with on a mostly day to day basis (cats, guinea pigs, etc) so on so forth. One thing to keep in mind is to remain confident and positive, just as with training a negative experience will more than likely cause a step back or even shut down when it comes to socializing.

Play Dates; Part of Socializing?
This is the part i know i have disagreed with people over the years however of all the years i've owned dogs, i've always had stable, self confident dogs. Playing with other dogs can help and can prove to be beneficial however it isn't necessary. When it comes to socializing and your dog i operate under the "sniff, greet and leave". A dog playing with other dogs is just that, cut and dry, black and white. I have seen and encountered over the years plenty of dogs that are excellent with playing (with dogs) though lack other essentials and break down in certain situations. Like wise, of course if you don't let your puppy in some form or another meet and smell other puppies or dogs the likely hood of setting your pup up for failure later in dog-situations will be higher. By simply greeting and smelling new dogs you are giving your dog what it needs.

Working breeds
While this is more or less a continual of the play dates all dogs need to be socialized, there is no exceptions. One thing i have found that you need to ask yourself before getting a puppy is, whats your reasoning behind the dog? If you plan on using them for work (i.e protection, hunting, etc) this also further goes into how much interaction your pup is allowed with others, how much is too much? When allowing a dog to constantly be around others (dogs) the dependency on you tends to drop and that dependency on dog company tends to rise. If you are looking for a protection dog or a hunter (especially not using in packs) my post may give you something to think about to go about the vital stages of a puppies life.

In the end im not saying allowing dogs to play with others is wrong, you shouldn't do it etc. Its your dog and your choice and there are exceptions for everything. If this helps anyone to any degree than thats what i was looking to accomplish.
 

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Work them Pet Bulls!
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Great post! Let me ask you something.....Is it still considered socializing when you take a dog to areas where there are lots of people, dogs, bikes, carriages, etc. without letting people touch my dog? I would say it is but I am just curious :)
 

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English Dogge Yard
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Great post! Let me ask you something.....Is it still considered socializing when you take a dog to areas where there are lots of people, dogs, bikes, carriages, etc. without letting people touch my dog? I would say it is but I am just curious :)
Yes because you are still allowing your dog to smell and see people, dogs, carriages etc. Though as a pup i personally would recommend allowing him to smell and be touched occasionally. I have seen really head shy and "pet shy" dogs that don't mind being around people but if someone tried to pet them they instantly shut down. Of course not every single person needs to touch your dog but im sure you get the idea.

Being surrounded by new things like you mentioned is definitely a good way of socializing but i believe to a certain level of interaction (even if its just smelling or being touched by someone) completes the aspect of socializing.
 

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Work them Pet Bulls!
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Yes because you are still allowing your dog to smell and see people, dogs, carriages etc. Though as a pup i personally would recommend allowing him to smell and be touched occasionally. I have seen really head shy and "pet shy" dogs that don't mind being around people but if someone tried to pet them they instantly shut down. Of course not every single person needs to touch your dog but im sure you get the idea.

Being surrounded by new things like you mentioned is definitely a good way of socializing but i believe to a certain level of interaction (even if its just smelling or being touched by someone) completes the aspect of socializing.
BINGO! Bella is head shy..she came to me that way at 4 1/2 months and I don't even want to think why. Can a dog just be head shy for no reason or does it stem from being hit? She loves going up and sniffing people when we walk by them but when they stop to try and pet her which most people approach dogs the wrong way IMO she shuts down a bit. She is shy but she has come along way thanks to OB classes ;)
 

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I don't allow my dogs to play with other dogs that are not in my home. I will however expose them to other dogs on the outside with a leash in passing. I tried to pull a Lisa the other day and took both of my dogs to pet smart on short leashes/prong collars just to see if I could do it and they did pretty well. They still get very excited to see other dogs but on the leash I have control over them and I try not to allow them to focus on anything for too long. But as far as play dates go no way not my dogs exposing them to different places is ok as long as it's in a controlled environment.

Now I don't mind strange people walking up to pet my dogs but I expect them to ask permission first. I don't walk up to anyones dog without asking their owners first and I expect the same respect in return.
 

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I don't allow my dogs to play with other dogs that are not in my home. I will however expose them to other dogs on the outside with a leash in passing. I tried to pull a Lisa the other day and took both of my dogs to pet smart on short leashes/prong collars just to see if I could do it and they did pretty well. They still get very excited to see other dogs but on the leash I have control over them and I try not to allow them to focus on anything for too long. But as far as play dates go no way not my dogs exposing them to different places is ok as long as it's in a controlled environment.

Now I don't mind strange people walking up to pet my dogs but I expect them to ask permission first. I don't walk up to anyones dog without asking their owners first and I expect the same respect in return.
im with you on the play date thing. my dogs might be a member of my family but it still just seems silly to me. i never have understood the "need" for socializing a dog with other dogs. i guess its cool for some people but i live like a hermit anyway so if anyone needs socialization, its me.
 

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BINGO! Bella is head shy..she came to me that way at 4 1/2 months and I don't even want to think why. Can a dog just be head shy for no reason or does it stem from being hit? She loves going up and sniffing people when we walk by them but when they stop to try and pet her which most people approach dogs the wrong way IMO she shuts down a bit. She is shy but she has come along way thanks to OB classes ;)
Don't let random ppl pet her that will add to the stress. If she is worried about ppl making them pet her will set in that fear. Instead have ppl get food and see if she will go to them and have them pet her under her chin not on top of her head. IMO don't let random people pet her they don't need to just people she will know and be comfortable with.
I don't let random people pet my dogs, they ask and I say no then they give me dirty looks!!LMAO

I don't allow my dogs to play with other dogs that are not in my home. I will however expose them to other dogs on the outside with a leash in passing. I tried to pull a Lisa the other day and took both of my dogs to pet smart on short leashes/prong collars just to see if I could do it and they did pretty well. They still get very excited to see other dogs but on the leash I have control over them and I try not to allow them to focus on anything for too long. But as far as play dates go no way not my dogs exposing them to different places is ok as long as it's in a controlled environment.

Now I don't mind strange people walking up to pet my dogs but I expect them to ask permission first. I don't walk up to anyones dog without asking their owners first and I expect the same respect in return.
LMAO your funny!
 

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Yeah I mean it's pretty darn amazing if they can get along with dogs in your own home let alone strange dogs. Bulldogs do not need friends but I have no issues with exposing them to other dogs if it's on a leash and not to interact for any period of time. But lets say I am out and about and take one of the dogs with me I do not want them flipping out dragging me all over the place so I will take mine out to different places on occasion just so they get the feel for different places, people, ect. And my dogs are SUPER human friendly. Anyone can come up to my dogs and get greeted with lots of love. Obviously they are not so affectionate with strange dogs and I don't expect them to be. I just want them to act civilized in public LOL but that does not mean I expect them to be lovie dovie with other strange dogs, cats, ect ect.
 

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Don't let random ppl pet her that will add to the stress. If she is worried about ppl making them pet her will set in that fear. Instead have ppl get food and see if she will go to them and have them pet her under her chin not on top of her head. IMO don't let random people pet her they don't need to just people she will know and be comfortable with.
I don't let random people pet my dogs, they ask and I say no then they give me dirty looks!!LMAO

LMAO your funny!
Girl all I kept thinking about was you and 10 bulldogs LMAO!!!!!! I felt like god with just my two ! Like yeah I did it hahahahahaha:rofl:
 

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Don't let random ppl pet her that will add to the stress. If she is worried about ppl making them pet her will set in that fear. Instead have ppl get food and see if she will go to them and have them pet her under her chin not on top of her head. IMO don't let random people pet her they don't need to just people she will know and be comfortable with.
I don't let random people pet my dogs, they ask and I say no then they give me dirty looks!!LMAO

LMAO your funny!
Lisa BTW Bogart did ok the only issue was he jumped out of the pet smart cart once LMAO!!!!! I let AVA walk along side me and I put bogart in the buggy. Bogart wanted to get out so he did... After he jumped out the buggy I let him walk with me and AVA.
 

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Work them Pet Bulls!
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Don't let random ppl pet her that will add to the stress. If she is worried about ppl making them pet her will set in that fear. Instead have ppl get food and see if she will go to them and have them pet her under her chin not on top of her head. IMO don't let random people pet her they don't need to just people she will know and be comfortable with.
I don't let random people pet my dogs, they ask and I say no then they give me dirty looks!!LMAO
Yes, Lisa that is what I have been doing. I don't like having random people touch her and don't let them. I just didn't know if that was wrong so I didn't express it. I take her to petsmart, petco, etc with treats in hand and she wags tail and takes cookies but people always want to pet over the head instead of under the chin and that's what freaks her out. But she also has a crush on rugged looking men and likes to lick there faces off lol! It's almost as if she picks and chooses who she likes and goes to them. I have no problem saying NO and I can deal with the dirty looks! I am the master of dirty looks :roll:
 

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English Dogge Yard
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
BINGO! Bella is head shy..she came to me that way at 4 1/2 months and I don't even want to think why. Can a dog just be head shy for no reason or does it stem from being hit? She loves going up and sniffing people when we walk by them but when they stop to try and pet her which most people approach dogs the wrong way IMO she shuts down a bit. She is shy but she has come along way thanks to OB classes ;)
IMO there are several reasons for being head shy and unfortunately since you weren't there its impossible to know the exact reasoning behind it, some for whatever reason are just naturally like that others it can be from a poor cropping job without proper care, abuse, etc. I agree with Lisa though limit the stress as long as shes fine with you petting her thats all that really would matter since its your dog no one elses.

Playing with other dogs and heavy interaction with other dogs i completely am against when it comes to Bulldogs and other working bred dogs for many reasons, one of the biggest reasons is in my OP. There is a certain level of interaction (sniffing) as puppies i believe helps with socializing especially when it comes to Bulldogs. A breed already designed for fighting doesn't need anxiety to dogs to come along with it due to never seeing or being around any dogs.

Mine did play together as pups until DA kicked in for both and i have stopped completely. I'll let them interact with each other around the house periodically through the day when im right on top of them (to prevent) just because i need them together occasionally. I can only do that though because they listen so well, if it wasn't for training it would be create rotate 24/7. As soon as i see they are starting to stress or have "moments" they get separated and thats that.
 

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yeah, I hate when people just run up and try to pat my pup. Sometimes he doesn't want to meet people, its like he can sense they are going to approach him and he will sometimes meet them and get a pat, but sometimes he moves behind me. I trust his judgement, lol. If he doesn't want to meet them, I tell them sorry, but please don't come closer and spook him, they give me dirty looks too sometimes, lol.
 

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My position with socializing to other dogs has always been that a sniff-n-greet is not full socialization with other dogs because it's not enough time for them to build their doggy language and to learn appropriate responses to the signs that other dogs give them. BUT, the point is moot if you're not going to let your dog play with other dogs later in life anyways.

I always let Kane do a meet-n-greet AFTER asking the other owner if it's ok and AFTER he gives me a sit and I give him permission to go over and sniff. I also do my best to make it an appropriate greeting--from the side rather than straight on as that is threatening to some dogs.

@Bella -- Kane is hand-shy due to my ex-bf being too aggressive with him, but he's gotten better since I've started actively working on it. Lisa gave you great tips that I use all the time to help Kane out--I step in front of him if people try to pet him without asking, telling the person that he's friendly but they need to crouch down to his level and pet him under the chin and I hand them a few treats, like bits of chicken or his liver treats.

Another thing you can do is teach Bella to "Target" or "Touch" your hand, and then use that to open Bella up to interact with people's hands coming at her. It reframes the whole "evil hands coming at me" into a "oooh, a hand is coming at me that my owner told me to Target and I know if I Target it, I can get a treat from my owner".

You can teach her to Target your hand by holding your hand out with your fingers pressed together like you're holding a treat pinched between them. When she reaches out to sniff and accidentally bumps your hand, you click (or say Yes!) and give her a treat from your other hand. As she gets the idea, you'll want to click/Yes! progressively harder bumps until they have a nice, equal force behind them that's harder than the slight bump you'll get from her sniffing.
 

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English Dogge Yard
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Oh and dont get me started on pet stores. lol I wouldn't dare go into any if there is any real number of people with dogs in there, both of mine are entirely too reactive and will do anything in their power to get to a dog if its close enough. I wouldn't want to put the stress on either of them with dealing with that nor would i want to put them in that kind of situation where the possibility is all to real of something horrible happen. If they were less reactive or not so much DA i would probably do it occasionally.

Places like that and these type of dogs i just personally dont agree with taking them often, if at all unless they are young unless its not very busy. Even highly trained theres a high risk. Plus i dont really care for 95% of anything dog related they care so i really have no care in the world to go there unless shampoo is on sale or i need to get another prong collar. Otherwise i take business else where. lol
 

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Work them Pet Bulls!
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IMO there are several reasons for being head shy and unfortunately since you weren't there its impossible to know the exact reasoning behind it, some for whatever reason are just naturally like that others it can be from a poor cropping job without proper care, abuse, etc. I agree with Lisa though limit the stress as long as shes fine with you petting her thats all that really would matter since its your dog no one elses.
Yes, I can do anything to her and that's all that matters to me :)

Playing with other dogs and heavy interaction with other dogs i completely am against when it comes to Bulldogs and other working bred dogs for many reasons, one of the biggest reasons is in my OP. There is a certain level of interaction (sniffing) as puppies i believe helps with socializing especially when it comes to Bulldogs. A breed already designed for fighting doesn't need anxiety to dogs to come along with it due to never seeing or being around any dogs.
I had my red ACD who was my "devil dog" he was highly DA and had some HA issues yet he acted well in public due to strict training so I am used to dealing with DA. Don't ever want to deal with HA again though ;) I am not into her having dog friends and she is very well behaved in public. She also could care less when we walk by other dogs. She just doesn't like them up in her face.

QUOTE]
 

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English Dogge Yard
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
My position with socializing to other dogs has always been that a sniff-n-greet is not full socialization with other dogs because it's not enough time for them to build their doggy language and to learn appropriate responses to the signs that other dogs give them. BUT, the point is moot if you're not going to let your dog play with other dogs later in life anyways.

I always let Kane do a meet-n-greet AFTER asking the other owner if it's ok and AFTER he gives me a sit and I give him permission to go over and sniff. I also do my best to make it an appropriate greeting--from the side rather than straight on as that is threatening to some dogs.

@Bella -- Kane is hand-shy due to my ex-bf being too aggressive with him, but he's gotten better since I've started actively working on it. Lisa gave you great tips that I use all the time to help Kane out--I step in front of him if people try to pet him without asking, telling the person that he's friendly but they need to crouch down to his level and pet him under the chin and I hand them a few treats, like bits of chicken or his liver treats.

Another thing you can do is teach Bella to "Target" or "Touch" your hand, and then use that to open Bella up to interact with people's hands coming at her. It reframes the whole "evil hands coming at me" into a "oooh, a hand is coming at me that my owner told me to Target and I know if I Target it, I can get a treat from my owner".

You can teach her to Target your hand by holding your hand out with your fingers pressed together like you're holding a treat pinched between them. When she reaches out to sniff and accidentally bumps your hand, you click (or say Yes!) and give her a treat from your other hand. As she gets the idea, you'll want to click/Yes! progressively harder bumps until they have a nice, equal force behind them that's harder than the slight bump you'll get from her sniffing.
Crucial learning when it comes to dogs should take place while still with the mother. Also like many of us that is further engaged with multiple dog owners. When it comes to working dogs as i stated in my OP, the dependency is going to change with the more engagement you allow with other dogs. Also when it comes to Bulldogs and other genetic DA dog breeds the older the become the higher the risk factor is. Generally if your going to allow such behavior after 6 - 7 months the timing is shot and you should pull back on allowing that type of interaction with other dogs if not completely. Of course, this is only my opinion based on my experiences so please dont take offense when i say these. There are always exceptions and plenty of other factors that can go into play however i refuse with my dogs or pups that i train to take that risk. Now Lisa is much more heavier in training than i am so she may offer a different perspective when it comes to this post. Im not a full blown trainer by any means, i self train my dogs and have trained dogs in the past but to no level is it compared to Lisa. Though as my OP stated, socializing a pup and playing with other dogs are two different objectives. While playing can benefit to an extent it doesn't really provide socializing skills. Though if you do disagree and it seems you do, don't take offense to my posts if directed to you as i don't mean it to put you down. :)
 

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English Dogge Yard
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
IMO there are several reasons for being head shy and unfortunately since you weren't there its impossible to know the exact reasoning behind it, some for whatever reason are just naturally like that others it can be from a poor cropping job without proper care, abuse, etc. I agree with Lisa though limit the stress as long as shes fine with you petting her thats all that really would matter since its your dog no one elses.
Yes, I can do anything to her and that's all that matters to me :)

Playing with other dogs and heavy interaction with other dogs i completely am against when it comes to Bulldogs and other working bred dogs for many reasons, one of the biggest reasons is in my OP. There is a certain level of interaction (sniffing) as puppies i believe helps with socializing especially when it comes to Bulldogs. A breed already designed for fighting doesn't need anxiety to dogs to come along with it due to never seeing or being around any dogs.
I had my red ACD who was my "devil dog" he was highly DA and had some HA issues yet he acted well in public due to strict training so I am used to dealing with DA. Don't ever want to deal with HA again though ;) I am not into her having dog friends and she is very well behaved in public. She also could care less when we walk by other dogs. She just doesn't like them up in her face.

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Good! I think sometimes people get too wrapped up in their dogs having to have dog friends or have everyone approve of their dogs. Its like those people who get dogs just as a fashion statement, your dogs should be for you not for anyone else. Personally i could care less if either of my dogs cared for strangers so long as they obey my commands and eager to please me and my family or needs. Of course i am going fully on a working dog persons perspective, im sure someone could argue with me that believes different but i think everyone should feel that way to some extent.

HA dogs need very specific handlers and by no means does the general public need one. Myles has HA traits though very manageable through consistent training.
 
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No, I know you're not putting me down. You're explaining your POV.

Speaking in a general sense of "dogs" and excluding those breeds who have a genetic heritage of DA (as I've recently learned that lesson), I believe allowing your puppy to play with other dogs is important if you're going to routinely be allowing them to interact with strange dogs on a regular basis as an adult. If you plan on taking them to the dog park, to doggy daycare, to play with the neighbor's dogs, I think it's crucial and actually HARMFUL if you do NOT allow your puppy to socialize with other dogs. It's setting them up to fail because they do not understand the signals other dogs will give them during play, whether it's calming signals to tell the puppy they are getting too amped up (looking away, yawning, sniffing the ground, whatever) or whether it's telling them to back off for coming on too strong. Because they aren't appropriately socialized to other dogs, they won't catch those signals and they will be the ones to instigate fights out of their own confusion and lack of social graces. It's a similar idea to locking someone up in a room for the first 24 years of their life, with no interaction to the outside world or with people, and then on their 25th birthday, you shove them out of the house to make it on their own. What's going to happen? They're going to freak out, possibly becoming frustrated and angry or shutting down.

Again, this doesn't apply to breeds with genetic DA or already DA dogs.

I also wanted to add that I don't think puppies are able to learn enough in the short weeks they're with their mother and littermates. They learn the basics, but they won't learn the full scope of dog language.
 

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Good! I think sometimes people get too wrapped up in their dogs having to have dog friends or have everyone approve of their dogs. Its like those people who get dogs just as a fashion statement, your dogs should be for you not for anyone else. Personally i could care less if either of my dogs cared for strangers so long as they obey my commands and eager to please me and my family or needs. Of course i am going fully on a working dog persons perspective, im sure someone could argue with me that believes different but i think everyone should feel that way to some extent.

:goodpost: Honestly, I could careless as well. I had no choice but to careless for years with an HA/DA dog so it really doesn't bother me anymore.

HA dogs need very specific handlers and by no means does the general public need one. Myles has HA traits though very manageable through consistent training.
Luckily I knew how to handle an HA dog and was very cautious and very strict with consistent training. He was our "guard dog" and I did some PP with him so I was on top of his issues. He was extremely submissive with me and extremely loyal to my family, but he didn't care for anyone else. Most would of had him PTS but I was up for the challenge and dealt with him. I am very resposible but if he was in the wrongs hands he probably wouldn't have lasted to long. Thanks for all your input :)
 
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