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what is proper socialization?

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I guess I'm wondering what my goal is? Right now my pup gets regular play sessions with her dad and Dal's mom mothers them too(when there mom is away). She spends time with both sexes of people and sees cats she can also hear the loud sounds of the cows.


When she finally comes home there are other dogs, a parrot, kids both great for random loud noises. She can go with me to dog training sessions. Baseball practice.


Am I missing anything? I'm hoping to have her as flexible as dal. He wasnt afraid of wheelchairs, crutches on Sat. He even walked well in barely moving crowds.

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Hi Sheryl,


You want her to spend as much time with people of all ages and you want her to meet people with various disabilities if that's possible. Every age group has it's own ways of moving. We might not see the difference but your dog will. You want her to meet as many NATIONALITIES as you can find; different skin tones, accents, food backgrounds, your dog will notice everything. This is even more important than it sounds!


She needs to spend time with dogs of all sizes, some large dogs look at small dogs as prey if they haven't spent any/enough time with them socializing. As many varieties of animals as possible is great, just make sure your response to her actions is in keeping with what jobs you might want her to do in the future. For example, I can tell my dog Darcy that she's never to think of running after a squirrel, but I'd never deal with her in the same way when she's looking at ducks.


Some people think this is pretty much all there is with socializing; however it also includes getting them out and using elevators, seeing wheelchairs and walkers, riding on different types of transit if that's possible. Hearing all kinds of sounds from banging pots to motorbikes to boats and small aircraft if that's the kind of area you live in.


Proper socialization in it's fullness is basically introducing them to everything you think they may ever encounter and getting them to know that it's okay and nothing to fear.

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Shawna is right.


I've taken Boyden to so many places. He went to the beach and I knew it was his first time because the foam freaked him out just a bit. There were huge boulders that made up a walkway and that was a new experience for him too.


Large crowds, camping in a tent, staying in a motel, riding on a boat, riding in an elevator, being exposed to all sorts of animals, men with sunglasses on that look like huge bug eyes, daddy with a hat on, mommy bundled up in winter clothes, kids in halloween costumes, fireworks, guns, large equipment putting in a new bridge by our house, tons of dogs both outside and inside, tons of people both outside and inside, (at home and in strange, new places), loud noises at a truck stop, on and on and on.

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Where can you find an elevator that allows dogs?


I was working on a list of socialization places for my Roxie.


Please add to it:


Soccer games

Bike/hike trails

outdoor parks

dog park

Canton (outdoor Flea market)



playdates with friends


What are other dog friendly places?

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Where can you find an elevator that allows dogs?
Well, my in-laws live on the 3rd floor of an apartment building, so that's where we got Odin used to elevators. That was only very recently though, maybe just before he turned 1 year old.
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"What are other dog friendly places?"


Outdoor cafes, restaurants/delis with outdoor seating; just walking down a busy street. Schools if your dog is a puppy (ask the principal first or put together a special thing for the Kindy/grade 1 class). Some playgrounds, you can let your dog go on some of the equipment to get them used to different types of motion - but no slides please, it's just to easy to get hurt. Retirement homes, some businesses will let you bring your dog in if you explain what you're doing. Keep an eye open for anything that might be possible and don't be afraid to ask permission; the most they can say is "no".


Please make sure when you're taking your dog around town that your dog is fresh bathed and has been well combed so it's not dropping hair on peoples carpets (combing twice a week will keep most coats under control and save you a hassle if you decide to give your dog a quick bath). This way you won't ruin a future opportunity for yourself or another person who also wants their dog to experience everything.

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I stayed at a cheap motel that had an elevator, and at a nice hotel once that had an elevator. The multi-level parking garage in the city had an elevator too.


Like Shawna said, it doesn't hurt to ask. The worst that can happen is they say no.


I just explained that I was socializing my dog and could he do this or that.


Car dealerships are a good place for socialization too! Some dealers can be pushy and some dogs will pick up on that. Maybe they'll growl or maybe they'll be fearful. Either way, it's a great way to get your dog used to assertive people. Dealers will do just about anything to get your business, including putting up with a "mean" dog (like Fynne) and letting them hop up in the vehicles to see if there's enough room, and even come in the office!

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I concur with all of this...


I sorta set out to 'show Meg' the world, and came as close as I could.


Some things I will never be able to do with her, perhaps...ballooning, skydiving, surfing (because I don't think I'm up to that), scuba diving, high altitude mountain climbing, shooting


Things still to do...Commercial Airline travel, downtown Seattle, the ferry, a canoe or kayak,

swimming, sheep, tree traversing..


I made a list and have been working through it. Here's a site of some help with dog freindly places. http://www.dogfriendly.com/server/travel/u...WASeattle.shtml

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I think the question of "proper" and what YOUR goal is depends on your lifestyle. I lived 8 years with Oreo not being socialized much at all - she was bitchy with strange humans and downright aggressive towards dogs. But, it rarely was a problem for us, because we didn't have many guests (and she was put in my room when she didn't like them, or when mom was just annoyed with having her around guests). We took her in the car for errands, but she didn't go into stores or anything. She was "good enough" for our lifestyle. Always room for improvement, though. :rolleyes:


But I think your goal really depends. Do you have kids around often, or will you in the future? Then you really need to socialize with kids. If you want her to be a therapy dog, if you want to do agility, if you just want her to walk nice on a leash and not bark at people... you know? Think of how you want her to act and what you want to do with her in the end run and figure out what you need to do to get there.

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I live on an island. At the north end, nothing is dog friendly. After we moved to the south end, everyone freaked out with joy when I took my puppy into the hardware store, the feed store, the library, the post office, etc. It is very dog-friendly at this end. One library even has dog biscuits for the "regulars." And of course all the farmers' markets are dog-friendly, too.


If you have a cute little puppy, just explain you couldn't possibly leave him/her in the car, and it will only be for a minute. This works especially well if there is no sign in the window or door saying no dogs allowed. If there is no sign, I figure it is fair game...


Using this explanation, my puppy ended up being carried ALL OVER the post office (in the back, too) and he met like 20 new people right there. He was thrilled. Then he slept all afternoon. :rolleyes: Same thing happened at the farmers' markets. He got to see all kinds of stuff there, all kind of people, and flapping tents, crazed kids and dogs running around, etc. If there is one near you, I highly recommend it. Outdoor carnivals are good, too, especially if you can walk around the outside before going down the middle.

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I made a checklist for Dazzle. I put on it EVERYTHING I could think of. It got pretty long.

As I introduced her to the thousands of things on the list I checked them off and put the date that she saw them.


I read somewhere (several places actually) that before a certain age (was it 4-5 months?) your dog should meet at LEAST 50 different people. Not like passing people in the street but actually getting petted and talked to by them. Before that age we got Dazzle up to over 100 people!

Now (of course :rolleyes: ) she is a people-lovin' dog!


So, to cut a long story short - let your pup see everything on this earth as soon as possible! :D


Good luck.

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