Dog Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just read an article about puppy socializing. It was good, but stated that a puppy should have met 100 different people of all shapes, colours and sizes by the time it is 12 weeks. That seems a bit unrealistic to me. I don't know 100 people, seriously, and of the people I know there's maybe like 10 who are interested enough in dogs to help socialize a puppy. The rest are like "omg why don't you just have a kid?" or "why don't you get a ps4?" or "get this thing off me"

Honestly it made me feel depressed. Is my lack of a thriving social life going to make my puppy under-socialized? I'm taking her to classes every weekend but there aren't many people in atttendance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
I just read an article about puppy socializing. It was good, but stated that a puppy should have met 100 different people of all shapes, colours and sizes by the time it is 12 weeks. That seems a bit unrealistic to me. I don't know 100 people, seriously, and of the people I know there's maybe like 10 who are interested enough in dogs to help socialize a puppy. The rest are like "omg why don't you just have a kid?" or "why don't you get a ps4?" or "get this thing off me"

Honestly it made me feel depressed. Is my lack of a thriving social life going to make my puppy under-socialized? I'm taking her to classes every weekend but there aren't many people in atttendance.
I believe that's Ian Dunbar's recommendation. I think the answer to your question is mixed. Yes, you need to socialize your puppy with as many people as possible and you should try to find ways to achieve that - invite people around for a get together, take him out to places he will meet people etc. However what's more important in socialization than quantity is quality, is your puppy getting lots of good experiences with people. If your puppy meets 100 people but is terrified the whole time that's bad socialisation. It would be much better that they met 10 people and had a great time.

As a side-note, remember socialisation isn't just about meeting people - you also have other dogs to consider plus handling, and all of the various sounds dogs will hear in their life time (airplanes, helicopters, buses etc.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
131 Posts
I'm not that social either - have about six close friends and some people at my church. Aside from people I associate with, I brought my puppy to my neighbours who wanted to meet him. I also took him to a next door primary school. My brother would invite one different class mate each day to come out to the gate and pat him while offering a treat. I also took him out to the beach and just sat there with him on my lap. At least 5-6 people would walk by and want to pat him or offer a treat. take him to the cafe and just sit there. People came up to us. I also took him on the train to the city. Heaps of people on the train wanted to pat him and even more so in the city.

Now he is older (6 month) no one really wants to say hello anymore considering he us all grown up and scary looking haha

I also agree with the above post about socialising him to sounds and different environments. Remember that the purpose of socialising is to allow your dog to not fear the object/person. They should be able to remain calm rather than get overly fearful or excited. Meeting people is a good thing. Positive experiences are important. But also please make sure your puppy is desensitized to some things to avoid too much excitement e.g. walking by strangers without running up for pats. You need to teach the dog that people are not scary but they should also be well behaved. My dog had so much positive experiences with children that he ended up wanting to run up to every kid on our walks. So I got him to stay at a distance watching school children going to school and rewarded all calm behaviour before moving in closer. Now he is much better with walking by children without turning into a hyper happy dog.
Posted via Mobile Device
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
911 Posts
To me that is unrealistic. I have one friend, and she lives a couple states away now. I do not have a social life and like it that way. I did get my pup socialized though. When she was old enough I started to slowly take to places, pet stores and her favorite, the flea market. I'm lucky, she is a very well behaved dog and while she loves meeting people she isn't over excited to see someone. She will calmly stand and let them pet her. And being such a big dog she attracts all kinds of attention.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
279 Posts
It's easier than you think. 4 weeks is 28 days, that is less than 4 people a day.
Whenever you are out with a young puppy everyone wants to meet them. Take advantage of that!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,207 Posts
It can be unrealistic but sometimes it's easy to forget just how many people can pile up over a short period of time. Like Ems said if you meet a few people a day in public places like stores or schools your dog can probably meet a whole lot of people. If you feel 100 is impossible just try to cover a lot of groups in the time you have. Try to introduce the pup to people of different ages, races, genders, abilities, and wearing different clothing. In my opinion a dog who meets 25 people who are different might be better off than one who meets 100 who are homogenous.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,599 Posts
I agree with @traciek88. I basically try to introduce my dogs to: People in hats, people with beards, bald people, people with crutches/walkers/wheelchairs, people in Hijabs, old people, young people, loud people, quiet people. In my quest to tick off all these checkmarks, we meet a ton of people. I'm sure my guys easily met 100, maybe more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
I agree with @traciek88. I basically try to introduce my dogs to: People in hats, people with beards, bald people, people with crutches/walkers/wheelchairs, people in Hijabs, old people, young people, loud people, quiet people. In my quest to tick off all these checkmarks, we meet a ton of people. I'm sure my guys easily met 100, maybe more.
I'm not sure if it's available to non-members but The Pet Professionals Guild used to have a pdf. file which was a socialization check list. It was nice to be able to check off things as you go. I'm sure it would be easy to make your own though OP.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,186 Posts
Go downtown and get lunch with your dog.

I live in a city so this is not a problem. On an average 30 minute walk we'll probably see 100 people. The downside of the city is parvo and so we started socializing after the second shot.

When our dogs were puppies we'd take them to dinner with us or to go get coffee. People love puppies and are always coming over to see them, waiters want to pet them and its a dynamite opportunity for socialization since you can make all these new experiences great non threating ones.

@ 11 weeks getting breakfast with me and enjoying the "Pet friendly" water tupperware provided by the cafe



@ 13 weeks out for tapas and wine. It was the middle of winter so she bundled up in my girlfriends lap.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
641 Posts
I don't think the dog has to interact for an extended period of time with 100 people. Being exposed positively to different situations with different kinds of people is more important.

I agree that there are lots of places you can take a dog to expose him/her to others. Parks and Farmers' Markets (if they allow dogs). Pet stores, obviously. If there's a local college or university that's pet friendly, you might try that too. I work at a small liberal arts college that's fine with dogs, particularly the dogs of people who work there. It probably takes me twice as long to get across campus with my dog as without him, and some people are quite clearly disappointed if he's not with me. I also live near two elementary schools (one public, one private), and my next door neighbor babysits, so my dog got exposure to kids early on. For that matter, my dog met plenty of people just walking through my neighborhood, especially in the summer, when people are out enjoying the weather on their porches/decks (and many of them have become his particular friends). I also don't live far from the riverwalk/greenway, which is busy when the weather's nice and gave me the opportunity to expose my dog to things like bikes, skateboards, geese etc., so that he gets that it's okay to just let them go by (though I'll admit the interest level is a lot higher in the geese, but he doesn't pull me to go after them or the herds of deer that are more common lately in some of the larger parks). If I wanted to get him really accustomed to a variety of animals, the same greenway also goes behind the local zoo, and some of the zoo enclosures border it, from a reasonably safe distance. However, I don't know that it's all that necessary that he become accustomed to buffalo or emus, as it's unlikely that he'd encounter them anywhere but there.

The important thing is that the dog gets that you wouldn't take him/her anywhere dangerous and looks to you to step in and handle any unusual situation that should crop up as opposed to taking the situation into his/her own paws. In other words, part of the socialization process is also to get the puppy used to trusting your judgment and looking to you to be the leader.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
When youre socializing him with people try and do it with different animals too! My older dog LOVES people because we made it our mission to socialize her as much as possible, but animals? She's terrified of anything that isn't human-except for cats-she enjoys lunging at cats lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
288 Posts
For me, it's more important that my puppy see all of these people, not that she meets them up close. For the most part I don't encourage people to pet my dogs or interact with them. If they ask it's fine, but I didn't take my puppy out and ask people to touch her or anything. I did take her out and let her see and experience lots of people from a distance. I'm sure she saw well over 100 people.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DobisHoundis

·
Registered
Joined
·
641 Posts
Just as a comparison point, my dog was on the above mentioned college campus for about an hour this afternoon and interacted directly with (as in petted by) about twenty people, not counting the people who walked by him. So, in sixty minutes, he would have already not just seen but been petted by twenty percent of that one hundred people (and been fed treats by three of them, who keep treats in their offices for precisely that purpose). If we'd gone to the library, the number could have easily gone up to thirty. It's really not that hard to see 100 people unless you're assuming they all have to be people you know personally.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for all the replies! You know, when I really thought about it, I realized she has met quite a few different people. I was more thinking meeting people as in, they spend a few minutes playing with, petting, giving treats. But people who just walk by and smile and say "aww" count too right?

I do live in a city with a parvo problem as puppy mills are unfortunately rampant here so I'm not comfortable taking her downtown yet or anywhere where there are tons of other dogs. 3 more weeks til her final shots.

We started going for walks and she has had pleasant meeting with small children so that's great.

We don't know any cats though. Don't know anyone with cat who would let me bring her to meet it. She is going to have insane prey drive anyway and I will likely just have to avoid cats as best I can.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
641 Posts
Yes, people who simply smile or say "aww" absolutely count, and if there are problems with parvo in your area, you're right not to want to take a puppy without final shots into a situation where your dog might encounter parvo.

Cats are hard. My last dog didn't want a cat within ten feet of him. He didn't attack them or chase them; he just wanted them to stay away from him. My current dog is fine with them, though he will chase the neighbor's cat back home if it comes into our fenced yard. However, I've also seen him run up to the cat, only to have the cat turn around and give him one terribly piteous meow (rather ridiculous, since it's a big rangy tomcat who could probably clobber my dog if he wanted to do so), at which point, my dog looked as if it wasn't going to be any fun to chase a cat that sounded that pathetic and turned around and came back to the house and asked to be let back in. He also isn't much interested in squirrels, except for the college campus squirrels, which the students there have attributed to the fact that the campus squirrels are far larger and more arrogant than your average squirrel. He's on lead on campus, so he doesn't have the opportunity to chase them, and he will listen if I tell him to "leave it," but he's definitely interested in them.

Anyway, the real problem with cats is that it's hard to find a test cat. Fortunately, I have a neighbor who has both small dogs and cats, so the cats are completely fine with my dog, and he'll sniff them and then pretty much ignore them in favor of the dogs. But then, those cats were fine with my previous dog too; he just hated it when they sidled him, so he made a point of avoiding them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
499 Posts
I took my puppy to railway stations and the market place (or well, the street next to it). Plenty of people there. The puppy does not have to be petted to be socialized, I think, but to see a variety of people, animals, and vehicles without unpleasant associations.

I am though, a bit worried about my parents' new dog. she is growing out of her socialization window and she has not been around much. She has seen a vet (vaccines), probably some neighbours and passbyers, but not many people. And she is a BSD GSD mix and those breeds carry the tendency of being suspicious and thus socialising them is very important. Tomorrow they are taking her to the town so she gets to see some traffic at least.

Alva, the rough collie, entered my life at eight weeks of age. I immediately included socialisation as part of her rearing. As told before, I took her to some public places to see people, traffic, vehicles, different surfaces, noisy halls, lifts, stairs, and so. After each visit I gave her a day off and we only walked in familiar settings and were more likely to meet people she had already met. I did not want to overwhelm my puppy. At walks I let people interact with her, mostly it was petting.

If I wanted a therapy dog or was training a dog to be an assistant dog or for some authority work, I would probably pay more attention in meeting people who do not fit the standard like people who limp, use wheelchairs or other aids, move awkwardly, have odd speech or behavior patterns, and so for a dog like that needs to be confident in any environment while I, the pet owner, can just clutch my leash tighter and walk away.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
641 Posts
Even if you're thinking about training a dog as a therapy dog, when it's still a puppy, it's okay to start with just the same kind of situations you would when socializing any other dog--in fact, it's a good way to find out if a puppy has the kind of temperament that might make him/her a good therapy dog. Most certifying organizations aren't going to allow you to test a dog until he/she is a year old anyway, and some chapters do offer classes where you can acclimate your dog to wheelchairs, crutches, odd noises that might be common in hospitals, nursing homes etc. before the test without having to worry about offending someone in a wheelchair if the dog shies away from him/her, since that person would know, whether a wheelchair bound trainer or a trainer simply sitting in a wheelchair, that he/she was there to help test the dog's temperament for a particular job. If the dog shies away, it would just be something that the dog needs more training with, and he/she would understand that (or, possibly, that the dog is more easily rattled and isn't an especially good candidate for therapy work, though he/she may be perfectly fine as a family pet in familiar surroundings).
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top