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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So last week we went to the training class we would take Zoey to. The trainer was very into PR, out of the 6 dogs there 4 were puppies under 5 months and it was good. This week we took Zoey, and now I am just really worried about the impact it could have had on her socialisation :( There were two other dogs (because of the snow I think less came), neither of these dogs were there last week.

One dog was DA. It snarled and snapped when Zoey was near, and when the dog's owner was chatting and giving Zoey treats (aaagh!) it was growling and snapped so she didn't take the treat and the other dog ate it. It was really not happy. We stayed the heck away from that dog! :eek:

The other dog was very vocal. It liked Zoey, and whined, howled and barked constantly when they were apart, causing Zoey at one point to bark back because she didn't understand what was going on. Very distracting for training too! I let Zoey say hi a lot, and the other dog started humping her at every opportunity, clasping on so tight Zoey couldn't get away. Nobody else got the other dog of even though Zoey was trying to get away, so I had to juggle her lead, treats, and the strange dog :mad: Still, Zoey didn't let this put her off the dog, and as long as she wanted to go back to say hi I let her.

The trainers' two dogs were there too. One was fab and Zoey got to say hi lots, yay. The other was nervy with people and other dogs, but Zoey got fleeting sniffs to it. We got to the class first and it was okay, then the other dogs arrived and the hall erupted with barking and growling. Zoey bless her was terrified and crawled onto my lap :p She did really well with a few tricks (touch, sit, wait) but the other dogs constantly growling and barking distracted her. We tried to feed her treats for every interaction with other dogs, as well as rewards for following commands.

I don't wanna go back again. I'd rather just up the socialisation with other dogs ourselves (our prime reason for going was socialisation, not training) rather than go to a class where you don't know what dogs are going and if they'll be DA. Last week was great, one terrier that was a bit snarly, a GR that was gentle with the pups, a 5 month GSD, a 4 month Cocker and two tiny 15 week terrier crosses. This week was so different...I've read so much about how pups under 16 weeks should have no negative experiences or feel fearful to other dogs I'm stressing now :(

Zoey did really really well. She was much less enthusiastic saying hi to the dogs than the people (which worried me because I've never known this before with only having Kasper), but I let her greet the dogs when she wanted, she did tricks really well...I don't want to go back, but should we? :confused:

Red
 

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Your primary reason for attending, is to 'socialise' your dog if im reading this right.
Why, would anyone select a large echo filled, not furnished, room of assorted bad mannered dogs for that?

I did the same. Twice, Two weeks running in fact! Before sense and confidence prevailed, that THIS is not what i was aiming at for my 'controlled neutralizing' my dog to others. It was a freaky ass situation, that none of my dogs have ever found themselves in since. Thankfully.


Ive owned dogs for 35 yrs now. I i think i can speak for most dog owners when i say, you are rarely going to find yourself in a large unfurnished room, filled with excited people and untrained dogs. Unless you plan on taking your dog to a lot of fete's, jumble sales, red cross functions. Seriously, is this the life your dog will have? If so, keep going, it needs the practice. If not, vote with your common sense.
 

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I always recommend socializing with dogs known to be dog friendly but polite. I would suggest friend's dogs who are positive role models, or even ask around. Sometimes the "office dog" at a vet's office is good for socialization.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks all :) I'm pretty certain we aren't going back...it was so annoying because we went the week before and 4/6 dogs were puppies haha! Zoey would have loved that...ah well!

She met four dogs on her walk yesterday and enjoyed them all, so we'll just keep that up. We don't know anybody who has dogs (my family are fairly anti-dog, none of our friends have dogs)...the only person we know that has a dog is my bf's parents, they live 2 hours away and their dog is DA, very unstable and neurotic...I don't want him meeting either of our dogs haha!

I want Zoey to be able to play with other dogs. She's obviously played a ton with Kasper, has played on her longline with a 5 month Golden puppy and a Spaniel cross, but never for more than a minute. Our old vets is setting up a puppy play class some time this year, but I have no idea when...

Red
 

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As long as she is getting out and about meeting good role models she will be fine. She needs to know how to properly approach another dog, sniff politely, and offer cues for play or whatever she wishes. She needs to understand the signals that other dogs give. This is more important than a long playing time. It's actually good that she doesn't insist on playing at length right now because some dogs do not play for long. Sometimes they need to get to know the other dog. Also, different groups of dogs have different types of play. For instance, Boston terriers like to mouth faces. With other bully breeds, this is great fun. However, collies hate having their faces nipped at. Some dogs herd each other, some chase each other, some hunt together.

The only thing I'd add to your walks is to have her sit nicely until you give her a release word to play with the other dogs.
 
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