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*** when I say for life, I mean they are there for life unless properly corrected, whereas puppy traits he will grow out of ***

Ronnie is 12/13 week old (vet's guess) terrier mix and we've started socialising him with other dogs. He's very confident - even around big dogs such as a Labrador even though he is so small, he just wants to play with everyone. Loves people too.

I've read everywhere we need to socialise him - and we are doing so. Is meeting other people and dogs once a week enough? He's also going to spend 10 days over xmas with a friend of ours and her two dogs whilst me and my partner travel to visit family.

My concerns are which behaviours do we need to focus on correcting when he's socialising and which should he outgrow if any?

- Humping

After 20 mins of excited play he started trying to mount and hump an adult male Labrador and when the Labrador got fed up with him and went away he proceeded to hump the owner of the Lab to which I pulled him off her.

- Barking

When he gets very excited he barks at the dogs he's playing with, or he will bark at me when we're playing and he barks at dogs close to him that he can't play with.

- Not coming when called

He's pretty good at coming when called when it's just me and me partner. He has learned sit/lie down/paw/leave/spin around/stay but if we're out he just doesn't listen and is more distracted by people and other dogs.

It's been a while since I owned a puppy and I'm probably over cautious about turning this little pup into a yippy annoying dog that doesn't listen to me! My previous dog was a labrodor and she grew out of a lot of her bad habits such as jumping up at people and wanting to play with every person/dog she met on the street but then she was a lab and not a terrier.
 

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1. Humping, normal puppy exuberance, generally a dog will outgrow this unless they tend to get over stimulated (this is not sexual). My dog used to hump a very large teddy bear, I took the teddy away, and that was the end (my kids let him have because they thought it was funny).

2. Barking, again this is over excitement, may or may not grow out of it. Of course, this could morph into fear/anxious barking which you don't want.

3. A 12 or 13-week old puppy is too young to have a reliable recall. Generally, they will stick close to their handler, but the world is a very exciting place that needs to be explored. Play hide and seek with him.

I would avoid over-stimulating activities, and ask people to be calm around the puppy especially indoors.
 

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Humping - So normal, especially when puppies get SO excited. They can't handle it, so they mount. I would just walk over and remove him. If he does it again, I would leash him, to give him a little time out. That might go away with age, or he may continue.

Barking - Barking is a strong terrier trait I believe, so if he is a terrier mix, there could be some genetic predisposition to bark. :) You can try to teach a quiet cue, in order to quiet him down.

Recall - At 3 months, a recall is spotty at best, especially outside with tons of distractions. You need to build it up slowly, adding distractions a little at a time.
 

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what helped me to get him used to seeing new dogs and people without getting too excited (or in Sanchos case, nervous), was to keep him on the leash and sit down somewhere in the park, watch people/dogs regularly and reward for calm behaviour with a high value treat.
 

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Thanks for your replies. I know a recall outside at 3 months is a lot to ask :)
I was more wondering along the lines of what age is a good recall expected. We don't let him off leash unless he's in a controlled environment. Again, thanks a lot, all good advice.
 

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I was more wondering along the lines of what age is a good recall expected. We don't let him off leash unless he's in a controlled environment. Again, thanks a lot, all good advice.
I had an outstanding recall with my Aussie at 5-6 months, but I worked hard with him every day to practice. Then he hit 8 months and did not give me or my calling a second thought. Now at over a year, his recall is incredible. :)
 

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In response to socializing him enough, I think meeting new people and dogs once a week is not quite enough. He should be meeting people and other dogs every day on a daily walk, at minimum. And take him wherever you plan to take him as an adult - car trips, hiking, camping, whatever.

The 3-4 month time period in particular is a crucial time for puppy socialization, so you're at the time when he should be exposed to as many safe environments as possible.
 

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In response to socializing him enough, I think meeting new people and dogs once a week is not quite enough. He should be meeting people and other dogs every day on a daily walk, at minimum. And take him wherever you plan to take him as an adult - car trips, hiking, camping, whatever.

The 3-4 month time period in particular is a crucial time for puppy socialization, so you're at the time when he should be exposed to as many safe environments as possible.
Thanks for your reply :) We do take him out everyday, we live in Mallorca so during the winter it's very very quiet here and cannot guarantee we will meet a dog on our walks.

However so far I'm positive that he's been meeting other dogs at least every other day (but mostly the same ones). From tomorrow he'll be spending 10 days with our friend and her 2 dogs so that can only be a good thing right?

Thanks for your advice of socialising him every day. With once a week I was testing the waters - I've not found many places which tell you how often you should be socialising your puppy with other dogs just that you should be. When we get back I'll make sure to set up more puppy play dates with friends from other towns who have dogs.

We take him everywhere we can such as markets, restaurants, the beach... and all places we've driven him there so he goes in the car almost every day. :thumbsup:
 

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Humping~ Normal behavior. He may not outgrow it if you do not actively try and correct the humping by redirecting him, or taking him away, every time he tries to hump. In other words I would not simply take the wait and see if he outgrows it approach.

Barking~ He my never stop barking to alert you to stuff, like people passing by the yard, or knocking at the door. What you can to for that behavior is teach him a quiet cue so you can turn off the bark. I'd not give in to demand barking though, that will continue so long as you give him what he wants when he barks, so if he's barking when you play and it's getting uncontrolled, so it's something you don't want him to do, then stop playing as soon as he barks so that he learns barking causes playtime to end. My boy is nearly 3 and he sometimes will bark when we play, since he's not out of control with it I haven't bothered to try and get him to stop. We do work on his burning need to alert me to every person who passes within 100 yards of the window, usually with that I go check out why he's barking, and reassure him that it's alright. When I do that he stops barking, if I don't he'll continue barking till I come check, or the person is out of sight.
 

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It sounds as if you are expecting to much of him with his training. You need to increase distractions very slowly, and in each new location treat the cue as if you have never taught it.
Right now the way you are doing it would be the equivalent of taking a 5 year old to Disneyland and expecting him to sit down and practice mathematics. The child would simply not be able to concentrate long enough to do so, and a puppy is further handicapped since many dogs don't generalize very well and may not realize that the cue means the actions no matter where it's said or who says it.

Try going from the house to the back yard and practice there till he's good at the cue, then move to the front yard and start over, then move on to a quiet street corner, then a more busy one, so on and so forth.

I'm not sure how you are using treats but I found this thread very useful when I was trying to figure out how best to use them http://www.dogforum.com/training-behavior-stickies/thoughts-training-food-1219/
 
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