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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-13-2014, 01:14 PM Thread Starter
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Limiting family and stranger interaction??

I have a question and would love feedback. I am getting a puppy soon with performance potential. I have been watching Michael Ellis videos, which I like. The Leerbug method makes sense to me. I have experience as a dog trainer in basic obedience and manners, but only for typical pets. In those instances it is encouraged that people pet your dog.

As I was looking at other trainers online I read about Ed Frawley's ideas on what accessability strangers, friends, and familiy members should have to the puppy/dog. He says that you want YOU to be the center of your dog's world, so all playtime, etc. should come from you, and to not even let strangers pet your dog. If a family member feeds, it should only be setting the bowl down and that's it.

Some if this theory makes sense, such as it having your dog end up being more or less indifferent to stangers and not want to rush up to them thinking eveyrone is their best friend (which I don't want)- but where is the line with family members? Shouldn't they be able to play with a puppy too, especially ones that live in the home? I live with my partner (and three other dogs) and while it is understood that I will be the main caretaker, the sole trainer, and she is to be "my" dog, I don't feel my partner going to agree to being too restricted when it comes to petting & play.

Advise on stranger and family interactions/socialization to what is hopefully to be a great show and performance (exact sport TBD by her aptitude) bitch is much appreciated!

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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-13-2014, 01:19 PM
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I've heard of these methods, and to be honest, I'm not a fan at all. I know plenty of working dogs who are beasts when training, and then fun cuddly family pets with everyone at home. Dogs have a natural ability to distinguish threat from non-threat. I would never discourage socialization.



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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-13-2014, 01:46 PM
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everything i've read says socialization is necessary for a well-rounded dog.
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-13-2014, 01:51 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmbeach22 View Post
I've heard of these methods, and to be honest, I'm not a fan at all. I know plenty of working dogs who are beasts when training, and then fun cuddly family pets with everyone at home. Dogs have a natural ability to distinguish threat from non-threat. I would never discourage socialization.
Thank you, that is how I feel. It seems a bit harsh and counterproductive to be so strict with interactions, and I was trying to wrap my brain on how that method could be successful. I want a great performance dog, but I want a companion and safe, social dog as well. She is coming from a great place (Kansa) and will have the sense to determine foe from friend.
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-13-2014, 03:33 PM
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I feel like that method won't build a very confident or well socialized dog

My SO and I are center of our dobes world because we both spend equal time with training, feeding, exercising, grooming, ect. He dosent listen to one of us any better than the other. He loves everyone and everything. He knows we are his people. The other day we went to my mother in laws and he was playing with their two dogs and bouncing around person to person for pets. We were going to get ice cream for everyone and the second we stood up to walk toward the gate he stopped playing and came and stood by us, giving us his attention. He is no doubt our perfect companion, and he is very aware of who we are and when we leave/enter the area. He will always rather come with us than stay with someone else. But leaving him with other people and letting other people play tricks for treats dosent make him any less loyal to us. He is confident with out us there due to his socialization

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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-13-2014, 03:54 PM
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I do think teaching your dog not to go greet every stranger that they come across to is a good thing. Interaction with neutral and friendly strangers are actually part of the WAE.

I think this method assumes that the dog will only have one handler. We have dogs train in agility with my husband, obedience with me and have had pro handlers for conformation. This approach to have the dog bond to one handler would just not enable us to do all we do.

For Jessie we socialized with other dogs and people normally with no special measures. She recently passed the WAE and she clearly knows the difference between a neutral stranger, a friendly stranger and an aggressive stranger. A lot of her temperament comes from her breeding. She is super smart and very eager to work.

Our other female Jossie came from a BYB and clearly gets stressed in new situations. She is very sweet and readily trainable but is lacking in work ethic. We did close to the same socialization as we did Jessie but her bad breeding is just simply not possible to overcome. She trains in agility and does well enough in class, but would likely fall apart in a trial. And forget about the WAE, she would be fleeing to the next county if she makes it to the umbrella.

Your dog is coming from an excellent breeder. I would ask them for their advice on socialization towards your situation and goals. Best of luck and dont forget that we love puppy pics.


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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-13-2014, 04:02 PM
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The Leerburg method & Michael Ellis videos:

^^^^ I generally like some of the content of his website, / but I take it all with a grain of salt.
As I quickly realized a huge training disconnect...between his personal raising GSD puppies from his breeding program, for police/protection work.
- every new pup gets tethered to a family member...one person does it all, until sold

Number 1 - He is running a profitable business, and stacking the chips to succeed.
- fundamentally, might work for the end result of a "specific" working dog he seeks
- just can't imagine, much of a well rounded family pet...out of his program

Every human that lives under our roof, will be considered an EQUAL family member...in our Doberman eyes.
- thus, future problems avoided

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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-13-2014, 04:10 PM
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If you don't properly socialize your dog then you're going to have a problem.
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-13-2014, 05:06 PM
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I think this is a very interesting article - Steve Courtney Dog Training Socialisation? What is it exactly? » Steve Courtney Dog Training


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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-13-2014, 05:07 PM
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What you are describing sounds to me as the German Shepherd mindset. I know many GSD people that subscribe to the lock 'em up in the kennel and Only get them out to work method. Dobermans in general are much more social than GSDs. They were the original personal protection dog and live to be with their family. Frequently, an unsocialized GSD will be sharp and untrustowrthy in public, even if they look good on the field. More often, an unsocialized Doberman will be shy and spooky in public.

Doberman puppies need socialiation to be well balanced. I don't think that they can be too social. Our working dogs and other well balanced Dobermans can turn it off when they are in a social situation and turn it on when needed. They Do know the difference.

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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-13-2014, 06:54 PM
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What you are describing sounds to me as the German Shepherd mindset. I know many GSD people that subscribe to the lock 'em up in the kennel and Only get them out to work method.
this is so weird...a friend of mine, who trains at a local Schutzhund/OB club, was just telling me about this. she intends to do this to her 2 year old to increase his focus.

frankly, it sounds miserable to me...especially knowing how attached he is to her.

why is this mindset popular?
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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-13-2014, 07:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by falnfenix View Post
this is so weird...a friend of mine, who trains at a local Schutzhund/OB club, was just telling me about this. she intends to do this to her 2 year old to increase his focus.

frankly, it sounds miserable to me...especially knowing how attached he is to her.

why is this mindset popular?
Sounds miserable to me to, falnfenix. I don't understand how isolation and lack of interaction is going to increase focus in any creature

I'd imagine it would just create anxiety.

"stay hungry, stay foolish."
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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-13-2014, 07:34 PM
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I work all day so all 3 of my dogs go to Grandma's house while I work. My puppy has been going since we brought her home. Grandma feeds them breakfast and dinner while I am at work, grandma is with them all day every day. Fury is 100% my dog however, to the point we are working on getting her to LISTEN to her grandmother in her teenage years. Plus Fury has been socialized ALOT since day 1. Socialize socialize socialize. No socialization = a timid fearful dog. Timid fearful dogs = fear biters


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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-13-2014, 07:38 PM
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Quote:
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Sounds miserable to me to, falnfenix. I don't understand how isolation and lack of interaction is going to increase focus in any creature

I'd imagine it would just create anxiety.
i figured the same thing, but i'm a novice. i just don't know that she's approaching this the right way. :\
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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-13-2014, 08:30 PM
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Sadly some people misplace their trust in trainers. Someone 'in the know' tells them something and they take it as gospel without truly thinking it through.


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post #16 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-14-2014, 12:14 AM
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NO,NO,NO I have read his ideas for years I do not agree with keeping dogs away from people only the owners are suppose to interact with their dog. Tell me how the dog is suppose to have confidence, learn if a person is good or bad if they are kept away all the time. I do like some of Frawley's training but most I do not you have to remember he is from the crank and yank era of dog training he has improved but not completely.
I had two Bouvier's both were from Schutzhund backgrounds both were naturally protective both were very well socialized. Example: I had a eldery woman just walk in my house my male Bouvier never said a word walked over to her to be petted. Another time I was watching a lady's dogs at a dog show a man was mad at the lady started yelling at me my Bouvier was on a sit stay. But when the man started walking towards me my Bouv got up to stand between me and the yelling man. Socialization is the key to a well rounded stable dog. Good Luck
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post #17 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-14-2014, 12:43 AM
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Like with a lot of things it is not completely black and white, there is a lot of gray. In my opinion, the majority of Dobermans being worked in a protection sport cannot get too much socialization. On the other hand typically with thicker nerved GSD's at our club, there is a transition phase at about 6 to 9 months where socialization with non-family members may be start to be limited. These are the type of dogs where nothing whatsover is seen as a threat. For a dog to be highly effective in protection work, they cannot see the decoy as their friend.

In terms of keeping dogs more as a working dog than a pet (kenneled more when not working), in practical terms I believe it has more to do with the demands on the dog and level of precision required. If you have to constantly give dogs commands in a pet setting, then it is much more difficult to constantly hold the dog accountable.

In terms of training focus you can see this idea in books going pretty far back. For example William Koehler suggested this in his books back in the early 1960's.
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post #18 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-14-2014, 11:04 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kansadobe View Post
What you are describing sounds to me as the German Shepherd mindset. I know many GSD people that subscribe to the lock 'em up in the kennel and Only get them out to work method. Dobermans in general are much more social than GSDs. They were the original personal protection dog and live to be with their family. Frequently, an unsocialized GSD will be sharp and untrustowrthy in public, even if they look good on the field. More often, an unsocialized Doberman will be shy and spooky in public.

Doberman puppies need socialiation to be well balanced. I don't think that they can be too social. Our working dogs and other well balanced Dobermans can turn it off when they are in a social situation and turn it on when needed. They Do know the difference.
I had a feeling you would reply! LOL. If not I was going to email you, although I can tell by the responses that everyone feels the way I do about socialization. The method I was questioning was indeed from a GSD breeder/trainer. I don't agree with his methods being suitable for my purposes (or for any Dobe), but since I am newish to performance/working I wanted to make sure my gut was right.
I have NEVER considered not properly socializing any dog, so I was surprised to read his articles. I am a firm believer in taking pups out to different places, encoutering all sorts of people, animals, etc. so they are well-rounded, confident, and happy.

Thank you for the input!
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post #19 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-14-2014, 11:13 AM
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In personal protection you will see a lot of strange ideas. Looking at video much of it does not make a lot of sense. There is also no accountability to any kind of standard or judging process. These people can make money off others with no regulation of any sort.

In Schutzhund, however, a dog has to pass a BH before they can go on to get any IPO tiltes. In the BH there are temperment tests which involve being at least neutral to strangers, bicyles, people walking by, going up to strangers in a crowd and shaking their hand etc. Before every trial they have to show they are comfortable around poeple (not bite the judge, etc). So one has to use some common sense in training, socialization to make sure dogs are not freaky around people.
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post #20 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-14-2014, 11:33 AM
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Does it not stand to reason that a dog with little to no socialization will see everyone new as a threat thereby making them 'unstable' whereas a dog exposed to more elements would be better able to ascertain a true threat as they have more real world experience...

I mean I socialized my dog with the loudest scariest people I could find (bikers, military, police). While he by no means greets anyone but family (me) with a 'lab' like demeanour he is still aloof with most people. I also know that should the need arise I could hand his leash off to someone else and he would still run the test (scent det, tracking) for someone who has dog handling skills. He's still not going to be buddy buddy with that person but he is confident enough to work in strange hands.


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post #21 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-14-2014, 12:28 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Sadly some people misplace their trust in trainers. Someone 'in the know' tells them something and they take it as gospel without truly thinking it through.
I agree with this, too many people see or hear something from a "trainer" and think it's the way they MUST do it. A great deal of training is common sense, and we should question anything that doesn't sound right- hense my post here. I agree with the replies. It just seems dumb (and sad, frankly) to not allow your dog to interact with friendly strangers. It's like, "Hey pup, see that nice lady over there? She can't pet you." (whaaa??)

I do think that it came across that this trainer (Ed Frawley) said the dog was to never SEE people or really go anywhere, that is not the case. He never said to not get the dog out of the house to be around people or places.
My question was- Why was this guy saying that no one should PET or PLAY WITH the dog if it is to be a working dog (Sch, etc.)- how can that possibly be the best way?
I get what his intention was, but it just didn't make sense to me and seemed like a sad way for a companion animal to live or be raised, so I felt it a good idea to pose the question here.
I have not trained a Sch dog yet, so as I learn those methods and/or hear opinions from people who train for this sport, I will question anything that seems "off" to me or when I need clarification.

I appreciate all of your feedback- it confirmed what I felt was right! I won't research any more of that guy's methods- not for me! If there are videos/DVDs that you recommend I would love to know. I will be joining a local club very soon so I watch and learn there as well.
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post #22 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-14-2014, 12:32 PM Thread Starter
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I do think teaching your dog not to go greet every stranger that they come across to is a good thing. Interaction with neutral and friendly strangers are actually part of the WAE.

I think this method assumes that the dog will only have one handler. We have dogs train in agility with my husband, obedience with me and have had pro handlers for conformation. This approach to have the dog bond to one handler would just not enable us to do all we do.

For Jessie we socialized with other dogs and people normally with no special measures. She recently passed the WAE and she clearly knows the difference between a neutral stranger, a friendly stranger and an aggressive stranger. A lot of her temperament comes from her breeding. She is super smart and very eager to work.

Our other female Jossie came from a BYB and clearly gets stressed in new situations. She is very sweet and readily trainable but is lacking in work ethic. We did close to the same socialization as we did Jessie but her bad breeding is just simply not possible to overcome. She trains in agility and does well enough in class, but would likely fall apart in a trial. And forget about the WAE, she would be fleeing to the next county if she makes it to the umbrella.

Your dog is coming from an excellent breeder. I would ask them for their advice on socialization towards your situation and goals. Best of luck and dont forget that we love puppy pics.
Puppy will be home August 10th (meeting all the pups this coming Saturday!!) so I will post pics when I get them!
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post #23 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-14-2014, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by falnfenix View Post
this is so weird...a friend of mine, who trains at a local Schutzhund/OB club, was just telling me about this. she intends to do this to her 2 year old to increase his focus.

frankly, it sounds miserable to me...especially knowing how attached he is to her.

why is this mindset popular?
I don't know why it works with GSDs but it does. A good friend of mine that trains working dogs does that and they have zero social issues are always ready to work out of the kennel and have zero issues going from tearing a guy to the ground and then being his best friend when he's cuffed. I've been told the well socialized attack dog is kind of an American thing.
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post #24 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-15-2014, 07:05 AM
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If you are looking to really compete with your dog and your dog has what it takes to do this there is no need to socialize and will definitely hinder his ability to succeed. Do enough training with people to pass the BH and thats it. Most of the top dogs regardless of breed have the hardest time with the BH. You and only you should be where love and praise come from. You do not want your dog looking at strangers as someone who could pet them, feed them, play with them etc.. . Can you have a dog who is friendly and well socialized and also do the work with some level of success YES.. BUT there are VERY FEW high level dogs that would do well during a stroll in petsmart.. LOL There is a big difference between a pet and serious working dog, and as stated above, a infinite amount of gray area in between.
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post #25 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-15-2014, 07:10 AM
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by the way there are about a half a dozen people who have pet my dog and he's 3 1/2 years old. He is very social but doesnt even look twice at the jogger running towards him while on a walk. I am his life and he doesnt need anybody or anything else to be happy.
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