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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-07-2018, 02:46 AM Thread Starter
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Socialization

Hello everyone! I have a few wonderings about socialization.

Everywhere I've read, information says that socializing a doberman is essential for having a well-balanced (and hopefully well-behaved!) dog. I totally want to do this, but my puppy Zeus has not had all of his vaccinations yet due to his age. He's ten weeks old and has had some vaccinations but not all of them as of yet. I don't want to miss out on the socialization window of opportunity that apparently "closes" at some certain point. I've been excited with the thought of bringing him to meet my friends' dogs and taking him out in public to walk and see unfamiliar people, places, and things, but I know I'm not supposed to do that until he's good to go with his shots.

So my question is, how can I correctly socialize my little buddy without risking him getting sick? I've had friends over at the house to meet him, but I was advised not to bring him around other dogs (even vaccinated ones because their paws my be carrying things around) until he's older.

Thanks for your time and advice!
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-07-2018, 09:06 AM
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I always waited till all the shots were done - then even waited awhile so they were active in him or her --

I'm lucky here - I farm - So I'm in and out a lot - I load Big boy up and head to the IH or John Deere store - Or to the bank to put in a few millions - The problem for me on this is - there are no other dogs around for the most part - Kadin - has always had a problem around other dogs - wants to bark at them - spin in circles - you name it - He is NOT good at all - One thing I found that really helped some - Is I take him over to our Vets office - Just go in and sit down - for a half an hour - By the end of our session - he's pretty good - BUT take him back again - and we have to start all over - Just don't do it enough - Plan is to step that up to 2 or 3 times a week - this beginning my slow time he on the farm -
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-07-2018, 09:17 AM
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Socialization with PEOPLE is more important than socialization with DOGS, in my humble opinion.

That said, if you feel your puppy needs other-dog interaction, look for a puppy prek situation where all puppies are required to be vaccinated. The setup I help with involves like 10 minutes of very basic obedience, a half hour of play, then another 10-15 minutes of trust exercises. Ask your local chapter of the DPCA for suggestions.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-07-2018, 09:36 AM
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Socialization with PEOPLE is more important than socialization with DOGS, in my humble opinion.

I think both are important - I hate ! I hate ! when I go to the Vets office and Kadin acts as IF then had never been worked with - people act as they are afraid of him - I agree - they also need to be with other people than My wife and I - Which both are - yet I think a well rounded - well trained Dobie is good around both .
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-07-2018, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
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I always waited till all the shots were done - then even waited awhile so they were active in him or her --

I'm lucky here - I farm - So I'm in and out a lot - I load Big boy up and head to the IH or John Deere store - Or to the bank to put in a few millions - The problem for me on this is - there are no other dogs around for the most part - Kadin - has always had a problem around other dogs - wants to bark at them - spin in circles - you name it - He is NOT good at all - One thing I found that really helped some - Is I take him over to our Vets office - Just go in and sit down - for a half an hour - By the end of our session - he's pretty good - BUT take him back again - and we have to start all over - Just don't do it enough - Plan is to step that up to 2 or 3 times a week - this beginning my slow time he on the farm -
One problem here is that you are more likely to encounter sick dogs at the Vet's office than just about anywhere in public.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-07-2018, 09:52 AM
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Well - you bring up a good point ! But - I am sort out of options with him - I have taken him to the pet stores - TSC and other pet friendly places - I did call my trainer about getting him in a group training session - I picked up she was not to keen on that idea - as to what the others would think - He to me - is just wanting to play - yet a 90 pound boy is intimidating to the others . I have taken him to the trainers and we walk threw there kennels and he does great - yet if there out of there - now , that's a different story
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-07-2018, 10:20 AM
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I'd find another trainer, someone who trains for higher level obedience. YOU need to work your dog when you aren't at the trainer's, as well. The trainer trains you, then you work your dog daily, and in more situations than inside your home.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-07-2018, 11:12 AM
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I always waited till all the shots were done - then even waited awhile so they were active in him or her --

I'm lucky here - I farm - So I'm in and out a lot - I load Big boy up and head to the IH or John Deere store - Or to the bank to put in a few millions - The problem for me on this is - there are no other dogs around for the most part - Kadin - has always had a problem around other dogs - wants to bark at them - spin in circles - you name it - He is NOT good at all - One thing I found that really helped some - Is I take him over to our Vets office - Just go in and sit down - for a half an hour - By the end of our session - he's pretty good - BUT take him back again - and we have to start all over - Just don't do it enough - Plan is to step that up to 2 or 3 times a week - this beginning my slow time he on the farm -
Sounds like we lead the same lives.

My boy lives with a part pitty / badger (30#) and that is really his only friend and he is so rough on her. She is very tough but is getting older and i thinks it is time that i start watching out for her more. I really have opted for no contact with other dogs unless i find a owner who is very experienced with dogs in general . I do not think my boy would ever let himself be dominated in play as he always seems to be able to go to the next level in most situations.

I agree that people are the most important social skills for any dog. We have made so many realize that Dobermans can be sweet and loving to all that we meet.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-07-2018, 12:22 PM
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Sounds like we lead the same lives.

My boy lives with a part pitty / badger (30#) and that is really his only friend and he is so rough on her. She is very tough but is getting older and i thinks it is time that i start watching out for her more. I really have opted for no contact with other dogs unless i find a owner who is very experienced with dogs in general . I do not think my boy would ever let himself be dominated in play as he always seems to be able to go to the next level in most situations.

I agree that people are the most important social skills for any dog. We have made so many realize that Dobermans can be sweet and loving to all that we meet.

Thanks for the reply Alan j . First off - I always enjoy reading your posts - as there is good thought into what you write and knowledge in it .

Second - We have had Dobie's for a little over 30 years - all females - lol The boy was a challenge - But after using a great trainer to retrain me - He is doing pretty dang good - We also have a 10 year old Female - She rules the roost here : )) But like yours - She is getting older and still thinks she's 5 - Now Kadin is 2 and 8 months - they get along great - till she put's him in his place - that don't happen much - But there playing is ruff sometimes - I try to step in right away - as I'm afraid she may get hurt - funny thing - is they only really play - first thing in the morning , then it good to go - Kadin really needs a younger sister to play with - Will see what happens over the winter : )

I agree 100 % about getting a long with people - Kadin do's great when we go to the dealerships - they love him - Both places have a lazy boy in there offices - I will sit down and in 2 seconds - he's sitting on my lap - all 90 pounds - they think that so funny - A big Dobie lap dog - lol

He is the only one I have ever had trouble with wanting to play or act a mess around other dogs - heck if he hears one on TV he get's all jacked up - He may be just protecting his home : )

Thanks again Alan

... Ken
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-07-2018, 01:17 PM
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Since a child a Doberman has always been in the family. I have had only one female and she was the the sweetest thing that ever lived and upon her death she really broke my heart and do not think i could have another female except her memory. I am with my boy pretty much 24/7 and he is always in the moment , that is what i like though it can be frustrating at times but the day is never dull with him on board.

Thanks for the kind words, Alan
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-07-2018, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
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So, until he's gotten all of his shots, it's best to keep him home and have friends come visit us? I read somewhere about bringing him to the vet's office and allowing the desk-people to give him treats so he can have positive associations with the place, but like someone said here, I don't want to expose him to sick dogs. We were told on our first vet visit not to let him walk on the floor yet, so we carried him in and out of the office.

As for dog exposure, I do have him signed up for puppy obedience classes at the end of the month! So I guess there he'll have the social playtime I'm wanting him to have. I don't want him to be aggressive towards other dogs, or scared of them. I'm excited to start this adventure!
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-07-2018, 10:03 PM
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In my opinion, the risk of not socializing is much higher than the risk of going out in public. Take reasonable precautions - don't take your pup to places frequented by a lot of dogs - no Petsmart, no dog parks, no places like that. Go to places that are not frequented by a lot of dogs, but are dog friendly - get out to a coffee shop, to Lowes, to places like that. Your pup should be out and about as many days a week as possible, seeing the world and as many types of people as possible - all races and sizes, kids, etc. Experiences should be POSITIVE - that might mean your pup just observes from a distance and gets some treats for seeing what's going on.

I would also set up playdates with friends who have dogs that tolerate puppies (that you KNOW will be tolerant and well behaved towards your pup) and are up to date on their vaccines. Meet at their house and let your dogs interact. Keep it low key, or let them play if everyone is having a good time.

I would also recommend a puppy class, personally. A good puppy class, IMO, is one that balances an introduction of basic skills and small amounts of puppy interaction with each other.

FYI, the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior recommends NOT waiting to socialize until fully vaccinated: https://avsab.org/wp-content/uploads..._-_10-3-14.pdf
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-08-2018, 12:54 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much, MeadowCat! The article is a great read. Zeus is set up to go to AKC S.T.A.R puppy classes starting on the 26th of this month. He'll be going on 13 weeks at that time. We've given him a few car rides, but now I'm planning on having him travel more (I purchased a doggie seat belt and seat cover) and take him places where he can observe. I'm only fearful of taking him to Lowes or Home Depot because he's not potty trained yet and I'm afraid he'll pee on the floor and cause an issue! But I do feel a bit more comfortable now about taking him over to friends. Our vet discouraged it because she says the other dogs paws may have who knows what on them, but they're up on their vaccines. Maybe I'll just ask them to clean their paws prior to our visit!

Thank you again for your helpful info!
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