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Hi!

So after reading quite a bit regarding socialization I decided to start taking out Wyatt to get used to his surroundings.

Since he only has the first two sets of vaccines, Im taking him out carried in my arms when we go out to the parks. I usually just find a bench in a crowded place and sit there and let him watch and smell.

How long should this continue? He's 11 weeks old so there's a bit more time to finish his vaccination process.

Im worried that if I keep taking him out carried he might not develop self confidence as well as he could

I did let him walk at the beach though, here's him listening to the ocean:

Cloud Dog Sky Carnivore Fawn
 

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Wyatt is precious!!! The photo is a winner, too. Below is a piece I usually provide when someone asks me about socialization for young dogs. This is based on my experience and you likely know a lot of it already. Hope it helps and I am sure the experts will weigh in soon.

Here are some tips that may help you build that bond and imprint behaviors to set you and your boy up for success when he is older.

Do lots of engagement work! Stuff your pocket with puppy kibble and make high happy noises and call to your puppy in a high, happy tone of voice so he knows that coming to you equals good things.

👉Take him places where he can observe people, dogs, cars, and more from a distance. The parking lot of a shopping plaza is great, especially if that plaza has a Petco or PetSmart. Don’t GO IN to the pet places, just roll the window down a bit and let him sniff to his hearts content.

Play at home where he has to walk over different surfaces (Black trash bags, gravel, lumber piles, up steps and down steps, etc). Expose him to different noises (YouTube is great for that) at a quiet volume (at first). All these things work to build his confidence which is HUGE in having a balanced Doberman.

Every day, all day start imprinting behaviors - if he sits, tell him ‘good sit’ and reward with a bite of kibble. Work on all the commands that way, use his accidental actions to build the foundation and gently show him what they mean.

Training never stops so if you walk to the kitchen, see if you can get him to heel as you go (lead him with a yummy in front of his nose). Make him sit and wait before you put his dinner down.

All these things will have such a profound affect on the bond you are building. You have a perfect little piece of clay and now the work is on you to mold him into a masterpiece.

Read as many books on dog training as you can. I strongly advise the reading of How to Speak Dog by Dr. Stanley Coren for a great education on body language. Then, keep reading. Read When Pigs Fly, read The Other End of the Leash, read How to Behave So Your Dog Behaves and then, keep reading.

Be sure to just spend time with your dog doing nothing - simply existing.

Socialize your puppy through daily experiences at home/in the yard. Engage with him by playing, cuddling, talking to him. Put in the work to building the bond. Build his confidence through slow exposure to different sights, sounds, textures, scents, etc. Take things slowly and enjoy this squishy stage.

You will be great and your pup will be wonderful - just take it slow and enjoy the ride!! Good luck!
 

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HI DavidNWyatt. Cute pup and great photo!

We were very worried too when we got our pup earlier this year. I just checked and we let him on walks on the ground at 18 weeks old. I know, it sounds so old, but we just wanted to be super safe and we were so paranoid. We actually got a dog backpack and we would put him inside it and walk around the neighborhood so he could see, hear and smell everything. We also took him to home depot pretty often in a cart and just push him around. LOL!

He definitely did not have any confidence issues once he was "free" on his own to walk. It was actually quite the opposite and just smelling and putting his nose in everything. I'm sure this will be the case as well - they are just so curious.

Have fun with him while he is this size! You won't be able to carry him around in a few months :(
 

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Just got mine this year as well, and would leave the property until he got his set done. Fortunately visitors and fosters really helped with that. After his last set, I waited a week then off for walks and allow him to meet people or other friendly dogs. He gets a lot of attention!

Not sure what your family & friends visiting situation is but can come meet the new puppy with some interaction? His siblings in town? Covid puppies have it tougher, mine comes along whenever possible. Take as much shots & videos as you can, trust me they grow like weeds and these days will be gone before you know it!
 
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