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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've looked in the forums a bit for an answer to this but have yet to find one. I basically just want an overall opinion on how we are going about socialization and any suggestions if you have them for us.

We have had Java for close to 1 month, and we have been trying to stay on top of socialization as best as we can. We are used to socializing herding breeds, which from what I understand so far take a bit more extreme of an amount of socialization in order to be well-balanced in comparison with a Doberman. But being that this is my first Dobie I'd like some insider insight on how to go about this correctly.

My fiancee and I are both college students so we take him out pretty regularly with us to campus. She has a class in the mornings twice a week so I like to take him with me in our van while we wait for her. We just pop the rear panel up and hang out in the back and he gets to people watch while I read a few chapters for whatever class. (This is what I used to do with our GSD to get her used to the sights and sounds of people without overwhelming her with an extreme amount of hands on pets).

We also try to take him out every weekend and have done so pretty successfully so far. He's become somewhat of a pro at restaurants, so far we've had him to McAllisters, Hooters, and two different Rally's restaurants. Other than that we try to limit dog time socialization to our friends dogs. We took him with us to a friend's house last night and to my in-laws the weekend before that.

Perhaps I'm paranoid, perhaps I'm used to herding breeds where your output for socialization is about 50% of your input so you try to give 10000% haha.

So does anyone have any suggestions? Any feedback on if we're going about it correctly or incorrectly for that matter? So far he's seemed pretty open to attention he obviously prefers us, but he's only shy'd away from someone once and it was a lady who was towering over him and talking pretty loudly while we were on a walk at the park.
 

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I think you're doing great. I would just watch his body language and if he seems stressed give him a break or take him home. If he seems ok I'd just let him be and keep doing what you're doing. Can I ask why you are limiting dog play time? Just curious. You want to make sure to socialize him with dogs as well as people. I agree with only using friends dogs bu don't forget that part of it.
 

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We take our 4 month old just about everywhere. She goes to parks, to my kids Lego club every Monday. She's been to our ju-jitsu academy, a huge pet expo, and swimming at the beach with tons of dog friends. She's also had a puppy play date at our house. She loves being around kids and other dogs!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the feed back :)

kwhite30 -
Not really limited play time as in not much of it, but I don't want him around unvaccinated dogs because he only just today received his third set of vaccines. He gets to play nearly daily with a chihuahua mix and a sheltie, and then we take him to visit various relatives dogs and friends dogs probably 3 times a week or so, but I just don't want him being exposed to anyone who may be carrying a communicable disease before his vaccine schedule is over.
 

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Bacchus went everywhere with me. I tried to expose him to all kinds of things. It paid off because he is stable and social no matter where we go now. What helps is if you can remain cool and calm no matter what is going on around you. Meeting lots of people is great for confidence building. Always happy and upbeat. It will pay off in the long run.
 

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Thanks for the feed back :)

kwhite30 -
Not really limited play time as in not much of it, but I don't want him around unvaccinated dogs because he only just today received his third set of vaccines. He gets to play nearly daily with a chihuahua mix and a sheltie, and then we take him to visit various relatives dogs and friends dogs probably 3 times a week or so, but I just don't want him being exposed to anyone who may be carrying a communicable disease before his vaccine schedule is over.
I completely forgot how old he was haha I didn't know he didn't have all his shots yet. Sorry! I did the same thing with Diesel he was only allowed to play with friends dogs that I new were up to date on shots and then probably two weeks after his last round we started branching out some.
 

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Well, personally I don't think you can go overboard with socialization. If he's not had all his shots yet, I would arrange playdates with older dogs who are fully vaccinated. I wouldn't take him to places with lots of dogs yet (or if you do, keep him in a cart or carry him). But I have met a lot of skittish Dobermans and early socialization is really important.

My favorite list of really comprehensive socialization ideas can be found here: Raising K9: Socialization Ideas
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks again for the advice. That list is great MeadowCat, we'll probably be printing it off and trying to do as many as we can. I've been trying to take him just about everywhere I can take him so that he gets exposed to as many different things as possible as positively as possible.

As far as his vaccines, he had his third set yesterday and the green light from the vet so we'll be doing more things like petsmart/petco stuff soon.
 
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