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Some of you may know that I adopted Ava last week. She is 2 years old and is very loving. She has not been socialized at all with being tied to a pool table most of the day. Do I socialize her the same way I would socialize a puppy? There's so much that she's not used to that seems to either scare or stress her out. I took her with me to register her with the vet on post and she was nervous even though we were the only ones in there same goes for the pet store. I want to avoid her from becoming reactive so any advice is appreciated. I understand it may take time adjusting to life without pool table but want to do it the correct way.
 

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Yes I'd do it just like a puppy and under her threshold. So if she needs to be 20 ft away from the "scary person/object" at first, start there. You might also teach her something like a simple nose touch to hand that you can ask for to redirect her if she starts to get nervous. I might give her a few weeks at home to adjust first also. Congrats on the new addition.
 
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Reading your dog and not overwhelming her with new stuff is important, but it is also important to encourage bravery and curiosity and not fearfulness. Do not comfort! I strongly suspect that people who worry about having problems have a higher rate of problems than those who expect everything to go well... dogs will fulfill your expectations.
 

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sandy2233
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Obedience classes even to just go and watch. At the rally class I go to on Fridays in Ft. Collins, there is a lady that is involved in Cavalier Rescue and sometimes she just brings the extra dog just so they are getting out and seeing what the world is really about. No pressure and we don't try to do anything to it. If it crawls out from under the chair, who ever is sitting by it will praise and pet but nothing to strong.
 

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we have the same situation here too

Torq was bought as a pup for an 83 yr old gramma and then bought off Craigs list twice in one month. His lunging and barking is from fear and not aggression. I take him to classes and we are behind a barrier and whenever he gets too excited we go down the steps and calm down. It has worked very well for the last 4-5 months, but he has a long ways to go. When kids ride their bikes by that really stresses him so I have an old bike from my grandson and he is getting used to that. Baby steps is all I can say to an unsocialized doberman, isn't it a shame. When he is tired at night he is the sweetest baby I have ever had.
 

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I was told by a trainer I know not to coddle Nexus when she is in a social setting, this was with other dogs, rather than people but it works with people as well. They will, to an extent, work things out on their own, and once they realize that whatever it is that they are confronting is not gong to harm them, they will adjust, and if we coddle them and reassure them with alot of "its okay" and such other things they wont learn to deal with the situation. Once they work through a situation successfully they get praise and possibly a treat. It's taking Nexus a while to learn how to adjust to other dogs, but she is very good with people.
 

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I highly recommend picking up a copy of Leslie McDevitt's book, Control Unleashed. I think you'll find it really helpful.
 
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