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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-12-2011, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
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Socialization Questions...

Hello all!

Tillie was in a puppy class when she was younger and she will nicely "greet" other NICE, non-aggressive dogs on walks, but she hasn't had much of a chance to play off leash with other dogs.
I took her last week to a friends who has a beagle/bassett hound mix and they did pretty good after awhile, but never really relaxed around each other. We are planning on getting together once a week for an hour or so to help both of them get used to being around another dog. is this the right approach?
Also, today I took her over to my best friends house. They have a 15 month old Lab/Golden retriever mix. She is VERY submissive and gentle (they have 4 YOUNG girls) and Tillie was never in any danger. But of course, I know that she doesn't KNOW she isn't in any danger. We have gone over countless times with Tillie in the x-pen, but this was the first time we let them interact face to face. Poor girl, Tillie would cry like she was in pain every time Mallie (lab/golden) came near her and bare her teeth. Mallie would lay, hind legs out behind her, belly down, rear end waggin! She just wanted to PLAY with Tillie! I would give them treats when they were being nice. Am i pushing Tille to much to be around other dogs? I watched her for stress signals, her tail was tucked under her body most of the time, and she was panting, but no yawning or hiding. She stood her ground.
Any advice would be great, want to make sure I am doing this right!
One thing I do know is that Tillie is TIRED. LOL she is conked out!!

Tammy and Tillie
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-12-2011, 04:28 PM
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I would think,little and often,always making sure she has a positive experience.Slowly but surely.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-12-2011, 04:35 PM
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Gracie has some socialization issues too, although not the same as you're mentioning. She used to be afraid or stand-offish, and she's still not always comfortable around bigger dogs, but now she's mostly over-excited around other dogs.

Anyways, I don't think you're pushing her too far. You need to push her a little bit, so she can get over her fears, and it sounds like you're doing it in a great environment. The only way you can really get through socialization issues is to just keep exposing them to as many different situations as possible. And if you know the dogs aren't going to hurt her, that's great. It should help get rid of any anxiety on your part that Tillie might feed off of.

And I think the tired thing is mental. I can take Gracie on a really long walk, run with her, bounce around and play, and she'll still have energy when we get home. But if I have her in a situation where she's out of her comfort zone for just a little while, she'll be totally conked out.

Keep at it!
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-12-2011, 04:39 PM
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I think you are doing it exactly right. Let her warm up at her own pace with safe dogs and each time she will get more comfortable.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-12-2011, 04:44 PM
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I think you're doing fine just as long as you keep the sessions really short. The first time we spent a weekend with Dale & Cicero it took Abby a few hours before she started feeling comfortable and then they played the rest of the weekend! A year later when we went to visit she seemed to remember him and they started in playing right from the beginning!

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-12-2011, 07:29 PM
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I'm a big dog person (over 100lbs usually) till I got my 1/2 hav Ollie, and what I've noticed, is that the little guys, they like to play with dogs their own size.

So Ollie's got girlfriends about his size and they play play play... two of his gf's are almost identical in size. and while they (gfs) might greet ok with other dogs (bigger), they don't play with said bigger dogs. only Ollie (same size as them). I've noticed this in puppy class as well. pups the same size tend to gravitate to each other.

I own two big dogs, and Ollie loves playing with them too, but he's been about them since he was a pup.

I've also noticed with Ollie, while I've socialized the crap out of him, he doesn't necessarily want to play hard with every dog he meets. just some of them. and since I have 3 dogs, Ollie is used to 3 ways really, both my big dogs would rather play with Ollie than each other... so funny.

I think if you can find a dog your dog's size, they play time might go a little easier. just my humble opinion.

good luck.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-12-2011, 10:27 PM Thread Starter
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YES, i totally agree with them wanting to play with someone their size!!
Problem is we don't KNOW anyone with small dogs!
I've met some in Pet Smart and exchanged numbers, but when I call they never want to get together.
We are really looking forward to the playdate in Tracy next month, but once a year isn't enough for her to play with her own kind!! I wish she had friends nearby... no one even KNOWS what a Hav IS around here!

Tammy and Tillie
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 12:01 AM
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Does your town have a dog park? or a doggie day care? The sisters only like to play with other dogs once they get to know them. I have been taking Zoey to 2 classes a week for over a month and before that puppy class for 6 weeks she is just starting to want to play . I took her to a grooming seminar with about 15 other Havanese about 2 mo ago and she just wanted to stay on my lap.
I know its hard with family and all and classes can be expensive but have you thought about the next level of classes? Or maybe training her to be a companion dog?

Maddie at 5mo old
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 09:26 AM
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We have the same problem here except no dogs at all to play with. You know how we solved out problem? McGee!!! I can't believe how much they love each other and play non-stop until naptime and then start all over again. Of course, you know getting a new puppy is not for the faint-hearted - I am worn out!

Kathie, Abby & McGee's Mom
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 10:26 AM
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I have the same issue with Oliver. We've brought him over to 2 friends of ours, one has a miniature schnauzer and one has a goldendoodle. He's playing better with the miniature schanuzer, but at the beginning, it was them chasing each other around the house and Oliver trying to mount her (he was neutered already). With the goldendoodle, we have to watch more carefully because it inevitably winds up with them fighting (can't tell if its fake or real)and Oliver put on his back. I would think that he would know not to play rough with Charlie, but he keeps going back and getting his butt kicked again and again. We break it up before anything serious happens because Charlie is more than twice Oliver's size. I'm a little concerned because we've rented a beach house for memorial day weekend with Charlie and his family. Hopefully they will get the aggression out of their system and play nicely.

Oliver Twist!
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