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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-09-2013, 07:54 AM Thread Starter
Dana and John
 
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Poor Gibbs

My little buddy had a rough evening yesterday. Gibbs has demonstrated a cautious yet adventurous spirit in any new situation. He will initially stand by me and watch how I react, and when I let him know everything is OK, he adapts and plays. So far, it was worked with thunder, fireworks and my parent's neighbor's big loud dog.

Our trainer suggested we take him to a puppy dog social so he could meet more dogs during his prime socialization period. A local shelter sponsors a puppy play social every other Monday. We took him last night.

We met the nicest big dog, a pure white Shepherd named Shelby. Shelby came over to sniff Gibbs, and he was so scared, his bark became really high pitched. When he and I roughhouse, he has a soft growl or moderate bark, but it left him last night. Two Boston Terrier puppies joined and they and the Shepherd spent the hour playing.

Gibbs, Dana and I watched from the far end and got him interested in the tunnel and ramp. Occasionally the three dogs would make their way over and Gibbs would run up the ramp. He did take to the smaller of the Bostons, but didn't get any one on one time. Evertime the Shepherd would sniff him, Gibbs yelped as if I accidentally stepped on his foot.

Poor little guy. We're going to try the teacup social on Sunday.

John





Last edited by Gibbs Mom and Dad; 07-09-2013 at 10:11 AM. Reason: Changed spelling of Shepard to Shepherd
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-09-2013, 08:08 AM
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Oh, poor Gibbs. Sounds like the big dog was too much for him. Tyler did that when he was a puppy and a Golden approached him in the neighborhood. Although the Golden was a puppy too, he was soooo big to a little Hav. Good luck with the teacup social which would probably be a better fit for him.


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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-09-2013, 09:19 AM
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Roki did the same things when he was small puppy. Even now he is very caucious with bigger dogs. He has a number of big dog friends, but mostly girls (samoyeds are his favourite). When we meet big dog who is simply too big for Roki he uses that high pitched voice to warn me and the other dog that he is poor little doggie!
Ii think it is best to start with dogs closer to Gibbs size. Just couple of months ago woman from my street got little maltese boy. He was so fearful, barking like mad whenever dog of any size approached. She was quite miserable and started to think he will never grow out of that kind of behaviour. Then Roki took the task of teaching this pup not to be so fearful. They played together whenever we met (every day) and little by little that little guy started to grow out od that. Roki is his favourite friend and he is very important to Roki.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-09-2013, 09:27 AM
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How old is Gibbs? Timmy was a really shy puppy especially when we took him to his PuppyK classes. My instincts were to pick him up and tell him everything was going to be okay. Right from the start my trainer told me not to coddle or try to talk to him to comfort him while engaging with the other puppies. He would hide behind me and I would move away. Of course we made sure he was safe and not going to be hurt, but in time he did get much better. I think it's great that you are taking him to puppy socialization events, that's a great thing, but keep in mind that he should be introduced to all dogs both big and small. If you get a chance to take him to classes, or have a friend who has a big, very gentle dog, have Gibbs interact that way too. My neighbor had a Golden who must have weighed close to 80 pounds, we got her and Timmy together almost everyday and within about a week he was climbing all over her. Timmy is a pretty reserved guy with people, but when it comes to dogs he LOVES them. He has good instincts on who is friendly and who isn't, sometimes better better then I do. Keep giving him socialization opportunities, but don't limit them to a particular size, if things are controlled and well organized. Shelly, the Golden who helped socialize him has passed on but they got a new Golden, also named Shelly, and Tim and her are now best buddies even if she's a wild child.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-09-2013, 09:28 AM
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Nessie freaked as a puppy when she met two Newfies. They blew her mind. They were sweet being Newfoundlands but we had to pull Nessie to a different area and let her cling to a gentle Golden. It took a while for her to build her confidence back up.

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-09-2013, 09:57 AM
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I can see how Gibbs was a bit frightened with a Shephard towering over him. Poor Gibbs, he's such a cutie.


Hav to hav a Hav!!!
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-09-2013, 10:03 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jabojenny View Post
How old is Gibbs? Timmy was a really shy puppy especially when we took him to his PuppyK classes. My instincts were to pick him up and tell him everything was going to be okay. Right from the start my trainer told me not to coddle or try to talk to him to comfort him while engaging with the other puppies.
Gibbs is 15 weeks.

I personally felt the trainers were being too protective of Gibbs, but I certainly understood their dilemma and trusted their expertise. They didn't want Gibbs to have a negative experience, and wanted everyone to be at ease.

I would have liked to see if Gibbs would have calmed himself once he realized the Shepherd wasn't a threat. The trainers separated them once Gibbs yelped twice. I'm certainly no expert, but I suspect had they let Gibbs yelp as the Shepherd calmly sniffed his butt and nose, that eventually the Shepherd would have given him one great big slobbery dog kiss and Gibbs would have settled. - Either that, or Gibbs would have snipped and the Shepherd would have eaten him. - just kidding!!!

John





Last edited by Gibbs Mom and Dad; 07-09-2013 at 10:26 AM. Reason: darn spelling - sheperd to shepherd
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-09-2013, 10:22 AM
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Zoey's puppy kindergarten was mostly big dogs. She never really got comfortable.The closest she came to making a friend was with a Bernese Mt dog pup.
I love it a Teacup social!

Maddie at 5mo old
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-09-2013, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Gibbs Mom and Dad View Post
Gibbs is 15 weeks.

I personally felt the trainers were being too protective of Gibbs, but I certainly understood their dilemma and trusted their expertise. They didn't want Gibbs to have a negative experience, and wanted everyone to be at ease.

I would have liked to see if Gibbs would have calmed himself once he realized the Shepherd wasn't a threat. The trainers separated them once Gibbs yelped twice. I'm certainly no expert, but I suspect had they let Gibbs yelp as the Shepherd calmly sniffed his butt and nose, that eventually the Shepherd would have given him one great big slobbery dog kiss and Gibbs would have settled. - Either that, or Gibbs would have snipped and the Shepherd would have eaten him. - just kidding!!!
The reason the trainers separated Gibbs when he yelped was for his own protection, There is a thing called "predatory drift", where even a well socialized dog can drift from play mode to "prey mode" in an instant when another dog, usually a smaller dog) starts acting like prey. (i.e. shrieking, yelping, running away, etc.) the problem in these instances is that it only takes one grab and shake, even if done playfully, to kill the little dog. So they did the right thing.

Unfortunately, 15 weeks is already on the late side for starting dog/dog socialization. This should really start no later than 8 weeks, and be intensive over the following 8 weeks, then continued for the life of the dog. That doesn't mean it's not possible, but you are going to have to work harder, and smarter to get him to the point that he's really comfortable around other dogs, if that is important to you. He may never get to the point that a dog who was socialized early would get.

I would try to find a few large, gentle, adult dogs to introduce him to to start with... adults will give him "puppy license" that large breed pups who are still learning social skills themselves won't. Newfies are a good choice, some older Labs and Goldens, and certain individuals of other breeds. Your trainer might be able to help you get in touch with other clients with dogs like this. Then the owner of the big dog can put their dog in a down, and just let Gibbs get used to the idea that the dog is totally, non-threatening, yet in the same space.

You should NOT force him to interact with the other dog, but should continue to praise him, and if he's not too stressed to take food, give LOTS of food rewards for even being near the other dog. It doesn't matter at all whether they interact at that point. You keep feeding and praising no matter WHAT his response is. Contrary to popular belief, you will NOT be "rewarding" his fear. You will be building an association of "Good things happen when I'm around other dogs." Over time, as he gets more comfortable, the bigger dog can be allowed to wander around freely, and they can be allowed to start to interact with each other, as Gibbs is able to tolerate it.

This system really does work, but most people aren't dedicated enough to finding enough opportunities for their dogs to practice, or think that after a few positive interactions, their job of socialization is over. Dog/dog socialization is never over for the life of the dog, if it's important to you. It's easier to maintain good dog/people social skills once they are established... partly because most dogs HAVE so many more encounters with other people. But it can save a little dog's life if they have really good dog social skills and body language, and it makes it SO much more fun for us to be able to socialize freely with friends with other well-socialized dogs!


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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-09-2013, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
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Zoey's puppy kindergarten was mostly big dogs. She never really got comfortable.The closest she came to making a friend was with a Bernese Mt dog pup.
That's another good, calm, large dog breed. (again, in general... there will always be better and worse individuals)


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