I take my dogs to a place for grooming that offers dog socialization. My older dog loves this but I am not comfortable allowing my puppy to interact with these other dogs. The owner of the facility says I am sheltering my puppy & I need to re…
I adopted a puppy at ten weeks, she is now about 4 1/2 month old Aussie mix, smart, driven, and loving. I've worked hard with her on basic training and socialization letting her interact only with dogs that are proven puppy friendly. Here's my dilemma. We take our older lab mastiff mix to get groomed at a place where they offer dog "socialization" (dogs pre screened and vetted). Elvis thrives in these types of places. I am much more cautious with my puppy, because she is a puppy. Today the owner basically told me to "relax and let it happen" when addressing my concerns. He said that I need to sit back, observe and let her go (with supervision). He said be cautious but that I'm too cautious and that I can't keep her sheltered within my fear of how other dogs will react. IF she gets attacked , which is rare he says, then work from there. The moral of his story, is be aware but trust the dogs and let her play and take care of herself (again with supervision). Confused. Thoughts? Thanks.
I completely disagree with the owner that told you this. Attacks are not rare, based on the number of emails I get from puppy owners who were told "adult dogs don't attack puppies" or "my dog is friendly." No one can predict the dynamics between dogs 100%. I prefer not to gamble with my own pup's self esteem.
Personally, I want my dogs to all be comfortable around dogs but not necessarily to look at any dog they see as a playmate. I would NEVER allow my dogs or puppies to participate in one of these socialization groups. It only takes one mistake. Once puppies are attacked they are often forever dog aggressive, regardless of what you have been told.
There is a difference between sheltering a dog and being an informed dog trainer. What I do use opportunities like this for are working on my engagement skills. The foundation of engagement is covered in The Power of Training Dogs with Food.
You can search our website on 'engagement' for examples of this.