"We would probably all say socialize her to everyone and everything all the time, but we (I, at least) would not mean meet-and-greet or direct interaction ..... I would mean "expose" so she can see everything and everyone and become used to it all but not be forced to have anyone looming, staring, touching ....."
I'm not a huge fan of the fear periods. Although I admit they do exist,I've never had a pup that went through any I could recognize as such. If they were nervy as a pup they were nervy as an adult.
If this pup was the same way since you've brought her home at 10 - 12 weeks my vote would be bad nerves.
Many weak nerved pups can be brought to a better level of confidence with work."IF" this is just a socialization thing a strong nerved pup would have recovered around the house and outside the house would have been much better also.JMHO!
Are you going to do Schutzhund with her Kenneth? Did your sister in law mention why she thought the barking was good? Does she have experience working dogs or training in anything?
I would LIKE to do some "work" with her...but quite frankly I'm not experienced, I can buy the videos but my attempts to reach out to clubs and trainers in the area that ARE experienced have resulted in no responses.
My sister-in-law doesn't have any kind of serious dog training under her belt and I think she just assumed that the barking was good "protection / defense" type responses from the puppy. On the bright side, she did give me a puppy with a good amount of prey drive out of everything that was available. =) helpful for sure.
Sorry for the ambiguity in the statement "socialize", I probably used it in different contexts when I said it earlier.
my definition should match what yours is...to socialize means to have the dog experience different environment and DOES NOT mean to interact / meet greet / treat with the puppy. I've been doing my best to hold true to this. Nobody outside of my household interacts with the puppy.
I took her for a walk the other day and she seemed a little better, like she might be making some progress...I'll continue down this path with hopes of a good end result.
I would go out and meet a trainer and club, face to face to introduce yourself. Barking at things isnt automaticly a sign of bad nerves. How does she recover? Is she worried about your office door all day? How soon can she relax after something bothers her? We could all be completely wrong about her, but one thing I'll say is I don't think a dog who is completely indifferent to its surroundings will do very well in sport, anymore then a dog that is terrified of it surroundings. Maybe she leans a little in one direction, but that doesnt completely disqualify her.
I would'nt try too hard to apply different things you read about temperament and drives to your dog right away. I'm not talking about peoples replies to you, but just the general descriptions about defense or the infamous fight drive. Prey drive gives the helper a good place to start, after that you'll learn as you work her and see different dogs in training.
Videos are great, but no matter what dog you have, you need a club and a good helper.
She seems to recover pretty well. If she does bark, it's typically only momentarily, but it all depends on the situation. I'll have to pay closer attention to this, being that in most cases the dynamic of the situation changes pretty quickly which results in her changing her attitude. For example, if someone knocks on my door and enters, if she decides she doesn't like that person, she will bark at them, I usually try to encourage her to be quiet but regardless of her response, the party is usually done in my office and moves on quickly...same with when I'm walking her down the street. I will keep a closer eye on this but just guessing on a scale from 1-10 (10 being recovers very quickly), based on what I've seen I'd say 8ish. She doesn't seem terrified of her surroundings to me, I'd just call her a little over-vigilent.
We'll give her time and keep working on it.
As far as the trainer and club...it is my plan to visit a club or two or three and find someone or some people to work with. It's just been that the various people and clubs that I've found that are in my area--I've tried to email them to establish contact and not a single one has bothered to email.
As I was typing this, she heard a sound she didn't like and just gave out a couple random barks and light growls.
What is the ideal way of me responding to her when she does this?
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