I’m getting a Malinois puppy soon, what do you recommend for socialization with other dogs?
Hi Cindy, I will be getting a Malinois pup soon & have been researching best ways to socialize it with other dogs. I have a another dog already which was heavily socialized with other dogs & has excellent social skills with any size/type of dog (she has even been attacked by a dog as a puppy unprovoked, & never changed/became aggressive in spite of it), but she's too dog focused which I want to avoid this time. I would not expect the pup would not be as forgiving like if attacked.
I read & saw your videos on this and noticed you talk about getting your dog to focus more on you & not letting it play with other dogs. How do you go about the puppy learning social skills with other dogs if avoiding this? I don't have any friends with older/calmer dogs that I know are a good influence so the only dog it would interact with is my RR. I'll be doing IGP with the Mal & plan to train it to a high level, but the information regarding social skills & staying focused on the owner seem conflicting across the internet.
I'd start by recommending the material we offer on Raising a Puppy with Michael Ellis. It covers socialization. it's also almost 7 hours of some of the best info you can find on how to set up a puppy for success, especially if you plan on training for any type of working discipline.
Personally, I don't ever expect any of my dogs to have to interact with dogs I don't know. There are too many reasons to not allow this. We teach neutrality to distractions in our environment through engagement. This includes people, dogs, other animals, places and things.
I train my dogs for protection sport and have for decades and I've never seen the reason to allow my dogs interaction with strange dogs or people. Too many risks without enough benefit.
I do have dogs in my circle of training friends and family that my dogs get to know in a controlled way, but that doesn't mean I automatically cut my puppies loose with other dogs. I'd suggest finding a mentor, maybe in the club or facility you train with, and watch, listen and decide as you go. Another thing to consider is that you have NO idea about the confidence, temperament and personality of your puppy so making a decision on how to handle him or her in these scenarios may change based on that. Some puppies are fixated on other dogs, some are scared, some are indifferent and some vary based on their developmental stages.
Thank you Cindy that's very helpful and I will certainly look at the video you recommend.
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