Vaccinations vs. Socialization?

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by Whisper, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    What you're talking about may be like my own GSD pup. He was raised in kennels, but that doesn't mean they are isolated from human contact. Someone probably feeds them, plays with them a little, they see other dogs and people coming and going. The breeder I got my pup from would bring in a puppy or two into the house for a while. Someone was always holding a puppy. So, they were somewhat socialized. Then I did the rest when I brought him home. He was a lovely, stable dog and actually, more outgoing than a GSD typically is with friendly strangers. As a dog behavior consultant/trainer, I have come across a fair number of dogs I felt had been denied ample socialization. They all had some kind of issue...either fearfulness to one degree or another, a lack of that bouce-back after being startled and some were those tentative biters you see sometimes. So, when we use the concept of socialization or the lack thereof, maybe we're identifying it differently. (?)

    Here is the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior's statement regarding socialization.

    http://www.avsabonline.org/avsabonline/images/stories/Position_Statements/puppy socialization.pdf
     
  2. Equinox

    Equinox Active Member

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    Oh goodness, yes, the dogs definitely had human and animal interaction, they definitely weren't weaned and raised in a black box!! So you are right, "unsocialized" is inaccurate terminology on my part... I might be thinking more about critical periods and dogs reacting to situations, people, and environments they had not been introduced to before. I equated socialization with going out of your way to expose the puppy to everything past basic human handling and maybe a dog or two. My mistake :)
     
  3. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    Here is a pretty detailed explanation as to how this early window works with all aniamls: Not only is this stuff interesting, I think it will be helpful to you Whisper.;) Equinox, I think puppies with just a little better situation than a black box will still be not very well suited for life. And this and the following link will explain better than I can. I have trouble wording things very well sometimes.:eek:

    http://www.apbc.org.uk/articles/puppysocialisation1


    Here is something I posted a long time ago. It's well explained about why it is necessary for the survival for animals to have this critical socialization period and how it all works...why it is indeed vitally important to socialize your puppy and do it well. There are ideas of how to go about it too.


    http://www.chazhound.com/forums/showthread.php?t=117407
     
  4. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

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    Equinox is right, I feel about base genetics. You can socialize the crap out of some dogs and still have them be fearful, aggressive, ect. I've seen it plenty. On the other hand I've also seen puppies like that who were socialized extensively and "gotten over" those basic instincts. But is that genetics or training? How would the dog react when pushed past the point of flight and forced to fight or give up? This becomes another nature vs nurture debate.

    Knox was a kennel dog. Socialized very basically. Had been all of two or three places his entire life. He'd met a lot of people, of course, because people tend to come and go when you own a training/boarding facility. He'd been only allowed to interact with females aside from his littermates and had only the bare bones of training done. Meaning he sort of walked on a leash and he knew where to use the toilet.

    But I got him at 14 months old and he's been everywhere since day one. I've never ever had an ounce of fearfulness from him, never anything but try, even though he'd never had to work for anything in his life. And i feel like that's a great great tribute to his core genetics and temperament.
     
  5. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    I think socializing can make a less than rock solid dog, far more solid. The problem is when they are ittle puppies you don't know. Wash was a rock solid puppy, and he grew into a less than rock solid adult (doesnt' like strange people, only JRT pup I have had that isn't good with strangers.. BTW this is in no way indicating she did anything wrong, or not good enough with him. I think she has done very well with what he has turned out to be) He likely would be a basket case though if he had grown up with little socialization.

    So I think a rock solid dog will still be rock solid. BUT you won't know that until its too late. Better safe that sorry...
     
  6. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    I think you need to read those links I posted because you're missing my point I think. There is associative learning and there is imprinting. Of course, there are various kinds of temperaments and some dogs needing more experiences than others. That's already been mentioned. What we're talking about is whether to keep a puppy locked up until he has all his vaccinations. I stand by what I have always said and that is that it is a big risk to keep a puppy isolated or just inside one's propery, never seeing other dogs (dogs do not recognize their own species at birth) or other new things during their critical socialization period. A big risk. Is every single individual dog going to be screwed up? Probably not. But a majority of them will.

    I think you should at least skim those two things I posted. It is a fact of nature, not an opinion about the process of socialization, imprinting and associative learning, which too, is divided into two sub catagories. I'll debate any day, issues that are a matter of opinion. But it's silly to debate things which are a matter of fact. And if you're debating something that isn't what the other person means, like some dogs have better temperaments than others, then that doesn't work either. LOL.:rofl1:
     
  7. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    And too, socialization wears off. It must continue to some degree for the life of the dog to be effective.
     
  8. Whisper

    Whisper Kaleidoscopic Eye

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    Oh, I agree about genetics and its importance in temperament, though that's not to say I don't think socialization is important. So far Fable has an ideal temperament for a GSD pup- bold, very oriented towards me, confident, curious, frighteningly intelligent- and um, yes, a bit pushy and loud, lol. Being from an oops litter and dumped at a shelter, though, I can't rely as much on genetics as I could if she came from a great breeder.
    Her appointment got rescheduled (twice :rolleyes:), but when she does get another round of puppy shots I'll start the next step of "safe" socializing. Sadly, the general neighborhood is not a place I consider all that safe. No illness outbreaks I know of, but everybody and their mother lets their dog run without any supervision whatsoever. Just 2 days ago I opened my front door to see an ACD (mix?) sitting on my doorstep. The only surprise about it was that the dog actually had a collar and tag on so I could call the owners.
     
  9. Bailey08

    Bailey08 New Member

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    I try not to worry too very much and socialize, socialize, socialize. I don't take unreasonable risks, though, and I live in an area where I can be fairly confident that the dogs Grace meets are vaccinated, and where parvo incidents are low.

    I do agree with others though that at some level dogs are who they are. Bailey was socialized up the wazoo (and lived in a highrise in the middle of a city -- he saw and heard everything) and is still an anxious dog who has developed mild noise phobia. Grace will grow up in a quieter area (still in a city) and will be more stable and confident as an adult (knock wood).
     

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