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Dr. Ian Dunbar socialization training scares me
  • teddyjamesteddyjames
    Posts: 124
    I was recently diverted from Cesar Millan's puppy books (Don't worry, I didn't take it too seriously and didn't know who else to look at), and am currently reading Before And After Getting Your Puppy by Dr. Ian Dunbar. This book is turning out to be incredibly daunting. I will be moving back to Arizona in May, and getting a puppy hopefully by July. I don't have many social circles there due to the fact I've been in the military the past 4 years, but I'll have plenty of time of income with no job or commitment shortly after getting out to help ensure puppy success. I understand I can carry him around on daily tasks and visit high person traffic (low-dog traffic) areas to hit my "100 positive people mark", but what am I supposed to do for kids? Being a tattooed, 22 year old male marine, I don't think people would think it's normal to see me standing at a playground with a dog hoping kids will pet him. That's probably the fastest way for him to end up in a shelter, due to the fact I'll be in prison forever for being a creepo. Also being a 22 year old male without a massive group of friends waiting for me, I don't think "puppy parties" are the kind of thing that people would look forward to doing. Is it just me or does this task seem completely daunting? Dunbar makes it sound like I'll fail before I have the chance, even if I get him from the #1 Shiba Inu breeder in the world (most breeders I've talked to say they don't want guest visits until puppies are 6 weeks, and I STILL can't get decent responses after months of trying)! Ideas and/or reassurance would be awesome.

    Post edited by sunyata at 2013-06-06 09:12:31
  • ArcticArctic
    Posts: 513
    No worries. I'm a young guy too and I love this book to death but I didn't have any puppy parties or keep count of the people meeting Sansa. Just make sure you take you pup out a lot and socialize extensively, but I wouldn't worry about the specific numbers. Take your pup on errands, walk him to high traffic areas and parks, and anywhere else you can take a dog. People will trip over themselves to pet a Shiba puppy, trust me, so don't sorry about that.

    I did all I could and Sansa loves everyone but she admittedly hasn't been around too many kids since I don't really know any. Ideal? Perhaps not, but like you said I'm not about to go to a playground and have people pet her. Most people don't like their kids being around strange dogs anyway.

    So don't worry about the math, but rest assured this is a great book that will set you up for success if you follow it. I particularly like his potty training schedule and his "feed all meals out of a kong" method that goes along with measuring out your pup's daily kibble in a bad so as not to overfeed and using it in kongs and for training throughout the day. Worked very well for me.
  • LosechLosech
    Posts: 2516
    Post edited by Losech at 2013-03-28 17:03:48
  • teddyjamesteddyjames
    Posts: 124
    Great tips, thanks. He's just making it out to sound like if I get 99 people at 12 weeks instead of 100, puppy will just keel over and die. I know the numbers are just that (numbers), but the book is very doom and gloomy to me! I'm very sociable and it'll be great for the both of us to meet new people haha. The one thing I'm not understanding is the every hour potty break. Is that standard? I'm assuming one or two wake ups in the middle of the night will still suffice though right?
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    The every hour potty break is because young puppies can't hold it that long. And the more often you take them out, the less chance they will have an accident. Also its a good way to get use to their schedule and figure out what works for them.

    In regards to the middle of the night...once or twice sounds normal. Although my shiba slept through the night....:)

    If you want to socialize your dog more with people, try having lunch outside where there is "moderate" traffic. A lot of people won't hesistate to come up and ask to pet your adorable puppy!
  • ArcticArctic
    Posts: 513
    As @Bootz said, every hour during waking hours is going to be what you're going to want to so at first. During sleeping hours, you're looking at once or twice. I got lucky. My pup I got at 8 weeks slept through the night by 10 or 11 weeks. By through the night I mean I'd take her out at 10:30 11ish and she'd hold it until 6 or 6:30.
  • ShibaLoveShibaLove
    Posts: 554
    That book is great and you should follow it as much as possible but don't stress too much. I rescued a 6 month old and obviously was not around to know whether she met even 50 people by 12 weeks and I am not doomed, just a little more challenged.

    Another place that I find is great for socialization is bringing the pups to Lowes or Home Depot. They allow dogs but there aren't so many as if you went to PetsMart. As a guy you wouldn't seem like a creeper hanging at the hardware store and as people have said before EVERYONE (even those bored kids dragged in by their parents) will be wanting to pet your puppy.

    *Edit: Wanted to add that in Dallas (so maybe other cities as well) there are many restaurants and bars that allow dogs on the patio. Took my young one the other day and had at least 15-20 people (but not kids) loving on her. This might also help you out with increasing your social pool. Good luck (-:
    Post edited by ShibaLove at 2013-03-28 17:56:29
  • GatsuGatsu
    Posts: 651
    I regret not taking the time to socialize guts with children. He has growled at a couple of kids now, and has bitten my little niece. Thing was all the interaction Guts has had with kids, has been bad! My cousins and nephews/nieces are bad little kids. So now Guts thinks all kids are bad.
  • Although I'm not a male nor a marine, I found the best place to introduce your puppy to kids is at any pet shop. I went in there so often with my shiba when I first got her that the workers knew me by name. And once I explained what I was trying to do, they were more than happy to let me wander the isles and now and then even helped with bringing kids over. 1) kids will love the fox that walks on a leash and 2) in areas where shibas aren't so popular (like a lab) pet store workers are usually excited to meet new breeds and help new owners.
  • lucylulucylu
    Posts: 500
    Are there any festivals by you? Milwaukee has a ton of summer festivals and I took my pup to every one. Your easily able to introduce them to hundreds of different types of people. The best part is you can sit with a beer and they all come up to you asking where you got your "fox"
  • HanakoHanako
    Posts: 110

    if you can find a clean place, it is one of the best things you can do for your puppy in my opinion.

    Hanako was attending puppy socials at 12-14 weeks old and I believe that is one of the reasons she LOVES meeting new dogs

    yelp might be a good source for finding places that hold them, that's how I found mine
  • Koji's momKoji's mom
    Posts: 632
    Ditto with @Shibamistress, we have a couple of parks in our area where they will have soccer practice, with several games going on at once...You don't need to wade into the crowd of people, we would walk the perimeter and Koji is used to tons of screaming people and of course the people on the edge who noticed us came up to us...

    We also have an indoor/outdoor mall that we cirlce around still - they have outdoor seating and dogs are allowed, can get coffee or just walk through..Shiba puppies are magnets...Lots of people have tattoos these days :) just try to keep people away from a Shiba pup...

    Also, as I said in other thread, don't stress on Dunbars doom and gloom tone, that is for thick headed people so they get it...just do your best, take it all in and have fun with your puppy...

    Get into a puppy kindergarten class right away - it's the best...I splurged and did two so K went twice a week...Check with your local Humane society for events, hikes, and classes...
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
  • EmiChanEmiChan
    Posts: 35
    @teddyjames - you'll be fine. My partner and I are both Air force and young guys (and tattooed) and our Shibas are getting their socialization. ;) I'm fortunate to be in Los Angeles; so every walk she meets new people. I've probably passed the Dunbar recommendations in terms of new faces and new dogs from being here. My partner is stationed out at DM in Tucson. I can tell you there are at least three military shiba owners in Tucson! Our two pups (mine at 3 months, his at 6 years) and there's a dentist at DM with a 2 year old shiba as well.

    Depending on where you are in AZ, we can give you good tips on socializing in Tucson or Pheonix and good dog parks or walking areas we know. :) I can say my local friend group isn't real big, I'm not very extroverted, but I've made some new best friends in the month I've had Emi! Shibas do wonders for your social life. I think I'VE had to learn 2-3 dozen new names (I'm TERRIBLE with names).

    EDIT: Just read your intro thread. So yes, you shouldn't have trouble socializing a Shiba in Tucson.
    Post edited by EmiChan at 2013-03-29 01:50:58
  • XabiXabi
    Posts: 432
  • As an older heavily tattooed biker I have found that most people that we come in contact with will ignore my appearance to ask me about the ted fox that is with me...children love her and she has never met a stranger
  • GrayJJGrayJJ
    Posts: 67
    I haven't counted the amount of people, but I did take Grayson to a puppy class to start the socializing with other dogs/training. I was also advised by dog owner friends to take your dog everywhere possible I.e. festivals, busy streets, stores, etc.
    Unfortunately, I don't live in the best dog friendly neighborhood so going indoors was limited to pet smart (which frankly isn't that fun). I did find that walking past strip malls, changing locations where I walk really did help. We could then experience different traffic flow and smells, etc. Just give it a try and stay calm keeping your dog under control.

    And yes, Grayson is now very social with both humans and animals! Good luck :)
  • Local green markets, book stores, wine shops (always peek your head in and ask first, but as a rule I've found book and wine shops particularly amenable) are a good place. Just do lots of walking and ask. You'd be surprised at the number of places that allow well behaved dogs if you ask. A lot of clothing shops will too (though they more often require that you carry your dog) as will interior decor places. Outdoor cafes are great too. Check your local bars too (if you drink), some have a dog friendly policy during the week, when it's not super crowded.
  • PollyPolly
    Posts: 10
  • teddyjamesteddyjames
    Posts: 124
    Thanks for all the ideas everyone! I've far surpassed the socialization goals in the book with these ideas! The fact he's very goofy, outgoing, and pretty looking has made it incredibly easy. Hes met groups of ten or more people at once, a lot of kids (I hold him, and kids who look under 12 can only pet if parents are there).
    @Polly I'm glad i was able to well surpass the 100 people marker, but the dog one has been difficult. Im a bit hesitant to bring him to dog parks due to stories like that, and he's still learning manners with other dogs
  • Koji's momKoji's mom
    Posts: 632
    @Teddyjames - I think you should be cautious of dog parks..I know some people love them - but I won't go...I've said this elsewhere, but my vet told me he sees about 1 dog a week that has an injury from the dog park...he's one vet of many so the math doesn't add up for my risk tolerance... :)

    I have found we can meet many dogs at regular parks- where there are lots of people...we have a couple close to our house where there are runners, walkers and lots of people walking their dogs...they are on leash, so you can ask people "is it ok for our dogs to say hello? and is your dog friendly? etc...

    I use a long line and when Koji was younger he met many dogs this way and was able to run around on the long line...we now know so many people in the neighborhood and our walks are social hour...
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
  • teddyjamesteddyjames
    Posts: 124
    Good suggestions! Ive started walking him at regular parks, and have found it very helpful to meet other well socialized dogs. People just tend to tense up or back off when the dogs start to play, or when Apollo is about to get corrected for being a brat. @saya I take him to a nice pet friendly outdoor mall every weekend. Once I was approached by a group of 7 women (thanks Apollo! ;).) And the only issue he had with it was picking who to lick first. He's impossible to overwhelm, loves big, small, medium dogs, etc. He's definitely too "in your face" for older or more laid back dogs, but hopefully he'll learn and grow from gettin his butt kicked by the dogs for it
  • PollyPolly
    Posts: 10
    Well, you're sure getting a lot of good info. You're right that socializing with other dogs isn't too easy sometimes... I am very careful of Kitsu because, altho very friendly, he is sometimes aggressive with other male dogs or with dogs that run up to him and bark... The idea of walking him on a long lead and letting him meet other dogs on leash is a good. In Phoenix, the County Health Dept rules prohibit dogs from being inside businesses that serve food but there are a number of places that have outdoor patio areas where dogs are allowed. AJ's markets around the Valley all have (I think) them and usually with ceiling fans and misters in this hot weather.
  • LemonChickenLemonChicken
    Posts: 184

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