[nagdu] discrimination for service pups intraining./my little rant/puppy fear

Valerie Gibson valandkayla at gmail.com
Tue Sep 9 17:46:13 UTC 2014


I agree not to rush your puppy into things to quickly, but I also believe it depends on the puppy.  Some puppies are just more outgoing and curious about things.  
When I took Zion to walmart, we sat on the benches outside first and said hi to all of the people who passed.  For him, it was just a way he got more free rub downs.  When we went on the train, we sat for five to ten minutes, at random intervals throughout the day, and watched all the people coming on and off.  If he acted as if the noise was too loud, we immediately walked further away and just sat down to watch.  
I wouldn't hold this as a rule of thumb, but usually your pup will gge how scared it should be by your actions.  Zion was scared of the train once when it passed. When we moved away to a point where he was  no longer trying to back away, I sat with him and remained calm.  I didn't reward him for being scared by coddling him. we just moved away, and let that be that.  
Only when he voluntarily walked closer to the train did I follow him.  After realizing that I wasn't scared of the train, it didn't take him long to explore.  
Soon, we were sitting on benches beside the train and watching people get on and off.  When they would comment on him, this only seemed to reinforce the fact that trains meant people would come out and say hi, so they were less frightening.  I always gave him a treat, in the beginning, when a train came by.  
The only fear it took him  a while to get over was the fear of stepping down onto the track.  He didn't mind going down or up a ramp to get across the tracks or onto the train. but he didn't like stepping onto the tracks without using the wheelchair ramp, or getting onto the train without the wheel chair ramp.  Rather than force him, we took the ramp.  We did this until he was about seven or eight months.

Then one day, when the train doors opened, he immediately went up the stairs and onto the train.  I'm sure it helped that, for months, he'd watched my friends's guide dogs do that, and he'd decided to not be afraid.My point is, you really have to look at your puppy, when it comes to fear, from an indevidualistic standpoint.  Because I had a dog that could be dog aggressive if not trained right, I couldn't wait until he'd had all of his shots at 4 months to take him around town.  At the same time, i couldn't rush him into something he was fearful of, so it was a matter of being very in tuned to what your dog is telling you and acting acordingly.
As I've said, a dog will want to please one it respects.  Shoving it into, what it feels, is a dangerous situation from a young age does not instill trust in your leadership capabilities.  
The good thing about goldens, as jessica mentioned before, are that they are adaptable, so you're not hurting your dog by slowing down on socialization just a bit.

Taking your puppy to campus when you don't have class is, in my oppionion, an excellent way to socialize your puppy to campus. It's what I did with Zion when he was almost four months.  When I took Zion to campus, we were actually invited to this student christian association meeting.  So, he got more people to socialize with.

Also keep in mind your region.  Where I live, people are very dog friendly, and not just because a dog is a service dog. people bring their littly toy breeds to class sometimes, and I'm sure they try to pass them off as service dogs but either no one wants to call them out on it (assuming they even could) or no one cares.

On Sep 9, 2014, at 10:45 AM, Julie J. via nagdu <nagdu at nfbnet.org> wrote:

> Last August I had Jetta here for about a week and a half.  She would have been 8-9 weeks old then.  I did lots of socialization and introduction to new things with her.  However we didn’t go into any public places.
> Just in my house she learned about carpet, vinyl flooring, ceramic tile floors, air conditioner vents, other dogs, family members and guests,   to lie quietly in her crate, to eat at set times, to be away from her littermates, not to chew on people, to relieve herself outside, to walk on a leash, and about a million other things.  then we ventured out into the yard where she learned about squirrels, more surfaces including woodchips, gravel, cement, wood and grass of course.  she learned to walk up and down stairs, that cars on the road are okay, that the neighbor dog is friendly, and so on.  then a short walk to the park allowed her the opportunity to walk on open grates, go across a bridge, sniff sand into her nose and so on.
> Puppies this young don’t need to be taken very far from home to be socialized.  they are literally learning everything.  I think taking them into stores and such would be too much and could be scary to them, possibly causing problems.
> Julie
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