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Hi All,

I’ve been starting socialisation with my 9week old girl Freyja and a slightly concerning pattern is emerging: her first reaction on meeting another dog is to run away. She soon works up the courage (<30s) to come back and investigate, then after about 5/10mins is comfortable enough to play and has fun. So far she’s only met very tolerant older dogs (At home) that give her the space she needs when she runs off. What concerns me is that lots of dogs, particularly the playful young ones, when we’re able to go to the park, will probably take her running off as a signal to play and could get into a viscous circle of scared running from dog -> dog then chases&tries to play overwhelming her -> dogs become more frightening.

With she’s people&kids she’s great; pauses and analyses the situation first, without showing any signs of nerves, then calmly goes to say hello. A style I really quite like.

any suggestions for how I can nip this in the bud ? Or am I worrying about nothing and will resolve itself as she builds up her bank of positive experiences with other dogs and gets more confident? (Having only had extremely outgoing dogs before this is new territory for me)

thanks,
David
 

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Give her time.I would let her take it at her own pace.
Nine weeks is still pretty young to meeting strange dogs, especially older ones. In the US, the socialization phase generally starts after all of their puppy shots are complete.
There is nothing at all wrong with having a dog that would rather be with people than other dogs. It can actually be a blessing in disguise.;)
 

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Give her time.I would let her take it at her own pace.
Nine weeks is still pretty young to meeting strange dogs, especially older ones. In the US, the socialization phase generally starts after all of their puppy shots are complete.
There is nothing at all wrong with having a dog that would rather be with people than other dogs. It can actually be a blessing in disguise.;)
Hi,

Yes I think you’re right on the slowing down I could just be starting too early for her. Waiting for shots to be finished would be ideal but with Covid delivery issues at my local vets it is looking likely to miss the critical pre 4 month window so taking the measured risk of having fully vaccinated and healthy dogs round to the garden. I was also keen get started early as I knew Vs had a slight tendency to be shy and as I want to train her as an assistance dog I didn’t want to chance that so probably rushed it a bit hoping to get in there before her first fear period.

Nervousness I expected, it’s the running away that had me concerned, at least with an overly social dog you know where they are running to and controlling over excitement is easier than fear. I’d settle for running to me, though that is her next port of call so we have established some trust. Were we in the park where her first option of her crate isn’t available I’d hope that’s what she’d do but I won’t know that for sure for a while.

In general though I’d agree that preferring people is no bad thing 😊
 

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Give her time.I would let her take it at her own pace.
Nine weeks is still pretty young to meeting strange dogs, especially older ones. In the US, the socialization phase generally starts after all of their puppy shots are complete.
There is nothing at all wrong with having a dog that would rather be with people than other dogs. It can actually be a blessing in disguise.;)
P.S. thank you for responding so quickly 😊
 

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I think the Covid 19 crisis has caused a lot of folks to not be able to socialize their new puppies and dogs as well as they normally might have been able to. It's had an impact on me for certain.
Let her go at her own pace and she'll be fine.
 

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Maui was like this as well at the beginning... He yelped and cowering with tail between legs when meeting new dogs. I thought for a second that he got bit, but it was just fear. The more dogs we met, the better he got. Obviously, if you meet dogs with responsible owners, it’s better.
 

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Maui was like this as well at the beginning... He yelped and cowering with tail between legs when meeting new dogs. I thought for a second that he got bit, but it was just fear. The more dogs we met, the better he got. Obviously, if you meet dogs with responsible owners, it’s better.
Thank-you for your response. She is gradually getting more confident as she finds her feet and didn’t run away from Mia a 9 month V.

Luckily the dog owning community near me is fairly close knit so I know ~90% of the dogs in the parks and which would be best to introduce her to. Got a play date today with a 12week old V that should be a bit more evenly matched for her and help build her confidence more.

The UK’s main guide and police dog training associations are based nearby too and they’ve just released a load of their latest puppy’s to foster homes for initial socialisation so there’ll be plenty of puppies for her to meet.
 
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