Frustrations with a dog shelter

If you are wondering what is the right dog for you, this is the place to be. In this introductory forum we talk about topics such as breed vs. mix, size, age, grooming, breeders, shelters, rescues as well as requirements for exercise, space and care. No question is too silly here. This particular forum is for getting and giving helpful, nice advice. It is definitely not a forum for criticizing someone else's opinion, knowledge or advice. This forum is all about tail wagging and learning.

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Woo-woo- whineybutt
Barked: Sat Sep 21, '13 11:54pm PST 
Socialization windows certainly do exist (if done correctly).
Socialization is done to bring the fullest potential out of the pup-- I'm sure you've met dogs that have never been socialized and they were amazing regardless.. but if they had the added exposure as a pup they (could) be 10x as amazing.

I personally feel like this important stage of their puppy life is 10 weeks to 20 weeks. At 8 weeks old they can begin being introduced to things, but I do not think it has as big of an impact as between 10 - 20 weeks, which is when they are the mouthiest and actually learning their bodies and surroundings.

An important thing to remember is that puppies are puppies.. They tire and get bored easily. Although socialization is good, too much can be bad.. When puppies are tired they are cranky, they feel they are losing control of everything around them and are essentially flooded by stimulus. This turns what was once a positive experience into a negative one and can cause your pup to react badly if you continue to flood them.

Also remember that each minute is just another minute closer to something bad happening. I remember when Nare was a pup.. We would be at the dog park for hours, I thought I was 'socializing' him. But he would be tired and then other dogs would pick on him because he was tired and couldn't play back.. so although he got to play for a long time and have fun, it was ended with a negative experience. One step forward and two steps back.

With saying that, stop while you're ahead . Lingering and hanging around is never a good idea for the potential of something negative happening.. Keep things short (10 - 20 minutes), but frequent, allowing rest. Be aware of your surroundings..

Oh yeah, and have fun. that is the #1 rule with puppies. laugh out loud

Is that for me??
Barked: Sun Sep 22, '13 2:48pm PST 
Thank you for the explanation and for being considerate of your aging parents. I hope the puppy works out for you.

Best goat herder- around!!!
Barked: Mon Sep 30, '13 3:13pm PST 
I can understand your frustration. Just remember you're talking to volunteers and they can't be there all the time. I'm sure they are doing their best and if they've been working in rescue for very long, they've learned that sometimes you have to pick your battles and take a break even though an adopter or two my get behind a week. Just keep in touch with them and you'll be taking home a beautiful pup in no time.

I don't think too much of the socialization window. I'm sure it exists, but the perfect dog isn't always an 8-12 week old puppy. Most dogs will be great regardless and with good training. The shelter staff will know the dogs the best and will be able to tell you whether the dog will be right for you or not. I'd suggest bringing your parents to the shelter with you to meet the pup before adopting.

Good luck!

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