Does socialization mask behavioral sensitivities?

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Postby TinaMartin » January 17th, 2011, 12:22 pm

For some reason it dropped what I put at the bottom. I have to say one of the things I loved about working with Sis is who she is as a person with me on mutual forums and who she is when placing a pup are 2 different things. She sent me through the ringer! Loved every minute of it.
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Postby SisMorphine » January 17th, 2011, 12:37 pm

furever_pit wrote:I have seen way too many nice, strong, confident dogs come out of situations where the breeder didn't go above and beyond to expose them to everything under the sun. ALL puppies will get a certain amount of socialization simply because of where they are housed and needing to be led outside to go to the bathroom. Certainly they will wander around outside and climb on things, go under things, etc etc. To me that is "normal".

On the other hand, I have seen people put a litter of pups in a shed and turn on strobe lights, shake clatter sticks, push hula hoops with caution tape on it around. Then there are those who start turning puppies upside down and whichever way before the dog's eyes are even open. I mean seriously? I just don't think it is necessary.

I think that some of the methods may be a little much at times with the socialization during puppyhood, but I still don't see where it could mask the dog's true temperament. Especially if you combine an honest and knowledgeable breeder who is paying attention to how the dogs are developing and the information that Tiva posted (all scientific-like LOL).

I still don't know why y'all are hung up on presuming that I don't trust my breeder.

I'm not presuming that. I use a general "you".
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Postby TheRedQueen » January 17th, 2011, 1:39 pm

furever_pit wrote:I still don't know why y'all are hung up on presuming that I don't trust my breeder. My conversations with him prior to going to get the pup, and while we were evaluating the dogs, has literally nothing to do with the socialization debate. I knew about the pups before I got up there, and I knew he had picked out two that he thought would be a good match for me and for his program. Did it play a part in my final decision? Absolutely. But in the end it was my decision.



Never said anything of the sort, so don't include me in the "y'all". I honestly don't give a crap about your relationship with your breeder, if you want to know. ;)
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Postby mnp13 » January 17th, 2011, 1:57 pm

furever_pit wrote:I still don't know why y'all are hung up on presuming that I don't trust my breeder. My conversations with him prior to going to get the pup, and while we were evaluating the dogs, has literally nothing to do with the socialization debate. I knew about the pups before I got up there, and I knew he had picked out two that he thought would be a good match for me and for his program. Did it play a part in my final decision? Absolutely. But in the end it was my decision.


My posts are usually "general you" however, your posts in this thread seemed to be "saying" that you felt that nothing should be done with the puppies until you were there to evaluate them, so that you could see their first reaction to things. And my response to that was that puppy socialization starts at birth, and unless you are at the breeder's daily, expecting basically nothing to be done until you do it is unrealistic with a responsible breeder raising the puppies.

Am I talking about strobe lights and hula hoops and clatter sticks? No. I'm talking about sudden loud noises (happens in every environment, everywhere) I'm talking about weird flooring (again, that's universal), general handling (universal), etc. And quite frankly, any breeder who doesn't bother with this basic stuff is not someone I would even consider getting a dog from.

Sure, a lot of things will come out on their own - good and bad, but a lot of problems can be caused. And I don't believe that temperament is all about the parents, and it's much easier to ruin a dog by mishandling than to make one "good" by mistake.

And quite frankly, I don't want a puppy that has never been in a vehicle to have it's first experience be the ride to the airport and sitting in a plane. Because, sure, it might come through with flying colors, or it might not feel well at the beginning of the trip then associate being sick with the entire experience. Now you have a dog that refuses to get in vehicles. Is that "genetic temperament"? No. It's taught, and even amazingly strong dogs don't get over some things that are caused by environment. However, a little prevention would probably have saved a lot of headache.

I knew about the pups before I got up there, and I knew he had picked out two that he thought would be a good match for me and for his program.

You're talking both sides of the discussion. Either you want to see the "first time the puppies experience xyz" or you don't. Because if your breeder can pick out a puppy that has never been exposed to anything other than walking from the puppy pen to outside and back and wandering around the house a little, then I'd love to know the magic in that. He had likely picked out those two puppies based on seeing them react to sudden loud noises, slick floors, etc etc etc etc etc.
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Postby TinaMartin » January 17th, 2011, 4:41 pm

furever_pit wrote: My desire to see a pup in its raw form is not about me not trusting a breeder. It is about me wanting to see the genetics being represented in the dog, not the effects of socialization.

Whether or not you think a breeder who is not going *above and beyond* to do these kinds of socialization exercises with their pups is a good breeder is really of no consequence to me. I have seen enough very nice dogs that don't go through this type of exercise to know that a truly good dog doesn't need it.

Does this mean that I would not consider getting a puppy from someone who does all these socialization exercises? No, because that would be silly.

furever_pit wrote:I actually have no problem getting puppies sight unseen. There are two planned litters I am looking at for late 2011 or 2012 that I would not go see. I would lay eyes on the pups for the first time when I picked them up at the airport after they had been shipped in cargo. Now talk about a good test for a pup!
This kind of has me confused on one hand you have said that you want to see a pups firsts on the other that you are fine with getting a pup sight unseen and taking the breeders word for it. Can you clarify for me?
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Postby furever_pit » January 17th, 2011, 6:14 pm

TinaMartin wrote:This kind of has me confused on one hand you have said that you want to see a pups firsts on the other that you are fine with getting a pup sight unseen and taking the breeders word for it. Can you clarify for me?


Would I prefer to go evaluate every litter I get a pup from? Well yes. If for no other reason to see the the rest of the kennel and to have the opportunity to work some of those dogs myself. Additionally, I think it is a good learning experience. However, that is not always possible. I'm not going to go to Europe for a day to pick a puppy. haha. The breeders I consider are pretty proven. They know full well what they are doing.
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Postby furever_pit » January 17th, 2011, 6:20 pm

Honestly, I'm just gonna agree to disagree with you guys.

I just don't think that a truly good dog *needs* to be crazy socialized. I've seen enough to prove that to me.
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Postby amazincc » January 17th, 2011, 6:21 pm

furever_pit wrote: The breeders I consider are pretty proven. They know full well what they are doing.



So... what happened in Gators case?
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Postby furever_pit » January 17th, 2011, 6:32 pm

Gator was an outcross.
An outcross is even more of a crap shoot than a tighter breeding.

Gator was also the first dog I bought. Live and learn...and I have.
I have seen A LOT of dogs since then and I have worked A LOT of dogs since then.
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Postby amazincc » January 17th, 2011, 6:39 pm

furever_pit wrote:Gator was an outcross.
An outcross is even more of a crap shoot than a tighter breeding.

Gator was also the first dog I bought. Live and learn...and I have.


What is an outcross? I'm not a "working dog" person, so most of the time I have NO idea what you're talking about unless you explain it in "regular people" terms. :wink:

And, literally, what happened to Gator? I miss seeing his goofy little face around here.
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Postby TheRedQueen » January 17th, 2011, 6:52 pm

furever_pit wrote:Honestly, I'm just gonna agree to disagree with you guys.

I just don't think that a truly good dog *needs* to be crazy socialized. I've seen enough to prove that to me.


Disagreeing is fine...being snide about it is not.

If a truly good dog doesn't need to be crazy socialized, what about the not-so-good dogs in that litter?
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Postby furever_pit » January 17th, 2011, 7:03 pm

In what litter?
Cairo's litter?

They are all in working homes and I have not heard anyone complain about any sensitivities, environmental or otherwise.
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Postby TinaMartin » January 17th, 2011, 7:07 pm

And I have never heard of a perfect litter. There are always those that don't do as well or someone is lying
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Postby TheRedQueen » January 17th, 2011, 7:12 pm

furever_pit wrote:In what litter?
Cairo's litter?

They are all in working homes and I have not heard anyone complain about any sensitivities, environmental or otherwise.


I'm not talking specifics...if I did, I'd say "Cairo's litter". I'm talking in general...a litter that is un-socialized heavily as young puppies...what happens with those puppies that aren't fantastic working dogs. As Tina said there are no perfect litters.
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Postby mnp13 » January 17th, 2011, 7:20 pm

amazincc wrote:
furever_pit wrote:Gator was an outcross.
An outcross is even more of a crap shoot than a tighter breeding.

Gator was also the first dog I bought. Live and learn...and I have.


What is an outcross? I'm not a "working dog" person, so most of the time I have NO idea what you're talking about unless you explain it in "regular people" terms. :wink:

And, literally, what happened to Gator? I miss seeing his goofy little face around here.


There's a great quote from a Pit Bull breeder that I read on a different board - "if you think breeding is a crap shoot, you should shoot the crap you breed." (I don't necessarily completely agree with the statement, but he has a point.)

Even outcrosses should be planned. And again you either trust your breeder or you don't. Someone evaluated Gator, and didn't do it right or didn't tell you the truth, or didn't bother to see if he had noise issues, or something.

Christine, an "outcross" is when you add a dog from a different line (sometimes a different breed) into a more established line. When lines are bred tight litters are more predictable, however, when all the homework is done there shouldn't be an amazing surprise. YES, there CAN be a surprise, there are always anomalies, things happen.
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Postby mnp13 » January 17th, 2011, 7:22 pm

furever_pit wrote:In what litter?
Cairo's litter?

They are all in working homes and I have not heard anyone complain about any sensitivities, environmental or otherwise.


I'm not speaking for Erin, but I think she meant any litter.
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Postby furever_pit » January 17th, 2011, 7:31 pm

TheRedQueen wrote:I'm not talking specifics...if I did, I'd say "Cairo's litter". I'm talking in general...a litter that is un-socialized heavily as young puppies...what happens with those puppies that aren't fantastic working dogs. As Tina said there are no perfect litters.


Depends on the breeder. Depends on the new owner.
But you can get dogs that aren't fantastic workers out of litters that are heavily socialized as young pups.
I'll use Gator as an example (even though he was not "heavily un-socialized" before I got him). I neutered him and placed him in a pet home.

I personally would not refer to a lack of a comprehensive puppy socialization as being proof that the pups are "heavily unsocialized". There is some degree of socialization that happens as a part of life. You hear things, you see things, you walk on things, you explore things. You go to the vet - after all pups come with shots and microchips right. People come around (unless the breeder is a hermit). That is normal, that is life.

Going above and beyond that to create comprehensive puppy socialization programs is what I think is unnecessary.
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Postby furever_pit » January 17th, 2011, 7:35 pm

mnp13 wrote:Even outcrosses should be planned. And again you either trust your breeder or you don't. Someone evaluated Gator, and didn't do it right or didn't tell you the truth, or didn't bother to see if he had noise issues, or something.


Yes, I know.

But he still proves a point to me. Sensitivities are sensitivities. Doesn't matter what you do to try and get the dog through it - they will resurface under pressure.
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Postby mnp13 » January 17th, 2011, 7:37 pm

furever_pit wrote:I just don't think that a truly good dog *needs* to be crazy socialized. I've seen enough to prove that to me.


And again... what is crazy socialized??

Loud noises, strange flooring, a little adversity... how is that "crazy"??

It is very well known that puppies have fear stages. Their brain falls out their ear and all of a sudden the couch is a mortal enemy bent on the destruction of that puppy and all it knows. So... if you do your "don't do anything with the dog until I see it" evaluation and it happens to be in a fear stage, how would you know? The next week, that same puppy could be ready to take on a suited decoy... and the week before might have been the same. The ONLY person who would know that is the person who has been socializing and working with the puppy from the first day.
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Postby furever_pit » January 17th, 2011, 7:45 pm

mnp13 wrote:
furever_pit wrote:I just don't think that a truly good dog *needs* to be crazy socialized. I've seen enough to prove that to me.


And again... what is crazy socialized??

Loud noises, strange flooring, a little adversity... how is that "crazy"??

It is very well known that puppies have fear stages. Their brain falls out their ear and all of a sudden the couch is a mortal enemy bent on the destruction of that puppy and all it knows. So... if you do your "don't do anything with the dog until I see it" evaluation and it happens to be in a fear stage, how would you know? The next week, that same puppy could be ready to take on a suited decoy... and the week before might have been the same. The ONLY person who would know that is the person who has been socializing and working with the puppy from the first day.


I've never asked a breeder not to do anything with a pup. Their program is their program. It's their litter, they can do whatever the heck they want with it.

Again, I believe that normal life is enough to see temp bases in pups. I don't think it is necessary to go beyond what the dogs are going to experience simply as a part of life.

IF I ever had a litter...which I have no intention of whatsoever...I would not be going around building puppy playgrounds and counting how many different textures the dogs had walked on. Life is enough.
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