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My puppy Cricket is 6 months old now. Recently, she has begun to exhibit some socialization issues...she is not aggressive, but she will bark at a person/dog when the are out of her reach out of excitement. When she meets a new dog, she goes nuts-tail wagging, running around like a crazy girl, just generally impolite to the other dog. Today I also noticed that she was hesitant to meet a stranger, which she has never done before.

I live in a very small town and the only trainer I have been able to find does not have classes starting until late April, and by that time Cricket will be 7-8 months old, and the puppy socialization class age limit is 6 months. The other hard part is that I live in NY, and although I use a town park for Cricket's bathroom (so there SHOULD be a lot of interaction with other dogs) winter means that few people are out and therefore she has limited experience with meeting people/dogs outside:(. I am really worried that she is going to end up very poorly socialized...and I feel like there's nothing I can do about it.

So I guess my question is, what can I do to help socialize her before I can get her into a class? Also, If she starts a beginner obedience class at 8 months, will she still be able to learn how to be around other dogs? Any input/advice would be very appreciated!

-Kristen+Cricket
 

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Socialization is about teaching the puppy how to react to the world...how to show confidence and calmness. If she's going wild, it means you got too close. Work at a distance...praise her for paying attention to you and sitting politely for example.
You move closer as she develops self-control. That distance might be 50 yards away....whenever she she shows the first sign of anxiety then you move to 40 yards...still calm?....move to 30, etc.
 

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my 8 and a half old month pup still acts like this and yet she was socialized starting at 10 weeks old. My daughter drove her around everywhere and so did/do I and played with a couple other dogs. She is soo happy to be around people and other dogs that she must learn self control! She is starting obedience training soon as she needs to learn manners and I figure about 6 to 8 dogs in the class should help. I know she will be beyond herself with joy when we first go. She is also intimidated by tall men??? so maybe there will be a couple of tall men there too:)
 
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