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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hamilton had his first puppy socialization group yesterday and he totally wussed out! He wouldn't play with the other puppies; he hid behind peoples' legs. Granted the three other pups were at least twice his size, and he's never been free around three larger, more boisterous pups before... but now I'm concerned that I've stunted his social skills by not getting him around puppies sooner (he's 14 wks). I tried to get my friends with dogs to play but they all said he was too small, and I didn't know this group existed until last week - at which time I enrolled him! By the end of group he was doing a little bit of cautiously chasing the other puppies, but he wasn't crazy into it like they were. They were all rolling around on the floor together and he was on the outside. He was crazy into visiting with all the owners and asking for pets and licking them. We're going back again next week, and he's supposed to start puppy class next week, we do go to the park and pet stores where he sees and sniffs other dogs, and my friends are slowly entertaining the idea of letting him play with their dogs, but is he still young enough to warm up to other dogs or have I screwed him up by not getting him in a group sooner?
 

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He will survive and hopefully you will too. He's 14 wks not 10 years there is plenty of time left. It would be nice to pick pups his size or at least close to it. What you did is compared to a person walking into a biker bar 1st time. Relax you have not ruined your pup and he is not a wuss.
 

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I just finished a puppy socialization with my puppy. It was a small class, only 3 puppies total. Zoey was totally cool with the other puppies all the time, that's just how she is. But one of the puppies, Lucy (3 month shepherdish mix), was really timid/nervous about the other puppies. First week she was barking at them all whenever they would get close and if the others were playing she would nip at them when they turned their backs. By the end of the 4 week class she had made noticeable improvement and was learning to play with the other pups, not barking at them anymore. She was still timid about playing, but was getting so much better. I think for some pups it just takes time and finding the right playmates.
 

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Even if he were 10 yo, you might have a chance....:)

Like Wvasko said, select some pups that are his size and energy. Then, ask the owner if the two of you can go in another area, where just the two pups can get to know each other. After 10 min., change pups. After another 10 min., change pups again. If your pup is doing OK, then bring two of the previous two pups in to play. Do this for a few days (doesn't have to be everyday. Once a week is fine), then he should have built up a little more confidence to play with the bigger pups. ... Note - if you have Lab, Pit, or Rott pups in the group, they are capable of overwhelming everyone - pup, dog, people :) .... They don't mean to, they're just party dogs. But, you may have to rescue your pup... or better, ask the owner to work with you... b/c the other side of the coin, when these larger dogs are well-socialized, they're terrific for teaching other pups the ins-and-outs of happy rough and tumble.
 

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I let loki play with 2 full grown labs when he was about 12 weeks, he was shy for a bout 20 min then he learned to roll on his back ... and after about an hour you couldn't separate them. He will be fine, just something new to get used to ... now no matter what size dog Loki wants to play. Especially with my friends chiwawa... thats a whole other bag of worms!
 

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I took Squash to a weekly puppy play group for several weeks, and almost every puppy acted like that their first time there but then warmed up and came out to play on their own by the end of the first time or on their second visit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
This is a 'structured' play group led by the woman who is teaching his puppy classes. It's just one big room in a pet store so there's no place for private play time. These ARE the smaller pups - the bigger ones go on Tuesdays. Hamilton is still under 10lbs though. Last week we had a cavalier/japanese chin mix puppy over to play, and it took him about 10 minutes to warm up to her then they ran around the yard like maniacs for an hour. I just don't want my dog to be a social outcast :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hammie had a second play date with his puppy friend Pepper today and did awesome. He was so happy to see her and they ran around the yard like maniacs and wrestled and jumped on each other for an hour. I don't know if he does better 1 on 1, or it's cause he remembered her, or because she's more his size, or some combination. He's got a one-on-one with our friend's medium sized (40lbs) adult dog on Sunday, so I guess that'll help test whether it's size or numbers that make him more cautious!

Here's Hammie and his puppy friend playing today:
 

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Hammie had a second play date with his puppy friend Pepper today and did awesome. He was so happy to see her and they ran around the yard like maniacs and wrestled and jumped on each other for an hour. I don't know if he does better 1 on 1, or it's cause he remembered her, or because she's more his size, or some combination. He's got a one-on-one with our friend's medium sized (40lbs) adult dog on Sunday, so I guess that'll help test whether it's size or numbers that make him more caution
I'm glad he's having fun. My GSD was very scared and nervous her first day at daycare. She was in a corner, scared to move for much of the day but now at 11 months old she is a completely different dog. They get used to the other dogs and Hammie will get better and used to playing with all kinds of dogs. My GSD LOVES other dogs and can romp and play all day now.
 

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I would wait until the 3rd or 4th session to even be concerned. New place, new dogs, young pup. Perfect recipe for caution on your pup's part. Bet he's fine next week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks. I'm such a worried Mom >.< I just want my dog to be awesome, and am worried about making a mistake that leaves him permanently screwed up.
 

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What you are doing right now is how you avoid making a mistake ... later. As Spook82 said, timidity turns into party animal when you socialize with many different dogs ... and many different people. Let us know how the new play session goes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Woot! Got him signed up for a local dachshund meetup next weekend! His social calendar is very full.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
We went to the Dachshund Meetup group today and Hamilton did Awesome!! There must have been about 15 doxies there, and at first he was hanging close to my husband and me, but once he got settled in he was circulating around the room, jumping on peoples' laps, sniffing all the other dogs, trying to engage other dogs to play with him, and just having a grand old time!! I was worried that he would just freak out because of the number of dogs, but he took to it really well. I wonder if it didn't help that none of them were big dogs? There were a few full grown standards that were 20ish lbs, but nothing that towered over him. I am looking forward to see if he's gained any confidence for play group this week! (he was sick last week and couldn't make it)
 

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Thanks. I'm such a worried Mom >.< I just want my dog to be awesome, and am worried about making a mistake that leaves him permanently screwed up.
My female was an orphan with just her brothers & no mom & she isn't 'screwed up' lol, she has some social shortcomings, but as she meets more dogs she is learning & she is almost 2 yrs old, so even if a dog is 'older' doesnt mean they can't learn social graces :)

Don't worry, your fine :)
 

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I think lots of rambunctious play is an important part of a laid back dog's training. As Hamilton builds his confidence, I recommend that you slowly re-introduce larger dogs to play with. Absolutely no reason why a confident doxy can't run with a Lab !
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I think lots of rambunctious play is an important part of a laid back dog's training. As Hamilton builds his confidence, I recommend that you slowly re-introduce larger dogs to play with. Absolutely no reason why a confident doxy can't run with a Lab !
His regular puppy group is all bigger dogs, and his puppy class is bigger dogs, so he'll have plenty of exposure to the bigger guys!!
 
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