Updated: Nov 14
This is a beautiful video to support my statement.
Four-month-old "Green" has been in his new home for two weeks. His litter came to me at nine weeks of age. He left upon completion of his PennHIP certification having been in training with me for seven weeks.
Green is seen here at his first-ever Puppy Social. Because of his deep confidence in himself, he isn't showing fear of being in a new place with a variety of novel pups. Because of his strong social skills, he is able to "read" these pups as well as communicate his intentions in being near them.
Because of his strong reinforcement history with working, he chooses to leave the pups, and the humans, to go back to work.
All this is a product of what he learned from his siblings and his training experiences with me. This pup will be easy to live with because of his comfort around people he does not know, his comfort in places he is unfamiliar with, and his inclusive nature around other dogs.
Make no mistake; this pup is one heck of a working dog, even at this age. He knows how to discriminate between a stranger who does not belong on his property and strangers when he is out and about. Nor will he welcome novel dogs because he knows who is part of his community and who isn't.
So much of training dogs seems like common sense to me but I guess it isn't always. Social media platforms are a HUGE reason dogs fail. Your expert is ALWAYS in front of you. Make small changes and observe your dog. Did it help both of you? If so, great. If not, make another small change and ask your dog how that went for him. The dog is always right; most of the time social media experts are simply dangerous.
Social deprivation is a major contributing factor in the high failure rate of LGDs in this country - it can be prevented by meeting the needs of the dogs as well as the needs of the humans.