socialising puppy, play date disaster

twisteddiamond

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i have been taking my puppy to play dates with other dogs, today we met up with a couple of dogs, one of which was a very bouncy lab, when he saw the lab all his hair stood on end, he ran off to a safe distance and started howling (it could only be described as a cross between yelping and howling which didnt stop until well after i went over to him), the lab never touched him and seemed quite shaken by the whole incident (as did his owner), does anyone have any ideas why he would do this and how i can help him get over it as he is a bit of a wuss to start with
 

Booboos

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Time and patience. When he does this, don't go to him, don't pick him up, don't pet him, he may take all of this to be reinforcing his fear (also don't pull him towards other dogs, let him have his space). Go up to the other dog and make a fuss and wait for your puppy to calm down. It will take time and the more dogs he meets, the more often he meets them the better it will be.
 

rema

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He will get better.My collie pup was the same.Agree with poster above,dont try to to soothe him or pull him out,he will begin to think every time i panic and run away i must be doing a good thing as mum comes and gives me a cuddle and tells me i'm a good boy.He will come out from under the chair or whatever has become his safe place when he is ready,then watch out when he does because chaos will soon erupt and there will be dogs flying all over the place playing.
grin.gif
 

gemmahodgkinson

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my puppy gave me a fat lip trying to escape onto my shoulders the first time i took him to puppy class. I just kept putting him on the floor and let him hide between my legs if he felt the need to and eventually he ventured out from under the bench and now he has no problem in saying hello to all of the other puppies. like the other poster said i tried not to make a fuss of him when he was scared, i just kept reinforcing that although I was there he had to go and make friends on his own. He is a King Charles though so he is a wuss anyway, I totally expected him to have a meltdown first time we went.
Good luck!
 

Spudlet

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Totally agree with other posters don't reinforce the behaviour by comforting him even though it is very tempting!

He will man up (dog up?) soon I'm sure when he realises labs are not going to eat him!
 

CAYLA

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You need to come and play with my dogs
smirk.gif
seen as u are just up the road
grin.gif

As suggested the non fussing techniques is a must, but be every careful if the play meets are out in the open and puppy is off lead, I have seen some very bad accidents with puppies bolting through fear or literally running for dear life, never to be found again, I would get her confidence back in a more confined area with mild mannered well behaved dogs, so she can slowly get used to the presence of dogs and feel comfortable in their company, mingle yourself in amongst the dogs to encourage her to follow.
 
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