Socially Awkward at Just Over a Year - Is this a typical transition? - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
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Socially Awkward at Just Over a Year - Is this a typical transition?

Hi everyone,
Lucy is 14 months old now and seems to be going through a socially awkward phase. Almost like she doesn't quite know how to interact with mature dogs. As of now, I'm attributing it to her age - she's too big now to play with the puppies without scaring them, but she's also unsure how to play with the more mature dogs. We went to puppy socialization classes when she was younger and she did great, it was a mix of free play time for the puppies and working on some basic commands. After that, we did basic obedience classes where there was significantly less time for dog-dog interaction. After that, Lucy went into heat so she was under house arrest for a while. And with the spring, came mud, mud, and more mud. So we haven't been to the dog park in a while. Over the past few months, I've noticed Lucy seems quite uneasy if we come across another dog when we're walking. She'll freeze as soon as she notices them coming towards us and then creep forwards very low to the ground as we approach. She WAS following this with a big giant lunge towards the other dog at the last second, which makes me nervous with an unknown dog. Thankfully the lunging seems to have improved this past week, but the "freeze and creep" is still happening, the lunge has now been replaced with just sniffing the nose of the other dog when we arrive.

I've started taking her to doggy daycare (just last week) which I think has attributed to the slight improvement of less lunging. It's supervised and she's kept with just a few dogs to not overwhelm her, and they're matched for her energy level and play style (she does get to playing after she realizes the other dog is safe) so I think this is helping her to get resocialized. She's been twice now and she seemed happy to arrive and come home both times!

I guess what I want to know is: Is this typical for dogs to go through in their adolescent stage? Should I be particularly concerned? Is there something in particular I can do to help her? (I don't know too many other people with dogs which is why I went for daycare).
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 01:32 PM
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I don't know, Penny is right around the same age and has struggled a bit with dog/dog social stuff and I've noticed the past few months she would rather hide behind me than have much interaction. My mom brought her dogs over at Easter and she greated and then sort of avoided them the whole afternoon. Although at training last week she drug my daughter over to the trainers dog at one point and sat down in front of her nose to nose looking like she was the happiest pooch ever (they never touched even though they could have) so it's not all dogs she is wary of.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 01:52 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for sharing your experience!
From what I know about Penny from some of your other posts, and now this one, Penny and Lucy seem soooo similar!

I guess I just don't want Lucy to become overly fearful of other dogs because I know that can result in some difficult behaviours to manage.
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