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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So Beckett is days away from 12 weeks old, and I’ve been working to get him as many positive experiences as possible. I’ve been working off of some of DanaRuns’ posts, the Life with Rune Facebook group, and the items off of this checklist in the Puppy forum. We are by no means done with socializing, as I will continue to expose him to new things as he grows up, but I’m wondering if there are any unique places/things people have exposed their puppies to that aren’t usually on the typical lists you see. For example, I hope to be able to kayak and paddle board with Beckett, so I would like to get him to a dock/marina, as that’s typically how I launch, and the boards and ramps are somewhat unique surfaces. Since B will be 12 weeks on Monday, I know our main exposure window is closing rapidly, and would like to get as many new experiences as possible. Would love to hear some fun ideas!


 

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We do boats!!
Felix has been on boats, kayaking, elevators, hotel rooms, live music venues, restaurants, etc.

FWIW, socializing a Golden has got to be the easiest thing ever. It’s new to me to have a dog that is completely fearless and pretty much accepts absolutely everything
 

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We do boats!!
Felix has been on boats, kayaking, elevators, hotel rooms, live music venues, restaurants, etc.

FWIW, socializing a Golden has got to be the easiest thing ever. It’s new to me to have a dog that is completely fearless and pretty much accepts absolutely everything
Not all goldens are fearless though. I was just reading a post on FB from a lady frustrated because she's trying to socialize her golden and according to her "he's scared of everything!"
Mine have been outgoing and fairly unflappable, but there are always individuals who aren't. For what it's worth, she didn't get her dog from a reputable breeder so that likely plays into it.
 

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So Beckett is days away from 12 weeks old, and I’ve been working to get him as many positive experiences as possible. I’ve been working off of some of DanaRuns’ posts, the Life with Rune Facebook group, and the items off of this checklist in the Puppy forum. We are by no means done with socializing, as I will continue to expose him to new things as he grows up, but I’m wondering if there are any unique places/things people have exposed their puppies to that aren’t usually on the typical lists you see. For example, I hope to be able to kayak and paddle board with Beckett, so I would like to get him to a dock/marina, as that’s typically how I launch, and the boards and ramps are somewhat unique surfaces. Since B will be 12 weeks on Monday, I know our main exposure window is closing rapidly, and would like to get as many new experiences as possible. Would love to hear some fun ideas!


I don't have anything specific, but something I liked to do a lot at the beginning was go on random drives. I would allot 30 minutes a day to just pick random directions and drive and let that inspire my socialization. If I ran into something I thought was new (some examples are a dirt bike track, rock climbing gym, rallies/protests, construction sites), I parked the car and either walked or carried my pup out to check it out. At home I also had YouTube on autoplay to run through random noises.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
We do boats!!
Felix has been on boats, kayaking, elevators, hotel rooms, live music venues, restaurants, etc.

FWIW, socializing a Golden has got to be the easiest thing ever. It’s new to me to have a dog that is completely fearless and pretty much accepts absolutely everything
I actually have been pleasantly surprised about some of the noises and experiences that I’ve exposed B to and he has remained completely unfazed, as well as things that he charges straight into without hesitation! The live music and elevators are great ones, I will add them to our list for this week! We’re driving up to LA next weekend so he’ll get to hang out around the marina - maybe some nice stranger will let him hop on his boat! 😂He’s been pretty good at the couple of restaurants and coffee shops we’ve gone to, a silver lining for no indoor dining means more outdoor restaurant experience for us
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I don't have anything specific, but something I liked to do a lot at the beginning was go on random drives. I would allot 30 minutes a day to just pick random directions and drive and let that inspire my socialization. If I ran into something I thought was new (some examples are a dirt bike track, rock climbing gym, rallies/protests, construction sites), I parked the car and either walked or carried my pup out to check it out. At home I also had YouTube on autoplay to run through random noises.
that’s a great idea! I actually stopped the other day while running errands because there was an empty playground structure with some funky surfaces that I wanted him to try out. I’ve been looking into the YouTube videos, and so far he hasn’t had any issue with the 20 min one we did, so I’ll probably continue that as well!
 

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A lot of great ideas. Mamba was pretty unfazed by most of the new things we introduced him to, until I took him through a drive through car wash. That was one that took him a few experiences to really get used to.
 

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If you are hoping to kayak and paddle board I would start getting him used to standing on things that move! I do agility (which means the dogs will eventually need to get on/manipulate a teeter), so all my puppies get exposed to some sort of teeter board early in life. The two I use most often are a platform (square or round) with a tennis ball (or half a tennis ball) in a sock stapled to the underside, and a wide-ish plank laid over a piece of pvc pipe. Getting him on some fitness equipment might help too, since standing on an inflatable is somewhat unstable and also helps to build core strength. Starting to build value for being on the paddle board (even if just on the ground) or the kayak (again, starting with stabilized on on the ground) would be a good thing to do. And obviously, getting him happy in the water and wearing a life jacket and building strong swimming skills are always advisable!

Another thought... if you are going to paddle board or kayak in areas where you may need to go under something (a bridge, overpass, through some kind of tunnel) I'd work on that stuff as well. I took one of my (pretty confident) dogs out on a pontoon boat once and she absolutely flattened anytime we went under the road overpass...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Oh that fitness equipment looks great! I will try the tennis ball too, I was wondering how I would be able to simulate uneven ground for the paddle board without going 100% for it- which could backfire! I took him swimming yesterday to get more used to the water, and just for kicks threw the (full size) life jacket on him. He didn’t seem to even notice the jacket, and had no issues on the stable boogie board, so next steps will be more unstable ones! Thanks for the tip on the bridges as well!
882011

If you are hoping to kayak and paddle board I would start getting him used to standing on things that move! I do agility (which means the dogs will eventually need to get on/manipulate a teeter), so all my puppies get exposed to some sort of teeter board early in life. The two I use most often are a platform (square or round) with a tennis ball (or half a tennis ball) in a sock stapled to the underside, and a wide-ish plank laid over a piece of pvc pipe. Getting him on some fitness equipment might help too, since standing on an inflatable is somewhat unstable and also helps to build core strength. Starting to build value for being on the paddle board (even if just on the ground) or the kayak (again, starting with stabilized on on the ground) would be a good thing to do. And obviously, getting him happy in the water and wearing a life jacket and building strong swimming skills are always advisable!

Another thought... if you are going to paddle board or kayak in areas where you may need to go under something (a bridge, overpass, through some kind of tunnel) I'd work on that stuff as well. I took one of my (pretty confident) dogs out on a pontoon boat once and she absolutely flattened anytime we went under the road overpass...
 

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As we’re coming into summer you can also try giving him a kiddie pool. Not is it a place to play in the water, but you may be able to add a small float of some kind (or even the paddle board) to crawl up on and get him used to the motion without worrying about him falling off in deep water. Maybe a friend with a “real” pool would let you come visit with him when he’s ready to graduate to deeper water...
 
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Discussion Starter #11
As luck would have it, puppy class had a wobble board for them to try out tonight! I will definitely be making one for B to practice on. I’m also waiting to hear from a friend who had a kiddie pool for her pup to see if we can borrow that for a bit of water fun!
 
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