Monday, February 27, 2012

SociaBulls: Teaching a Dog When it's not Time to Play

 If you've been reading closely, you may have recognized a cameo appearance from current SociaBulls member, Sprocket, when we first met him in this post. Since then, we've been so happy to have this handsome guy with the funny ears, and great sense of style, as part of our group. Sprocket is a true social butterfly who wants to meet other dogs so badly, it can often be misinterpreted. We've been amazed with how great Sprocket has been doing, and what a great breed ambassador he is. You can read more about his progress, and see photos from our latest walk here:
 When we first adopted Sprocket, I clearly knew the importance of being a good ambassador for his ”breed”. It seemed that the secret to a well balanced pup was socializing, so I made this my mission.
It did not take long to understand my dog had a serious case of leash reactivity. The tantrums were obviously not aggression, but anyone witnessing this were only seeing a dog barking, lunging and screaming at other dogs and not the social butterfly Sprocket really is. I also might have made things worse as most of his interactions with other canines were through play, it seemed so much easier finding play groups than walking partners. You can imagine my excitement when introduced to Sociabulls.
The first few minutes of our first walk were embarrassing and frustrating but I was motivated to not let Sprocket miss the opportunity to find his place in a pack so we kept on walking. He gradually settled down, relaxed and we got to this magic moment when we finally walked peacefully with each other. I then felt we could work through anything.
We have really come a long way, with the help of a great trainer and a Sunday walk among awesome dogs and people, our outings have become so much more enjoyable and Sprocket has becoming a great ambassador!
 And you can read about SociaBulls members: Lola (Living in the City with a Dog who Fears Strangers), 
Zoe (The Dog who "Loves Too Hard")Izzy (Being a good pitbull ambassador while working with an energetic dog) and Maize (Being social with an unsocial pup).
You can also stay up to date with updates on our SociaBulls facebookpage here. And check out more photos of our fashionable group of pooches, like these 3 ladies with different takes on the same hoodie.

9 comments:

Sam said...

We have problems with Monty - we don't let him play with other dogs because of it. However, on a leash and moving is a different story. I wish we had a group like yours here. I might need to start one! ;)

Sam

HoundDogMom said...

We wish you were closer to us as well. Winston could benefit from this. He is a puller especially when he sees other pups, he just wants to be socialable but can be over bearing at times. Sniffs, The HoundDogs

volunteers4paws said...

That's it - I have to just dig in and start one of these types of walking groups. That's awesome for Sprocket! Kiba needs this, too.

Rebelwerewolf said...

Badger is overly social too, and he has a problem with staring (we're working on "look at me"). The only dogs we meet on our walks are little dogs who bark at him and pull on their retractable leashes. Right now, our pack walk consists of just Badger and Mushroom. It would be awesome if there was something like the SociaBulls near us!

Two Grad Students and a Pittie said...

love it!

Two Pitties in the City said...

Sprocket is such a cute little guy, and he definitely lives up to his role as a fashionist. And I was just telling his mom the other day what an amazing job he's been doing (I can't imagine how hard it must be for the dogs to be among 20+ other dogs and not be able to interact).

Rebelwerewolf: I used to say the same things when I read about the Hikeabulls group...and when she encouraged me to start our own we really do have a great group close to us. Let me know if you would have any questions about starting your own group...

woof-thelifeandtimesofsirtitan said...

Sprocket and I have a lot in common...barking, lunging and screaming. Not very good behavior for Ambassadogs. What I don't have is a group to walk with. Sprocket is a lucky dog!

Two French Bulldogs said...

wow its like a fall runway show, BOL
Benny & Lily

Lola The Pitty said...

what a cutie - he has Lola ears, lol. We definitely have some issues to work with on Lola, she is very excitable when new people come over, but she also is getting a really bad habit of barking people when we are outside on the leash in front of our house or leaving doggy daycare (basically the only two situations this happens). And it's the opposite when in a big/social situation - she almost shuts down....not necessarily a bad thing.

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