Puppy doesn't play with other dogs

Posted by Loohoo
Sep 22, 2009
Hi, I have a 6 month old male Golden that doesn't know how to play with other dogs. He was taken from the litter much too early and didn't learn how to interact with other dogs. He doesn't show fear but is very submissive with other dogs and just doesn't know how to interact with them. He loved puppy training class and interacted with the other puppies but this was during the last 10 mins. of class and the other owners didn't let their pups off leash.
We take him to an off-leash dog park and he runs around but doesn't actually interact with the other dogs, more like watches from the sidelines. On one of the first trips there, a little pomeranian attacked him with no warning but at the time he wasn't too traumatized, or didn't seem to be, and we didn't make a big fuss over the incident. He spent a weekend with 2 other dogs at a cottage and while he enjoyed the other dogs, again he didn't know how to interact with them, he watched them wrestle and play and chased after them. I don't know anyone with a young dog that I can invite over to play so I am at a loss as to how to teach Harley to learn to play/interact with other dogs. I live in a small town that doesn't offer dog daycare or I would try that, and there are currently no dog training classes being offered. Would you have any ideas or suggestions to help with this?
Posted by KOPsarah
Sep 26, 2009
Hi Loohoo and thanks for your post,
It sounds like you are doing all the right things in terms of socializing your pup. Keep up the socialization and praising him for interacting and being calm and brave. He will learn how to interact with the others from how you and the dogs react to his behaviors and it is not that unusual for young dogs to have a bit of trouble understanding the complex social interactions at first.

Finding other dogs to socialize with can be really hard in smaller towns. Maybe you could try putting a note up at your local supermarket, vet clinic or pet shop etc organizing a walk at the dog park at a particular time and then go every week and see who turns up. One of these was organized in my area and we now have at least 30 dogs attending most weeks which provides excellent socialization for all of the dogs and heaps of exercise.