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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We've just got back from a puppy party at our local vets and I'm a bit unsure about how it went.

There were no dogs her size there, they were either a lot bigger or a lot smaller. There was a doberman puppy and an Akita twice her size and then a tiny maltese, a jack Russell and a chihuahua.

The doberman was very bouncy and kept trying to play with her but she was growling and running away. After a while of it chasing her she turned around and bit its nose for a few seconds. It left her alone and then was more gentle after that but I didn't know how to act.

The big ones got into the swing of things and started playing with her. She played with the Akita fine and never snapped at him once. She was trying to play with the smaller ones too and the jack Russel had a good go at her, biting her side then he started playing with her.

The problem was the teeny tiny maltese. She has a thing about hair, if I put my head near her she grabs my hair and pulls. So when she went up to the maltese the first thing she did was bite its fur and drag it backwards! I jumped up and told her "OFF" and she let go but I felt absolutely awful.

The poor pup was just sat under the chair the whole time, so timid. I guess my question is, how am I supposed to act? I go back next week and I'm really anxious about it. Do I leave them to it? Do I try to keep her away? Apologize? How would you feel if the maltese was your puppy?

The doberman and akita were on their second week so won't be back next week. It'll just be Ruby and all the small puppies then whoever joins next week. Should I still go?
 

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I am afraid IME puppy parties are rarely well thought out, prepared or delivered.

I think puppies are better off learning manners from well socialised older dogs rather than being put in places where they can learn to be bullies or be bullied.

Went to a seminar with Jane Henshaw on this very subject this year and it was very informative, the video footage was very sad in the poor examples.

Saw some similar footage at a seminar with Gwen Bailey at the weekend. Things can happen REALLY fast even if the provider is very skilled.
 

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I'm surprised the vets weren't guiding and advising! When I took my pup to socialisation, the trainer began by letting similar size pups interact, always pointed out inappropriate play or behaviour and taught us humans how to gauge and manage it.

If I were you I wouldn't go back. Find a good puppy training school instead.
 

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A puppy party shouldn't be a free for all, the organisers should be supervising and stepping in or advising you to step in when needed to redirect unwanted behaviours.

I went to outdoor puppy socialisation - no puppies traped under chairs with no escape, we all kept moving so pups could interact for short periods and move on if they wanted, there were older puppy friendly dogs and several members of staff on hand to make sure all pups were comfortable and advise us owners.
 

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Im not too keen on puppy parties at vets, they always seem to be very hectic! Also vets dont seem to know alot about behaviour and training, puppy parties are more so they can talk about neutering, food and things like that.

You would be better meeting up with people who have older dogs or even puppys but which are controlled and well mannered, and also people who know what they are doing.
 

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Have to admit, I've had mixed experiences with puppy parties and group 'socialisation' walks.
Well supervised and thought out they can be useful, but as said, when it's a free-for-all pups can just pick up bad habits.
My older dog was bullied ruthlessly and because I knew no better and the trainer reassured me she was OK I let it continue. When she began maturing, she seemed to take a sort 'if you can't beat 'em join 'em' attitude and joined the gang of bullies :(

The one I went to with our new vet was great, very carefully planned, lots of advice and a great learning experience for everyone. The vet nurse running it had an older dog with her and the pups got a chance to meet dog-savvy children, a confident cat and even a hen :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I am afraid IME puppy parties are rarely well thought out, prepared or delivered.

I think puppies are better off learning manners from well socialised older dogs rather than being put in places where they can learn to be bullies or be bullied.

Went to a seminar with Jane Henshaw on this very subject this year and it was very informative, the video footage was very sad in the poor examples.

Saw some similar footage at a seminar with Gwen Bailey at the weekend. Things can happen REALLY fast even if the provider is very skilled.
It didn't seem like it was :( we had a little talk about first aid and then they were just all let offlead to run riot.

My cousin has 3 collies which go to training and dog shows so Ruby will be meeting them when she can go outside. Hopefully they will help her.

I felt very nervous and on edge through the whole thing. It wasn't a particularly fun experience for me and I get bad anxiety.
 

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Did whoever ran it not step in and help? I know a lot of people don't like puppy parties but I got a lot out of ours. It was just two sessions and there were only about 4 dogs. Zim was way bigger than the others, but it was controlled that he a pup started bullying or was uncomfortable either some pups were removed from play or play stopped altogether for some quiet time.

Do you have any friends with well mannered vaccinated dogs?
 

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Vassal to Lilly and Ludo
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It didn't seem like it was :( we had a little talk about first aid and then they were just all let offlead to run riot.

My cousin has 3 collies which go to training and dog shows so Ruby will be meeting them when she can go outside. Hopefully they will help her.

I felt very nervous and on edge through the whole thing. It wasn't a particularly fun experience for me and I get bad anxiety.
Are your cousins collies vacinated? if so they can meet your puppy in a safe area as a garden :)
You can also carry your pup out and about to get them used to the world
This puppy plan is a greart guide to socialising your puppy
» New Owners The Puppy Plan
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Are your cousins collies vacinated? if so they can meet your puppy in a safe area as a garden :)
You can also carry your pup out and about to get them used to the world
This puppy plan is a greart guide to socialising your puppy
» New Owners The Puppy Plan
Yes they are. Oh I didn't know that. Someone at puppy party asked if they could come the week after next because they were busy next week and the vet said no because he will have been walking outside and the puppies at the party won't be fully vaccinated.

I've been taking her out every couple of days and she's met a lot of people :) some kids too. Its just hard to carry her and push a buggy at the same time lol
 

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Yes they are. Oh I didn't know that. Someone at puppy party asked if they could come the week after next because they were busy next week and the vet said no because he will have been walking outside and the puppies at the party won't be fully vaccinated.

I've been taking her out every couple of days and she's met a lot of people :) some kids too. Its just hard to carry her and push a buggy at the same time lol
I think it becomes a balancing act of keeping them healthy in mind and healthy in body - the risk of the vacinated collies bringing in something on their paws or fur in so small I personally think the risk of having an under socialised puppy is greater.
But it is definately a personal choice.
 
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