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Fenris (spoo), Sushi (old grumpy cat)
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Discussion Starter #1
Or is it just mine?

We haven't had the chance to socialize Fenris with kids yet, mainly because everyone I know with kids is either in another state or another country. All my friends around here are pretty much child free. So yesterday, because it was Christmas, the next door neighbors had their grandkids (ages around 4-12 or so) over for Christmas and they ended up playing outside on the street. As I took Fenris out for a walk, it ended up being a huge socialization lesson with getting used to skate boards, roller blades, and other wheeled kids devices I don't even know the names of.

At first he was really barky (but play barky with play bows and everything) with them and I worried a bit. But after watching the kids, he got used to them, settled, the wheeled devices didn't scare him anymore... then the kids of course wanted to pet him. I've been talking to the mom about Fenris the whole time so she had the oldest approach with caution. The moment he learned what a kid's attention was, he was in love. All 3 of the kids started petting him, lifting his paw, hugging him (all progressed slowly) and he just sat there LOVING it! Then more parents with kids came by, younger and older, he got 5 more kids petting him, just little hands, petting, grabbing, moving (I held him on short leash and had my hand near his snout just in case) but he was so well behaved, tail wagging, he tried to jump a few times at first but I held the leash and he settled and then just basked in their attention. He just radiated happiness and did not want to leave the kids. Then for the rest of the walk he just wanted love from every single person outside, like a love and pets seeking missile.

Is that a poodle thing? Or are all dogs so happy to be handled as long as they get love?

Then of course, once home, he passed out and napped for like 4 hours straight.
 

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Sounds like a wonderful opportunity! I'm impressed he didn't get overwhelmed. What a nice boy.

Peggy loved calm attention at that age, but had some bad experiences with very young kids. And since we don't have kids of our own, or have any friends or family nearby with kids, we haven't really been able to reverse those negative associations. I actually have no idea how she'd react to a toddler. That's definitely something I wish I could test in a safe way, but I'm not about to use a stranger's kid as a guinea pig.
 

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I'm so glad Fenris had a good experience! Poodles certainly love having an audience :) Teaching children how to approach a dog is such a good lesson for them as well.
 

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Sounds like he got some great exposure to lots of good sights and sounds! I walked Misha in parks when he was young where there were kids on scooters and bikes. Now he ignores them which is great. I think some poodles are people lovers like goldens while others are very aloof. Most are in between. As puppies they may be more sociable or shy than they are as adults. Generally my preference is a dog that is friendly but mildly aloof so they can be well behaved among lots of people. Some of it has to do with training. With kids I always would have them offer a treat so that the initial experience was good, and I try to make sure the kids are not too pushy because you don't want a puppy to have a bad experience. It is a good idea to introduce a signal that it is ok to greet a person so your dog understands that most people are to be ignored unless given the signal from you. Mine is "say Hi" if he is allowed to approach somebody. It sounds like Fenris is off to a great start!
 

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Fenris (spoo), Sushi (old grumpy cat)
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Discussion Starter #5
We try to have him give people that are okay to approach a sniff of the hand, that's how the kid things started too. The mom gave them instructions to give their hands to sniff. I was a bit worried at first about nipping since he loooves to nip at me, but I think he held back the crazy because they were strangers and it worked out well. I had him on short leash the entire time, we are still working on not jumping.

And I am glad he has that positive experience too. Now that he is completely up on all shots (as of few days ago), we can really start going places. The beach is next on our list, as soon as it starts getting a bit warmer.
 

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Raffi is definitely like that with kids, although we have four dog-savvy kids and all their friends so he has plenty of opportunity for getting used to them.
With adults, he only likes attention at his own instigation. An adult who tries to pat his body without Raffi introducing himself first is given some serious stink eye for their rudeness! And if you try to pet him on the head he will step back out of reach (that's inappropriate to a dog you don't know well anyways).
One must wait for Raffi to rub beside you, like a cat, before daring to place one's hands on his self.
His own family can do anything at all to him though.
My Corso on the other hand, is totally an attention missile. She's liable to flop on her side for a belly rub at the least provocation. Ironic since her breed is supposed to be wary.
 

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AliFenrisMom, I am so delighted for you and your dog that that worked out so well with the children! Part way through reading I was getting a bit anxious that that was too much time together with a new experience. I am so happy for the two of you. You might want to consider though having calm experiences with just a few minutes.
Hugs, and snuggles from my Spoo.
 

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Fenris (spoo), Sushi (old grumpy cat)
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Discussion Starter #8
AliFenrisMom, I am so delighted for you and your dog that that worked out so well with the children! Part way through reading I was getting a bit anxious that that was too much time together with a new experience. I am so happy for the two of you. You might want to consider though having calm experiences with just a few minutes.
Hugs, and snuggles from my Spoo.
The down side is that I have to depend on strangers' kids for any socialization with children. It's not ideal but I can't magically produce kids on demand and I am out of ideas.
 
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