As a dog owner, one of the worst things you can have is a dog that is not social. These dogs can be reclusive, fearful, and they can become aggressive and dangerous. Socializing a dog is very important and it’s something that every owner needs to do. Let’s talk about how to socialize your dog.
One of the most important aspects of socializing a dog is to do so as early as possible. You should begin socializing your dog when it is between 3 and 12 months of age. The younger a dog is, the easier it is to socialize.
Just like humans, older dogs get set in their routines and behaviors, as well as what they feel comfortable with. The longer you wait to socialize your dog, the harder it is going to become, maybe even impossible.
There are a variety of things which puppies should be exposed to at a young age. Remember, socializing your dog is not just about socializing it with other dogs, but with people and objects too. Familiarizing a dog with inanimate objects might sound odd, but it is important to get your dog accustomed to things like cars and buses.
Expose Them to a Lot, to Everything
Touching on the above point, there are a variety of things which you should start socializing your dog with at a young age. The more familiar a dog is with various environments, people, dogs, animals, places, and objects, the more social it will be and the more comfortable it will feel in everyday life no matter where you take it.
Some of the things you should expose your puppy to include other dogs, cats, people, bicycles, strollers, common objects found in the neighborhood, cars, busses, urban environments, a variety of clothing types, various ground surfaces, and so much more. Anything which your dog might see on a daily basis should all be made familiar to them at a young age.
Introducing Them to New People
One of the most important parts of socializing your dog is to introduce it to new people. Dogs who are not well-socialized will often become fearful, anxious, or aggressive with new people who they have not seen. Once again, starting young is a big deal. Here are some quick tips on how to socialize your puppy with people.
Go for familiar people first, people the puppy will likely see on a regular basis. Once your puppy does well with familiarity, move it up a notch and start introducing it to unfamiliar people.
Dogs always love food and toys. A great way to help your dog start to trust people is by having those people give your dog treats. Try to enlist somebody like a dog walker, or just a friend, anybody who can come by on a daily or near-daily basis. These people should come by your home unannounced, just knocking at the door. Getting puppies used to surprise visits will go a long way in keeping a cool environment when you have guests over.
Ensure that when people go to pet the puppy, they always do so in a way that the dog can see their hands. People should start by petting the chin or chest of puppies, not the back or top of their head, as this can cause fear and anxiety.
When it comes to socializing your dog with other dogs, dog classes are always a go-to option. Dog classes are full of other dogs, usually puppies, as well as their owners.
It’s a perfect environment for introducing your puppy to new dogs, people, toys, sounds, smells, and sights. Not only are dog classes great for socialization, it’s a great way to train your dog. Just like with socializing, the sooner you train your dog, the better it will go.
Walks in the Park
One of the easiest ways to socialize your dog is to take it on plenty of walks. Your neighborhood is just fine, but remember that a big part of socializing is exposure to new things; therefore, it’s a good idea to take your dog to the park, particularly to dog parks.
They’ll meet all sorts of new dogs, people, and so many other things which they’ve never seen too. Taking your dog out in public will also help socialize it with urban life, which you need to do if you live in an urban place.
When you do this, be sure to have a good leash on your dog and keep the leash fairly short. As time goes on and your dog grows more social, you can start using a longer leash. Also, when you go out in public, try walking different routes.
Socializing a puppy is really not hard at all. It’s more or less just a process of taking them out into public, seeing new things, letting them explore, and meeting new dogs and people too.