How To Socialize A Dog
Most people get dogs thinking of all the adventures they can have with their pets. Yet, few actually consider how to socialize a dog.
New owners with dreams of a joyous walk in the park with a well-behaved pooch where they can chat it up with friends who are also walking their perfectly behaved pups, are crushed when it all goes awry.
Socializing your dog is not as glamorous as you think it is; rear-end sniffing will be a common scenario. Socializing a puppy or a full-grown dog can take a lot of time and effort before they can become comfortable around other places, other dogs, and new people.
What Is Dog Socialization?
Dog socialization is a method of exposing your dog to new experiences such as going to different places, meeting new people, and interacting with other dogs. There can be different approaches depending on the dog’s age, breed, and past experiences.
Why Socialize Your Dog?
As a pet parent, it’s an essential endeavor to socialize your dog. You should be able to take them to different places and introduce them to other people and dogs without worries.
What Could Happen If You Don’t Socialize Your Dog?
A dog that has not been socialized can be challenging to take along. It will be stressed and uneasy around people or dogs, which may contribute to more aggressive behavior as its defense mechanism.
When Should You Start Socializing Your Dog?
When your puppy is about 7-8 weeks old, they’re ready to mingle. You can begin the socialization process. Just make sure that you have taken your pet to the vet for the required round of vaccines and deworming.
Are Some Dog Breeds More Sociable?
Every dog is unique, and their personalities can significantly vary even if they are of the same breed. Also, some breeds are friendlier than others. But this doesn’t mean you can’t socialize your dog if it didn’t come from a ‘friendly’ breed.
Sociable Dog Breeds
Suppose you are looking for a dog who’s eager to join a pack. In that case, the “friendliest” dogs include golden retriever, Boston terrier, Labrador retriever, poodle, border collie, beagle, Irish settler, Staffordshire bull terrier, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and Cockapoo.
Less Sociable Dog Breeds
Some dogs require more time and effort to train and socialize. These breeds include Rottweiler, Siberian husky, Basset hound, Chinese Shar-Pei, Afghan hound, basenji, bloodhound, bulldog, chow chow, Dalmatian, and fox terrier
How to Socialize Your Dog
Socializing your dog will require a lot of patience on your end. It would be best if you were firm, but always still show affection to your pet.
Here are some of the things that can help with socializing your dog:
Reward Positive Social Behavior with Treats
This is a common and very effective method. Rewarding positive behavior instills the goal of the socializing activity in your dog. Buy small treats that you can feed your dog when it behaves properly.
Go On Daily Walks
Walking your dog daily not only exposes them to a new place but other people and other dogs as well. This helps them familiarize themselves with the social interaction that comes during those morning or afternoon walks.
Dog Park Visits
You can initially have your dog watch other dogs interact. Dog parks are excellent places for them to have this experience. Please keep your dog at a safe distance at first, then slowly let it interact when it has become more familiar with the activity.
Take a Class
Dog socialization classes have a more controlled environment that makes them less stressful. These classes also let your dog be close to other dogs and be around new people as well.
Go to a Pet Store
Like dog socialization classes and parks, pet stores also allow your dog to be exposed to other dogs and people in a controlled environment. There are also pet care professionals around who can help if issues arise.
Join a Rescue/Breed Organization
Look for breed or rescue groups near your area and join them. You can exchange ideas and experiences with other people who have the same dog breed as you do. Dogs also easily socialize with their same breed.
Can CBD Help with Dog Socialization?
Studies show that CBD may help in relaxing and calming animals, including dogs and other household pets. This can be a great help for dogs that are difficult to socialize.
FAQs on How to Socialize a Dog
Socialization methods may differ based on the dog’s age, breed, behavior, and past experiences. Here are some common scenarios:
How to Socialize a Puppy
A puppy’s first 4 to 5 months is when they can be very impressionable. This small window is your chance to have your puppy experience different places, new people, and different canine companions.
How to Socialize an Aggressive Dog
Solving the aggressive behavior of a dog should be done first before it can be socialized. there are methods you can try yourself or you can choose to seek the help of professional dog behavioral trainers.
How to Socialize a Dog with Humans
A daily walk is the best way to socialize your dog with humans. Exposing them to different people will put them at ease after some time.
How to Socialize an Older/Adult Dog
It can take a longer time to socialize an adult or older dog because it has already established their personality. You also may not know its past experiences, so you need to be more patient with it.
How to Socialize a Rescue Dog
Rescue dogs are often neglected and abandoned, so they can be anxious and afraid of experiencing new things. Showing affection and gaining their trust should be the first step before you can start socializing them.
How to Socialize a Nervous Dog
A nervous dog will feel anxious when its environment changes or is exposed to other people and dogs. Get them to learn how to be calm before starting the socialization process.
Related Article: Home Remedies For Dog Anxiety
Dog socialization can often be a long and tedious process, but it will be a gratifying experience for both you and your dog. Socializing can allow your pet (and hopefully you) to live a life with less stress. Follow the tips here on how to socialize a dog, and the process should go smoothly.