Dog socialization is critical for your dog’s life. It aims to ensure that you’ll have a happy and well-behaved dog. Trust me, you will want a dog that underwent a good socialization phase.
The main reason behind socializing your dog is acclimating your dog to every kind of place, voice, and smell. A bad socialization process can cause excessive fears or anxiety for your dog.
Having a well-socialized dog will help both you and your dog. It can save you from a lot of trouble too. To know what are the important things in dog socialization, read our guide below.
The prime time for your dog’s learning process is the first three months. During this period, your puppy will be very receptive to all the sights, smells, sounds, and sensations they are exposed to. Beyond this period, your dog will be reluctant in accepting anything new.
Give your puppy a gentle cuddle every day. Rub his belly, muzzle, and ears. Stroking his back and sides will help too. Make sure he’s cuddled and handled by different people to make him comfortable with the presence of different people.
Introduce your puppy to different scenes too. Try to bring him to various places, so he can see different sights, hear different sounds, feel different textures, and meet different people.
Treat your puppy nicely. Giving some snacks and praises will make him find this activity enjoyable. Let your puppy enjoy this activity, avoid doing too many things to avoid him from getting overwhelmed.
However, please be mindful of your condition first. Don’t do this socialization process while you are stressed out. Your puppy will feel your emotions. If you don’t feel good about the activity, your puppy won’t.
Also, during this period your puppy will play biting games. When it bites you too hard, say something like “Ouch!” and finish the game. This will teach him about gently using his mouth.
If your dog has grown into an adolescent dog, it is important to keep him socialized. Even though his sensitive period (4 to 5 months old) is over, keeping him socialized will ensure that he becomes a social and well-behaved dog.
Take your dog to a park, join a dog owner’s meeting, or do anything that makes your dog meets new people and dogs. Varying your routes during dog walks will also be useful.
Be careful about your dog’s fear and anxiety. During the end of the sensitive, your dog may display aggressive behaviors towards new things. This is usually a result of fear and anxiety. If your dog does this, distract him from the situation by giving him an instruction like “sit” or “roll”.
Giving your dog alone time is also important. This will prevent any separation anxiety problem in the future. Spare at least an hour every day and keep him in his cage or anywhere using baby gates.
You will socialize with an adult dog differently. An adult dog doesn’t need to play along with other dogs anymore. In a public place, an adult dog will tend to stay away from any unfamiliar dog and just stay close to his human family.
Do not take the behavior above as your dog becoming unsocial. This is actually very common among adult dogs. So, next time you take your adult dog to a public place, please be aware that your dog might get uncomfortable encountering new people and dogs.
Allow your dog to have a comfortable distance from other dogs. If a dog approaches him, let them slowly sniff at each other. Watch the posture and tail position of your dog to read his emotion. If his tails are wagging nicely, you can let him play along with the other dog.
In short, socialization should be an enjoyable activity for both you and your dog. Patience and consistency are the keys to achieving the best result. Don’t rush, especially if your dog didn’t go to proper socialization during his early age.
Every dog will have different characteristics. Therefore, the main goal here is to make you comfortable with the presence of different people and dogs anytime anywhere.