Dogs are generally fun and friendly beings, and they enjoy being around other dogs and people, provided their owners teach them proper socialization. People usually socialize their puppies with other dogs in the very first year by giving them all sorts of positive experiences or even dog training classes. In this guide, we shall understand what dog socializing exactly means, why it is so crucial, and how you can get your dog to become friends with other dogs. Let’s get started!
First of all, what is dog socialization?
Dog socialization is nothing but making dogs aware of their surroundings, including other animals, humans, places, and activities. It allows dogs to feel more comfortable when interacting with other dogs. Generally, you should socialize your puppy during their sensitive period, which is between 4 to 14 weeks of age. Now, this brings us to the next important question.
Why is socializing your dog with other dogs so important?
Getting your puppy socialized around other dogs and humans is, by far, the most important thing you can do for them. If dogs receive proper socialization at the right age, they tend to become more friendly and remain calm in the longer run. Proper socialization also keeps them from becoming fearful or aggressively impatient. Training dogs is just as crucial as teaching humans socialization and basic mannerism at a young age.
Now that we have all the fundamental questions addressed, let us quickly understand the practical ways to get your puppy socialized in the dog world.
How can you get your dog comfortable around other dogs?
Walk Your Dog Often
Taking them on a stroll is the best way to expose your dog to people and other animals. It also gets them acquainted with various sights, sounds, and smells, encouraging them to learn about different aspects of their surroundings. This also allows you to know how they behave when confronted with other beings, which will ultimately help you bond with your little friend better.
Pay Attention to Their Instincts
Our most important advice to all dog owners is always to keep track of your puppy’s behavior and impulses when around other dogs. Especially when they encounter an adult dog, notice their instincts. See whether they are fearful or competitive as it can severely affect their personality in the longer run. You can train them well only when you understand what triggers their anxiety and what gets them excited.
Keep Them From Negative Experiences
This is yet another essential part of the early socialization stages. You need to make sure that your dog has positive experiences around other dogs. If your dog reacts to something or someone in an aggressive or disruptive manner, do not scold them or tug their leash. Doing so will only result in rebellious behavior, creating a negative experience for them. Instead, walk in another direction and help them stay calm.
Invite Some Friends Home
Have a couple of friends over, preferably at your dog’s favorite part of the house. Be seated at such a place where your dog feels most comfortable, like the living room or courtyard. This will create a friendly and relaxed environment for your dog to socialize. Your little one will probably sniff around the guests to develop a sense of safety around them. You may ask your friends to offer some dog food to establish friendship and assurance.
Stroll Around Dog Parks
If you directly expose your pup to the adult dogs in the park, they are bound to feel anxious and out of place. God forbid, if they engage in a highly uncomfortable or scary situation, they may also develop a lifelong trauma. Therefore, you need to walk them around the park’s perimeter, wherein they can see other dogs from a distance. This will ensure that they build acquaintance without feeling disastrously scared.
With time, your dog will definitely build awareness and become socially confident to face and interact with other dogs and humans. But in case they don’t, turn to a professional’s help sooner than later. Socializing and training your dog should be fun, so don’t stress too much and always have fun with your furry friend.