A very important responsibility of any new pet parent is to allow their companion to socialize early and often. Well socialized dogs will lead to better behaved dogs. There is more to socializing your pup than just going to a dog park, socializing also includes introducing your dog to new people, and environments of all types. Here are some other ways to socialize your dog:
- In the local dog park
- In crowded area (subway, downtown sidewalks etc.)
- Doggy day cares
- In your own home
If not properly socialized, dogs are likely to be fearful of new situations and environments; like meeting new people or visiting new places. Fear can also turn into aggression which we want to avoid. Socializing your dog through activities like the ones mentioned above will helps to ease anxiety. And it doesn’t stop during adulthood, dogs who spend time interacting, exercising, and playing with other dogs and people live happier and healthier lives. The saying “a tired pup is a good pup” couldn’t be more true; don’t believe us, try it out for yourselves!
- Start small by stimulating all of your dog’s senses in their own home. Introduce them to new smells, sights (strange items like bags or bottles), and sounds (like doorbell, knocking, vacuum, blow dryer or boiling tea).
- Introduce your bud to friends and family of different size, age, gender and ethnicity
- Consider a puppy socialization class - not only is it an awesome way to make your dog more comfortable but it’s also a great place to meet fellow pet parents
Keep In Mind
Each dog should be socialized at a pace that they can handle. Bringing a dog into your family with an unknown history can add to the challenges of socialization (if you’re adopting be sure to ask the shelter about the way the dog interacts), so take things slowly at first. It’s a step by step process and each step will create a building block that will benefit you and your dog for life.