Dogs are social by nature and enjoy the company of people and other dogs if socialized. Dog daycares, dog parks, and puppy play times have become very common for dog owners to partake in and it’s very important to have a well-socialized and well-behaved puppy to ensure that everyone has a good time. Socializing a puppy or an adult dog helps prevent dog bites, growling fits out of fear or aggression, anxiety about being outside, and other fight or flight responses. A socialized dog will be curious about new places and new interactions.
If you are working on socializing your puppy or newly adopted adult dog, here are a few tips to help with the process:
1: Take your dog to as many different places as you can. Let them sniff and observe their surroundings. The walks may be slower but it’ll be worth it.
2: Get them familiar with riding in the car to other places other than the vet. Many dogs are not fans of the vet and may associate the car with an exam. Go for car rides to the dog park or to the big hiking trail or beach. Let them know that cars don’t equal the scary vet.
3: Introduce them to as many different people as possible, friends and others, to get them used to the diversity of people who wear hats, in wheelchairs, children in strollers, bike riders, and more.
4: Get your dog used to having their ears and toes touched. It’ll make it easier for you when you need to clean their ears, clip their toe nails, and other care taking things. It’ll also cut down their anxiety of having a vet examine them and children play with them.
5: Reinforce the commands of sit, stay, and wait. These commands come in handy when your dog expresses any emotion of anxiety or excitement.