Everyone loves a friendly dog, especially one that welcomes pet and plays! However, not all dogs are friendly and sociable. Some merely prefer to be alone while some, have never been exposed to socialization enough in the younger ages. If your dog simply prefers to be alone, then there is nothing wrong with a little lesser amount of walks at the park. However, if your dog gets aggressive easily and doesn’t do well with other dogs, there might be a bigger underlying concern!
Dogs that have not been socialized can exhibit a number of issues when it comes to their mental health, social skills and their dependency on their owner. It’s no surprise that dogs who have not socialized well are more prune to disorders like separation anxiety or depression. If you want to socialize your dog, here is how!
Getting your dog socialized is extremely crucial in ensuring that your dog is healthy and safe! The level of socialization your dog gets is reflective to the personality that your dog has developed. A dog that is not socialized can be aggressive or easily anxious in new and public environments. There are many benefits to reap from socializing your dog. From having a more tolerable and friendly dog to an increase in health and bond, socializing your dog will definitely make both you and your dog happier.
With these said, socializing your dog doesn’t come without its challenges. Some dogs are naturally anxious and need more time and effort in getting them to be properly integrated into the social circle. If you have an older dog that hasn’t been properly socialized when young, you would probably need more patience and guidance. Not sure where to start? Here are how you can socialize your dog!
How to Socialize?
Before you start dragging your dog out, here are a few caveats! Be patient and be consistent. Just like any other behavioral training with dogs, it requires time and effort. With this said, don’t lose hope! Know that dogs are not interested in making your life hard. They are merely concerned for their own safety and desires. Giving up or getting frustrated at your dog would only make it worse and discourage your dog from making any progress.
1. Daily Walks
The main key is to get your dog used to public and new environments. How can you ever get your dog to socialize without actually bringing your dog out? Sure, going to the dog park right away is definitely a bad idea. But increase up the stakes! Just taking your dog out for a short walk each day is enough to slowly build up the needed confidence and adaptability. Get him used to the smell and sound of driving cars on the road or children laughing at the playground. Getting him used to other people’s presence can greatly help your dog in his progress!
The dog park is obviously the epitome of socialization. If you think your dog is ready, you can test it out by walking your dog around the perimeters of the dog park. This is so that your dog can get used to the sight. When it comes to other dogs, always be on the lookout for your dog’s body language. To greatly improve the progress, be positive! Treat your dog when he is behaving rightly and be encouraging instead of anxious. An anxious owner would only result in an anxious dog.
2. Fixed Schedule
Another key to success is schedule. Plan a fix time in your routine to bring your dog out for walks. This would train your dog to know when it’s time for walks and when it’s not. This would also keep a consistent rhythm that would dramatically help your dog to feel less anxious about having to go out and socialize. The key is consistency! And with a fixed schedule it is extremely easy to set up a pace for both you and your dog to follow through. It is already as tough as it is for you and your dog. So set your dog up for success! Get a schedule ready and stick to it. You might need to make changes to your schedule depending if your dog is able to go through with it. But that’s fine! Trials and errors are usually required to get the right schedule that works for both you and your dog.
3. Mix It Up
A trained dog is usually sociable if not, it’ll make it extremely easy for you to socialize your dog. So mix up your daily activities with your dog! Teach your dog skills that’ll be helpful to you during socialization. Commands such as stay, sit or come is extremely helpful, if not, crucial at times. Especially if other dogs get aggressive or if your dog gets reactive, having a few commands up your sleeve can easily diffuse the situation.
You can also mix up the environment that you bring your dog to. Of course, do this when your dog is comfortable enough with the current environment. Getting your dog expose to different places and people can help train your dog to remain calm in new situations. The more provide positive affirmations to your dog in new environments, the faster your dog is going to be less anxious and reactive.
4. Invite People Over
Another way to get your dog used to people is by inviting people over! Dogs are territorial. Having someone else over can be wrongly perceived by your dog as a territorial threat. The more that your dog gets used to having other people over, the more that your dog would get less reactive. Have different people come as well so that your dog would not recognize the faces, making each interaction a new one. Give your dog treats whenever he is behaving nicely when other people are around!
5. Turn To Professionals
Last but not least, turn to a professional! Dealing with a dog without prior knowledge can be extremely difficult. Especially if you barely have any clue on what you are doing right or wrong, getting professional help is definitely the go-to. Sure, it may cost a bit but it’s definitely worth the money if it means you get to learn how to train your dog.
With these said, getting your dog to socialize can be a daunting task but with the right research and much patience, it can be done! That’s the bigger part of owning a dog, is the process of teaching your dog something while you learn together with it. If you ever need a day off from the work though, you can always try pet boarding services! Here at PetBacker.com, we provide many pet services done by other pet lovers, just like you and I. Give it a try!