If you are going to have a dog as a pet, such a dog needs to feel free and comfortable not only among humans but also among other dogs and pets too. Socialization is important. There are too many dogs who are not socially exposed or only exposed to a few people. Thus, when they finally find themselves in many commonplaces or meet new people, they show signs of discomfort, fear and may even go wild.
How do you teach social skills to your dog and make out of them a well-behaved and responsible canine citizen? The tips below are an eye-opener.
Socializing your dogs with humans and the world
Taking your dogs out for walks is not meant to only exercise your dogs. These casual walks are a form of exposure to your dogs. They help your dogs get acquainted psychologically and physically with the environment outside of your home. They see different sights and are exposed to plenty of smells.
In teaching your dogs to be friendly and relatable with others, it is important to expose them to various people other than the ones they are acquainted with. Take them out to meet with men and women, adults and children. Let them get familiar with the different sizes of people. Dogs are very clingy creatures. If they hang out with just one person always, they may grow weary of anyone else other than that person. Thus, having your dog meet both strangers and familiar faces is a way of making it feel comfortable in the presence of people.
When meeting with people, especially strangers, your dogs may act skittish. This is expected. As the dog owner, you should make your dog feel relaxed. Over time, as your dog regularly meets new people, they get acclimatized to the process. Also, if strangers are to pet your dogs, let them do so at a spot where their hands can be seen to avoid unruly incidents.
If you feel your dog has become comfortable in the presence of other people, you can take the social skills training a notch higher by enlisting a different dog walker or drop-in pet sitter to be with them. This gives them more exposure.
Sometimes teaching your dogs social skills is all about timeliness. If you start training your dogs to be socially relatable with the outside world at an early age, they’ll grow up to conform to social life. Three to twelve weeks of age is the ideal period to begin socializing with your little puppy. During those periods, puppies should be exposed to the following:
Different people (both familiar and unfamiliar faces)
Different environments outside their typical zone (parks, beaches, woods)
Different types of flooring (tiles, concrete ground surface, carpets)
Be used to different body handlings (touching of their paws, tails, ears, etc.)
Neighborhood objects and other pet creatures (bicycles, skating boards, cats, other fellow dogs)
If you’ve got an adult dog on hand, you want to teach social skills; it is quite going to be a difficult task. Anything from beyond 18 weeks becomes a little challenging but not impossible. Old dogs can as well learn new tricks. Learn about different dog breed information on puplore.com (especially the breed of your dog); you might find helpful tips to help you in teaching them relatable social skills.
Socializing your dog with other dogs and pets
Teaching your dog to be friendly to humans, in general, isn’t the only step in socializing your dog. You have to teach it as well how to relate responsibly with other pets.
Dog training classes
Dog training classes are the perfect and safe environment for your dog to meet and associate with other dogs. Ask your vet for a local dig socializing opportunity.
Dogs love treats and will most likely do anything for a treat. Make it a custom to reward your dog with a treat whenever they interact well with other dogs and pets. Doing this will motivate your dog to always be on his best behavior whenever around pets. In giving treats to your dogs, different dogs have different preferences—my dog particularly likes bits of cooked meat. Figure out what your dog prefers and always have them handy.
It is a good thing to keep your dog in the company of other dogs and pets. This is a way of making them feel comfortable in the presence of their brethren. However, in doing so, dog owners should be mindful of the dog or pet your dog is in the company of. If the other party seems unfriendly, it is best to back off, and if they are inviting, hurray. You want to avoid altercations between your dog and the other pet. Also, while your dog is in the company of other pets, pay close attention to them in case they show signs of discomfort such as tail between the legs or excessive yawning. If you notice any discomfort in your dog, you end the party.
Teaching your dogs social skills isn’t only for your benefit but for theirs too. It helps them feel more at ease, safe and happy. Hopefully, the tips in this article will prove helpful to you.