Posted by Lora Shaw on February 7, 2018
Have you watched neighborhood dogs frolic at the park and wished your own dog was so carefree among other pets? If so, then you need to read this.
We’ll explain why some dogs are more naturally social, how you can socialize your own dog, and why it’s a great idea to do so if you haven’t already.
Before we answer that, let’s first define what dog socialization is. Essentially, socialization refers to helping a dog become comfortable with any novel element in the environment.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, there are a few different reasons some dogs are less social than others:
The best way to socialize your dog is to begin young—between 7 weeks and 4 months of age it’s a good idea to have multiple family members introduce him to new sights, sounds, and smells.
Make sure these introductions are positive experiences by taking things slow, rewarding with treats, and offering plenty of praise for good behavior. You also may want to consider puppy training.
If your dog is older, don’t despair. Even an older dog can gradually become more social. Practice his socialization skills by slowly introducing him to new people, taking him on walks, and remembering to offer gentle reinforcement—in the form of pats and kind words—when he seems scared.
If he does act out, do your best to ignore the bad behavior and simply remove him from the situation.
Walks are a great way to socialize your dog, as you’ll typically meet plenty of new pets and people along the way. You can also socialize your dog at the dog park. Just remember to obey dog park etiquette by:
Also, if your dog is playing with another dog, it’s best to avoid interfering. The only time you should get involved is if it becomes aggressive. And if it’s your dog that becomes aggressive, we strongly recommend you invest in a dog training class.
After a dog training class, your dog will be well-equipped to start enjoying some fun adventures like our Dog Day Care. If you’d like to learn more about our well-staffed Dog Day Care, click here. We’re also pleased to offer dog and cat boarding services.
You can make a boarding or day care reservation here, or you can contact your local Pet Palace. We have one location in Indianapolis, Indiana, and four throughout Ohio in Columbus, Hilliard, Delaware, and Cleveland.
About the author
Lora Shaw is currently the Vice President of Operations at Pet Palace.
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