How To Socialize a Dog with Humans
As a dog owner, you may already know or should know that your dog can be anxious, fearful or aggressive if not socialized properly. So socializing your dog is essential. When you own a dog, it’s your duty to teach your dog to get along with the world. Your dog must be introduced with people, children, cats and other dogs. Socializing will ensure that your dog will be happy and confident. While teaching your dog to socialize, you must be patient and consistent. It’s not an easy job to do, especially if you are socializing an adult dog. Once you have done it properly, you will have a happier dog.
When you should socialize your dog
Dogs should be socialized when they are a puppy. The best time is between the age of 3 and 12 weeks. In this period, dogs are sensitive to be socialized. This socialization period permanently shapes your dog’s future behavior. It determines how your dog will react to people, children and other things around him. If your dog is socialized properly, he tends to become happier and friendlier.
Why you should socialize your dog
There are real reasons behind the idea of dog socialization. Socializing your dog means helping him to be accustomed to all kinds of sights, sounds and smells easily and positively. Without socialization, your dog can become fearful or aggressive. A well-socialized dog is well-adjusted and confident. If your dog is not socialized properly, it can lead to behavioral problems, and behavioral issues can be the number one cause of death for the dogs under three years of age, according to the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior. Your well-socialized dog will easily be able to receive new people and places when he is lost.
How To Socialize a Dog with Humans
Socialization is not a small project. It’s a big one. In this project, you have to expose your puppy to different types of people, new places, animals, new sights, sounds, and smells so that he can be comfortable with them later in life. While socializing your pup, make sure that he is not facing an overwhelming situation. In the process of socialization, there are steps to be followed:
Walk your dog daily and introduce him to the world:
Take your dog out to a public place and walk him around. It will help him become more comfortable with the surroundings. To a little puppy, the whole world is new and strange. Whatever he sees and encounters is a new experience for him. Everything is a new opportunity to make a new association. Expose him to different types of places, peoples, sounds, smells, and textures. Get him walk on hardwood, carpet, and tiles; get him meet old persons, young persons, individuals with sunglasses, persons carrying crutches. In this process, the world becomes less scary for your favorite pup. While walking, you’re must remember that you should not yell at your dog if he barks because it makes the experience negative for him. Remain calm and keep your cool while socializing your dog.
You can attend to puppy classes. It is one of the easiest ways to help socialize your puppy. Puppy classes are designed for puppy training and early socialization. These classes help your puppy beginning to have a better understanding of the basic commands, and they also help expose him to other dogs and people. In a puppy class, different kinds of plays assist them to socialize with each other, they are taught to be gentle with their biting and mouthing. Puppy classes also teach other social behaviors.
Introduce your puppy to the extreme unpleasant sounds:
Let your puppy hear all kinds of unpleasant sounds that are made around the house. These sounds may include disposal of garbage, blender machine, vacuum cleaner, and coffee grinder. In this way, he will be accustomed to these sounds, and he won’t bark every time he hears one.
Expose your dog to different social activities:
You can slowly expose your beloved pup to various social events. It can be one new activity in a week. It will help your dog socialize and remain well-behaved in a long way. Use a leash and muzzle, make your dog observe first.
Take your dog to dog park:
You can go to the dog park with your dog, but you shouldn’t go inside. You cannot take your unsocial dog to the inside of a dog park and hope for the best. Walk outside around the park with your dog instead. Let him observe what’s going on inside.
Do it slowly:
Do not try to do things too fast. For example, if you want your pup to be accustomed to a bunch of people he doesn’t know, begin with one or two family members and slowly mingle one stranger, then two, three, four and so on. You should not start this process by taking your dog to a crowded party or a busy public place. It will create an overwhelming situation for your dog, and he will be fearful while meeting groups of strangers in future.
Take it public:
When you see that your dog is already used to the small amount of inspiration, get him outside his comfort zone and make him expand the number of new experiences. You can take him to the pet store, grocery store, to different public places and on different avenues. Let your dog experience the busy activity early on in life.
Never stop the socialization process:
Socialization process should never be stopped. You should keep your dog socialized throughout his entire life. Whatever your dog age, you continue socializing him, making him more confident, faithful and happier companion.
The success of socializing your dog will depend on your patience, consistency, and your willingness. It’s better if you start socializing your pup at the very early age. But if you cannot manage it due to his health or other issues, there are always ways to socialize an adult dog.