An under-socialized dog could become too excited or even aggressive with strangers and can harm someone seriously. Plus, let’s be realistic; everyone hates a mean, grouchy dog except maybe mean, grumpy human. But you are a kind, loving animal advocate, and you want to have a social dog.
If a dog is well accustomed to being out in public, you can enjoy doing lots of things with your pet like going to the park without concern over your pet’s behavior. Your dog will be able to enjoy these outings and even “mingling” with other dogs without fights.
Dogs that haven’t been socialized are unpredictable and dangerous.
A Well Socialized Dog is a Calm, Confident, and Happy Dog
There are a few simple ways to teach your dog to be comfortable and well-behaved outside of the home. The key in this process is to remember to repeat the same lessons daily so that they are not forgotten. If you are patient with your pet and have a positive attitude, you will succeed.
How To Socialize Your Dog
- Be open to the possibilities that your pet can be the type that likes to play by itself and its toys rather than with other dogs. It is probably if others are bigger than it is and intimidates it. Like people, dogs too can be either an introvert or an extrovert. If it is usually not the hyperactive type, then it will not have the habit of running about but will be happy just rolling around and playing in a small area of the park. Some animals, just like some humans are very self-contained.
- Another thing that is possible is that your dog might feel overwhelmed like people do when it is in a crowded place or having too many others around. For me, it is torture to shop in Walmart for many items. There are too many choices and all the colors over stimulate my sense. Perhaps your dog is like me and thrives with lots of alone time. Try heading to the park when there is less people, animals, and equipment. You can also slowly teach it to socialize by inviting friends with dogs over to your house so that it gets used to playing with other dogs rather than only with toys.
- You too can read your dog’s body language. If it is sending out signals to other dogs to leave it alone, then most likely more gregarious animals and humans will receive that vibrational message and leave your dog alone. Like mentioned, take it slow and step by step in letting your dog mingle with others. When it is comfortable mixing with a few dogs, then you can slowly let it mingle with larger groups.
- Be flexible and understand your dog’s needs. When you teach your dog social skills you can prevent it from adopting unhealthy habits such as selfishness and jealousy. It will treat guest dogs better and will have more fun then a bad experience when other dogs visit you.
- Allow your dog to experience the sounds and sights of cars going by, people walking and other animals being around. The more you do this the more accustomed to it your dog will become.
- Take your dog out with you into the streets. Bring lots of treats for a reward to reinforce positive behavior. Be sure your pet is secured on a leash first, of course.
When it is more sociable, it is more acceptable of your guests and will be less likely to create problems for you when you have visitors over to your house. Not only will you have fun with your guests, your dog too will not feel left out and will be busy having its own fun with its new friends.
You can be creative when you teach your dog social skills such as letting it know of other types of animals including cats, birds, tortoise and many more It will let your dog know of the different types of animals out there and will become more acceptable of other animals. Some dogs, who have been too sheltered do not know much about other animals. They may freak out or get frightened when it is put together or sees a new type of animal that it is not familiar. This will make it more ready to attack than to accept the other animal. Not a comfortable place to be for anyone, don’t you agree?
Bonus Training Time
Training social skills is a fun activity that brings you closer to your dog and instilling good behavior in it.
While you will be tempted to punish the dog if it behaves badly, you should just ignore it. The kinds of bad behavior that you should ignore are jumping, barking, leash jerking or biting, and other attempts to get your attention or go free. Rather than harshly punishing the dog, you should simply try to redirect its attention towards you. Only reward or praise any desired reaction like calmly walking, sniffing around, or sitting patiently. This will teach the dog to only do those things because they are acceptable ways to interact with the world around us.