Socializing your dog simply means getting him accustomed to his environment – other dogs and humans beings. This helps your dog get used to people and other dogs and behave better around them.
Most dog owners resort to socializing their dogs with other dogs if their dog is lacking the usual activeness of a dog or it is taking the dog a longer time to bark at strangers.
On the flip side, the dog probably just jumps at anybody and plays a lot and hasn’t really began to make use of his guarding instincts. This is basically the main reason why people socialize their dogs with other dogs so the dog observes the other dogs bark when they see strangers and do other things that a dog should do.
Socializing your dog also helps your dog not to be threatened or unnecessarily aggressive towards another dog when, for any reason, your dog has an encounter with the another dog. It is a perfect opportunity to help your dog behave in a proper manner around people and other pets like him.
How To Socialize Your Dogs With Other Dogs
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Dog socialization is a fun activity both for the dog and it’s owner. There are various ways to socialize your dog with other dogs, depending on each dog’s peculiarity but of course, there are general tips to help with socializing dogs. These tips cut across for most dogs, irrespective of their peculiarities. Some of these tips are:
Frequent Social Walks
Take your dog out on frequent social walks – also considered as strolls. While on these walks, allow your dog observe his environment and other dogs around. Here, he gets to learn the verbal and body language of other dogs. You could go to specific locations for the walk, preferably parks or places where there are other dogs to interact with.
Your dog doesn’t have to interact with other dogs immediately. While he observes, watch his body language to see if he is excited by his environment or literally not interested.
Make a routine for your social walks. This way, your dog gets used to the walk times and literally begins to look forward to socializing at the routine time.
Cautious First Interactions.
Initial interaction between your dog and another dog could either happen sooner or later, depending on the attitude and body language that your dog shows.
Once your dog is ready for his first interaction, keep it short in order not to wear your dog out. Allow both dogs sniff each other out first and decide if they feel comfortable around each other. Watch their reaction to each other; watch out for signs of excitement, disinterest or even aggression in both dogs.
This is why dog owners are advised to observe and know their dog’s temperament so as to know how to handle different given situations. Subsequently, you could increase the length of time, to allow more time for the dogs to socialize.
Give Out Treats.
Dogs will about do anything to get a treat. Be generous with your treats. When your dog behaves well at his first interaction with another dog, you know exactly what to do – Give him a treat!
This is a big encouragement to your dog to be even better at his next interaction because, he expects a treat for being a very good dog. Most importantly, know your dog’s preference and stuck up those particular treats as rewards.
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Avoid Jerking And Tugging While Walking
When you take your dog out on a walk and he begins to act out or bark at another dog, avoid tugging on his leash. Tugging on his leash or refraining him gives your dog a sense that other dogs are to be avoided or pose as threats. Resist drawing attention to or making a big deal out of your dog’s negative attitude.
Act normal around him, even when he seems to be acting out. In extreme cases, you can discipline your dog but do not be frightening. Always bear in mind that he is only just getting used to the changes happening around.
Introduce Your Dog To Training Classes And Social Activities
Dog training classes are one of the safest ways to introduce your dog to other dogs. Here, the dogs’ every move can be watched and your dog gets to meet with various other pets; socializing becomes easier.
You can also consult your veterinary doctor to advice you on socializing events around your location which would do you and your dog some good. You can almost never go wrong with a little camping every now and then.
At What Age Do I Start Socializing My Dog?
It is very much advisable to begin socializing your dog at a very young stage. Begin socialization from the pup stage to adolescence stage and then to adult stage.
This helps your dog interact better with other dogs as he grows. He becomes familiar with other dogs and his environment in general and it makes it easier to socialize your dog with other dogs at an older age.
Is Too Late To Socialize My Dog?
It certainly is never too late to socialize your dog. However old your dog is, you can begin socialization. In case you just adopted an older dog who has never been socialized before, or you never got the chance or opportunity to socialize your dog when he was younger you can begin to socialize.
The process might take longer time for your dog to adjust to it, but it is very possible and never too late.
How Do I Socialize My Older Dog?
Your older dog would certainly take a longer time to warm up to other dogs, especially if he had never been taken to socialize with other dogs before. Your older dog might just be on edge because of his age. When he comes in contact with younger dogs, he is likely to exhibit a cold attitude or even tend to attack the other dogs.
This isn’t necessarily because he is an aggressive dog. He most likely is just trying to assert his dominance as the older dog. For this reason, you would have to be more patient with him, than you would, a puppy.
Most importantly, when taking your older dog out, use a muzzle to avoid him launching at other dogs. Try not to scold him harshly when he acts negatively or barks at another dog. Rather, take him away from that environment; this should calm him down.
The first thing that you ask whenever you want to take your dog to go socialize with this another dog is “Is your dog healthy?” Always ensure that the other dog is healthy, doesn’t have any sickness and is virus-free, before taking your dog out to socialize.
During the period of socializing, you must be very cautious and attentive to every of your dog’s attitude and body language. Your dog would give off an attitude when he’s tired of socializing at a particular time.
When your dog begins to feel tensed in a particular place, be observant and quick to respond adequately to avoid any negative outcome.