Teaching your pet to socialize is as vital as making sure they get routine vaccinations and parasite preventatives. Dog socialization is a crucial part of pet parenthood. When you start socializing your pet while young, you’re expanding their bank of experiences that will prepare them for future situations.
If you’re ready to socialize your pet but don’t know where to start, we’ve prepared some guidelines you can follow.
How to Socialize Your Pet With Other Dogs and Individuals
Teaching your furry friend to socialize is one of the best ways to guarantee they become confident and friendly canine citizens. Although there might be difficulties when exposing your pet to social environments, the benefits far surpass the struggles. However, it’s important to remember that the best time to socialize your puppies is when they have completed three shots of core vaccines, including one booster shot. This is to avoid contracting deadly viral diseases, such as parvo and distemper.
So we’ve compiled five dog socialization pointers to get you started.
1. Consider Pet Boarding Facilities
Boarding your canine enables them to engage with other pets and people in a controlled and safe environment. Since dogs are pack animals, interacting and playing with their fellows in dog boarding facilities can significantly improve their socialization skills and behavior.
2. Go for Daily Walks
Taking your pet dog for walks around the neighborhood or a public place helps them grow more comfortable in the world around them. From seeing many people to cars driving down the street, the world becomes familiar and less scary for them when you walk them around the block. Take different paths on each walk to experience new sights and allow your pet to meet new friends.
Always practice safety and observe moderation when walking with your dog to prevent unexpected injuries. If you suspect fractures or broken bones following a walk or exercise with your pet, immediately take them to facilities like Critter Creek Veterinary Hospital to address the situation.
3. Introduce Them to New Smells, Sounds, and Sights
To puppies, the world looks strange, unusual, and new, so take this opportunity to make a positive association with everything they may encounter. Try to expose them to different noises, textures, places, people, and other dogs. The more your pet becomes exposed to many things surrounding them, the more they’ll become confident moving around wherever you take them.
When your pet becomes more used to being around people and other dogs, consider taking them to doggy daycare or dog classes to further expand their bank of experiences. But before doing so, you’ll need to take your pet to a pet hospital in Lincoln to ensure they’re up-to-date on their vaccinations and parasite preventives. This is essential to protect them from common pet diseases when mingling with their fellows.
4. Take Baby Steps
When starting dog socialization training, avoid doing too much and don’t rush things. For instance, if you want your pup to get used to being touched by many people they do not know, start with your few family members, gradually introduce one stranger at a time, then two, and so on. Starting socialization training in a busy public place or huge party can be overwhelming for your pet and may trigger fearful responses to groups of strangers in the future.
5. Don’t Lock Them Up
When you have close friends or relatives coming over, unleash your pets, and tell your friends you’re training them to socialize, so they’ll know. Let your dog know the people you’re close to so your pet becomes more relaxed every time they visit. Doing so also keeps your pet from having a negative sense of visitors and being fearful of new people.
Unsocialized dogs pose the risk of developing behavioral issues and aggression toward others. So while you have the chance to socialize them, do it. Although it is never too late to socialize adult canines, it’s way easier to do it when they’re three to six months old after completing their core vaccines, including one booster shot. When training older canines to socialize, patience is the key. Gradually introduce them to new situations and environments, and don’t forget to reward them with treats when they exhibit positive social behavior.