Teaching your pet to socialize is as crucial as making sure they get regular vaccinations and parasite preventatives. Dog socialization is an essential 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 dog but don’t know where to start, we’ve prepared some guidelines you can follow.
How to Socialize Your Pet With Other Dogs and People
Teaching your furry companion to socialize is one of the best ways to ensure they become confident and friendly doggo citizens. Although there might be challenges when exposing your pet to social environments, the benefits far outweigh 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 tips to get you started.
1. Introduce Them to New Smells, Sounds, and Sights
To puppies, the world looks strange, unusual, and new, so take this chance to make a positive association with everything they might encounter. Try to expose them to different noises, textures, places, other dogs, and people. The more your pet becomes exposed to many things surrounding them, the more they’ll become comfortable moving around wherever you take them.
When your pet becomes more familiar with 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 an animal hospital Lincoln, CA, to ensure they’re up-to-date on their vaccinations and parasite preventatives. This is important to protect them from common pet diseases when mingling with their fellows.
2. Go for Daily Walks
Taking your dog for walks around the neighborhood or a public place helps them grow more comfortable in the world around them. From seeing different 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 routes 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 avoid unexpected injuries. If you suspect fractures or broken bones following a walk or exercise with your pet, take them to a vet surgeon immediately to attend to the situation. You may visit this page to see the common surgical procedures for pets.
3. Take Baby Steps
When starting dog socialization training, avoid doing too much and don’t rush things. For example, if you want your pup to get used to being touched by many people they don’t know, start with your few family members, slowly introduce one stranger at a time, then two, and so on. Starting socialization training in a busy public place or huge party can be intimidating for your pet and may trigger fearful responses to groups of strangers in the future.
4. Consider Pet Boarding Facilities
Boarding your dog allows them to interact with other dogs and humans in a controlled and safe environment. Since dogs are pack animals, interacting and playing with their fellows in facilities that offer pet boarding services can greatly improve their socialization skills and behavior.
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 understand. Let your dog know the people you’re close to so your pet becomes more comfortable whenever they visit. Doing so also keeps your pet from having a bad sense of visitors and being fearful of new people.
Unsocialized dogs pose the risk of developing behavioral problems and aggression toward others. So while you have the chance to socialize them, do it. Although it’s never too late to socialize adult dogs, 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 dogs to socialize, patience is the key. Gradually introduce them to new environments and situations, and don’t forget to reward them with treats when they exhibit positive social behavior.