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10 Ways To Socialize Your Dog

Socializing is making your pet feel comfortable in the presence of other dogs and humans. It is about gaining new experiences and understanding the world around them. You can try dog training in Fort Myers or follow the tips given below to socialize your dog and introduce it to new environments:

Start Slowly

The last thing you want to do when you begin socializing your dog is to overwhelm it. Start the socializing process slowly. Ensure your dog is calm before introducing it to another animal or human. Keep your dog in a controlled environment in the early days of socializing so you are nearby if required. 

Take Your Dog for Walks

Taking your dog out in public can make it comfortable with its surroundings. The dog will slowly get used to the sights and sounds outside, from cars driving around the street to children playing nearby. Ensure you keep your dog on a short leash to prevent it from wandering away. 

Introduce Your Dog to Different People

Expose your dog to people of different ages and genders. This will help it get used to the idea of people being around it. If your dog is around just one person all the time, it may not trust anyone else who is not that person. Diversifying the type of people your dog meets and interacts with is vital. Below are some tips to follow when introducing your dog to different people:

  • Be calm and confident if your dog is scared. Don’t push it too much.
  • Tell people to pet your dog where their hands can be seen, like the chin or chest.
  • Use treats to create a positive association for your dog with new experiences and people.
  • Try to hire a dog walker or pet sitter to get used to different caregivers during the day.

Invite People Over at Home

Ask one or two friends to come home and host them in a space where your dog is comfortable. Tell your friends not to crowd or overwhelm your dog. Wait till your dog makes the first move to get to know the guests. If your pet isn’t curious, your friends can tempt it with a treat. Ensure the environment around the dog is relaxed. This will help your pup associate new people with good experiences.

Start Socializing at the Right Time

The right time to start socializing your dog is between three and twelve weeks. Below is a checklist of experiences that your pup should go through during this age:

  • New people
  • Different types of clothing, like jackets, hoodies, hats, and sunglasses
  • Body handling
  • Urban environments
  • Different surroundings like beaches, woods, lakes
  • Common objects like strollers, bicycles, street signs and lights, benches, and skateboards
  • Other dogs
  • Cats

It can get a little difficult to socialize a dog after 18 weeks. However, don’t be disappointed if you have an older dog. You can teach it new tricks and get it used to be around other people and animals.

Visit Dog Parks

Once you are confident about your dog’s socializing abilities in a controlled environment, you can take it to the dog park. Stay outside the fence on your first visit. Keep the dog on a leash and show it what is happening in the park. You can slowly take it inside if it looks comfortable. Ensure the leash is still on till you are confident that your pet is relaxed. If your dog appears uncomfortable, you can take it back home and revisit the park the next day. You may have to bring it a few times till it gets comfortable.

Follow Your Pet’s Cues

Your dog should interact with other people and animals long enough to get acquainted. However, don’t keep the interactions so long that your pet gets tired. Watch out for signs of boredom, fatigue, or irritation. These could be cues that your dog wants to be taken home and has had enough socializing for the day.

Ensure You Have Enough Treats

Most pups will do anything for a treat. Keep a stash of treats to reward your dog’s behavior when socializing. Anytime your dog successfully interacts with someone else, you can treat it. This will also encourage positive social behavior. For example, you can carry stringed cheese, small pieces of hard boiled eggs, or cooked chicken to reward your dog. Don’t forget to adjust your dog’s food intake during mealtime to adjust for the extra treats. 

Check Your Attitude and Reactions

Your dog can sense your behavior and emotions. If you seem stressed out or nervous, your dog will be too. Check your voice and body language when introducing it to new experiences. Stay confident and calm, and don’t encourage your dog’s nervous behavior. 

Take Your Dog to a Daycare

Taking your dog to a daycare center is the final and major step in socializing. If you feel confident, you can leave your dog at daycare for a day. The dog-loving staff will ensure your furry friend is taken care of.

Once your dog gets comfortable socializing, ensure you take it out or to daycare often so that it doesn’t forget this behavior.

Benefits of Socializing Your Dog

Socializing your dog will improve its quality of life tremendously. It will be happier and more relaxed. Below are some of the benefits of socializing your dog:

You Can Grow Your Family

If your dog is socialized, it becomes that much easier to get another dog or any other type of pet home. It will also become easier to add children to the family if your dog is introduced to other people and experiences.

You Get Peace of Mind

You can be at peace knowing your dog will behave well around other animals, children, and adults. The chances of them running away from social situations will reduce tremendously.

Your Furry Family Will Grow Strong Bonds

Dogs depend on each other. So if your dog is socialized and you bring another dog home, they may create a bond that lasts a lifetime. They can also help each other as they age, guiding each other if one loses their senses.

Dogs may not always respond well to your attempts at socializing them. You can consider hiring a professional trainer to train them at such times. 

For dog training classes, visit https://www.hkdogtraining.net/. Here, we offer puppy training, boarding, and board and train programs to help your dog socialize through positive reinforcement methods.

H.K. Dog Training, 

6146 Hershey Ave Fort Myers FL 33905, 

(239) 822-1285

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