You likely already know that your dog is your best friend and vice versa. And while your dog will most likely be happy to spend time only with you for the rest of its life, you might want to teach your dog how to socialize, whether with other dogs or with people.
Doing so will open a world of possibilities. You can take your dog on holiday, you can visit friends and hang out with them while your dogs play, and it will also be safer to walk your dog.
So, if you have no idea how to teach your dog how to socialize, you’ve come to the right place.
Keep reading to learn four of our best tips for doing so.
Discipline your dog
Before you start socializing your dog, you need to be sure that they are disciplined. This doesn’t mean that you should get physical with your dog, but it does mean that your dog needs to obey your commands.
For example, your dog shouldn’t bite. Even if your dog only bites playfully, it could bite an aggressive dog who will then bite back – and not in a playful way. On top of that, they could bite a human, which could lead to many problems, such as the victim getting a dog bite lawyer.
Think about it; if you take your dog somewhere with a bunch of dogs, they probably won’t react well. They might be aggressive, or they might feel scared and unsafe. Naturally, you don’t want your dog to feel this way.
Instead, start by introducing them to only one dog, and see how it goes. A few minutes will be enough the first time. You can then let your dog socialize for longer periods and eventually take him to a dog park to play with several dogs.
Start when your dog is young
It’s much easier to teach a dog certain behaviors when they are young than when they are old. That’s why people start potty training a puppy as soon as possible and teach them not to jump on the bed.
The same goes when you teach your dog how to socialize. When dogs are young, they are more likely to enjoy the experience.
You will also see how your dog reacts to other dogs and people from a young age. Click here to learn more about warning signs of puppy aggression.
Give your dog space
We get it – you love your dog, and you want to be there when your dog starts socializing. But crowding your dog won’t help; it may make your pup more anxious.
Instead, step back and let your dog figure things out on its own. Let your dog sniff and play with the other dog, and only jump in if either dog shows severe signs of aggression.
It can also be an excellent idea to let your dog off-leash so it can move around freely. So, consider starting off-leash training before you teach your dog how to socialize make sure your dog is comfortable.