How to socialize a dog
Proper socialization is necessary to turn a dog into a well adjusted pet that can get along well with people and other pets in any given situation. By socializing the pet an owner is assured to have an ideal and well behaved companion for life. Proper socialization prevents the development of unwanted behavior and turns the dog into a happy and well behaved member of the family. A first time dog owner may wonder at the need to socialize the dog and how dog socialization can be done.
Man’s best friend are known to be social creatures but just like us humans, our furry friends have different personalities too. Expect a nervous or shy dog to react with fear or aggression when exposed to new faces or situations. A dominant dog would always want to control not only other animals but humans as well. Providing the basic needs of the dog is not the only responsibility of a pet owner. A dog owner has to socialize the dog so that it will grow into a well behaved dog that can interact with all types of people and animals in any kind of situation and all kinds of environment.
It is best to start socialization when the dog is between 8 to 16 weeks of age. But this does not mean that older dogs cannot be socialized. Making an older dog less sensitive to fear would take more effort. Puppies are easily socialized because they have not yet formed habits.
As soon as the puppy receives a clearance from the vet socialization must be started. Grooming is the first part of socialization that will familiarize the dog to being touched. These handling exercises will prepare the dog so that it will not react aggressively to being touched by the vet, by a child in the park or by a neighbor or a guest in the future.
Taking the dog to the local dog park or enrolling the dog to an obedience school will give the pet a chance to interact with other canines. It is necessary to give the pet a chance to meet as many people as possible and to be exposed to varied situations. A puppy would be more manageable so you can take the pet to the mall, to the pet supply store or to the neighbor’s. Use treats to encourage the dog not to shy away from unfamiliar faces, places and situations. The socialization efforts will be all worth it as the dog will grow into a well adjusted and well mannered pet.