How to socialize a dog?

April 13, 2012

A shy, fearful or an aggressive dog would be too hard to handle. This kind of behavior is one of the reasons why a lot of dogs end up being abandoned by their owners. Dogs really do have different personalities. Some dogs are naturally even tempered while others posses undesirable behaviors. Socializing the dog is one of the most important things that a dog owner often neglect to do for the pet. Socialization is the process where the dog is introduced to different sceneries and different situations. The dog is exposed to different sounds and noises, to different animals and of course to different people. The main objective of this process is to develop a well rounded, confident and well behaved pet that will react confidently and calmly to any given situation.

Dogs are wonderful companions. They are great to have around. Wouldn’t it be nice if you can take your dog anywhere you go? An under socialized dog though would be difficult to take around. An exuberant dog will be harmful simply by jumping and knocking people down. Taking a shy or fearful dog around is a potentially dangerous situation as well. A frightened dog may run away to avoid an unfamiliar situation. The dog can sustain injuries. It can also injure other people. As a form of self defense, a frightened dog will be aggressive and bite people.

Socialization is a life long process for a dog that is best started while it is still a puppy. Puppies will be curious of their new world. Reassurance from the owners and proper socialization will develop the pup into a calm, relaxed and confident dog. How would you go about socializing the dog?

The process of socialization actually starts when the puppy is born. When it interacts with the mother dog and its littermates, the pup is forming acceptable behaviors. When the pup is brought to a new home they will be exposed to unfamiliar people, sights and sounds. This is the time when the owner has to help the puppy in overcoming its fears. This can be done by introducing the puppy to other people and exposing him to new experiences. By taking the dog in the car when you drive around or in any other places where dogs are allowed it will be exposed to the hustle and bustle in his environment. In dog parks, the pet will be exposed to and get acquainted with other dogs.

The basic objective of socialization is to develop the dog into a confident, relaxed and calm pet that will not react negatively to new faces and to unusual sounds and unfamiliar situations. Always remember to praise or reward the dog for every desirable behavior.

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