Let’s Be Friends: Socializing Your Dog

The secret to a well-behaved dog? Proper socialization. Puppies and adolescent dogs (ages 3 to 6 months) need to be exposed to new people, animals and places in a non-threatening way. These positive experiences will help the dog be calm and accepting as he matures. In addition to early interaction with the world outside the home, dogs benefit from life-long socialization. If you have adopted an adult dog that shows signs of shyness, anxiety or aggression, those traits may always be present. Yet, with socialization, your dog can learn new behaviors that will make interactions with people and other dogs more pleasant.

Tips for Socializing Your Dog

1. Start immediately. Take you dog on short walks around the neighborhood and let her experience her surroundings. Encourage people to pet her and give her treats. Try to expose her to all types of people — men, women, children, people in wheelchairs, people wearing hats and coats, people with bicycles.

2. Invite healthy, vaccinated dogs to your home. If you have a puppy still getting his shots, this allows him to interact with dogs without the worry of a health risk.

3. Bring your dog to Dawg Gone Good. Your puppy can interact with other people who love dogs and visit our relaxation and play area.

4. Take your dog to other dog-friendly businesses such as Home Depot, Lowes or restaurants such as Kelly’s Brew Pub or Flying Star that have outside seating. ABQ Dog has a listing of both on leash and off leash places to take your dog at http://www.abqdog.com/albuquerque-dog-places.shtml

5. Visit friends or have friends over to your house. Show your dog that people are pretty cool by letting your friends give him a toy or treat.

6. Enroll your dog in puppy kindergarten or obedience training. Not only will she be exposed to a new group of people and dogs, she’ll begin learning behavior basics.

7. Check out local dog parks if your dog is vaccinated.

8. Touch your dog, brush him and handle his feet and offer treats for good behavior. This will help when he has to visit the vet or groomer.

Socializing your dog takes time and effort but the reward is a well-adjusted companion that you can take anywhere.

 

Legal Disclaimer

This post is for informational purposes only and should not be substituted for a vet’s professional diagnosis and treatment.

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