It wasn’t always the dog parent’s job to socialize their pet. Before they became the domesticated animals they are today, dogs actually traveled in packs. The day-to-day interactions they had with other pack members like how to hunt, find food and protect their young, helped them learn all of the social skills they once needed in order to survive.
Now it’s up to the human companions to train their pets on how to not only behave around other dogs, but people as well. While the task may not be as easy as socialization within a pack, training your pet to understand domestic social cues is an important part of raising a confident pup.
Experts recommend beginning dog training as early as three weeks of age. This is a critical period in the pet’s development as that training helps shape his experiences and how he views the world.
You may have heard the phrase “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Not so with older pets. Even if you have an adult dog, there’s still plenty of time to show him many of the things he would have learned when he was young.
You may be wondering just how to help your dog become more social. Consider the following tips to help train your pet.
Routinely Walk Your Dog
Taking your pet for walks is one of the most common ways to socialize your dog. Aside from being one of the best forms of exercise, it gives your pet the opportunity to interact with the rest of the world, while learning how to behave properly in the process.
What most dog parents don’t know is that the way you approach socialization can make a big impact on your pet. When out on a walk, displaying fear or anxiety when crossing paths with another dog by pulling on your pet’s leash, actually cultivates fear and anxiety in him.
Instead, experts recommend allowing your dog to naturally exhibit self-control. You can do this by remaining calm, giving the leash a quick tug and giving your pet the chance to settle down. If that doesn’t work, simply turn and walk calmly away from the other dog.
Expose Him To A Variety of Experiences
Expose your pet to a variety of experiences – from lawnmowers, dishwashers and motorcycles to jogging couples, crying babies, and holiday get-togethers. The earlier he’s exposed to different experiences, the more likely he’ll grow into a friendly, well-adjusted pet.
Invest in Dog Training
There’s nothing like professional training when it comes to your pet. If you have a young dog, obedience classes at a licensed doggy daycare like The Barking Lot are a great way for your pet to learn basic cues including “sit,” stay” and “come.” Adult dogs learn things like pet manners, agility, tricks, and games.
More in-depth training covers problem-solving, preparation for the baby, massage, and conditioning. Private classes and semi-private classes are also available depending on your pet’s needs.