Dog owners that have taken the time to properly socialize a dog will have a pet that adapts to any situation and gets along well with people and other animals.
Socialization develops the dog into a good canine citizen that will be an ideal companion for a lifetime. Socialization is one of the responsibilities of a dog owner that will help their dog develop into a happy and well adjusted member of the household.
Taking a dog for a pet entails more that giving the dog its basic needs. It is the responsibility of the pet owner to ensure that the pet is properly socialized so that it will grow into a well adjusted pet that can adapt to any situation and can interact with people and animals.
A first time dog owner may know about the necessity of socializing their pet, and of the benefits of socialization, but not exactly how a dog is socialized.
Dogs are social creatures, but our four legged friends have different personalities than humans. A shy or nervous dog would show fear or aggression if confronted by unfamiliar faces or new situations. On the other hand, a dog with a dominant personality will always try to be the alpha leader, whether the pack consists of humans or animals.
Socialization must take place when the puppy is between 8 to 16 weeks old. This does not mean that it is futile to socialize older dogs. However, socializing an older dog would require more patience and persistence. Socializing puppies is easier, as apart from having a curious nature, puppies have not yet formed hard-to-break habits.
As soon as the vet has given the GET-GO, the puppy must be introduced to everything that it will be exposed to when it gets older. Grooming is the first part of socialization that will familiarize the dog with being touched. Being handled will prepare the dog to being touched by the vet, by the groomer, and by other people.
Let your pet mingle with other dogs by taking him or her to the local dog park or enrolling him in an obedience class. 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 will become more manageable so you can take your pet to the mall, to the pet supply store, or to the neighbor’s house.
Your dog’s favorite treats will be positive reinforcements that will entice the dog to interact with people and other animals. These socialization efforts will help the puppy develop into a well-adjusted mature dog.