When you own a dog, you become their life, and they depend on you when it comes to being comfortable with and understanding their surroundings. Hence, it is your responsibility to train your pet on how to face the world. This task requires a humongous amount of time and commitment from your end compared to the kind of results you may get in the end. Socializing dogs is not easy; some are fast learners, and others can test your patience. But here are a few suggestions that can perhaps make your job a wee easier.
Tips for socializing pet dogs
Let your dog know you are the alpha
A dog is a pack animal, which is by nature, tuned in to the hierarchy system. You need to make it clear to your pet that you are the leader in your house. It will help them feel safe and secure and also follow your footsteps. If you enjoy socializing with others, your dog will also be able to adopt this approach.
Move slowly with your training
Don’t attempt to teach him everything in the first few weeks itself as sometimes it takes years for them to learn. Imposing things can overwhelm them with fear, which will ultimately have an impact on the environment too. The best thing to do is to start with baby steps. Take your dog on a walk in the backyard before leashing him for a walk around the neighborhood. Walk with your dog to a small playgroup before introducing him to a park where many dogs and people can be there. Be aware that many challenges can occur during this process, but only can patience lead you to your desired goal.
Infuse trust in them with your gentle and frequent touches
When your puppy is young, you should lift him in different positions, examine his body, roll him on the floor, etc. The more you touch him, the more he will become accustomed to being touched, which will create a bond of trust between you two. Similarly, you should let others also to touch your dog as it will extend the trust factor.
Involve family members, friends, and others in this process
Expose your puppy to as many people and other animals at your home as possible from the beginning itself to make him aware that visitors can also come. You can ask guests to bring their well-trained pets also so that your puppy can learn from them. However, make sure your visitors are aware of your expectations from this socialization process so that everyone is in alignment, and there is no chance of confusion for your dog.
Reward but don’t punish
When your pet exhibit unacceptable behavior, don’t be angry. Instead convey your disagreement through small signals or expressions, such as no, uh uh, to get his attention. Otherwise, it may create a sense of fear in them, which may change into aggression as well in the future. However, if he does something right, you can reward him with a treat, extra play time, etc. Because they are attention-seekers, they will replicate more such behavior to draw your mind to them.