Top Tips on Pet Socialization

By April 22 | See Comments

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Top Tips on Pet Socialization
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Socialization is important for your dog's wellbeing. However, it is not as simple as just putting your dog amidst strangers or in a new setting and asking him to interact with them. You want to ensure that your dog is socialized in the right way, right place, at the right pace.

Starting off on the right note

Even if the only socialization that your puppy has had is in its early days with the other litter pups, it is a good place to start. Some puppies are taken into homes even before they socialize with the litter, giving them very little exposure to any canine social bonding. If your puppy falls under the second category, then you want to be careful about the social setting that he is introduced to initially. Pet owners often ignore the effects that a bad social experience can have on such pets.A random unpredictable social experience may leave your pet frightened, which can culminate into aggression or fear in the long run, well into their adulthood. Once your puppy grows accustomed to a social scenario it becomes fairly easier, and you will not have to be as protective of him during socialization.

Puppies

that have had their good share of positive experiences will experience lesser shock from unpleasant social experiences in the long run.

Watching for cues

It may difficult to understand how much of socialization your pet needs initially; you do not want too little or too much. The key is to watch how your dog responds in a social scenario. If he is curious or enthusiastic, then you want to continue. On the other hand, if you notice any signs of fear, aggression or panic, and catch him trying to run away, then that is probably not a good sign; you want to bring that socialization episode to a stop.You can then gradually introduce your pet to social situations and use positive reinforcement techniques-

treats

or praise- to have him grow relaxed and comfortable while socializing.

Socialization is more than meeting other dogs

Socialization is not just about dogs having interactions with other dogs, it includes experiencing new things and situations. It could be anything from learning how to climb up the stairs to going to the vet. If your dog is confined to the walls of the kennel for the most part of the day, and the only time he gets out is during the daily walks, then you want to gradually get him accustomed to new experiences.When you do take him to these new places, give him the time and space to explore the different sounds, sights, and surfaces. Once he gets used to the idea, it's about introducing him to strangers, whether it is people, pets or other animals. He should grow comfortable with playing, being held or petted, without showing any signs of fear or aggression.

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