Last Updated on October 22, 2020
As a dog parent, it is your job to take care of every aspect that is important for your dog’s life, and socialization is one of those aspects. Puppy socialization is important for their development, both with humans and other puppies. Your dog must socialize with other humans besides the ones on your household, because you might need to leave him for a few days at a friend’s house, for example, or simply because they should behave in the presence of other humans instead of becoming suspicious and aggressive. As for other dogs, they need to play and to feel comfortable among their peers. This is something you can explore during dog training, especially if you have a shy dog that you need to turn into a sociable dog. If you don’t know where to begin with, we have a series of tips to help your dog socialize. This is how you socialize your dog with other dogs and humans, find out now!
1. Walk your dog every day
If you want your puppy to get accustomed to being around other people and other dogs, it’s important to go on dog walks every single day. Choose a public place to go on those walks, preferably a place where you know there will be other pets, like a dog park. With time, your dog will get used to their surroundings, and they will feel more confident when trying to be social. Remember always to keep them on a leash, at least until you have all of your pet training figured out because they will easily get excited with new scents and new people.
2. Introduce your new dog to people and other pets
If you want a friendly dog, it’s your job to make them friendly by teaching them how to socialize properly from an early age. To do so, you must introduce them to a variety of people, adults, children, men, women, so that they become aware that not all people look the same way, and the same goes for other pets. This way, you will prevent any nervousness from your dog in the future, when he needs to be around other dogs or other people.
3. Be mindful with the timing
It is easier to change your dog’s behavior in the earlier stages of their life, and the ideal time to teach them how to socialize would be between 3 and 12 weeks of age. If you adopt a dog that is older than 18 months, it can be quite challenging to teach them social skills, especially with people. However, you can always try dog classes – a professional will be more insightful, which might lead to better results.
4. Use dog treats in your favor
If you want to reinforce your dog’s good behavior when he interacts with other dogs and with people, a great way to do so is by offering them their favorite treats whenever they do something right. Carry treats with you at all times so you can reward them on every occasion, and be sure to balance the calories of the treats with the calories of their regular diet.
5. Let your dog play with other dog breeds
In the same way, your dog needs to acknowledge that there are different types of humans. It’s also important for them to know that there are different types of dogs as well. Allow your dog to hang out with other dog breeds, and take some time to seek the proper places to do so – whether it’s at the dog park or the pet shop. After a while, your happy dog will even make friends, and you can arrange a play date with the owners of the dogs your puppy likes to hang out and play with. Playing with their furry friends is a great way for your dog to exercise.
6. Join a dog club
Animal interactions can be important for your dog’s health, so if you have a dog club in the city where you live, maybe you should make an effort and enroll your puppy. This is a great way for both you and your furry friend to socialize, and you can tackle the issue of dog and human socialization all at once.
7. If nothing works…
If you have tried everything to get your dog to socialize and nothing has worked so far, maybe it’s time to seek professional help. Hire a professional dog trainer to help you out or enroll them in a proper training program. If there is no similar service in your area, there are online courses – check out Doggy Dan, the dog trainer that works online.