If your dog has been socialised a visit to the vet, park or taking a walk is a pleasant experience for both you and your pet. Dogs that have been socialised will react to the world around them without fear or aggression and will be happier and more comfortable when they face unfamiliar people, dogs and places making them more confident throughout their lives and our job as a dog owner easier and more enjoyable.
Veterinarians and dog trainers alike recommend that your pup be socialised from an early age. You might have noticed that some dogs are calm and friendly when faced with unfamiliar animals or people, while others do show signs of fear or aggression. Some dog owners dread taking their dog to the park due to the fear that there may be some aggression exhibited making it a very unpleasant experience for both their pet and themselves. Our dogs are intuitive and if we show fear in a situation they will react accordingly. However, once a dog can face a feared situation in a healthy way, both the owner and their dog will be happier.
Playtime is an essential part of a dog's routine, not just because it is fun but because it is used to practice some of their skills, such as communicating, hunting and fighting. Playing with your dog is great for bonding and can help them too. Chasing, tugging and wrestling with another dog can be rougher and faster than what it would be with you and it allows your dog to feel free to enjoy the moment which is good for your dog's mental health. Having regular interactions with other dogs will make it easier to let them off the lead. By allowing your pet to spend quality time with other dogs will help them to behave more cooperatively with others, which in turn will help him learn to share.
So if you are ready to start socialising your dog with other dogs here are a few steps you can follow:
Step one: Firstly, encourage your dog to walk on a loose lead and keep their attention on you using a treat. Practise until they can walk on a loose lead calmly
Step two: Start to walk past other dogs from a distance and make sure that your dog keeps their attention on you, don’t get close enough for them to become excited. Reward calm behaviour with a treat
Step three: Over time, slowly start to walk slightly closer to other dogs.
Step four: Once they are used to seeing other dogs, arrange a walk with another dog using a lead.
Step five: If both dogs are relaxed, let them greet each other on-lead. Have a sniff to say hello and then keep moving.
Step six: Before you attempt this make sure you have trained your dog to come back when called. Once the two dogs are happy with each other you can take them off the lead to play together.
Each dog is different so let them integrate at their own pace and some steps might take longer to progress. There are many ways to socialise your dog but why not let the experts do it for you? Doggie day-care is a great way to encourage a healthy lifestyle, expose your dog to new and controlled situations and to play in a 100% fully supervised environment. With plenty of playtime, opportunities to meet their friends and exercise, your dog will be coming home happy and relaxed