Have you ever wanted to take your dog with you to a park or an outdoor café but have wondered, “How will he or she behave in public?” What does it take to socialize a dog so that both of you can feel comfortable and assured wherever you go? When is the right time to start socialization? What is the first step I should take?
Dogs need to be socialized when they are puppies. What is socialization? It is teaching them to be a part of our noisy, chaotic society.
According to the ASPCA, we need to introduce our dogs to new experiences while they are still very young:
“Puppies are most accepting of new experiences between 3 and 12 weeks old. After that age, they become much more cautious of anything they haven’t yet encountered. From about 12 to 18 weeks old the opportunity to easily socialize the puppy ends—and with each passing week it becomes harder to get the pup to accept and enjoy something that he’s initially wary of. After 18 weeks old, it’s extremely difficult, and sometimes impossible, to teach a dog to like something new, or help him become comfortable with something he finds frightening.”
When you take responsibility for socializing your dog, you are doing everyone a favor. Introducing your dog to various environments at the right time, increases your chances for having a well-behaved, happy dog. Take your dog along to the pet food store, dog parks, to the local coffee shop where he can meet other people and dogs.
Teach him how to behave when interacting with children and adults in various situations. Properly socializing a dog is also important when you have visitors at your home. Think about how you want him to greet your visitors; sitting politely and wagging his tail or jumping all over the place and barking! Proper socialization at the right time and training play a key role in your dog being pleasant to be around.
So what about training your dog? Well, that’s just as important as socialization, they go hand in hand. Having a well-trained dog is advantageous to the dog and the owner, it keeps the dog safe from harm, and it enhances the human-animal bond. In short, having an obedient dog makes life easier for everyone. There are many types of dog training available.
Both group training and individual training are available in most cities. So what does your dog need to learn to become a successful member of your family?
Some of the common commands for dogs are sit, down, settle, stay, leave it and come.
Dogster talks about Dog Training Basics that every pet owner should be familiar with.
• The Goal of Training
• Age to Begin Training
• Finding a Good Trainer
• Your Role as Student and Teacher
• The 15 Minute Rule
There are many methods available today for socializing and training and your dog. Most people you meet have an opinion on training. You have to find the best method for you and your dog to make it work. By setting aside time to be with your dog and teaching him the basic commands, you will develop a trusted, nurturing and enjoyable relationship with your dog. Basic socialization and training are key to living successfully and happily with your pet.