As a loving dog owner we
would, of course, want to keep our dog safe from harm. There are
times, however, whenever we need to have our dogs exposed to
potentially dangerous situations. It doesn't matter how loving and
kind of a dog we have, we can't control the type of dogs that they
might meet up with when we were out and about. It is therefore
important to understand how to properly socialize your dog in order
for it to be as comfortable as possible around other dogs. Here are
some tips to get you started.
You should begin the
socialization project early in your puppy's life. By giving
positive reinforcement through contact with other people and
friendly pets you will help it to become well-rounded later in
life. You should begin the socialization project around the 12th
week of your puppy's life. Introduce it to other animals and people
on a gradual basis. Some dogs may take to socialization very easy
and you will never have any problem with them. There can be a
problem, however, if your dog is overly friendly and does not
understand that it may be unacceptable to other dogs. If this is
the case then you will have two dull its enthusiasm (at least in a
small way) through obedience training.
There may be situations that
make your dog naturally uncomfortable. For example, some dogs are
naturally unwary around males. If this is the case with your dog
then you may want to introduce it to some males in a controlled
environment in order to reinforce some positive feelings upon the
dog. Make sure that you do not overwhelm the dog at first as this
could cause more harm than good.
Once you have established
some socialization skills with your dog you may want to put it in an
environment with other dogs to help continue its training. Local
obedience classes provide a perfect environment for you to do this.
Not only can they be around other dogs, but a trained professional
will be present in case there are any problems. Many dogs that have
serious socialization problems are required to wear a muzzle or
perhaps a restraining collar in order to keep the class safe from a
potentially dangerous problem.
Socializing your dog is a
lifelong process. It should not be thought that you will be able to
train them as a puppy and that they will remember all of those
skills throughout their life. Just as a human need to continue
their training in order to become more proficient at a task, a dog
will need to continue training in order to make sure that no
socialization problems crop up in the future.
Taking care of your dog in
this way is one of the most loving things that you can do. A dog
that is well-trained and socialized is a treat to have as you are
not confined to your house out of fear that something might go
wrong. It also helps your dog to be more balanced and to live a
more productive life.