Did you know that dogs that are properly socialized make better pets and are much less likely to become aggressive and attack? This is true regardless of breed, and as dog owners, we do our mutts a grave injustice when we fail to provide them with opportunities for healthy socialization.
I used to think that socializing my dog meant that I got her out of the house every now and then. A trip to the drive-thru window at the bank? Sure, we can do that. A quick walk around the block? Yeah, why not?
But that isn’t socializing your dog – that’s simply getting her out of the house. When I did those things, she had no real opportunity to experience anything. She didn’t get to play with the teller at the bank. When we walked through the neighborhood, I crossed the street if I saw another dog walker coming toward us. Now how did any of that benefit her? It didn’t.
Take a quick look at this helpful infographic about socializing your dog, and then let’s chat some more below.
It’s clear that simply exposing your dog to situations isn’t the same as letting her experience them.
When you begin properly socializing your dog at a very early age, you make sure that she’s positively exposed to different people, places, and things – including other animals. This helps her learn about the world she lives in, which will ultimately make her feel safer and more secure, and a less fearful dog is always less likely to become aggressive.
If you’ve adopted an older dog, begin proper socialization the very day you bring her into your family. It might be difficult to overcome fears she’s harbored for her entire life, but it can be done. It simply requires time, patience, and love to turn your dog into the socialite she’s capable of becoming.
YOUR TURN: do you have any tips for successfully socializing dogs? I’d love for you to share them below in a comment. Someone else may be able to learn from your experience.