Socialize, Socialize, Socialize!!!!
Without frequent and new experiences, your dog can become timid and skittish when introduced to new things outside their immediate familiarity.
It’s so important to socialize your dog to tons of new dogs and new people. It makes for a calmer more friendly dog.
The more poeple and dogs it has experience with the better.
Socialization is a very lengthy (life-long) desensitization process of exposing your dog to every new sound, sight, and situation possible. To eliminate any adverse reaction and have your dog view these occurrences as normal, and non-threatening, and non-exciting.
The Purpose of Socialization:
The ultimate goal of socialization is to be able to take your dog any place, in any new situation, and have him stay calm, relaxed and confident. Over-excitement, anxiety, hyperactivity are all unwanted reactions in a properly socialized dog. It can be done, but this desensitization process does not have an ending, it is something that must be continued every day of your dog’s life.
Before that scares you, I’d like you to note that it really is not as hard, or time-consuming as one might think. This is an essential part of responsible dog ownership and every dog should be socialized extensively.
The Importance of Socializing Your Dog:
A well socialized dog can be taken everywhere (allowable by law/regulations). Under-socialized dogs can be hazards in more ways than just knocking somebody down through over-exuberance. A poorly socialized dog can be an unpredictable animal when placed in a new, potentially frightening situation. He may bite, he may run away and he may be injured as well as cause injuries to others around him.
A poorly socialized dog reflects badly on dog owners everywhere, and due to just such an image, many dog owners are penalized by restrictive laws and limits. One bad owner WILL spoil the whole bunch.
How to Socialize Your Dog:
Arm yourself with treats, and off you go. Take your dog out to walk the streets, let him experience loud cars driving by (safely on leash, of course), people walking past, and the noises of everyday life. Praise and reward any wanted reaction (such as sniffing, walking calmly, sitting politely) and ignore all undesirable reactions (jumping, leash pulling, barking, showing fear), while redirecting attention to yourself, and have him focus on something different.
It is very important to remember to praise and reward as soon as the unwanted behavior stops, but also be very careful to not accidentally reward the unwanted as well.
Take your dog everywhere. The ultimate goal of socialization is to have a dog that you can take into any awkward, noisy, or crowded area, and he will still behave, be calm, and relaxed.
This will not happen over night. It may take years actually before Fido acts perfect in every situation that we bring him into but Thank God .. we have years to practice.
Our dogs are our best friends and we feel they should be welcome everywhere we go. But if your dog acts like a maniac then people will cringe when they see him coming.
By continuing socialization throughout your dogs life he will gain confidence, and keep a steady head wherever he goes and in return you will feel confident when leading your dog into any new situation because you can trust that he will maintain his wits and stay calm.
You will know this because of all the time you’ve spent socializing your dog. It’s well worth it. Plus it’s a lot of fun meeting new people and new dogs. Make it a fun thing and you will be rewarded 10 fold.
Bring Fido to a Doodle romp and you will be surprised by how much it helps. Not just his social skills but he will be able to release nervous energy. Being off-leash and running and playing in an open field with other dogs and people is the ultimate for any dog. Let your dog be a dog for the afternoon while you have fun light conversation with other dog owners.. like me. :)
Take them to a Doodle play date!