Socialization is an important aspect of growing up and maturing for dogs. Typically, this is something that’s supposed to happen just naturally. When a dog gives birth to a litter of pups, that family of dogs become the first source of socialization for these animals. The same happens in socialization with humans. Dogs are usually born into a human family as well (or adopted early on as pups), and it would only take anywhere from one to three months for dogs to learn how to socialize. This is the time when you want puppies to have positive interactions with other canines and other humans as well. It’s an imperative part of their growth into friendly and well adaptable animals.
Natural socialization happens for dogs in the wild as well. Young pups learn from the older dogs in the pack. They pick up cues on how to act in certain situations. There’s a hierarchy that’s respected in the wild, and young dogs learn early on that if they want to stay in the pack, they have to abide by the pack rules.
What happens when an adult dog is being adopted? Most of the time, there’s information on where the dog came from and whatnot. However, that’s not always the case. You might find yourself adopting an adult dog you know nothing about. You’ll learn early on that the first interactions you have with the dog will tell you a whole lot about its history of socialization. If the dog was never properly socialized, it will act either completely afraid or aggressive towards you or other dogs. Dogs that aren’t well adjusted tend to back away from gentle approaches. They might also act nervous or shy around random people and other dogs, especially the ones that have no reservations.
Socialization Through Dog Training
Dog training is one of the best ways to introduce your adult dog into a world full of other dogs and humans. Not only will you have access to a controlled area, you’ll also be surrounded by other dog owners who are training their dogs as well. They’re likely to understand your plight if they’re in the same or similar position. Here are a few ways your dog can learn how to socialize through dog training.
Young dogs learn by observing, and adult dogs could do the same. The exposure to other dogs alone will be beneficial for your adult pet. It might actually be better to take it slow. You can start by taking your dog to the dog park and slowly begin to take it closer to the gate. Your dog will begin to learn dog socialization cues just by watching.
2. Don’t Tug
When your dog sees another dog in the streets, there’s a good possibility that the dogs will approach each other. Try not to tug on your dog’s leash because tugging will only tell it that curiosity for another dog is a negative thing. You want your dog to learn how to interact, so you’ll need to let it take its chances. Instead, if you find your adult dog approaching other animals, offer it some praise to reinforce any good behaviors it might have displayed.
3. Go to class
There are professionals out there that have trained in the art of dog training. They’ll know exactly how to entice your dog to act and play appropriately. During dog obedience classes your dog will learn a variety of commands. You could then expand your dog’s command vocabulary on earth.
4. People introduction
If you’re looking to introduce other humans into the picture, make sure that you do it slowly in order not to shock your dog. Adding about a human a week is the perfect pace. 5. Unwanted behaviors One way your dog could learn proper socialization and behavior is by going through the motions. If your dog happens to exhibit some unwanted behaviors, the best thing you could is simply ignore it. Any attention placed towards unwanted behaviors could be mistaken for reinforcement. Go about what you were already doing when your dog begins to act up. Act as if nothing has happened. The more you act normal, the lesser interest your dog will have on behaviors that will do it no good.