Dog Socialization: Keeping Your Dog Healthy and Happy

Owning a canine can be very fun, but aside from fun and fulfillment, owners also have responsibilities towards their pet dogs. First-time dog owners should be aware of these responsibilities. Your responsibilities include vet check-ups, immunization, feeding him, and even taking care of its hygiene. Aside from these, dog socialization is also the responsibility of the dog owner.

What Is Dog Socialization?

Dog socialization is the act of introducing your canine to new experiences and making sure that your canine gets familiarized to these new experiences. Your dog can have new experiences through its environment, such as meeting new people, dogs, other animals, objects and even places.

This is a training to make sure that your canine will react to these things in a positive manner. They must be able to respond and cope to them in a good manner. It is important to note that dog socialization must be voluntary for your dog. Never force your dog to socialize with other dogs and people when they are not yet ready. This could have negative effects on your dog, instilling fear and can make them aggressive. They are most likely to bite people and become stressed in an unfamiliar situation or environment.

Why Is It Important?

Dog socialization is very important since this can pave way for owning a bright, happy and confident dog. Aside from being your responsibility, the way your dog reacts to its environment mirrors how the dog was trained by its owner.

When to Start?

The best time to start socializing your canine to your environment is around 8 to 12 weeks of age. Like toddlers, puppies during this age tend to be more curious and can accept new experiences. This age period is also the phase where puppies tend to imprint fear. If your dog has reached 14 weeks of age and you missed socializing him to new experiences can make him socially handicapped. The dog can still learn, but the task is very hard to accomplish since you have to make your dog unafraid of these new experiences.

Things to Remember

There are things that you have to keep in mind when you start socializing your new dog to new experiences.

First, you have to introduce your new dog to new experiences only when you are in control of the situation.

Second, it is your sole responsibility to protect your canine from the things that can frighten him. Do not allow anyone to come near your dog too soon as this can frighten your canine. He may hide behind you or attack the person. If this happens, you reprimand the person to back away. This can make your dog have trust and confidence in you.

Third, dog socialization does not end on the 14th week of age. This is continuous learning process as your dog gets older. This makes your dog socially healthy.

Dog socialization is not an easy task, your dog's behavior towards other people, animals and objects depend entirely on how you introduced them to him.

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