We all know, when it comes to your dog, you want to spend as much time alone with them as possible! After all, they do grow up so fast...but when you are not aware of the benefits of socializing your dog, they may develop an anti-social reaction toward other dogs and humans depending on your dog's personality! The best way to socialize your dog is to start them young but with older or adopted dogs training and practice is necessary for them to comfortable socialize.
Dogs who were not socialized constantly have things popping into their life that they have never seen before, which can be terrifying! Dogs are not able to tell us that they are scared with words, so they bark, growl, or even bite. Socializing your pup early with fun interactions can reduce their fear and create better behavior as they grow older.
Dogs who are happy and relaxed in public get to go in public! If your dog loves strangers and seeing other dogs, they would probably enjoy grabbing dinner with you on a pet-friendly patio or accompanying you to the beach on a sunny afternoon. Socialized dogs are much easier and more fun to have puppy dates with!
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Just like humans, chronic stress can cause health issues in dogs. Our pups experience the same “fight or flight” feeling when they are scared as we do. The biggest difference is that we can rationalize our feelings and talk them out, dogs can’t. Without a proper way to alert people or get out of the situation, they can live in a constant state of stress and lead to chronic health issues. Your pup’s training and socialization are just as important as your dog’s nutrition, medical care, and grooming for your dog's health!
Socializing your pup builds a bond between you and them. They are learning that you will protect them and not put them in a bad situation. That trust can lead to an easier and more fun time training and a relaxed home life!
Marissa Sunny CPDT-KA is a behavior consultant and owner of a local dog training company,Epiphany Dog Training.