You’re so excited to have a new furry friend as a member of your family. But now, you need to start socializing your dog with people outside of your household. If you need advice from a reputable veterinarian, come to Comfort + Care Animal Hospital! Once your furry friend has been vaccinated as recommended, it’s time to start introducing them to the world.
Plus, these tips will teach you how to buy the gear your pet needs and stay relaxed as you train your pet. This guide will also walk you through the commands your pet needs to know.
Stay Calm and Collected
If you’re a brand new pet owner, you might be nervous about tackling the socialization process with your dog. Don’t allow yourself to get bogged down by stress – if you’re noticeably anxious, your pet can tell. This can leave your pet feeling anxious, too! Instead, make an effort to lower your stress levels. You may need to cut back on the number of hours you spend working to spend more time with your pet. Going outside with your pet and enjoying nature together can also help you unwind!
Stock Up on the Right Gear
You might already have a basic leash and collar, but if you want to start taking your pet into different social situations, you’ll need some additional gear. If you’re on the hunt for a portable water bowl, booties for cold weather, a comfortable harness, or other pet care products, don’t make any major purchases without browsing customer ratings.
Key Skills to Practice
Maybe you’re raising a puppy who’s only a couple of months old, or perhaps you’ve adopted an adult dog from a shelter who was never trained. Either way, your dog will have to master some necessary skills before you start bringing them into social gatherings and public spaces. Which commands should you teach first? Inside Dogs World recommends starting with directions like “Sit,” “Heel,” and “Lay Down.” You can practice these at home – with treats for motivation! You’ll also want to consistently work on improving your dog’s recall so that they always come when you call them.
When your dog has gotten the hang of some basic commands, where should you bring them first? Highland Canine recommends trying out anywhere from five to seven social activities each week, like taking your dog on walks around your block so they can meet your neighbors, going hiking, and joining the crowd at parades. You can also visit pet-friendly local businesses, such as restaurants with outdoor dining that allow dogs on the patio.
Build Your Dog’s Tolerance
Remember, your dog will need to acclimate to crowds. To help them get more comfortable around people, start introducing them to your friends and their pets one by one. Soon, they’ll learn to see every stranger as a potential friend rather than someone to be feared! When your dog meets a stranger, keep them on the leash at first. If you’re in a safe, enclosed space, like your own backyard, you can let them off the leash to play when they have calmed down.
It’s also important to teach your dog how to approach and play with other dogs. This skill doesn’t always come naturally! Reach out to a friend with a dog, and set up a playdate for your pets at a local dog-friendly park or beach so that they can meet on neutral ground.
Yes, socializing your dog can be challenging. But with lots of patience, you can teach your pet how to be well-behaved in a variety of situations. By applying these tips, you’ll be prepared to invest in high-quality pet gear, reduce stress, stay composed while training your pet, and help your pet adapt to lots of social scenarios.