As a responsible dog owner, of course, you want your dog to be well-behaved and obedient. It can be difficult to think of your dog as lacking in confidence, but put yourself in their shoes and imagine the world from a place so close to the ground. Everything must seem so much bigger, louder, and brighter, but how can you help your dog be more confident? By socialising them, which means introducing them to a wide range of new experiences. There are many ways you can socialise your dog, but it’s crucial first to understand why you’re doing it.
Helps Them Deal with New Situations
If you don’t take the time to socialise your dog, they will be very afraid of new situations and circumstances. It could be something as small as meeting a member of your family or visiting a park you’ve never been to before. If you provide plenty of opportunities for socialising your dog, they will be able to deal with these new situations. Taking your dog to a day care centre and ensuring they get plenty of exercise outside where other dogs and people will be is also highly recommended. You can find out more by visiting premierdogwalkers.com.
Promotes a Healthy Life
Your dog will lead a much healthier and happier life if they are able to interact, exercise and play with other dogs and people. When your dog has spent time socialising during the day, they will be happy and tired when they get home. If your dog finds themselves feeling stressed about a new situation, they’re going to be too worried to enjoy the experience.
Helps Develop Confidence
Each new interaction is going to bring positive reinforcement and experiences, and this is going to increase their confidence and reduce your dog’s anxiety. Helping your dog to develop new, good behaviours by socialising them means they will grow into a well-rounded dog. The more experiences you introduce them to, the happier your dog will be.
When Should I Socialise My Dog?
If you’re wondering when is the best time to socialise your dog, you should be aiming to start the process as soon as possible. The optimum time is between 2 and four months old, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it later on. In some cases, you might have no other option; for example, you may have adopted a rescue dog that is already several years old. Starting socialisation later in a dog’s life means you simply have to work harder.
There is a range of different ways you can socialise your dog, but they all involve introducing them to as many people and situations as possible. When introducing your puppy to people, try to include men and women, as well as children of all ages. Furthermore, involve people in wheelchairs, men with beards, children, and people wearing all kinds of clothing. Expose your puppy to loud noises such as trucks and crowds of people. At all times you should remain calm and reward your dog when they are calm as well. Getting your dog used to being handled by different people is another important part of socialising. Getting your puppy used to being handled when they are young means you’ll have fewer problems when they are older.
If you’re not confident with this part of training, there will be dog trainers or puppy training classes in your area you can attend.