Just like us, our dogs have unique personalities! Some people can be outgoing and social butterflies, while others can be more reserved and shy. In the same way, our behaviors and personality can be influenced by our experiences and surroundings, the same is true for our dogs. Socializing our dogs with both humans and other canine friends is important in creating positive experiences which in turn leads to well-mannered behaviors and results in a more confident dog.
Explore New Environments
When a dog is exposed to unfamiliar surroundings, they may become fearful and stressed, which could make them appear hostile and unsocial. Visiting a dog park can be a stressful situation if your dog is not socialized and can possibly lead to altercations with other dogs. Bringing your stressed-out dog to the vet can result in an elevated heart rate, which may lead to an inaccurate diagnosis. It’s important to expose your dog to a variety of situations regularly so they become more relaxed in new environments and around new people.
Socializing your dog at an early age teaches them how to follow the lead of other dogs. They learn how to interact with other dogs and how to respect the other dog’s space. Allowing dogs to socialize and play with other teaches them how to communicate through energy and body language. Exposing your dog to meet new fur-ends and people helps build their trust and confidence.
As dogs grow or situations change, your dog’s reaction to situations, even those they have experienced before, can change. To foster consistent positive behavior try bringing treats with you on your walks and reward them when meeting new people or successfully maneuvering through a new situation or environment. You want to foster good habits and teach them interacting with other dogs and people is a positive experience.
Many dogs who haven’t had a positive and successful interaction become fearful of their surrounds and anxious. This can cause a stressful situation which may lead them to react in a negative way. Teaching your dog how to properly interact with others through positive experiences and relationships on a regular basis is key to successfully socializing your dog.
If you need guidance in socializing your furry family member, call us at 630.289.8470 to schedule a free consultation with our trainer. We’re here to help and big or small, we train them all!