In an ideal world every dog will be exactly as they are portrayed- social animals. That sadly is not the case every time.
Most dogs start early but in some cases this is simply not possible due to circumstances out of your control.
Why is my Dog Not Social ?
Dogs like every other living being are shaped by their experiences of the past. Confinement to a particular area, mistreatment & abuse at a young age are all factors that directly impact why certain dogs don’t socialize in a setting.
Sometimes, not always though puppies have social issues too as after adoption the owner fails to set any boundaries for the puppy that the mother in a litter is able to do.
What is a Social Dog ?
The word “social” has various connotations but in the language of dog ownership it refers to a dog that respects its pack, no matter if its other dogs or humans.
How To Socialize Your Puppy
Puppyhood is one stage where it is easiest for the owner to teach the dog to be social. As it is the formative years of the dog it is as it is in the process of learning different behavioral techniques.
Create Positive Experiences
Let your puppy be handled by as many different people as possible. Ensure that these interactions are pleasant and conducted in a safe environment. Acclamation of the puppy to various sounds is important without overwhelming it. Kitchen sounds, telephones, children, the television- all could be interpreted as scary sounds which the dog needs to be used to.
Introduce New Situations with Care & Love
New situations need to be handled with care. An overwhelmed puppy helps no one. When a puppy first experiences anything, it is bound to be scared. As the owner the onus comes onto you to ensure that the experience is pleasant for the puppy.
One burned, twice shy is a proverb which comes to mind when the case of positive reinforcement of experiences is in question.
In case of group settings, exercise caution if your dog is yet to be vaccinated.
Under normal circumstances, puppies learn to control their bite by playing with other dogs but once removed from the litter it becomes difficult to regulate the bite.
Providing the right toys to the puppy is one way to regulate it along with making a loud noise every time the nip is too bad.
Other behavioral traits can be taught to the puppy via puppy school. This is where puppies are taught how to behave in a social setting. since the set up is professionally monitored it is safe and friendly. As long as the pups are vaccinated this is a good option to accelerate the process of teaching the puppies.
How to Socialize Your Adult Dog
Puppyhood is a golden time to teach socialization but in certain situations it is the adult dogs that need training. A common question if it’s possible to teach and old dog new tricks. For sure, it is possible for adult dogs to become social too.
The technique to follow with adults is that one needs to be slow and steady to win the race. Patience is key in ensuring that the dogs are able to socialize better.
Introduce New Humans
The only way to ensure social behavior is to create situations that demand it. Constant pleasant exposure with humans eases a dog into a habit to trust humans. The idea of a stranger does not suddenly freak the dog out as it associates only pleasant experiences to humans.
Introduce New Dogs
Practice makes perfect and with dogs too this is applicable. Until and unless a dog is exposed to other dogs, it won’t remember the etiquette attached to its behavior in relation to other dogs.
Bring About Variation In Your Walks
Avoid taking the same route everyday. From sidewalks to garden to dirt paths it is important that each and every dog experiences as many terrains as possible. This increases he level of comfort it holds when iit goes out for a walk.
Set Up Play Time Well into Adulthood
Take it easy on your adult dog when it comes to setting up playdates. If your dog shows any sign of aggression ensure that you only introduce one dog at a time. Try taking a walk together and only once the dogs seem to be comfortable in each other’s presence, let them loose.
Combat Leash Aggression
On the list of embarrassing situation one can encounter while on a walk is leash aggression. Lunging, pulling and dragging can all turn into an awkward situation for you as the owner. To combat this start by practicing in a low distraction environment where the dog cannot experience distress in the form of other dogs and reward him for paying attention to you.
One needs to remember that no matter what the age of your dog, it is important to remember that dogs respond well to an authority that they feel safe with. If your dog provides you with any kind of emotional support, it is a very good idea to apply for an ESA letter online.So start be creating well defined boundaries that reward the dog for good behavior.