Help Your Pet Become Comfortable in His Own Fur

Four Frequently Asked Questions About Socialization 

Socializing dogs is one of the best ways to ensure that they develop into their best self — happy and well-rounded. It often involves exposure to other animals, people, places and things to help them learn how to respond to a variety of situations in a healthy, comfortable manner without anxiousness or aggression.

Q: How do I begin socializing my pet?
A: Take small steps and keep it safe. Start in a quiet place and work up to more crowded areas for longer periods of times. For instance, if you want your dog to get used to children, don’t take him to a playground where kids will swarm him. Rather, safely introduce him to one older kid who is calm and familiar with dogs. Tossing treats is typically a safe and successful method to use at first. Pay attention to your dog’s body language to ensure he’s comfortable with the interaction.  To learn more about reading your dog’s body language and how to safely introduce your dog, our trainers cover these topics in classes and private lessons.

Q: What are some good social activities?
Sign up for a training class. Arrange play dates with socially and size appropriate dogs or enroll in doggy day care a few days a week. Take regular trips to a non-crowded park. Also, add a little variety to your daily walk routine, so your pet experiences different environments, from sidewalks to dirt roads and a medley of sounds and smells.

Q: What are common mistakes?
A: With the best intention, we commonly send unhelpful and mixed messages to our dogs.  Our tone and touch can generate additional anxiety in some situations. A tightly held lead or collar while introducing your dog to something unfamiliar may result in mistrust.  Never punish your dog for being fearful. Yelling only adds tension to any already stressful situation.

Q: Can a professional provide help?
A: Just a small amount of work with a professional can be of great benefit. Setting your pup up for successful interactions will prevent future problems.  The sooner you contact professionals like those at Perfect Pet Resort, the sooner you can develop a plan and work on these skills early on. If your pet is overly anxious or aggressive, get assistance now.

Socialization doesn’t take as much time as you might think. Just start early. With effort done right, your pet is likely to maintain a calm and self-assured demeanor for years to come!