Many responsibilities come with bringing home a new dog. One of those is socialization, the process of getting your dog used to people and other animals. Needless to say, it’s a complex process. Here’s what you need to know about socializing your new dog.
What If I Don’t Socialize My Dog?
Not socializing your dog can have serious consequences, both for you and the animal. Dogs who are isolated from other living beings may feel threatened when they encounter an unfamiliar entity. When a dog feels threatened, it may act aggressively toward the perceived intruder.
It’s a big deal if your dog ends up injuring another person or another person’s pet. You might be financially responsible, and things can end badly for your dog. Socializing your new furry friend is the first step towards a happy, healthy life with your new pet.
When Should I Socialize My Dog?
If you’re bringing home a new puppy, your breeder may have begun the socialization process. If not, then most experts say to make it a priority between the ages of three weeks and three months. This is when a new puppy is most responsive to the process.
Things may take a bit longer for adult dogs, but it can be done. Start by taking your new dog on walks so they can encounter different things. When you run into people, or even other dogs out for a walk, note how your dog reacts.
As these walks become a regular part of life, your dog will stop feeling anxious. Then, you can move on to introducing them to people and other pets.
Socializing at Doggy Daycare
Lots of people who work out of the house take their dogs to a professional doggy daycare, but daycare has other uses, too. Once your dog has started socializing with other animals, it can be a good idea to take them to daycare once or twice a week so they can play with other animals. This helps reinforce the idea that other dogs are fun friends to play with, not threats.
We hope this guide to socializing your new dog helps you and your new friend get off on the right paw. Socializing is an important step in bringing home a new dog that sets them up for success.