We all love dogs, and a healthy, happy one starts with a good amount of socialization from a young age. Why is it important to socialize your canine companion? For one, they are social creatures, just as we humans are. Companionship is extremely important in a dogs well-being, and is the key to making sure your pet lives a happy and comfortable life, no matter what situation or environment they’re in. A well socialized dog is a happy dog!
Exposing your puppy promotes future positive behavior
Your puppy’s behavior training and socialization should be filled with positive associations with people, places, and things not just in the home, but the outside world as well. Exposing your pet to fun games and getting treats for good behavior will ensure future positive habits as well as a feeling of safety and protection for your dog.
Socialization Reduces Anxiety and Aggression
Lack of exposure or inappropriate exposure to new things can cause under-socialization in dogs. The most important window of time for a puppy to begin socialization is 4-14 weeks. If unsocialized, the puppy’s social development can become neophobic and fear new encounters with humans, animals, unfamiliar situations, and new places. Neophobic dogs are more prone to developing anxiety and aggression, thus the importance of making sure you take your puppy out for walks and to the dog park from a young age. While socializing is good, never force your dog to socialize when in a bad mood, as it can make them territorial or aggressive. Be mindful of your pets mood and encourage them to interact positively when they are in good spirits.
Gentle Around Children
Just like children, puppies need a great deal of time and attention to ensure they grow into mature and loving adults. Socialization includes interacting with children, sometimes one of the toughest circumstances to train your dog. To prevent unwanted bites and jumps, take your puppy to classes, have them interact at a young age with other people and animals, and expose them to unfamiliar sights and sounds. After proper training, a child won’t be seen as a threat to a dog who has been properly trained to handle the situation comfortably, no matter the environment. Be sure to reward your pup with plenty of playtime for good behavior with a good toy like this
A Well-Adjusted Companion with a Healthy, Long Life
Along with proper socialization, it’s the owner’s responsibility to ensure your pet has regular check ups, walks, feeding, hygiene, and playtime. With a healthy environment in all those instances, your dog is sure to live comfortably and appropriately in any environment. The benefits of socialization plays a huge role in these instances, helping assimilate a happy and long life for both you and your beloved companion.