Savvy Pet Tips

8 Tips For Socializing Your Puppy

A new puppy is exciting for the whole family. Dogs can be wonderfully gentle, loyal, and fun to be around. However, you will have your work cut out for you in the first few months.

Along with toilet training, teething, and lead training, you’ll also have to tackle socialization. The sooner your puppy is introduced to more people and other dogs, the better. Here are a few tips on how to socialize your puppy well.

Daily Walks

Puppies don’t need to be walked as far as adult dogs. They’ll tire fairly quickly, even when they still look full of life. That being said, a daily walk is still just as important for a puppy as a dog.

It’s not just about exercise for your puppy. Going on a walk will introduce them to sights, sounds, and smells that they may not have come across before. A puppy can learn a lot about another dog with just a few sniffs.

Dog Classes

Dog training in Los Angeles is a great way to socialize your puppy in a safe space. You can introduce your puppy to other dogs of the same age in a controlled way so as to avoid over-excitement, over-stimulation, or any potential fights. If you have difficulty in making introductions in an appropriate way, your trainer can help guide you.

Look For Signs

Not all dogs are friendly. Some dogs prefer not to socialize on their walks and could pose a risk to the safety of other dogs and their walkers. Always be vigilant when walking your puppy and making introductions.

Dogs who have been rescued may have abusive situations in their past that make them dubious of other people and dogs. Dogs that shouldn’t be approached may wear yellow collars, bandanas, or harnesses. If you aren’t sure whether a dog can be approached, it’s always wise to ask the owner from a distance first.

Always Take Treats

A puppy will learn quickly when he is rewarded for good behavior. Take a small bag of treats with you on each walk so you can reward him for good socialization skills. Each time your puppy approaches another dog and plays well without getting too excited, be sure to give him a treat.

He will start to understand that gently interacting with other dogs is a positive thing and he gains benefit from it.

Don’t Force Socialization

Just like us humans, your dog will have his good days and bad days. Don’t try and force socialization when your dog is naturally staying away from other dogs. Most dogs will want to go and explore so when they don’t it’s often an indication that they’re not feeling themselves or they sense something is wrong.

Either way, your dog is telling you socialization isn’t on the agenda for the day.

Observe Other Animals

Do you have other pets at home? Perhaps you live in an area where your dog could come into contact with farm animals. If this is the case, your puppy will need to be introduced to other types of animals too.

However, this will be different to introductions to other dogs. Your puppy will be able to approach other dogs, whereas it’s best to observe other animals from a distance. For instance, maybe your dog will look at a horse through a fence or sit and watch ducks at the edge of a pond.

Play With Your Puppy

Nothing is better for your puppy than your time and attention. Playing with your puppy will get him used to being handled. He’ll get used to your hands stroking him without the temptation to nip.

He’ll understand queues from you when he plays too rough or you want to stop. All the interaction you have with your puppy will help him to understand how to play gently with others, including other dogs.

Go to New Places

Dogs love new experiences. It’s great to take your puppy on a regular walking route that he’ll get to know well but it will also help him if you take him to new places. New places offer stimulation that your regular walk can’t offer.

Getting used to being stimulated will help your dog to remain calm in other stimulating situations, like meeting other dogs. You could arrange a puppy play date with someone you know so it’s even more of a treat for your dog.

Socialization often comes naturally to most dogs but your dog will need your guidance on what’s acceptable behavior and what’s not. If this article has helped you, take a look at the others.

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