Socializing your dog is an important part of pet ownership. A dog who is comfortable around others is not only fun to be with, but can also reduce the risk of dog bites and other dangerous encounters.
Time it Right
The best time to socialize dogs is when they are between three and twelve weeks of age. Their developing minds are ready to absorb all different kinds of experiences. Socializing older dogs can be more challenging, but not impossible. Talk to your vet or a behaviorist for tips.
Go for a Walk
Give your dog a wide variety of situations to interact with others. Walking around the block a few times a day is enough to familiarize your dog with others, but getting them comfortable in parks and other settings is even better. It makes dogs more adaptable and the world a less frightening place for them.
Expose Them to Different Types of People
It is easy for a dog to become familiar with only their owner. Invite many different types of people over, including children, men, and women, so they can become used to new people.
Enroll Them in a Training Class
Training classes are a great way to acclimate your dog to other animals and people. The environment is safe and controlled. Along with socialization, dogs will also get some obedience training to make them easier to handle in unfamiliar situations.
Never Force It
Follow your dog’s lead. Dogs can have bad days, too. If they seem fearful or uncomfortable, be patient and try again later.