Importance of Socializing Your Dog
Bottom line, dog socialization saves lives. Behavioral problems are the number one reason for euthanizations and shelter overpopulation. However, most behavior problems can be avoided if dog owners focus on training and early socialization. Well-socialized puppies rarely grow into dangerous adult dogs. So, why not practice prevention before there is a problem?
What does Socializing a Dog Mean?
Simply stated, socializing a dog means learning to interact with society in a respectable manner.
In a home environment, pets get used to certain noises, people, pets and other influences. But, in the real world pet owners must help their dogs learn how to cope and respond in a healthy manner to all people, animals, noises and things they might encounter in an uncontrolled environment.
Is it the same procedure for a puppy and an adult dog?
According to the Animal Humane Society, socializing an adult dog is a very different process than a puppy. Once dogs reach a certain age, usually between 1-3 years old, they may not enjoy being around groups of other dogs or people. Much of this is determined by the environment they grew up in. Puppies between 3 - 20 weeks are normally very accepting to new people and dogs. This process being followed from the time a dog is a puppy can drastically improve the social behavior as an adult.
Helpful steps in socializing a dog
- Expose your dog to a variety of people, animals, places, sounds, and experiences regularly starting as a puppy if possible
- Make sure not to overwhelm your dog while socializing
- Avoid frightening your dog by not pushing situations that they are not comfortable with
Should I consider classes?
If you do not have the time or patience to socialize your dog it could be a valuable investment to join a class and is a part of being a responsible dog owner. You can find these in just about every location and can greatly improve the way your dog interacts with society.
The last thing you want as a dog owner is dealing with dog attacks and being involved with a lawsuit. As a dog bite lawyer, seeing the results that occur from dogs that are not socialized appropriately from the time as a puppy has been astounding with accidents of all types.