Socialization is the process of exposing your canine to new people, animals, situations, and places. Effective socialization will produce a more relaxed and confident dog who is not afraid to discover new things and will be far less likely to adopt behaviors caused by fear of the unknown. Let’s look at five good benefits you and your best friend will get if you socialize your dog.
1. A Build-Up of Confidence
Properly socialized dogs are better able to respond to unfamiliar or unexpected situations. Confident canines won’t cower or hide behind their owners, a behavior that can invite aggression from other dogs. They will greet new people and dogs in a curious but relaxed posture and be better able to cope with stressful experiences such as visits to the vet.
- Click here for some tips on how to socialize an especially nervous dog.
2. Less Anxiety
Socialized dogs know that they are safe, and, therefore, they are not constantly tense and on guard. Having been exposed to many different places and met many kinds of humans and animals, such dogs tend to have less fear of the unknown and anxiety about what could happen. They will be more laid back, mellow, and less inclined to react negatively to the vet, groomer, mailman, or pizza delivery person.
- If you have a dog with extreme fear and anxiety, this article may help.
3. Improvement in Health
Not surprisingly, reducing the level of dogs’ fears will also reduce stress levels and produce dogs who can roll with life’s punches. In turn, they will be less vulnerable to physical and mental health issues caused by constant anxiety and stress, including:
Note: If your dog has an inherited disease, stress can make it harder to manage.
4. A Dog That Enjoys Life
Dogs that haven’t been well socialized may bark fearfully at everything they pass or hide apprehensively behind trees or under benches at the park, too afraid to join in with other happily romping dogs. When out in a car, they might pant, drool, or even vomit from anxiety. On the other hand, successfully socialized dogs are able to enjoy playing with new doggy friends and receive affection from strangers. Plus, they are more likely to be well-behaved when accompanying their owners to dog-friendly venues.
- Click here for some etiquette tips if you want to dine out with your dog.
5. You Will Worry Less About Your Dog
Dog parents with unsocialized dogs are likely to constantly worry about bad behavior. Dogs may lunge at people or animals, break their leash or collar, or pull the parent’s arm out pursuing another dog, cat, or uncatchable squirrel. Moreover, bites and scratches by an unsocialized canine can leave the owner open to medical, legal, and financial issues.
- Find out how to desensitize your dog to new sights and sounds.
Socialize Your Dog – Final Thoughts
In order to learn how to act in dog society, a dog needs to spend time with other dogs. Socialization can help ensure your dog can interact well and play safely with the neighborhood canines at your local dog park and during a meet and greet on a walk.
Dog socialization is a lifelong process. If you socialize your dog beginning at puppyhood, he will be more likely to behave calmly throughout his life (unless exposed to damaging trauma). However, many new experiences, people, and animals will be encountered throughout your dog’s life. This means you should always be prepared to help reinforce your dog’s socialization skills.
How to Cope With the End of Life
Sadly, although socializing your dog will help him to live a longer and happier life, the day will come when he is no longer with you. If you live in our area, Midlands Pet Care, a family-owned and operated company, will give your best friend the most compassionate burial or cremation possible. We also have an array of mementos in our online store to honor your dog’s memory.