If you’ve recently adopted a dog, it’s important to get them socialized. Socialization is crucial to a dog’s emotional well-being and their success within its new human family.
Canine socialization is the process of preparing a dog or cat to be comfortable with new situations. It also helps them become comfortable and confident in the presence of other animals, people, places and activities.
When does socialization begin for a new dog or pup?
A dog’s socialization process usually begins when it is very young. It is a learned behavior that is taught by the pup’s mother and its siblings. For example, if a puppy nips at momma dog, she may swat at its nose, push it aside, or produce a low growl.
Also, in the litter, the pups will start to compete for leadership roles--the alpha role and so on down the hierarchy. If your puppy or dog didn’t have this experience, it’s up to you to socialize them.
Dogs need strong leaders or they will try to dominate in their new surroundings. Essentially, you are teaching them what behaviors are acceptable and what is expected of them in different situations. You want your pup or dog to see you as their leader.
It is important to ease your dog into the socialization process. You can help a pet with socialization by taking them on short outings, incrementally introducing them to new situations, people, and other animals.
Often, a local trainer or pet daycare facility will have socialization classes -- these are highly recommended. Socializing your pet in a supervised controlled environment is essential before you let them off leash in a local dog park. If your dog doesn’t understand social order, they can either be aggressed upon by another dog--or become an aggressor. Either way, the end result is often not good.
Everyone is happier, more at ease, and sasfer when pets are well socialized. If you are having trouble with socialization for your new dog, ask your vet for suggestions or look into working with a local trainer. The following resources may also be of help to you:
AKC - Puppy Socializaiton
Dogtopia - How to Socialize and Older Dog
Animal Humane Society - Socializing Your Dog
Video on Puppy Socialization
Reliable Pet Sitters in Wilmington, Delaware
At Weather of Not, our staff of professional dog walkers and pet sitters is keen on pet socialization. We understand the innate needs of dogs as social animals. We always keep your pet in familiar areas and with other pets that they are familiar with--per your instructions. If you ever have concerns about your pet's socialization needs, please give our office a call at 302-304-8399 so that we may share pet training resources from the local Wilmington, Delaware area with you. And, don't forget we are here all summer to care for your pets while you are vacationing.