Photo by Barnabas Davoti

It’s always an exciting and joyous experience to have a dog around. However, training and socializing your dog helps them grow into well-adjusted pets. 

The moment you get a new dog, whether it’s a puppy or an adult rescue, they probably need some obedience training. Not only so they would be familiar with you and their new environment but also for their own good. After all, nothing’s better than having a well-behaved dog who listens and only acts on cue. While it’s also important for us to have fun with our new canine friends, as a dog parent, it’s crucial to train your dog, particularly socializing them.

When their adorable paws touch the ground, you envision a future filled with companionship and love. But along with boundless affection and playfulness, raising a well-behaved pet still requires dedication and patience in training and socializing your dog.

What Is Dog Socialization?

It’s the process of exposing dogs to the following:

  • Experiences
  • Environments
  • People
  • Animals
  • Situations

Training and socializing your dog teaches them positive interaction. Moreover, socialization creates positive associations with various stimuli among dogs. It could even mellow down a reactive dog that shows fear-based behaviors and aggression. 

Why Is Training and Socializing Your Dog Important?

Dogs are intelligent creatures, and they understand what you mean when you spell it out clearly. Even with five dogs and their antics, training and socializing still matters. Not only does it improve the bond you have with your dog, but it also reduces the likelihood of aggression, fear, and anxiety. More so if it’s accompanied by positive reinforcement that builds trust and mutual understanding.

Effective Tips for Training and Socializing Your Dog

Training and socializing your dog should be a fun but gradual process. Moreover, not all dogs display the same behavior and temperament. Therefore, you should get to know them well. Whether you’re a first-time dog parent or on refresher, this guide will give you enough knowledge and skills to train a well-behaved pet. Additionally, it will build a strong bond with your furry friend. 

Here are some tips for training and socializing your dog:

Safety First

What do we mean when we say that safety comes first?

Keeping your dog safe and comfortable as they settle in their new home should be the top priority of every dog parent, especially for rescue dogs. We never know how much they had to endure, so they’re always on guard most of the time. However, you can still create that bond by making them feel that you are trustworthy. Making a rescue dog comfortable in your home is not easy, but it’s worth it once they warm up to you.

On another note, make sure you put your dog on a leash and a muzzle – yes, a muzzle. It might sound odd at first, but in reality, muzzles are necessary for a good reason. Contrary to popular belief, dog muzzle training is also for your own dog’s safety, not just for the others. However, it might take long for many people to understand its positive side, but there are appropriate ways to use them.

Always Go for Daily Walks

You know well that all dogs love a good walk around the neighborhood. Taking them to safe public spaces will help them grow more comfortable with the world around them. Moreover, they would be used to the sound of cars down the street, even random human noises. That way, things become less scary once they’ve familiarized themselves with everything they see and hear because of these walks. And get this – you, the dog parent, get some needed exercise too!

Get Them Used to Various People and Animals

Other than letting your dog get used to its surroundings, getting them acclimated around various people helps, too. If your dog only hangs out with you, they might grow extra wary of other people who aren’t you. Furthermore, always stay calm even if your dog might act scared. They might be skittish, so you shouldn’t push them to socialize. And if other people ask to pet your dog, let them know that their hands should be where the dog can see them. Moreover, no one should hug or take the dog by surprise; otherwise, they would react badly.

Enroll Them in Dog Boot Camps

Your dog can benefit from professional training courses. Ask your vet if any local dog training camps are suitable for you and your pet. In your own time, try to look into the basic commands every dog should know and test them out so your dog can learn essential communication skills. Don’t forget to reward them when they complete the basic commands.

Always Exercise Caution When Socializing Your Dog

While getting your dog used to crowds and animals is important, avoid overdoing it. Let your dog interact with others, but not so long that your buddy won’t be worn out. Moreover, exercise caution when it comes to size gaps among dogs. Whether you own a small or big dog, make sure you watch their body language, especially the ear and tail movements.

Always look out for signs of discomfort in your dog, like excessive panting, yawning, or tail tucked between the legs. Training and socializing your dog well also involves knowing when to stop and let them rest away. Take your time to make your dog feel comfortable at all costs because that’s what matters the most.