Socialization: More than just playing time!

Socialization: More than just playing time!

What do you think when you hear the word socialization? Most dog owners know that socialization is critical to a well-adjusted dog that you can trust in all kinds of situations. They also believe that socialization means they must simply have their dogs in daycare-style playgroups. While daycare and playgroups have their place, proper socialization is much more than simply placing your dog in a playgroup! Socialization means your dog is exposed to all kinds of situations, sights, smells, sounds, etc. so they can tolerate comfortable everyday situations!

How do you make them feel comfortable around all kinds of objects, people, other dogs and animals, and each setting in between? Expose slow and steady introductions to new environments are exposing your dog to the world! They socialize! Play games like Pass the Puppy, where we introduce the dogs to other people by touching their paws, tails, ears, etc. Introduce them to new objects such as a mop, broom, vacuums, medical equipment and noisy toys for children and encourage them to explore these new objects. That exposure to unfamiliar objects and surroundings in a controlled, safe environment is what helps your dog develop the confidence to be able to handle all the new sounds, sights, smells and experiences they are going to encounter in the world with appropriate behavior!

Think of your whole life inside your home – you probably would not be a very well-adjusted member of society if you did so! Your dog is no different. You love your dog and he loves you back; make his life enjoyable and low stress by socializing him with everything the world has to offer! Thankfully, the world is becoming more dog friendly every day – be sure to take advantage of the opportunity to enrich your pet!

Proper socialization is key to their behavior for the years to come and comes with a big bonus: allowing them to take part in your adventures helps build the bond between you and your best bud!

It is important to know your dog, their personality and behavior and their limitations… If your dog is not friendly towards other dogs and/or people you’re talking a whole different ballgame than the average dog socialization that this blog describes. So obviously, do not expose them or take them somewhere that would put them and the other dogs and people around you in an unsafe situation!