5 Tips for Socializing Puppy and Adult Dogs

If you expect to be able to take your dog in public without encountering problems every time she sees another dog you need to properly socialize her. When a dog is properly socialized you can take them on walks, visit the vet, go to the dog park, or go to the pet store with little worry. The fact is, an unsocialized dog is a liability. That is why it is so essential for you to start socializing your dog early-on. The following tips will help you raise your puppy to be a happy, healthy, well-adjusted and socialized dog.

Puppy socialization

Dog and Puppy Socialization Tips:

1. Organize Dog Play Dates. If you have friends or family members that have dogs that are vaccinated and healthy arrange to take your puppy out for a visit with them or visa versa. It helps to even do this with people and cats. Be cautious when introducing a dog to a new animal. In fact, until you are positive they are getting along you should keep your dog on a leash and carefully supervise them.

2. Take your Puppy Out and About with you. It is good for your puppy to get used to crowds, people and activity. However, keep your dog on a leash and be mindful of their stress level.

3. Get your Dog Used to the Car. One of the biggest mistakes people make is only taking their dog for car rides when they have a veterinary appointment. Getting your dog out for short car trips will eliminate the association some dogs develop between the car and the vet. Make sure you exercise car safety by using a harness or another dog safety device.

4. Encourage your Dog’s Natural Instinct to Explore. Proper dog socialization hinges on your own dog’s ability to handle unexpected situations and unfamiliar things. With your supervision let your dog sniff, paw and examine everyday items. Take your dog on frequent walks and take different routes so they get to explore new areas.

5. Prevention. When it comes to dog socialization the most important thing is that you make sure your dog’s first experience with other dogs isn’t scary. If all doesn’t go well and your dog has a bad experience the first time out it can create a lasting phobia. That said, if something goes awry and your dog has a bad experience it is important to try again right away and hopefully replace the bad with good.

Westside Los Angeles/ Beverly Hills dog trainer and dog behavior expert with 30 years of experience.

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