Dogs do not live a solitary life. They are social beings who are designed to play with other dogs and interact with people. Interestingly, this doesn’t automatically imply that socializing is an inherent skill for our fur babies. In fact, fur parents who have had dogs for years now will testify that the best time to teach our four-pawed cuties to start mingling with others is when they’re still puppies.
However, if your furry friend has gotten older but has still not learned how to socialize, you need not worry because you can still teach old dogs new tricks!
There are many simple yet effective ways you can teach both old and young dogs to better learn how to become sociable.
Walk and meet
One easy way to teach your barking child to be sociable is to go on daily walks with them. Build a routine. Set a particular time and route. Doing this daily will help your dog get used to being outside, seeing other humans, and interacting with other canines. Make sure to do this regularly, so your dog gets used to the idea of seeing, hearing, and smelling different
For newborn puppies, start by walking with them in circles or in close areas by your home. When you’re a little more confident that your fur baby can now handle an overwhelming crowd, you can then take them to a park. Eventually, you can teach them how to approach other dogs without necessarily getting too excited.
If you feel like your babies are not ready to experience a dog park just yet, you can choose to set playdates for them with other puppies. Try to look for a friend who has a friendly dog, or you can also ask your neighbor to allow his furry friend to come to your home and spend a few hours. Doing this several times a week will allow your puppy to feel relaxed in front of others.
When setting playdates for the first time, try to keep it to only one dog. This is to make sure that your barking best friend won’t get overwhelmed.
Hugs, praises, and treats
When teaching your furry friend to be sociable, use positive reinforcement like hugs, verbal praises, and treats. For every good deed, make sure to reward your dogs. This is to remind them what specific behaviors are worth keeping. The more your fur baby gets used to positive reinforcement and practicing healthy habits, the easier it will be for them to read the room and socialize.
Teaching your puppies and adult dogs to be sociable shouldn’t be too complicated. Yes, there are guides and video tutorials, but don’t let it feel like a business workshop or a summer course.
You can start with simple and attainable goals. If you have a front porch or live near a busy street, you can try to expose your dogs in those areas. Doing so surely stimulates their different senses. Getting used to the hustle and bustle of loud areas and spots only benefit them.
Crucial to teaching your dog to be sociable is to learn patience. Remember that while our fur friends are bright and intelligent, it takes time to develop individual skills and habits. So, don’t get frustrated if your dog might not learn how to socialize as quick as you want.