Top Reasons To Socialize Your Dog
Socialization is a complex issue when it comes to canines. Some dogs become worried around people, while others seem to be wary around other hounds. Crating dogs for extended periods or leaving them home alone can be hard because they are such social creatures. The more you expose them to, the more comfortable they should be with different experiences that will pop up throughout their lives. Here are a few of the top reasons to socialize your dog.
Minimizes Fear and Anxiety
Without socialization, overstimulation can occur, prompting the dog’s fear and anxiety to take over. Your goal should be to introduce your dog to new people slowly at first until the addition of a stranger in a given situation causes very little negative response. By taking baby steps while working toward socialization with people, you should see fear and anxiety wane over time. Your presence during new meetings lends support as your dog investigates newcomers. This practice should bring aggressive behaviors down as well.
Easier To Groom
High-anxiety dogs that are only familiar with the people who live in their household may give the groomer a run for their money. Proper grooming is essential to keep dogs healthy. Unsocialized dogs may become aggressive or too anxious at the groomers, making it nearly impossible to work on them. Working on socialization will help make your pup less anxious and more open to letting the groomer trim its nails and hair when necessary and check its coat and skin.
More Playtime and Exercise
If you’re nervous about how your dog will react to other people or pets, you may keep it indoors more often than is healthy. Socializing your dog with others will allow for more playtime and exercise, as running into other people and pets on walks is inevitable. Socializing your dog will ensure it’s more excited and open—rather than nervous or aggressive—when these meetings occur.
Easier Vet Visits
Just as socialization can reduce anxiety during grooming, it also lends a big helping hand during vet visits. Both places are full of other animals’ scents, which could be overwhelming for a dog that never encounters other animals. Then having a stranger poke and prod at it can be agitating. The calmer your dog feels with new people and animals, the smoother checkups should go.
Makes Traveling Easier
We love our dogs and want them to be able to travel with us. However, dogs that never leave the house can be quite a handful in the car. The only way to decrease the anxious and distracting activity in the car is to make it a more frequent and mundane occurrence. If your dog only gets in the car to go to the doctor or groomer, it will associate getting in the car with going somewhere unsettling. The more comfortable you can get while riding together, the better, as your dog will eventually be able to sit or lay down and enjoy the ride. There’s nothing more terrifying than an anxious pup jumping on and off your lap while you’re cruising down the highway. It’s best to secure it in the back or with a harness to keep you both safe during these trips.
Socializing your dog will only increase the quality of life for you both, as you can do more together and worry less if someone needs to dog-sit for you. Consider these top reasons to socialize your dog to help it feels most comfortable in any situation. Start small with one person or one dog it doesn’t know, and work your way to a park scenario.