Every dog deserves health and happiness. That means feeling safe, playing nice, and building confidence every single day. But without ample opportunities to socialize with other pets and people, your dog might not be living their best life.
Is your dog getting enough socialization? Let’s find out. Here are some common questions and answers you need to know.
Why does my dog need socialization?
Dogs are like people. They thrive on frequent social interaction. Yes, even you, the introvert, is better off with more people in your life—and your dog’s no different!
Dogs that experience frequent socialization:
- Demonstrate less fear and anxiety
- Are less aggressive
- Lead more active lives (sleep less and interact more)
- Learn good behaviors that build confidence
- Understand and adhere to social structures
- Develop good mental and emotional health
- Learn and retain communication commands more easily
- Approach new experiences more comfortably (travel, groomer’s, vet)
How can I tell if my dog’s not getting enough socialization?
Some telltale signs your dog might not be well socialized include:
- Growling at strangers
- Showing aggression toward other dogs
- Experiencing separation anxiety
- Retreating, crouching, or tucking tail between legs
- Tucking ears flat against head
If your dog is uncomfortable meeting new people or animals (especially cats), you should probably explore socialization methods. It’s important to know that being receptive to new surroundings does not come naturally to every dog, so you’re encouraged to help your dog socialize with others early and often.
How can I help my dog socialize with other people and/or dogs?
The good news is that it’s never too late to help socialize your dog. While there are different strategies for dogs of different ages, here are some things you can do for any dog at any time.
- Always exercise love and patience with your dog!
- Bring your dog to a pet-friendly pet store
- Take daily walks in lots of different places
- Introduce your dog to new people as often as possible
- Visit the vet without an appointment
- Sign your pup up for obedience training
- Travel with your dog
- Bring your dog to a friend’s backyard
- Never punish your dog for showing signs of isolation, fear, or anxiety
- Come to Barkology!
At Barkology, our state-of-the-art facility is a safe place for people and pets. What’s more, our trained staff can help your dog develop critical socialization skills to help them thrive.
Animal Humane Society: Socializing your dog
Rover.com: How to socialize your dog with humans
Dogtopia: 4 benefits of socialization
Preventive Vet: How to help a dog that’s missed early socialization