Socialising Your Dog
Nowadays it would be impossible to wander outside your home and not have the pleasure of the presence of a four-legged being. With dogs everywhere on our everyday walks, socialising your own dog when out and about has never been more vital.
Whilst being beneficial to their mental health, allowing your dog to become aware and relaxed around other canines is imperative to avoid problems such as anxiety and even aggression in our furry friends. From scheduled play dates with friends or family pets to just allowing your dog to get close to another at the park – socialising your dog is important and here’s all the reasons it can benefit your canine companion.
What is Socialisation?
Socialisation is the process of training your dog to learn to relate positively to people and other animals around them. This usually involves meeting and having encounters with adults, children, dogs and other animals as much as possible. Socialisation can also extend to various different environments or events such as Christmas, New Year and other occasions where your dog's environment is different to just being at home on a regular day.
In order for socialisation to have a positive effect on your dog’s wellbeing, it is important to take small steps to adjust your dog to various situations. Often, socialisation begins at Puppy phases but can often be left to later on in a dog’s life if owners are particularly wary of social situations. Encouraging your dog to meet new people or new animals is best started in a safe place where your dog feels most at ease and comfortable – once that has happened steps can be taken to socialise with others at the park, on walks or even other houses.
Benefits of Socialisation
Experiences in our dog’s lives can set a precedent for future behaviours and temperaments. So If Socialisation hasn’t created a positive experience, your dog may become anxious, and even aggressive towards humans and other animals. Training your dog to see others as a positive and rewarding experience can have a fundamental impact on their mental health and social skills leaving them a more well-rounded animal for the future.
Reducing Negative Experiences
Allowing your dog to socialise with others will inevitably create a rewarding experience for your dog. The best time to socialise your dog is during their puppy phase when their inhibitions are slighter lower, introducing them to other humans and animals in a controlled manner will in turn reduce any onset anxiety from new social experiences in the future.
It is also massively important that when undergoing any socialisation training with your dog that you are confident in your approach. Any anxiety or nervousness from yourself will impact your dog as they will be able to sense you are uncomfortable with the situation making them react in an anxious way themselves.
To reinforce positive experiences and behaviour, first introduce your dog to another by arranging a playdate with another pet owner. If you have a friend or family member with a dog, introduce them to yours by allowing them to sniff one another whilst on a lead. This security will allow your dog to feel safe and thus create a positive environment for both pooches present. Once your dog becomes able to interact with dogs in this safe environment, you can move training further along by small walks to a dog park – whichever way you choose you will see positive effects throughout their lifetime.
Improves their Mental & Physical Health
Feeling at ease when out and about means your dog has more time to do what they love – playing. With reduced fear and anxiety about leaving the house, this can allow for a whole heap of fun when it comes to choosing activities and adventures for you and your four-legged friend.
With our Cornish coastline home to some of the most blissful and beautiful beaches in the country, allowing your dog to confidently socialise means you can both get sandy paws without a worry in the world.
As your dog becomes more and more comfortable with the outdoors, both yourself and your dog will benefit physically from more frequent walks and adventures outside.