Top 3 tips to improve your dog's social skills
September 19, 2012
If you've recently decided to adopt a puppy or adult canine from a New York animal shelter, you're undoubtedly rushing to get everything ready to accommodate your pooch when he or she gets home. While buying pet products and other creature comforts is an important aspect of pet parenting, ensuring that your dog develops the proper social skills is also extremely vital. If you're not sure how to go about this process, keep the following tips in mind to help your dog feel more comfortable around other people and canines.
1. Use a multi-faceted approach. According to DogChannel.com, in addition to socializing with people and other animals, being introduced to a variety of different environments is vital to helping your dog feel comfortable in social situations. This is particularly important with puppies, so consider giving your dog as well-rounded an experience as possible. Subtle differences, such as people wearing hats, sporting facial hair, meeting dogs and cats of all sizes and being introduced to a variety of different walking surfaces and noisy environments, can ensure that your dog won't get the jitters in certain situations.
2. Take a trip to the dog park. One of the best ways to help your dog meet and greet other canines and get a bit of exercise in the process is by visiting your local dog park. If you live in the New York City area, the Dog Parks at Bideawee are a wonderful environment for your pooch. This membership-only community is a fabulous one-acre locale which will allow dogs to interact with one another in a safe setting.
3. Set up doggy play dates. If your neighbors, family or friends have dogs, this is a great opportunity for your pooch to make a new friend or two and mingle with a fellow canine. To ensure that this activity has the greatest effect, consider going on a hike, taking a long walk around your town or heading to a social event like a festival or one of your kids' sporting events. This will allow you to perform double-duty on your dog socialization obligations while enjoying an active day with your pet.
It's your job as a pet parent to ensure your dog's safety during this process, so only put him or her into situations with well-behaved dogs and remove your pooch from the situation if you start to notice signs of panic. With a bit of hard work and perseverance, you'll have the laidback and easygoing dog you've been waiting for!