Whether he’s a puppy or perhaps a rescue that needs some TLC, the process by which your dog becomes accustomed to animals, people and other situations without become fearful or aggressive is what’s called socializing your dog. Here are a few tips to make the process a little easier.
Take your dog to the vet. Whether he’s a puppy or a rescue, you must make sure that your dog is in good health and is up to date with inoculations before introducing him to other people or pets. This is for both the safety of others and your dog.
Enroll in obedience classes. Are you afraid that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Don’t be. Puppies to elders can all benefit from professional training. By teaching your dog to be attentive to commands, you’ll be able to control and relax him in almost every situation.
Practice! Just because class is over, doesn’t mean that it’s time for you to stop using the commands. The more often you practice commands with your dog, the more habitual his following of those commands will become.
Walk your dog. Grab the leash and take him around the block. Slowly introduce him to the sounds of traffic, other people and other dogs that may be on their walk as well. Keep tight control of the leash, especially if your dog is sizable. Slowly let your dog “smell” and introduce himself to other dogs. As he gets used to it, you’ll slowly be able to trust him with more slack on the leash.
Praise and reward your dog. If your dog exhibits acceptable and correct behavior, praise him, encouraging him to repeat such behavior. If he exhibits something unacceptable, ignore the behavior. Different trainers have different thoughts on how to “correct” your dog. Some encourage you to “check” your dog by tugging on the leash, while others promote a “verbal correction.” Also, some trainers also utilize “treat training.” Which means when your dog something positive, you reward him with a treat. Communicate with your trainer on what system works best for you and your dog.
Ensure that you take your dog everywhere! The goal of socialization is to be able to have your dog remain obedient to you in any situation. The more scenarios you place him in, the more he will excel.