A properly socialized dog is well-behaved and comfortable in different environments. A poorly socialized dog, on the other hand, can be a handful. They cause trouble, over-react, experience fear and anxiety, and more. Ensuring that your dog is well-socialized, then, will make both your lives much easier. Here’s how to get started:
Determine your pup’s threshold
Every dog has a breaking point, or a threshold, for when things get too much for them. At this point, they get stressed out and become over-reactive. Poorly socialized dogs have lower thresholds than well-socialized dogs. So, knowing your pup’s threshold will help you determine how much training and work that they need. You can figure this out by looking out for these tell-tale signs:
- Lowered head
- Rounded body
- Furrowed brow
- Lowered or tucked tail
- Shaking and/or panting
- Flattened ears
- Lip licking
Use positive reinforcement
Once you determine your dog’s threshold, introduce them to a situation that is just below it. For instance, if they get nervous around other people, bring them to a park while making sure they’re kept a far distance away from other people. As you’re doing this, continually reward your pup for behaving well with treats and words of encouragement. This kind of positive reinforcement will teach your pup that there’s nothing to be afraid of.
Slow and steady wins the race
As you’re out at that park, don’t spend too long there. End your training session on a high note by leaving before your pup gets too stressed out. Keep doing this over time, getting closer and closer to other people gradually.
At Pauley’s Pups, all of our dogs are well-socialized and ready for a loving home. To learn more, contact us today!