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Socialise a Dog

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How to Socialise a Dog

Socialising is a process that puppies go through to learn how to relate to other dogs and people. It involves meeting with various dogs and people early and getting used to different environments. 

Dogs are more receptive when they are puppies as with humans when they are children. In this time of their life, exposing them to new experiences and helping them learn new things is important. 

After twelve weeks, your dog has settled into their surroundings and developed their personality, temperament and character. After this time, it can be more difficult to get them to accept anything new and unfamiliar. 

This is particularly true for dog social skills.

It’s extremely important to learn how to socialise a dog correctly for your dogs wellbeing and behaviour. Taking the time to correctly socialise your dog will result in a well adjusted dog that enjoys the company of other dogs and people and can be taken anywhere. 

On the contrary, if your dog isn’t socialised correctly as a puppy it may grow up to be anxious or have behavioral problems.

Unfortunately, in certain situations it is not possible to socialise your dog during puppyhood. But there are actions you can take to socialise your dog at an older age. 

We will guide you through: socialising your puppy correctly, socialising older dogs, helping aggressive and nervous dogs ease into social situations. We also have some tips and tricks to help make the process of socialising your dog or puppy that little bit easier.

Socialising a Puppy

As puppies get older they become more cautious when faced with new experiences. Because of this it is best to socilaise your puppy when it is still under 12 weeks old.

By the time dogs reach over 12 weeks they will likely approach new situations with caution. It is therefore important to introduce them to these situations early on in their life. 

The amount of socialising that is done at an early age will generally determine how confident your puppy will be. This will be evident later in your dogs life by how they are around people and other dogs. 

How to Socialise a Puppy

The process for socialising a puppy is very simple. All you have to do is take your puppy out and about as much as possible once they have settled in. While it is important to not overwhelm them, the more interaction they have with other dogs and people, in different environments, the better.

Always keep an eye on your puppy in new environments. Be aware of your surroundings and make sure there is nothing in the area that could hurt your puppy, like plants that are toxic to dogs.

Being slow at first, gradually increase the number of positive encounters your puppy has. You will see your puppy gain confidence as it gets older and you build on the socialisation process.

How long until puppies can be socialised with other dogs?

Puppies generally go to a new home at about 8 weeks old. This is the perfect time to start introducing your new puppy to the world. As soon as your new dog gets settled in, it is important to start socilaising them to build their confidence.

Can a Puppy be Around Other Dogs Before Vaccinations?

Puppies can be around other dogs at any age. If the vaccination status of the other dog is unknown it is not advised that your puppy mix with them. 

Unvaccinated dogs should be avoided. Your puppy should not be around unvaccinated dogs until at least 2 weeks after the second vaccination.

How to Socialise an Older Dog

Not all dogs have the perfect start in life. Certain situations may make it impossible to socialise them properly at a young age.

Although ideally you should socialise your dog as a puppy, there is still hope for older dogs. Following a few simple steps you can begin putting your dog into social situations to help them be comfortable with new environments.

Walk your Dog Daily

Taking your dogs for a walk is a good opportunity for your dog to meet and interact with other dogs. Its also the perfect opportunity to and practice good behavior out of the house.

When out of the house you are more likely to encounter other dogs encouraging your dog into social situations. 

Walking is also great exercise for your dog and is good for your dog’s temperament. The exercise uses up energy and your dog will be calmer and more submissive around other dogs.

If your dog barks at other dogs, do not escalate the situation. By yelling at your dog or pulling on the leash, you can add to their excitement. Often this will turn the situation into a negative one. Your dog may then associate this negativity with other dogs in the future. 

We want our dogs to associate meetings with other dogs as positive situations. Distract your dog from negative problems and encourage them during positive conditions. If your dog barks, distract him calmly and assertively. When the moment has passed, try for the next social situation.

Use a Muzzle

If your dog has a history of aggression towards other dogs, using a muzzle can help. This will help prevent the danger of your dog biting and injuring another dog. The muzzle will also act as a mental barrier making the dogs calmer, and their meeting will be a more positive experience.

Can Aggressive Dogs be Socialised?

Aggressive dogs is not a topic to be taken lightly. Aggressive dogs may endanger other dogs as well as humans. 

It is possible to socialise aggressive dogs and by socialising your dog correctly you may be able to solve its aggression. 

The process for socialising an aggressive dog is along the same lines as socialising any other dogs but a slightly more complex and slower process.