There are many different aspects of being a responsible dog owner. As well as making sure that your furry pal eats the right foods, gets enough exercise and receives the necessary preventative care, another thing that you need to think about is socialization.
Dog socialization is a very important part of canine ownership. It refers to the process by which puppies, and in the case of later socialization, adult dogs learn to relate appropriately to other animals, people, and situations. Socialization should start with the breeder, as soon as your dog is born, and continue right through their early years. Starting early is essential if your dog is to develop into a confident and happy adult. Here’s why:
Early Socialization is Easier
The younger your dog is when you start socialization training, the easier they (and you!) will find it. The reason for this is because your dog won’t have had enough life experience to develop any fears. However, by around 12 weeks old, anything not yet encountered is likely to be approached with caution or even fear. For this reason, the first 12 weeks are the most important time to start socialization and to introduce your puppy to as many different people, animals, and environments as possible. And of course, this should be continued into adulthood.
Properly Socialized Dogs do Better When Boarding
Although you’ll be very committed to taking care of your dog, there may be occasions where you temporarily need to pass their care over to someone else. Professional boarding services are widely considered to be the best option for looking after your dog when you can’t. This is because they are designed and operated specifically with short-term pet care in mind and staffed by trained and experienced professionals who are passionate about animal welfare. Nevertheless, boarding can be a daunting prospect for many dogs. Strange environments, people, and other animals can intimidate an anxious, poor-socialized dog. However, canines that have been well socialized tend to adapt to their own mini-vacation much more easily. This also makes leaving your furbaby a little more bearable, since you won’t be worried that they are anxious or fearful, or that they become a nuisance to boarding staff or other animals, while you are apart.
Socialized Dogs Tend to be Better Behaved
All dogs have the ability to be a little mischievous from time to time, but those that aren’t taught how to interact with other animals or how to behave are more likely to develop undesirable behaviors that could be tricky to combat at a later stage. These include barking, chasing other animals, or even aggression. While it is possible to train these out of your pup, you can avoid them altogether by socializing your furbaby as early in their life as possible.
Socialization can be done both at home and in the form of professional classes. Many owners choose to take their new dogs to puppy training classes so that they have the opportunity to make new friends and have fun while learning about the world. If you would like to find out more about socializing your dog, don’t hesitate to speak to our knowledgeable veterinary team in Evansville, IN at (812) 710-4300.