Dogs are social creatures by nature. From the time they’re born, they rely on their littermates for warmth, comfort, and protection. However, K9 manners don’t come naturally. They must be taught. When taken away from their brothers and sisters and placed in a home with humans, a dog has to learn to socialize all over again.
Socialization is important for all dogs, but it’s especially crucial for puppies. That’s because they’re more open to new experiences during the first few months of life and more likely to form positive associations with other animals and people. That’s not to say that an adult dog can’t learn K9 manners and the art of socialization, but it can be more challenging.
K9 manners and socialization training will teach your dog how to be calm and well-behaved when interacting with people and other dogs.
Socializing with People
You want your friends to visit your home without being harassed by your dog. Here are some tips to improve their behavior with other people.
You can teach your dog K9 manners at home, but they may not apply them when interacting with other people if not regularly exposed to them. Walking your dog isn’t just about getting exercise. It allows them to get used to the sights and sounds of being in public and meeting new people.
Take a Different Route
The more people and places you expose your dog to, the more likely they are to adjust to different situations. Take them on different routes when walking them so they can experience different surroundings and people. Go to the dog park or take them shopping with you when you go to the pet store.
Check Your Reactions
How you react to your dog’s behavior plays a key role in teaching them K9 manners and how to socialize. If your dog exhibits fear or acts inappropriately in a social situation, remain calm but stern when reprimanding them. If a particular situation scares them, don’t push them into it. Introduce them to it a little bit at a time while reassuring them that they are safe.
Socializing with Other Dogs
When taking your dog out in public, they will inevitably encounter other dogs. Here are some tips to help their interactions with other K9’s go smoothly.
Keep Treats on Hand
Okay, it may seem a bit like bribery, but that’s ok if it works, right? Every time your dog interacts with another dog in a positive way, give them a treat. This will reinforce K9 manners and good behavior and help your dog associate socializing with something positive.
Of course, you want to make sure that you only give your dog treats when they are well behaved. If you give them treats all the time, they will think of them as a snack instead of a reward for good behavior.
We mentioned trips to the dog park or the pet store to get your dog used to other people and places. Visiting these destinations is also one of the best ways to get your pooch used to interacting with other dogs.
The pet store is a great prerequisite to the dog park. There are fewer dogs and they are all on a leash and typically well behaved. Once they do well at the pet store, you can move on to trips to the dog park.
However, don’t just take them to the dog park and turn them loose. Keep your dog leashed for the first few visits and walk them around the park to monitor their reaction to the other dogs and people in the park. Once they seem at ease with the surroundings, you can introduce them to being leash free and able to romp around with the other dogs.
When exposing your dog to any situation where other dogs are present, be vigilant in monitoring not only your dog’s behavior but also the behavior of the other dogs. If your dog is small, you may want to think twice before turning him loose if the majority of the dog park population consists of larger K9s. Even without meaning to, they could scare or even injure your dog and make future visits to the dog park a cause of anxiety. Watch your dog’s body language. Excessive panting, yawning, or putting their tail between their legs are all signs they are uncomfortable in the situation.
Training in K9 Manners and More at Beau’s K9 Academy
One of the best ways to instill K9 manners and socialization skills in your dog is to have them enrolled in a professional training course. This can teach your dog to enjoy interacting with people and other dogs, respond to your commands, and have a more fulfilling relationship with you.
If you’re looking to enroll your pet in dog socialization classes in NJ, you need to find a trainer you can trust. Beau’s K9 Academy is here to help you properly train your puppy or adult dog. We offer an array of other dog training services like behavior modification, in-home training, puppy training, and even advanced search and rescue training. Contact Beau’s K9 Academy today.