We hear a lot about dog socialisation, and it really is essential. A well-socialised dog has a much better quality of life as they can go to many places, including coffee shops, off-leash beaches and even on holiday, without causing trouble to their owners, other people or other dogs.
Dogs who are accustomed to a wide variety of people, dogs and environments will also recover quickly if something scares them. They can deal more easily with new situations and stimuli. I was recently featured in a blog article titled ‘Socialise Safely with Other Pets and Pet Lovers’ for leading pet care company Advantage. Make sure to read it for more information about the benefits of socialising with your dog and how to do so effectively. The topic of dog socialisation is a really important one for all dog owners and I was glad to be asked to participate! Some dog owners may not realise that some circumstances are better for socialising your dog than others.
Start at the beginning (not at the dog park)
Dog parks and off-leash areas are not the best places to start to socialise your dog. These are challenging environments, even for socialised dogs, and require all interaction between dogs to be carefully supervised. My thoughts on the dog park? Check this link. Initially, your dog should be introduced to other dogs at a puppy pre-school or day care where interactions are well-managed and the dogs are set up for success. You should also continue to socialise your dog at a good teenage dog class. Well-run day care centres with qualified staff can also make a huge difference to the successful socialisation of your dog.
Enroll them in structured activities
Another great way to meet other dogs and their owners is through taking up a dog sport such as Agility, Rally Obedience or Fly Ball. Many dogs really enjoy these activities. They have the added advantage of strengthening the bond between you and your pet – dogs and owners who have fun together stay together!
At Goodog, we recommend puppy pre schools that allow for off leash interaction, teenage dog classes for ongoing socialisation, as well as well day care centres with qualified staff. Taking up a hobby in the form of the above-mentioned dog sports can make all the difference to the owner-dog relationship.
We provide classes for every life stage of dogs: puppy pre school, teenage dog training classes, rescue dog training, workshops for recalls, loose leash walking and trick training, Agility and Rally O. We also do in-home consultations for problem behaviours. Dogs and owners who have fun together stay together – contact us to find out more.