Thursday, March 20, 2008

A Doggie-do: Socialization is a must!

All pet owners share at least one goal: to enjoy their pet's company and to benefit from a rewarding relationship with their pet. If your dog is not well-mannered, it becomes hard to take him out to the pet store, the park, or sometimes even to go out to use the potty!
Unfortunately, many people don't understand that socialization is an important part of a dog's development, and if left unsocialized, pets may suffer from isolation and lack a positive sense of self. They may never have a sense of peace in their surroundings.

The easiest way to socialize a puppy is to take him everywhere with you. Even a short trip to run an errand may expose your pet to new faces, smells and sights that will help him understand the world around him. Exposure to people is also a must. Anytime visitors stop by, practice making your pet sit until the visitor is in the door. Then, give your pet the opportunity to sniff and be petted by the visitor. Discipline is essential if you want a pet that can greet visitors without french kisses and big paw hugs.
Plan as many outings as possible with your pet in mind. By taking your dog with you everywhere he can go, you can easily reach the ultimate goal of socialization! Your dog should be able to take in any different, noisy, or crowded area, and still manage to be well-behaved while also being pretty relaxed. If your dog is not exposed to different places, people, and things early enough in puppyhood, he may remain fearful of trips to the vet or even just leaving the house.

Sometimes rambunctious dogs still get over-excited to get out, but they will learn that if they want to 'go play' somewhere, they have to settle down.
A continuous routine of socialization throughout his life will help your dog gain the confidence he needs to face any adventure!

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