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Have you recently adopted a new puppy, or rescued a shelter dog? Has your pet gotten used to only interacting with your immediate family? If so, you may need to work on socialization. Socialization is, in a nutshell, the process of exposing Fido to new places and faces, and helping him feel comfortable when presented with the unfamiliar. A Downey, CA vet discusses socializing dogs below.
Socialization really should happen when Fido is still a puppy. There’s a very short and specific window for this, which starts to close by the time your pet is about 3 months old. In order to socialize your furry friend properly, you’ll need to let him meet new people and visit new places. Ask your vet for more information.
Don’t assume that older dogs can’t be socialized. It just may take longer, and you may need to set different goals. An adult pooch that is timid may never become that happy, friendly pup that loves everyone he meets. However, Fido can learn to function without becoming overly fearful or aggressive.
Parks are a great place for socialization. Many people love dogs, so you may find that folks naturally want to interact with or pet Fido, especially if he is a puppy. This is a great option for socialization.
Fido can really benefit from interacting with gentle older pooches, as he will naturally pick up the do’s and don’ts of doggy behavior. Why not host a puppy party? Invite some people with friendly, well-behaved dogs over. Have a grill-out or potluck for your human guests, and set out toys and treats for the pups. You can also offer your canine pals a kiddie pool to splash around in.
Doggy daycare is another great option. Another bonus with this? Fido will be able to run and play while you’re at work, so he won’t need as much exercise or playtime when you get home.
Socialization isn’t an exact science. Dogs are all unique, and some are naturally more friendly and open than others are. Keep an eye out for signs that your pet is getting nervous. He may cower, tuck his tail, tremble, or lick his lips. If you see any of these, take Fido home and try again another day.
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