Just like your pet (and you) needed a period of adjustment when you first met, all dogs must also go through certain steps to assure socially friendly attitudes towards strange/new situations. Your dog’s ability to adapt to new settings depends on how well you have trained them. A properly socialized dog will easily adjust to new people or conditions because they will continue to feel comfortable; that means they are less likely to show signs of aggression or rebellion. This facilitates visits to the vet, other houses, dog parks, etc.
You should begin introducing your dog to controlled environments as early as 3 weeks of age and before 12 weeks is reached. Not exposing them safely to controlled environments in their early life will lead to fearfulness and anxiety. Older dogs are harder to train.
Controlled environments include: 1) introducing the puppy to different people at a park or in someone’s home; 2) having them meet other pets; 3) noises such as vacuums, hair dryers, yelling, car horns, etc.; 4) distinct walking surfaces like mud, carpet, tile, and metal; 5) car traveling; and 6) any odd household objects like umbrellas or strollers.
Safe exposure to new experiences
Introduce them to new experiences gradually. For a puppy, everything is new and different so give them time to explore the new environment. A puppy between 12-18 weeks of age will be less likely to accept or willingly explore new experiences. This is a normal defense mechanism in all puppies and should not be taken as an alarm to worry. With reassurance and motivation, your pup will happily venture out their comfort zone. Make your dog as comfortable as can be and never pressure exploration with harsh words or force unwanted behavior from your puppy.
Think about the possibility of enrolling your puppy in a training program. Well-known pet stores, vet clinics, and even some kennels offer training. A great training program will teach your puppy how to properly respond to certain demands (like feeding times, meeting new people and dogs). Training classes are also great ways for your puppy to learn how conduct themselves when leashed.
If you happen to have an older dog that can no longer be consider a puppy, do not fret! Your dog can also learn basic socialization manners. It might take more time and patience on your part but it is possible. You might definitely need to look into training programs to professionally correct any behavior problems. If you think you can achieve good results yourself then look into training specifics for older dogs. The process may vary but it is always an important factor that your dog feels comfortable and tranquil when approaching new experiences, people, or pets. Calling local dog centers or check pet shops for pointers, tips, and training ideas can benefit your teaching routine with your family pet.
Socializing is crucial for joyful companionship between dog and owner. Having a well-socialized dog will also facilitate all future matters and situations that arise during life. All the people and pets your dog will encounter would highly appreciate the effort you put into this aspect of training. They may never say it but you will never receive complaints either because a dog that knows how to socialize is a happy one.