Hunny and the homesteading farm dogs - are you a multiple dog household?

Socializing My Dog Is Important

Socializing My Dog

Fridays are busy days here at Casa de Pulga.  We all have busy days. And if we’re honest with ourselves, I’m pretty sure we have days when we waste too much time. Can I get an amen? Mine usually involve reading one novel after another. *sigh* Socializing my dog isn’t easy. Both dogs.

Socializing my dog is easier with the best treats
Socializing on foodie Friday – and any day of the week – is so much easier with Jones Natural Chews

My favorite days, which are both busy and relaxing, are the days we have visitors. The best ones just drop in.

*ahem*

Why Socialize Dogs?

Socialization is important for nervous or protective dogs. If they’re not exposed to the general public regularly from a young age, they get ugly with strangers. Guests are barked and growled at. It’s almost impossible to have company over. You risk having a dog bite someone, then having your dog put down. And they’re more anxious in general, I think. We didn’t socialize our first Aussie as much as we should have and she never did get used to having company she didn’t know. Socializing my dog was nearly impossible with a new baby, or so I thought.

So with Flash and Patches, even though we don’t get them out and about as much as we’d like to, we have visitors nearly daily. My three teens have friends here day and night. My own friends and acquaintances drop in to have coffee and visit chickens. Strangers at stop lights lean out of their cars to say hi to the babies when they sit in the front passenger seat. I’m slightly biased, but they are gorgeous dogs.

How Do I Socialize My Dog?

How do we deal with our dogs when we introduce them to someone new? I’m so glad you asked.

  • Encourage strangers to kneel, lean or squat and put their hand out, back first, for a sniff. Towering over the dog is intimidating. The back of the hand doesn’t typically strike.
  • Have a treat ready. Windee Rings from Jones Natural Chews make the perfect treat for this. They’re a great size for any and all dogs, and they’re all natural, straight from the cow. A dog biscuit will do, too, but not all dogs are wild about a biscuit. I haven’t met a dog yet which doesn’t like a Windee Ring.
  • When someone is coming to the house, I put the dogs in a back room until company is here and established. After a few minutes I’ll let the dogs out to say hello. They’re far more accepting when someone is already in the house and making themselves at home than when someone is AT THEIR DOOR, TRYING TO GET IN THEIR HOUSE. GRRR! It’s important the dogs know they can do their job when someone comes to the door, to guard the house. I try and keep strangers and guests separate this way.
  • We let people know, straight up, what sets the dogs off. Flash, for instance, doesn’t like anyone but family to go into the kitchen, He’ll walk in, stand over his food bowl and growl. Like anyone wants to eat his food. *smh*
  • When we’re out, we keep the dogs on short leashes when anyone approaches. It helps to have them sit and stay before that someone is close. And I speak soft, sweet words to my dog. Non-threatening things.
Socializing my dog is important
They just don’t get much more relaxed than this. Socialization at its finest.

None of this is stuff I learned anywhere other than through trial, error, and listening to other dog owners. I’d encourage you, if you don’t already, to socialize your dog. They’re more pleasant, easy going. And it’s nice to have grown up company, even on busy days, without having to stress about how your dogs will behave. Socializing my dog has helped with my own stress levels.

Giveaway

Don’t forget to enter our Frank n Woofer giveaway! Click this sentence to get to the entry post, then read down and follow directions, not forgetting to tweet about it. Tweeting makes the magic happen. And yes, today’s post is gently recycled. I leave this weekend to drive to Orlando and have about a MILLION things to do, including pack the back of the Prius with Jones Natural Chews. One can’t have a spontaneous photo opp with treats if one doesn’t plan, yes?

Spreading the good chews …

Flea

4 thoughts on “Socializing My Dog Is Important

  1. Mom had a struggle with socializing all three of us. I am sure it had to do with the “crualella deville puppy mill” atmosphere. I am the most social now, Sam is still anxious but loves the grandkids and shows it like a rambuctious little boy, licking and kissing them, but Turdie who is 6 and came to us less than a year ago, had alot of terrible abuse in her life. She struggles with company, and grandkids and sometimes even dad. She is doing so much better but still has aways to go. Sometimes Mom just gives her some quiet time in her little room while company is there, not to punish her but to help her feel safe.
    Your story was great as always
    stella rose

  2. LOL. Socialization is important. Very Very Important. I had to start from scratch with my sister’s dog. He would hump every dog and be aggressive on others who he feels is attempting to get his bone.

    Fortunately, my time and patience has paid off. Although he sometimes still needs to be supervised but he’s gone a long way.

    Huggies and Cheese,

    Haopee
    haopee recently posted..Almost Wordless Wednesday: Lights, Camera, ACTION!My Profile

  3. Considering Sam & I rescued a puppy mill survivor who had no social skills whatsoever 9 months ago, socialization has been paramount in her adaption to life as a dog rather than a caged animal constantly being bred. Love this post! And I love Foodie Friday-may have to filch that term. 😉

  4. my 3 gals are very well socialized. however, i am very cautious when they are babies and have not had all of their shots. i am also cautious as adults to make sure they are around dogs that have had their shots and are taken care of. i dont go to the dog park, but i do go to events at the pet stores and other events, like horse shows and dog shows. it is very important for all aspects of their lives to be well socialized, even going to the vet, the dogs need to be socialized so that when other people pet them or touch them they will not try to bite or get nervous. my dog breeder as well as many other breeders bring puppies to the dog shows to socialize them. they let people they know handle them and hold them. they also get used to the hustle and bustle of dog shows, being around other dogs and people. they even had puppy classes for young puppies, 16 weeks or so to get them used to being in the ring and having people touch them.

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