Most people do not know that any behaviour their dog exhibits is attached one way or the other to socialization it must have gone through. In this article, we will discuss everything there is about dog socialization. We will talk about the generality of the term then break it down.
First, what do we mean by socializing a dog? It means that you are teaching your dog how to react in any situation. BTW, both old and young dogs can be socialized, it may take time for older dogs however.
When you get your dog at 9 weeks of age, it's just like a brand new phone that needs adjustments and different kinds of settings till it suits your style, so does your dog.
Your dog doesn't know anything nor can he do anything on his own other than to eat, drink and sleep but that is not all....
So, let's get socializing with your dog.
First step is training your dog to use leash. This may not require a pro. Just get a good leash, and clamp it around your dog's neck then pull him toward you slowly and gently with a great in your hand. You're good and okay once your dog will follow you willingly when the leash is around it's neck.
Next step is introducing the dog to new things; this is where socialization begins. Start by having visitors come over to your place to pet and play with your dog. Allow them to rub his body, call his name, and allow your dog to sniff them too, in doing this, you're yelling at your dog that he can't be scared of strangers or run away when they approach him. Some folks mistake fear-aggression with protective-aggression. These two terms are two different because a dog that is scared of strangers will bark to save himself and not protect you, and that is not good because he will react negatively even when a family or friend approaches.
Another method is walking your dog. Some dog owners never walk their dogs and that is very bad, because other than a way of socializing the dog, it is also a way of exercising the dog. The aim of walking your dog in this sense is to introduce him to the world outside his usual compound where he will get to find himself in a busy street, a strange environment, many people around him, cars and bikes screaming as they race past your dog. Now, what do you expect from a dog that has not experienced such a thing before? Obviously, such a dog will freak out! So, the goal is to get your dog used to these things because you will discover that some dogs are not calm at all when they are being walked on a crowded street, or when a bike or car approaches them, they try to run away and can hurt.
when we walk out our dog and someone tries to pet it, the dog begins to growl and snap, right? ( by the way, that not very cool)
So, some of us try to control our dog by petting him while he's growling at the stranger, we touch his head and say easy boy, easy boy.
Do you know you are actually encouraging the dog more? Have we forgotten that petting a dog is a reward? Have we forgotten that we pet dogs because we are pleased with them?
So when your dog growls at someone and you pet him gently(you think you're calming him) but you're actually telling him you're pleased with what he's doing, so he will continue and want to do more.
So, what should you do?
Pull your dog back and say a firm NO! sit him down and now, tell the stranger to approach calmly with his palm raised and facing your dog, ask him to call your dog's name gently till your dog calms down and sniff the stranger himself. Thanks.
Having a friendly and socialized dog is wonder and filled with a lot of fun and also create a platform for your friends to hangout with your dog and allows you to make friends with dog's lovers. Those steps will really help to train your dog to be friendly.