Bullie Tip #4 - Socializing Your Dog

Bullie Tips #4 - Socializing Your Dog. BombBullie.com

Dog Socialization is Not Like Human Socialization 

As much as we want to do the right things by our dogs, we have to realize that we are completely different, especially how we interact and communicate with other humans and dogs.

Where we use our intellect and our emotions to communicate, dogs use their instincts and energy to communicate. Dogs have different energy levels than we do and their energy levels differ between each other too. 

A subtle growl or shift in a dog's posture is relatable to human parents using verbal means to teach their toddler. 

Dogs Do Not Hold on to Emotions Like People Do

Dogs do not experience emotions like we do. Also, dogs do not hold onto emotions like anger, hate, and hate, like we do. For example, if dogs get in a fight, we worry that they will hate each other now and always try to fight each other in the future. This is not the case. They do not make it personal. Dogs feel through instincts and react to the moment. Who knows why they fought. Maybe your dog or their dog is insecure, uncomfortable, afraid, or {Fill in the Blank}.

It's good to try to read your dog's posture, stance, and even look at the hackles on their back. I know when my Bull Terriers Homer and Hera's hackles (we call these "back mohawks") flare up, then it's a hard limit/warning sign, and I need to get them away from the other dog, human, or situation a.s.a.p. 

Socialize Your Dog as Soon as Possible

It's important to start socializing your dog as early as possible and introduce them to other dogs slowly so you don't overwhelm them.  

Dogs are most sensitive and receptive between the ages of three (3) and twelve (12) weeks old. It can be difficult to socialize a dog after they are twelve (12) weeks old. 

However, a lot of us do not get our dogs between the ages of three (3) and twelve (12) weeks old. Perhaps we adopted or rescued our dog, or our puppy was sick during this timeframe. It's not a lost cause to socialize your dog after they are twelve (12) weeks old, it's just a bit more involved, but can be done. 

Ways to Socialize Your Dog 

Dog Obedience and Training Classes

There are many ways to socialize your dog, but start out small and go from there. For example, you could take your dog to an obedience training class. However, what if you are unsure of where to find a quality trainer?

There's not an official legal entity regulating dog trainers, their licensing, continuing eduction, and etcetera. Here are some ways to find a good class with a good trainer to socialize and train your dog:

  • Visit dog parks and spot out the well-behaved and happy dogs. Simply ask their owner for recommendations and feedback on trainers and classes,

  • Ask your veterinarian for references,

  • Search the Internet for trainers and then do searches on reviews of the trainer and their classes,

  • Call up a few trainers and discuss their values, philosophies, training techniques, etc. You can get a feel for the trainer based on how they communicate and interact with you on the phone. Here you can determine if they will be a good match for you and your dog,

  • Ask a trainer if you can view one of their classes. Then ask the members of the class for feedback. If they don't let you view their class (for free) then that is a red flag, folks.

Daily Walks

Walk your dog on a daily basis and introduce your dog to other dogs. If you are worried that your dog will bark or bite or you are concerned that they may be aggressive and lash out at another dog or human, you can muzzle them. I know, this sounds a bit harsh, but it's not. It helps make you and others comfortable and once you are sure your dog is fine with other dogs, you can toss the muzzle back in the dog's basket of toys and such. 

Cesar Milan has "Funny Muzzles" which are very cute and inviting and help incite positive, happy energy. The funny muzzles encourage socialization, friendship, and interaction and help with your and other owners' confidence. They come in a smiley yellow, a nerdy blue, and a dragon green. 

 Funny Dog Muzzles - BombBullie.com

Play Dates

After the training and dog walks, step it up and set up some small play dates. Smaller is better initially because you will have better control and it will mitigate any concern or worry that you have about your dog and their safety and other dogs safety. It's also easier on your dog, they are not overwhelmed. 

After play date, you can go to dog parks, dog beaches, etcetera. Just make sure that you and your dog are ready for that. Take is slow and steady and enjoy the time you have with your best friend. 


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