Socialising Your Dog and How to Train Them
Is your dog scared of people? Or is your dog scared of other dogs? You might have noticed that your dog feels so frightened that their torso begins trembling when they come in contact with other animals or people.
Some dogs may even show other signs like immediately behaving aggressively, barking, and threatening the new person or the other dog. These behavioral signs indicate that your dog is feeling stressed out. They are feeling extremely fearful and anxious about the environment they are in.
The cause of this fear can be a variety of factors, such as the dog has never left the house, or they have never met strangers or other dogs. In such a case, rapid changes in surroundings can make your dog feel insecure, anxious, and stressed out. One of the reasons could also be that the dog has had a bad experience with a stranger or another dog and may have been harmed. So, they choose to protect themselves by showing aggressive behavior. While this might not seem like a big problem on normal days, it would be quite a big issue when you need to take your dog for a walk or to a vet. It can have a highly negative effect on their mental state. Socially anxious dogs tend to be very attached to their owner, so it is possible that your dog has separation anxiety This is why it is extremely important to teach your dog to socialize. Socializing anxious dogs will help them control their excitement and avoid panicking when they meet other dogs or people. In the long run, this will have a significantly positive effect on the animal’s emotional and mental health.
How to socialize a fearful dog?
Once you train your dog to socialize properly, their behavior will begin to improve. They will adjust and adapt to their new environment well. Here are four important tips that can help you socialize your dog.
Hire a professional behaviorist or trainer
The professional trainer may start by taking your dog for a walk and exercises near the house with a leash. They will teach them disciplinary techniques by using a leash. The professional may also inform you about certain things you can do better, such as a safe way to take your dog out for a walk. After all, walking and outdoor time help a lot in strengthening the relationship between you and your dog.
Take things slow
Remember that training your dog can be a difficult process. You will need to keep your patience and not force your dog into uncomfortable situations, which can make them even more hostile. Begin by making your pooch feel comfortable in their routine before making outdoor time a regular thing.
Encourage your dog to make new friends
Once they come out of their fearful and anxious state, you can try to get your dog to be friends with other dogs. For instance, if during a walk you happen to come across other pet dogs, try to get them to socialize with your dog. If you are going to let them play by themselves, you must be near them at all times to make your dog feel confident. Giving your dog a positive experience with other dogs will help them develop a good sense of socialization and gain confidence. If you are introducing a new dog to your current dog, it is best to follow the proper steps before/while socializing them.
Try to get your dog to meet new people
Once your dog gets comfortable socializing with other dogs, you or the professional trainer can teach them to socialize with other people. Your dog may initially be a little nervous and will take a while for them to get used to it. They may begin socializing with people by sniffing their hands first to feel safer and slowly walking towards the person themselves. Gradually, your dog will learn that meeting new people is not a scary thing.
Benefits of socializing anxious dogs
Teaching your dog to socialize has quite a lot of benefits for both you and your dog.
Easy visits to the vet:
Once your dog learns to socialize, visits to the vet will no longer be stressful for you or for your dog.
Your dog will be more confident:
Your dog will be more confident in their daily life once they socialize. You will also notice how this has a highly positive impact on their behavior.
Upon learning to socialize and gaining confidence, your dog will love going for walks. This will in turn improve their and your mental health.
Your dog will be emotionally healthier:
Gaining confidence does wonders - whether it is for humans or animals. Once your dog becomes confident and learns to socialize, it will be cheerful more often.
You will be happier:
Your emotional connection to your dog can affect you more than you think. Once you see your dog is in a better state and leading a happier life, you will feel a lot better yourself. Moreover, you will not feel stressed out in different situations like going to the vet or when your friends or family visit your house.
Training a dog to socialize is not difficult at all. Initially, the trainer may need to spend a lot of time with the dog. But in the long run, it will definitely help reduce the fearful behavior of the pet. Most importantly, this method also helps to encourage the dog to be healthier and happier. Reward your dog for stepping out of their comfort zone with a scrumptious meal from Cesar’s premium & high quality dog food
FAQs on socializing an anxious dog
Is it ever too late to socialize a dog?
It is never too late to begin teaching your adult dog to socialize. They do learn socializing easier when they are puppies but even as adults, socializing is possible for them. It can, however, get a little difficult and you may need to hire a professional behaviorist or trainer.
Why is my dog so afraid of strangers?
If your dog is scared of other people and dogs, it is because they have not been taught to socialize at an early age. They may need to be taught socializing to fare well with other dogs and strangers.
How do you calm an anxious dog in public?
To keep your dog calm in public, you can use the following methods - expend their energy before bringing them outdoors, use proper equipment (like a leash or a harness), bring their favorite toys or treats along, teach them to socialize, and always be attentive of them in public.
What happens if a dog is not socialized?
If a dog is not socialized, a lot of situations may make them uncomfortable and aggressive. These include meeting new people, strangers visiting your house, meeting new dogs, etc. Your dog, in such a situation, will feel scared and fearful and may begin trembling or barking out of aggression. It is necessary to know how to socialize a scared dog. You can also hire a professional trainer for this purpose.
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