It’s important to note that all dogs are individuals and even if socialized they may later develop issues in social situations. This is a dog trait not necessarily a breed or type of dog characteristic. In other words it can happen with any dog regardless of breeding or training. However, early socialization does help lessen the chance that any issues will arise.
The key to keeping your dog social is starting young. Dogs benefit most between 12-18 weeks. During this time it’s crucial to provide the most socialization with other dogs, people, and animals.
Always be sure they are controlled, fun, and positive interactions. Also be sure your puppy Is protected with immunizations. It’s recommended that these sessions are in a safe environment such as your own yard. Many do not recommend dog parks.
Dogs are often more excited and aroused in these environments. The lack of attention from other owners may cause a free for all among the dogs. Some dogs may get pushed around by the more excitable ones. If owners aren’t watching their dogs every movement a fight could break out.. Humans are generally the reason it’s not a recommended place to have your dog. Some don’t manage or control their dogs. By letting this kind of situation happen not only are you setting up your dog to fail but it creates an uncontrolled and negative place for you and your dog to be.
The best type of interaction would be with friends. Find dogs that yours enjoy spending time with. Plan doggie play dates. In a controlled visit such as these you are more able to introduce your dogs slowly and keep things positive and peaceful for all involved.
Be sure you practice good dog etiquette. Never allow your dog to just run up and greet a dog, especially ones they do not know. Such a meeting cute have a negative reaction. After all in the canine world this is considered rude. If they are allowed this kind of interaction it could lead to altercations and negative experiences with dogs now and in the future. Always keep your dog distracted by having them focus on you versus the other dogs. Avoiding a stare down and leash reactivity is important.
Let the dogs get used to each other’s presence before they have any sort of interactions. The best way to achieve this is by walking them side by side. This allows the dogs to get acquainted in a non threatening situation. Make sure they greet side by side versus nose to nose. According to the canine world it’s also acceptable to meet nose to rear.
Basically to recap these are important things to remember:
- Keep your dogs social throughout their life
- Set up play dates with other dogs and owners that you can trust
- Make sure you have regular play dates with their new friends
- Avoid situations that could set your dog up to fail
- Focus on good leash means so that they will always focus on you
- Use distraction techniques when another dog is near
- Puppy and dog training classes are recommended
- Above all be sure to maintain the leadership (dogs prefer leaders)