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Most dogs love to socialise.
Seeing other dogs in the vicinity while they’re on a walk is a wonderful experience for them and, depending on their breed, they will usually bark a joyful – sometimes a tad too joyful – welcome to other dogs out for a stroll with their owners.
Now that we’re allowed back out on walks with our dogs, with social distancing in place for humans, dogs on leads naturally have to follow suit.
Their humans are usually reluctant to let them too close to fellow strollers as a dog on a lead tends to be protective of his owner and may become aggressive.
The ideal situation would be allowing dogs off their leads so they can socialise at will and have a happy interactive session with other dogs.
In Australia, there are parks set aside for exactly that. A hectare of two of parkland where owners can sit and chat while their dogs romp to their heart’s content – and there never seems to be an argument in sight!
Like humans, some dogs battle to fit into the social scene if they haven’t been given skills in socialising as pups. The ideal situation would be to take your pup along for a training session with a qualified trainer and they will assess the dog and decide how best to handle its training.
Dogs that are stressed out or anxious find it difficult to learn how to socialise, so working with a skilled trainer is the answer.
We loved these tips from Preventative Vet on some ways to help socialise our furry friends.
Low and slow, short and sweet is the best way to introduce your dog to new things. Slowly introduce your pup to people that visit – and other dogs. Don’t bombard them with too much interaction straight away.
Be careful when introducing your pup to children. They can become overwhelmed by them very quickly and this could cause negative associations.
If you have adopted an older dog, they may be extremely timid when it comes to socialising. Patience is vital to help build their confidence.
Don’t make the mistake of trying to get your dog comfortable with everything out there at once.
Sarah Swainson is the co-founder of Pawfect. For more information visit pawfect.co.za
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