Is your dog a social butterfly? Are they shy? I found this article by Maria Suszynski from Everyday Health about socializing your pet. I thought this was some great information and tips to help make sure our dogs are use to being around others and know how to behave in those situations. Veterinarians say they know if a dog has been socialized or not as soon as they walk into the clinic. I found this statement interesting. We think that we socialize our pets with people around and if those people are always around that not really socializing that dog. Think about that for a minute..makes sense when you think about it! So, with that GO SOCIALIZE your dog!
“Some animals come bounding up and are happy to see me and everyone in the waiting room,” says Bonnie V. Beaver, DVM, professor in the department of small animal clinical sciences at Texas A&M University in College Station, and past president of the American Veterinary Medical Association. “Others hide behind their owner and don’t want to come out. Life is stressful for them.”
How To Socialize Your Pet
Start at a few weeks of age. Puppies and kittens need to be socialized before they are16 weeks old. “We have a tendency to isolate them at that time and expect that at a year we’ll get them used to cars and different environments,” Dr. Beaver says. The ideal time for this kind of pet training is between 3 and 12 weeks of age. The window of opportunity to socialize your pet usually closes around 18 weeks. For kittens it may be even younger, Beaver says.
- Set goals. Think about who and what a puppy will be around when it gets older and make a long list the things your pet needs to be socialized to. That means children, adults, men, women, crying babies, people of different nationalities, crowds, people wearing hats, and people not wearing hats, Beaver says. The wider the variety of people you can expose your puppy or kitten to, the better.
- Include different environments. Have your puppy walk on grass, concrete, through buildings like pet stores, on busy streets, quiet streets, areas with other animals — and near cars, trucks, buses, and trains. You can even take your dog for rides in the car through different areas of town, through fast-food drive-thru's, and through car washes. This is also the time to get your dog used to be handled during grooming.
When you’re ready to begin socializing your dog or cat, keep in mind these tips for success:
- Do it daily.
- Get them used to carriers.
- Reward your pet.
- Give it about 75 minutes.
- Be gentle.
- Go to kindergarten.
- Go for pet training.