Six Secrets to a Socialized Dog

Posted by Maureen Lake at

Six Secrets to a Socialized Dog

Is Your Dog Socialized?

One day while observing the dog park you stop and realize your dog is a bully. Why is it that she runs after the other dogs while alternating nipping at their legs and barking loudly? You ask yourself, “Why isn’t my dog socialized”? You’re thinking… “Why should I even call her over, she’s not going to come to me even if I do.” You’re embarrassed, right? I bet you’re thinking-

“Hmmm. When is she going to grow up? She’s four years old now, and I thought those behaviors would be gone by now. I’ve put up with these problems for years now, and nothing ever changes- she still hasn’t’ figured things out”.

Maybe, just maybe, it’s you who hasn’t changed. It’s you who needs to figure it out before you get frustrated and do something drastic. Unfortunately, some pet parents give up around this time and start to look for a new home or worse.

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Read the entire series 5 Snafu

Six Secrets to a Socialized Dog

Socialized Dogs Need Good Parents

Dogs at every stage of their development need a good parent. If you have a puppy, you are now that pup’s parent and MUST provide love and guidance, just as if you had a child. Parenting is paramount for a healthy, happy and balanced dog. Socialization is key. When you welcome your dog into your family, you must understand she doesn’t come to you trained! She won’t magically become perfect, easy going and affectionate at her first birthday- or second birthday- or third birthday… Dogs aren’t born being the exceptional dog in your home; it’s learned.

Who teaches socialization skills?

A calm, assertive, loving family and its members show and guide her every day. Many issues could scar your puppy especially if she had negative experiences between the ages of 2-6 months. Confusing social encounters, miscommunication, emotional, and physical dangers can have life-long consequences that you will be dealing with for the rest of your dog’s life. Rosa is a perfect example of an emotionally and physically scarred puppy. She was abused by the breeder and not allowed to eat until approximately 20 other dogs ate first. She was caged separately from her siblings for no apparent reason - other than they thought she was a pain. We encounter daily examples of her stress and over-reactions to non-descript situations. She is always on high alert. We know we have a long-standing issue with Rosa but in reality, she gives us way more than we give her. We can’t imagine our life without her.  

Six Keys To A Socialized Dog

Six Secrets to a Socialized Dog   Whew! There’s a lot of responsibility that comes with owning a pet. In many ways, it’s no different than raising and socializing a well-adjusted child. You have to learn to communicate in a way that includes cues, signals, body language and emotion all from a dog’s point of view. Remember that dogs at every stage of their development need a good parent. As your pup’s parent, you MUST provide love and guidance, teaching and training. Don't make this socialization snafu, you will regret it. Please comment below. I'd love to hear if your dog is happily socialized, or is it an ongoing process as it is for my Rosa.    

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  • Great post

    Ruth and Layla on
  • Great info on how important socialization is! I have a 2 dogs. My puppy is very social since the breeder made sure the litter was socialized with all types of adults and kids starting at about 2 weeks old! It has made a huge difference in everything especially with how confident my puppy is in all situations even if she is uneasy. She is so social and loving that I am training her to be a therapy dog. My other dog who is a rescue and about 8 years old has social problems even though I rescued him at 8 weeks old from a bad breeder situation like you did with Rosa. They kept him in a cage away from everyone cause he had an umbilical hernia. They wouldn’t even let him have contact with his mom other than to feed and he never saw his siblings! Luckily my parents had great dogs that helped him socialize but it is still something that we battle every day! But I can’t imagine my life without him!

    Devin on
  • I imagine that like with cats, socializing a dog from a young age is important. These are good tips, and I hope that dog owners take them to heart.

    Fur Everywhere on
  • Wow!It really does make a difference in how much socialization a puppy gets from birth. It sounds like Grace is a wonderful puppy! Kudos to you for rescuing your other dog! I’m sure he is in an amazing loving environment now.

    Maureen Lake on
  • I try hard to allow my dogs to be socialized and they definitely love people.

    M. K. Clinton on


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