Socialising isn’t always the answer

2017-06-13 06:03
Mandy DG Barrett. Photo: supplied

Mandy DG Barrett. Photo: supplied

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THE term “socialising your dog” has become a much bantered about term, suggested as the solution for fear, aggressive behaviours and even for wandering and separation anxiety.

One would expect that the more your dog or puppy is exposed to, the better it will be able to cope with situations it is confronted with.   This is not always the case.  Some social learning may actually be negative. 
Taking an aggressive dog to a dog park is not a clever way to ensure he will be “socialised”, and the same can be said for incorrect training and botched car trips, always ending at the vet.

A trip to a busy dog park, may be scary for a nervous dog, asking too much at puppy class may leave your pup feeling anxious, the slippery floor at the vet might start a fear reaction to vet visits. 
Often we don’t even notice what our dogs find scary.

 So, how does one ensure that your pooch is able to learn better social skills, in the best, safest and most comfortable way?

Break down the social skills ladder into small, bite size treats. Plan fun visits to the vet, walk in, get a treat, walk out.
Make visits to the park safe.   Ensure that your dog meets social and well behaved dogs, ideally on lead until you are certain that it will go well.  Avoid walking down busy roads full of barking dogs. 
Enrol at a training school and ensure that individualised learning for all dogs, using pain free, reward based methods is on offer.

Take your time to teach your dog social skills at their pace, always making a new experience as relaxing and fun as possible.

Always hire a professional if you are uncertain of how to manage your dogs’ behaviour.
- Mandy DG Barrett
The Dog Guru owner, behaviorist and trainer.

 

 

 

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