Tips for Socializing your dog

Busy with ice-cream socials, end of the summer cook-outs and football tailgates, the Jackson’s family calendar was packed with outdoor activities to enjoy the fall weather.  This includes Rosie, the Jackson’s sweet Goldendoodle!  Because Rosie is a high-energy breed, Mrs. Jackson needed to find creative ways to keep her stimulated, socialized, and happy.  Meeting and playing nicely with other dogs is a great solution!  Determined to get Rosie socialized early, the Jacksons called Smart Dogs for some tips and advice to prepare for handling new situations.  Here are some of the secrets we gave her!

1. Foundational Manners: The Jacksons found that teaching Rosie manners in the home was an important tool to prepare for more distracting situations publicly.  Before, Mrs. Jackson used to think, “why does my dog jump?” After fostering the expectation to sit and stay with calm, quiet, and focused energy, Rosie can now contain her excitement when the Jacksons introduce her to strangers.
2. Neutral Territory: When introducing your dog to a new puppy or older dog, it is important to meet on neutral territory.  Smart Dogs recommends introducing one dog at a time with one person for each dog to ensure you always have control of the situation.  Keep a leash on them until both dogs are calm and are familiar with one another without displaying signs of aggression.  The Jacksons practiced greeting other dogs calmly one at a time before spending a day at the dog park!
3. Always Supervise: For Rosie, like many dogs who have not had much recent socialization, meeting new dogs was a dramatic event.  Before practicing self-control, Rosie had a mouthing behavior along with jumping on her new furry friends!  The Jacksons felt most comfortable using a muzzle the first couple of times they introduced Rosie to the dog park.  If you have any hesitations about socializing your dog, please feel free to use a muzzle.  It is always better to be safe if you have any concerns. Both sling and basket-style muzzles offer secure protection from nipping.
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