Would you say that your dog is social with other tail-wagging, four-legged bundles of joy…or, have you ever felt like maybe your dog was actually a little anti-social around other dogs. Wherever your pet falls on the social spectrum, there’s no denying that social interaction is healthy for most dogs.
Here are 5 simple tips for helping your dog to feel a little more confident about being friendlier around other dogs:
· If possible, expose your dog to other pets and humans when they’re young. Just like babies, puppies develop many of their social patterns and comfort levels when they’re very young.
· Try to commit to maintaining your daily walk with your dog every day. Walks help acclimatize your dog to stimuli that can sometimes frighten them into feeling like they need to be more withdrawn around the unpredictable movements and noises of others.
· Use treats, sparingly, as positive reinforcement for your dog whenever she is meeting new people and pets. Associated new faces and new paws with tasty treats helps your dog to understand that making new friends can truly be rewarding!
· Never force your dog to interact with other pets (or people) outside of his or her comfort zone. Watch out for clues of your dog’s feelings – such as having the tail tucked between the legs or heavy panting. These can be signs that your dog is feeling stressed and needs to be reminded that he has a safe retreat and doesn’t have to feel threatened or scared.
Just like people, some dogs are simply more outgoing than others. There’s no “right” or “wrong” and your dog may be quite content and happy to be a bit more of a loner. But, in general, dogs are usually happier when they can make a buddy or two. So keep an eye on your dog’s social habits and learn about what you can do to help give your dog his or her best life…maybe even filled with a best friend (besides you, of course!)
All About Paws is a boarding, grooming, and doggie daycare service provider in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Located next to Ashby Animal Clinic,trusted veterinary clinic for over 40 years.