While your dog is undoubtedly comfortable around you and your family, she may misbehave or feel anxious around strangers. I’ve been through this with both of my dogs, to some degree.
Training your dog to socialize can be great for her mental health and can also help keep her safe. Here are some of the best ways to socialize your dog.
5 Easy Ways to Socialize Your Dog
1. Walk Your Dog Regularly
Walks are so very important for your dog’s physical health, but they’re also just as good for her socially. When you walk your dog on a trail, there’s a good chance she’ll run into either a person or another dog.
This will give your dog the opportunity to get comfortable with others. The more walks you go on—and the more your dog is exposed to new faces—the better for her socialization.
2. Take Your Dog to a Ball Game
A trail isn’t the only place where your dog can socialize. You can also take her to a park—and not just a dog park. Dogs love games and having fun just as much as we do, so consider taking her out to a baseball or softball game every once in a while.
This is another great way to socialize your dog, as she’ll likely meet other dogs there. Plus, it’ll give her the chance to get comfortable around kids because there will probably be a couple who want to pet her.
3. Arrange Playtimes
As a dog owner, it can be scary to see a dog play with others when you don’t know if they’ll try to hurt your dog. So, set up a playdate to choose who your dog plays with. This will help your dog get some necessary interaction with others while also enjoying a bunch of safe fun.
4. Go to Dog Classes
Dog classes are great for dogs of all ages. A class will train your dog how to interact with other dogs—as well as people—in a safe environment. Dog classes are especially helpful if your pup is particularly naughty or could benefit from additional training.
5. Take Her to the Mall
The mall is a great place to socialize in general, as you might remember from your youth. Today, many outdoor shopping malls allow you to walk your dog from store to store. This is another excellent opportunity for your dog to get used to people and other dogs in public. Just be sure you keep her on a leash.
How do you socialize your dog?
I’d love for you to share your ideas in a comment below. Or better yet, stop by my private Facebook group for dog moms and join in the conversation there!
And by the way, if you have kids in your household, check out this article for ways children can help train the family dog!