Socialize Your Dog
June 2, 2012, 1:34 AM
Filed under: Training | Tags: , , , ,

Another way to have fun with your dog also happens to be a good next step in training. It’s easiest with a puppy, but really, you can teach an old dog new tricks! In dog training circles it is known as socialization. No – it doesn’t mean making sure that your dog gets invited to all the best parties! It means making sure that your dog is exposed to all kinds of people, dogs, and experiences.

We used to (and still do) take Rosie to a popular bike/walking trail that is near our house. We didn’t always walk very far, it was more about letting her explore, investigate and become comfortable with new things. If we saw someone on a bike that stopped for a drink, sometimes they would comment on how pretty she was. We would use that as an opportunity to ask if she could come over to see the bike. She would look at it, smell it all over, usually the rider would pet her and talk to her. Suddenly bikes aren’t so scary! We did that a few times, then introduced her to skateboards, joggers, horses, tricycles, people in funny hats, children, other (friendly) dogs, all of the things that makes dogs skittish or bark. She has grown up to be a very stable, friendly German Shepherd Dog that I am comfortable taking anywhere. She looks forward to meeting new people and loves children.

You can spend time socializing your dog pretty much no matter how you are feeling. It can be as easy as sitting on a park bench with your dog on a leash beside you, or a nice long walk – do it with whatever amount of energy you have. The nice thing is, that if you have a chronic illness, taking your dog to the park is a great motivation to get out. Not only are you helping your dog to lead a happier, well adjusted life, you get the benefit of being outside, not stuck in the house, and maybe meeting some new people. All good things that will make you feel better!

There are a few good websites to check out if you want to take your dog along on trips or to places that you are not familiar with. They have done all of the research to let you know where to stay, local parks, restaurants, etc. Some of them even go into detail about airline requirements, traveling to other states and countries, etc. Get out and have fun with your dog! GoWalkEaze!






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