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5 Ways to Socialize Your Dog

Socialization is creating a positive experience for your dog when exposing them to different stimuli. A positive experience looks like a calm and responsive dog. A positive experience for your dog involves treats, direction and being comfortable.

The reason we expose our dog to different sounds, textures, animals, people, places, and so much more is because we don't want them to be scared. Fear in a dog can lead to a lack of obedience and in the most fearful cases, aggression. Dogs can have preferences, but we don't want them to have anxiety in these situations. They might not like the rain... but they shouldn't be stressed out about the wet grass and not go to the bathroom. They might not like every dog... but we want them to tolerate the other dog and walk away. They might not like swimming in the ocean but we want them to be calm on the beach.

So let's get your dog out and about! Here are some ideas for socializing your dog. Try them out and tag @thetreat_treats on Instagram!

1. Go to a playground

If the playground is busy, you can simply walk around the playground and expose your dog to the noises of children. If the playground is not busy, take your dog on the different parts.

socialization dog
Max exploring the layground

2. Go to a beach

Before the weather gets too good, go for a walk on the beach and touch your paws in the water. The sand and the ocean are different textures. Make sure you have a long leash so the dog can explore freely without pressure.

socialization dog
Bella going for a dip. She's a water dog!

3. Snuffle with toys!

Dogs love to sniff. Dogs love treats. Create a positive experience around kids toys by putting them in a bucket and hiding treats in the bucket. Your dog can sniff out the treats while being exposed to the different sounds the toys make when they are banging around.

dog socialization
Treats = positive, toy noises = not scary

4. Go on a trail walk

Taking your dog outside allows them to really be a dog. And dogs doing dog things is really gratifying for them. Going on a trail walk allows them to sniff so many things like leaves, other animals, footprints, maybe even a river!

dog socialization
Trail walk has all the smells and tires out Max

5. Go to a town center

The goal of this would be to expose your dog to street noises like cars and trucks, bikes and strollers, but still have the ability to get some distance if they are nervous. If they are nervous, walk away from the scary thing. If they are calm, walk towards all the noises.

My advice is to get your dog out of the house. Expose him to new environments. Bring your yummy treats and create positive experiences. It's good for your dog. Not only will it help you create a confident dog but it will tire him out for the day!

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