Last month, I shared my thoughts on what dog socialization is and some of the reasons why I think it is so important. This is the second half, so if you missed the first post then feel free to catch up here!
So, now that you have socialized your dog…what’s next?
Even once your puppy or adult dog is well socialized to new places, sounds, and other animals, don’t stop there! Keep up the good work! The more experiences that you allow your dog, the better off he/she will be. Stay consistent with taking them to new places and experiencing new things! Find some dog-friendly events in your community to attend with your pooch, take them to a training course to learn new tricks, or keep it simple and take a new route on your daily walk! Here are some tips/ideas for keeping your dog social.
TAKE DAILY WALKS
A daily walk is such a great activity for a dog. Not only does it keep them active, but it continues to expose him/her to new sights, smells, people, and animals. Even if you take the same route every day, you will most likely experience something new! Also, going for daily walks will keep your pup on a schedule and help them burn off any nervous energy. And if your dog is anything like mine, they will be thrilled when you ask “do you want to go for a walk?”
VISIT THE DOG PARK
I love to take my dogs to our local dog park. We try to go a few times a month as it allows them the opportunity to run free and meet new dogs. A dog park can be a great place to familiarize (and continue to socialize) your dog to other dogs and people. If this is your dog’s first time at a dog park, I encourage you to walk the perimeter of the park with your pup on a leash for the first few visits. Let them check things out from a distance before taking him/her inside right away.
If your community doesn’t have a dog park, or if you are simply not comfortable taking your dog to one, there are alternatives. The next time you need dog food or a new squeaky toy, take your pup with you! Pet stores can be a great place to visit as they are (almost always) dog-friendly and your dog will enjoy all the fun smells and things to see!
Another great option to keep your dog social and stimulated is doggie daycare. Spending time at daycare can be a great way to keep your dog active and engaged with other people and dogs. It is a fun relief from boredom for dogs who might have to be home alone for long periods of time while their human works. It also can be a positive way to have expert-supervised playtime with other dogs in a new environment.
I send my three boys regularly to doggie daycare at Pet Paradise JFK here in Houston. We also use this location to board them when we are traveling. The facility has a large shaded outdoor play area — complete with a dog bone shaped swimming pool! I love knowing that my dogs are being well-cared for and that they are having lots of fun, exercise, and playtime with other dogs while there.
How do you keep your dog socialized? Let us know in the comments below!
Hey y’all! My name is Julie and I am from Houston, Texas. I am married to a wonderful guy named Andrew and we have three amazing dogs: Heath, a blue Weimaraner, as well as Jackson and Bennett, two very spotty Dalmatians. Currently, I work as a higher education Public Relations Coordinator and am a graduate of Bethany College with a BA in communications and WVU with an MS in Integrated Marketing Communications. I am the fun-loving dog mom behind the scenes of the Instagram account @jackson_the_dalmatian. I hope you’ll follow along with our daily adventures!