Dogs are the most owned pet in Australia with approximately 38% of households in Australia having at least 1 dog! It is very important that dogs fit into our society by being behaved, able to tolerate other dogs, other animals and people. The process of teaching dogs how to handle this is called socialization. This should start from a very young age and then continue throughout their life. A well socialized dog is happy and confident in all environments and can communicate well within its group.
A dog’s ability to learn how to socialize starts from a young puppy. This is when they are still with the breeder, interacting with litter mates and their mother.
Once a dog has gone to its new owner the socialization must continue and a great way to start this is through puppy preschool. This is held in a safe environment with puppies of all different breeds. It allows these puppies to interact with each other but also to learn a few skills at the same time. These classes are also good to let the owners of a new puppy know about all the ins and outs of owning a puppy, when and at what age different vaccinations, worming and other procedures need to occur. Puppy preschool held at a veterinary hospital allows for a positive attitude for future veterinary visits and allows pup and owner to be able to develop a close relationship with their local health care provider.
Even though the puppy stage is very critical in teaching a dog to cope with different environments and changes that occur, socialization needs to continue throughout the dog’s life. This is so that they can be taken out in public without fear. Much of this is done naturally by taking your dog to the park and on a walk near home. An activity such as a social dog walking club is always a good idea to consider. This allows your dog to meet other friendly dogs whilst still getting out and about.