7 tips on how to raise a well-rounded canine


Helping dogs with socialisation can help them be well behaved and comfortable around others. Photo: TNSD/reamstime

One of the most important parts of responsible dog ownership is knowing that your dog is well behaved and comfortable around others. Socialisation should start early on, as it can set up your pup to be confident throughout life.

The American Kennel Club suggests the following tips for owners when socialising their puppies.

> Don’t do too much to start. It’s always wise to begin the socialisation process slowly, exposing your puppy to varying people, places and things each day. If your dog hasn’t interacted with other dogs before, don’t immediately head to the dog park. Making sure your pup isn’t overwhelmed will help to lessen nerves around others.

> Trust the nose. It’s natural for your dog to want to get acquainted with their environment, which means they tend to sniff around to get to know everything around them. Always give your dog time to introduce themselves to different smells and explore with their nose.

> Set up a play date. The best way to ensure that your dog has a good greeting modelled to them is to set up a play date with a well-mannered and calm pup for a designated time. It’s always a good idea to meet up after your dog has had some exercise, so they aren’t overly excited when socialising.

> Take a class. A group training class is a great way to get your dog around other dogs and humans in a structured and comfortable environment. There are socialisation classes for puppies and classes for teaching basic commands. A class is also a good opportunity to strengthen the bond between you and your pup.

> Reduce pulling the leash. When you are walking your dog out and about, it’s important to not restrain your dog too forcefully on the leash. This can cause your dog to give off an accidental aggressive posture to other dogs. To reduce pulling, consider using a harness.

> Meet and greet lots of dogs. Have your dog meet all kinds of dogs – big or small, quiet or loud, active and not. This way, your dog will have interacted with more than just one kind of dog.

> Supervise. Always remember to supervise your dog when socialising. It’s important to ensure that your dog and others are behaving correctly. Supervising helps prevent situations from arising. – American Kennel Club/Tribune News Service

To learn more about responsible dog ownership, visit the AKC at akc.org

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Dogs , dog behaviour , dog socialisation


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