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How to socialise your adult dog & why it is essential

2nd February 2019

There’s nothing worse than an unhappy & unsociable pooch in dog boarding kennels!  At our luxury dog boarding kennels in Sydney, we know that a dog who hasn’t been taught to socialise with other dogs needs to be cared for in different ways to stay happily in a dog boarding kennels.

HOW TO SOCIALISE YOUR ADULT DOG

This is because they haven’t been taught to be friendly to other dogs and they aren’t always the normal well-adjusted family dogs we know and love. In fact, when faced with other dogs, especially a whole pack of excitable little dogs, a dog that hasn’t been socialised can be anxious, scared and even aggressive.

Why aren’t dogs automatically friendly and well adjusted?

Socialisation helps puppies to be totally cool in new situations, helping them to happily meet other dogs and people, as well as learning to explore their surroundings with confidence. As you can appreciate, it’s important for your dog to be socialised before staying in any small dog boarding kennels in Sydney.

There are a variety of reasons why an adult dog has missed out on being socialised:

  • Some owners don’t know that it’s important for their puppy to be socialised.
  • Some puppies are simply abandoned early in life and end up in the pound.
  • Some puppies are not included in the family and are made to live outside in the yard.
  • Some owners are so worried about their puppy catching a disease (before all the vaccinations are complete) that they keep their puppy inside for 16 weeks!

Most socialisation training needs to occur before a puppy is 12 weeks old and the longer it’s left, the harder it will be to socialise your dog. Socialisation however, isn’t a one shot affair, it’s something that needs to continue throughout your dog’s life, otherwise they can become uncomfortable again with new situations, for example in dog boarding kennels where they meet strangers and unfamiliar dogs.

What can you do if your dog hasn’t been socialised?

Socialising a young pup is fairly easy because they are totally fearless! Socialising an adult dog however, can be quite difficult because they usually have a host of insecurities and a lack of self-confidence, all of which makes staying in a luxury dog boarding resort quite difficult for your dog. What you want is for your dog to happily go where you lead him or her and to do so with confidence, even if they had previously felt really scared in these situations.

It won’t take you long to know what situations are uncomfortable for your dog: meeting strangers or unknown dogs on walks, road traffic, loud noises, thunder, plates crashing on the floor, men with beards, washing flapping on the line or simply staying at your local small dog boarding kennels are some of the potentially scary things in a dog’s life.

When an adult dog is scared of something, being near to you isn’t going to make them feel any better (as it normally does with puppies), because when an adult dog is scared – that’s the end of the story!

To address their problems, you will need to pick one and go slow, using distractions, such as toys or food and not forcing the issue on them, because if they feel scared or threatened they may attack. If you need help socialising your adult dog speak to your vet who will refer you to an expert in your area.

Here are some helpful tips to help socialise your puppy…

  • Once your pup is fully vaccinated, visit your local council designated dog park – allow your dog to observe other dogs behaviour before you go in.
  • Don’t force socialising onto you dog. Allow them to slowly ease into meeting new friends. If they are timid at first, take a step backwards and repeat the process as many times as necessary.
  • Stay calm and confident.
  • Praise and reward good behaviour, always use positive reinforcement.
  • Allow new people to give your dog affection with a pat, if your dog is comfortable then encourage them to give your pup a cuddle. The more handling the better.
  • Go to Puppy Classes. Its never too late to start.

To book your pooch into our luxury dog boarding kennels in Sydney while you go away on holiday, please call us on 02 9450 1579 or send us an email.