The Right Way To Socialize Your Dog With Other Dogs
When it comes to dog socialization, people often think that by simply taking their dog to a park and letting them run around with unfamiliar dogs will do the trick. Even though you allow your dog to play and interact with other dogs at a young age, this doesn’t mean that your dog will become completely socialized. Although socializing your dog can decrease the chances of behavior issues in future, a dog with weak leaders has the potential to become aggressive at any age, with or without interacting with other dogs.
It is important to understand that aggression does not always come from a lack of interaction with other dogs. Typically, aggression spawns from a lack of leadership and trust.
Every dog pack has a leader called the alpha. In a dog pack, the alpha is in charge of the pack’s safety. The alpha is strong and will protect the pack from harm. Therefore, if you own a dog in Orange County, you must keep this pack mentality in mind by providing and catering to its instinctual needs for survival as a species.
There is more to socialization than letting your dog run free in a park with other dogs – all interactions must be supervised. Human interruption must be immediately enforced as needed. Letting dogs resolve their own problems is not the right approach to socialization. There must be rules and boundaries for safe and respectful interactions. These rules must must come from YOU, not your dog. Do not let your dog bully or be bullied by another dog. If this happens you must step in and reinforce boundaries as a pack leader.
When your dog is interacting with other dogs, watch for red flags from both sides. Determine what kind of body language your dog is exhibiting while interacting with another dog. Do they seem aggressive, shy, or scared?
When you present yourself as leader of the pack, your dog understands that the alpha role has been filled and he will not see the need to establish his dominance by picking fights with other dogs or people.
In addition, when you assume the position of pack leader, your dog will trust you in any situation involving people and other dogs. He will know that you are the one who makes the first move and, if need be, you will take the aggressor position. By become the alpha, you will raise a confident dog.