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Reintroducing a Poorly Socialized Dog to Society
Before you start socializing a dog that has been neglected or abused, you should have a good understanding of pack leadership and have completed at least one month of basic training lessons. When you feel that you have good control over your dog and that he is respecting your position as pack leader, you are ready to move on to socialize the dog.
Reintroducing a poorly socialized dog into society
Dogs love to play, but what we sometimes don’t realize is that they need to play. Any dog that is kept isolated from canine or human companionship, that never indulges in a game of toss-all or pull-the-bones, or that experiences the joy of a playful relationship with its owners, will be a dog disappointed.
This dissatisfaction will manifest itself in behavioral problems. For example, excessive barking or aggression is a sign of boredom and dissatisfaction. Therefore, interaction with others is essential.
So you, without even realizing it, are part of a centuries-old social structure of the wolf pack. In these deceptively common moments—when you’re playing hide-and-seek with your dog, for example—you tap into your dog’s innate desire to socialize. It is through games like this that you and your dog really bond.
If you’ve never thought about introducing your dog to another person or dog, then simply making sure you give your dog plenty of playtime each day should be enough to keep him healthy and happy for the rest of his life. of his life.
However, most people want a companion animal that they can introduce to family and friends, as well as take for a run, to the park or other social settings. However, if the dog is not properly socialized, these types of interactions with the rest of the world may not go as well as the dog owner thought.
Taking on a poorly socialized or aggressive dog can quickly become a nightmare of barking, whining, whining and just general bad behavior. It can be directed at other dogs or it can be directed at strange people, either way it will eventually become such a nightmare that the dog owner doesn’t want to try anymore.
Start socializing and training your dog early and you can avoid the difficult challenge of retraining an aggressive dog later!
Before you start working on training your dog in a social setting, you need to make sure you have control of your dog in your home. Start working on your Basic Training lessons and be very consistent with it. When you feel that your dog is no longer challenging your leadership, then you may be ready to start working away from home.
Using your training collar and a good leash, load your dog in the car and head to a park or other place where you know for a fact that you’re unlikely to encounter dogs that aren’t on a leash. You absolutely have to be in control of the situation, and you can’t control it if the other dog isn’t on a leash.
As you did in Basic Training, place your dog in the “heel” position and begin walking in plain view of other dogs.
Make sure you are in a calm and controlled state of mind. You want to feel confident and yet relaxed, in complete control of the situation and radiating your calm confidence to your dog.
Do not allow your dog to be distracted by other dogs or people, just as if you were walking down the street near your home.
If his head and tail suddenly twitch upwards towards another dog or other distraction, correct immediately and return him to his position. He should be paying attention to you and looking at you for cues, not looking at other dogs.
If someone tries to walk their dog towards you or tries to pet your dog, ask them to stay away from him, he is being trained now. Most people will understand and respect your wishes.
Walk around the park or area once the first time you go out, or until the dog passes other dogs and gets distracted without a second glance. You want to try to end the training session on a positive note.
Reward him when you load him back into the car with a special treat you brought from home, perhaps a favorite snack or toy.
Practice walking in a public place at least ten or twelve times before moving up to the next level. When you can easily walk around the public area and your dog never swings on the leash, tries to chase another dog or person, and seems to be calm and comfortable following you, then you are probably ready to go to the next step.
If you’re working toward human companionship, start by having the family meet you at the park. If it’s dog walking, let them bring their dog.
You are the leader of the pack, so you must be the one to decide whether a strange human or dog will be accepted by the pack. This means that your dog is not allowed to growl, bark or in any way be aggressive towards anyone or any other dog.
When you’re ready, tie up both dogs and start walking around the park. Start with a distance between the dogs by walking together in the same direction and keeping one of the humans between them at all times.
At first they will both keep looking at each other and try to get around people to get to the other dog. Just keep walking hard forward and bringing them back into position until they remember their training and start paying more attention to you than the other dog.
The reason it helps to have a human friend is because the dialogue between two people helps the dogs understand that you are both pack leaders with a higher status level than them, so they should relax and just be good companions while instructing them. to.
Walk your dogs this way for half a dozen times, talking, laughing and making lots of noise communicating with each other while maintaining a calm control over the dogs. They must remain calm and composed even if you are laughing, crying or in a loud argument.
Try to end each walk on a high note with both dogs feeling relaxed and happy.
It really helps if you know a few friends who can rotate the different dogs by walking your dog. You don’t want your dog to get used to just one dog, you want him to be comfortable with all dogs.
After you’ve practiced walking together half a dozen times, meet again at the park, but this time after you’ve been walking for a minute or two and the dogs are walking without distraction, stop suddenly and get close enough for the dogs to sniff.
A well-socialized dog will sniff the other dog’s nose and then turn to look at his master as if wondering why the walk ended so quickly. A dog with less social skills will be more focused, trying to smell the other dog, as if trying to determine by scent and stature who will be boss. A dog with very poor skills will raise its tail, stiffen its legs and may growl or even snap at the other dog.
If the aggressive dog’s tail is raised above the level of the spine, then pull back firmly with a firm “BAH” and continue your walk without bringing the dogs in again for the day. If both dogs seem to be maintaining their calm and relaxed demeanor, then it’s okay to stand and talk while they interact for a few minutes, then continue the walk on that good note.
Continue to practice introductions once or twice each day until the aggressive dog learns that he is not in control of the situation, you are. You don’t want to overload the dog, especially if it’s an older rescue that has had bad experiences with other dogs. You have to take it slow so he doesn’t feel pressured.
When you’ve introduced your dog to half a dozen other dogs and he’s responded well to all of them, then you can move on to meeting several dogs at a time and eventually to off-leash parks.
Puppies will obviously go through these steps very easily, but it is very important that older dogs who have not been properly socialized take these steps at a pace that benefits them. Especially rescue dogs that have spent years chained or housed without good human or dog interaction.
The important thing is to always maintain control of the situation and be a good pack leader for your dog.
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