You enjoy interactions with other people. Often, it’s a breath of fresh air to be in public and see someone you know. Dogs can benefit from the companionship of other dogs. You can have play dates and take your pooch to the dog park if he gets along well with others. However, most dogs need some sort of socialization training before they will be accepting of the dog down the street.

The breed of your dog and how you acquired him can play huge roles in how he will act towards other dogs. Do your research on the breed. If he’s naturally aggressive, then you can find suggestions from other pet owners on what to do. If you got your pooch from an animal shelter, then it may be harder for him to get along with other dogs. He could be fearful of other animals because of fights or abuse. No matter how you got your pooch or what breed he may be, be patient! Have treats on hand to reward him for his good behavior.

If your dog is a puppy, then it is much easier to teach him to get along with other canines. Puppies are playful and naturally more accepting of other animals. To socialize a puppy, just let him spend some time around other dogs. If your neighbor has a dog that loves everyone, then schedule play dates together. Or, you can take your pup to the dog park to find other puppies. Whatever you do, do not leave the animals alone the first few times. Even though they seem to be getting along, you need to be there just in case one animal gets angry. For the sake of your pup’s health, make sure you have started his first round of vaccinations before you introduce him to strange dogs.

Once your pup grows up, then it can be a bit tougher to socialize him with other pooches if you haven’t already. Don’t worry, though. With a little time and patience it can be done! Take your time with an adult dog. Maybe he has had a bad experience with another dog in the neighborhood that caused him to resort to aggression. Your dog is not bad or mean; he has just had a bad experience.

If you have a friend that has a dog, then try to start with a play date. For the safety of both animals, make sure that they are secured on a leash. Dogs like to smell everything, because of their curiosity. So, if they want to smell each other, then let them. Just make sure that you are holding on tightly to the leash. If they do not bark or growl, then you can try to slowly let both dogs free. Be very careful when you do this, and make sure you and your friend can both intervene if necessary. Remember that it’s natural for dogs to nip and roll around with each other. Start with short visits and slowly progress to longer ones. Do not allow the dogs to play alone the first few visits until you know that they are safe together. Once they get used to one another, then your dog will have the perfect exercise buddy! Play catch or throw Frisbee. Dogs enjoy the competition and the chance to show off in front of their owners.

On the other hand, what do you do if your friend pulls up in your driveway and your dog goes crazy? Still try to put him on a leash. If he seems very defensive and aggressive, then try calming him down with a nice treat. If he continues to bark at the other dog uncontrollably, then you need to wait another day. Some dogs need to be slowly eased into situations with other pets. Other dogs, however, may never get along with others. If this is the case, then do not get angry with your dog. If not socialized as a puppy, then it is hard for him to lessen his defenses. If his lack of socializing is a problem, then obedience classes or a professional can give you additional tips.

Socializing your pet is an important thing. He loves companionship; and, if socialized early on, you will be able to take him to dog parks and public areas without fear. Starting as a puppy is the best way to get him to be friendly with other dogs; however, with a little patience and time, adult dogs can be taught socialization skills, too. Sometimes, professional help may be required. Always carry a leash and treats with you whenever you go in public. The leash will help in aggressive situations, and the treats will let him know how great he is behaving!

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