Taking your dog for a walk is absolutely essential, particularly if you live in a confined urban setting. While this activity is actually very enjoyable, it can suddenly degenerate into drama if your dog is not properly trained.
This is especially true if your loved dog tends to show signs of dog aggression towards humans and other dogs, which can be a potential source of inconvenience and outright trouble.
Luckily, it’s actually fairly easy to learn how to watch out for these issues before they are blown out of proportion. Read through the following sections to learn the best approach to safely meet other dogs in your area and use it as an opportunity to socialise your dog.
How to Train Your Dog to be More Sociable and Avoid Trouble
You can learn how to socialise your dog with humans with minimal effort; just like any other dog skill, it can be developed through practice and repetition.
Even the most unruly dogs can be effectively trained to be sociable, provided you:
– Develop the right mindset for dog training
– Have a little patience and persistence
– Create opportunities for effective training
– Make sure to reward positive behaviours
If your goal is to train your dog to be sociable, you will find the tactics dispensed in the following section will be very useful. However, before you even begin to undertake this task you should be prepared to deal with aggressive outbursts that can easily escalate into conflict.
Watch out for These Signs of Dog Aggression Towards Humans
The best way to avoid being caught up in upsetting confrontations sparked by your own dog is to be attentive to signs of aggression and nip the behaviour at the proverbial bud. In other words, you have to monitor your dog closely while you’re out for a walk – and immediately intervene with a pacifying, loving, but also firm stance whenever you see behaviours that signal fear or aggression.
Typical signs to watch for include suddenly tucking back their ears, a tense posture that’s often combined with snarling, and averting their eyes from the object of their distress. Should you fail to pick up on these behaviours immediately and take adequate measures, your dog will typically proceed towards lounging and biting – which is something you really want to avoid entirely.
Simply by watching your dog’s mood closely will allow you to anticipate and avoid most conflicts. However, this is just a temporary fix; if you want to train your dog to behave properly in public, socialising your dog is the key. It’s actually simpler to do than you may imagine, as you’re going to learn below.
Practice Makes Perfect
If you’re wondering “how to socialise my dog with strangers”, you should keep in mind it’s a skill and just like any other skill, your dog will improve through practice. This means you have to skillfully create situations that will provide a controlled setting where your dog can practice interacting with unknown humans as well as their pets.
So a good starting point is to make it a habit of having your dog practice socialisation whenever you two go out for a walk. While doing this, it’s essential to make sure your dog is relaxed before starting an interaction (watch out for signs of aggression) – otherwise, just avoid the interaction altogether. You need to also carry some dog treats that you’ll be using to reward and reinforce the right behaviours.
When you’re looking to learn how to socialise your dog with strangers who have dogs, you can just walk around randomly and hope for the best. This is unnecessarily stressful though, and there are easier ways to watch your surroundings farther than your eye can see. You may not know about this, but there is a really useful dog social app that you can use to meet other dogs in your area.
How Can a Dog Social App Help?
This kind of app can be extremely valuable in helping you structure your dog’s socialising practice in a way that allows you to better control the situations ahead. You can use this tool both to anticipate potential conflicts and to adjust the route accordingly if needed. It’s also fun to be able to find the best dog park and reach out to other dog owners this way, and it could turn out to be a nice socialising activity for yourself as well as your dog. If you want to know how it works, you can download our PatchPets app from iTunes App Store and Google Play now (and it’s free!)
Remember, the key to avoiding stressful conflict situations while you’re taking your dog out for a walk is to pay close attention to the behaviour of your dog. The key to training your dog to be sociable naturally is to instil the habit of having positive interactions with other humans as well as other dogs. For best results, you want to ideally do this from the time your dog is still a puppy, and you want to make it an ongoing daily effort that is rewarded whenever it goes well.