Socialisation is the special learning process that allows dogs to learn to live in society. Thorough socialisation, dogs learn to accept the close proximity of people as well as other dogs and animals. Unfortunately, most people are still unaware of normal canine behaviour and development, let alone the importance of socialisation.
Social time with other dogs provides a wealth of physical, mental, and behavioural benefits that your dog needs – and wants! There are so many benefits of group socialisation for dogs, and it’s vital we as dog owners make time for socialisation and play with other dogs. Regular interaction with others on a consistent basis is vital in helping to shape the overall behaviour and health of your pooch.
Here’s why you should start socializing your dog ASAP!
What your Dog gets out of Socialisation….
1. It fosters healthy psychological growth & builds confidence.
Running and playing with their friends is fun for your dog, but that’s not the only part of a play date that’s valuable. Learning to explore and adapt to new places, smells, sounds, and types of stimulation are all part of a play experience out of the house. And, while new spaces may create initial hesitation, the enticement of playtime often quickly overcomes that uncertainty. As an added benefit, finding their place in a pack is a huge confidence booster for dogs who might usually be shy. Finally, teaching your pup that leaving the house can mean hours of fun is a great way to make your dog better at handling a range of otherwise-stressful situations—from traveling to grooming to vet visits!
During our group outings, 4-legged friends roam freely in a leash-free environment where they meet dogs of all breeds, sizes and ages. It’s a great way for them to grow comfortable with a diverse range of canine personalities, learning how to function with patience, confidence and fairness within a pack. With plenty of playtime, opportunities to meet their BFFF (best furry friend forever) and exercise, your pup will be returned home happy and relaxed.
2. It helps them develop good manners.
Natural instinct for dogs means learning to follow rules in a pack setting. From the time a puppy is born, their behaviour is shaped by their mother and then by other dogs into adulthood. When a dog acts out of line, a member of the pack will correct its action. That’s where socialization comes in. When you start exposing your puppy to other dogs from an early age, they will naturally learn how to interact with others without showing fear, aggression or destructive behaviour.
Time spent playing and interacting with other pups makes sure your dog learns the varied language of how dogs communicate. From knowing when to back off to finding the right way to express excitement or affection, these cues are key to your dog’s behavioural development. Learning proper “dog manners” is important for positive dog-on-dog interactions whether playing at the Dog Park or simply encountering another pup while out on a walk.
3. It keeps them healthy & happy.
No matter how much fun you and your dog have during playtime at home, dog-on-dog play offers a type of vigorous exercise that we can’t replicate. After hundreds of visits to our local Dog Park, we can definitely vouch for that! Playing as part of a pack provides a level of mental and physical stimulation that is guaranteed to tire your pup out in the best possible way. Even better? Dogs have their own language of sounds, gestures, and social cues that make sure they can let the group know when they need a break—cues we humans may struggle to understand.
Dogs are naturally active creatures, with daily exercise being a top priority. Without burning energy, dogs can become destructive, taking out their boredom on your precious belongings. Socialisation makes it easy for dog owners to ensure their pooches get the physical stimulation they need to stay in tip top shape, as well as mentally satisfied.
In short: socialisation is a damn good workout for their body and brain!
What Pet Parents get out of Socialisation…
1. It makes everyday life so much easier.
You don’t realize how much your dog interacts with others on a daily basis, whether it’s going to the groomer, a check up at the vet or taking a family trip.
Without early and regular socialisation, your dog can quickly develop anxious behaviours around new people and environments. Dogs who experience higher levels of stress and anxiety may trigger their bodies’ fight-or-flight systems on a more frequent basis. While these response systems developed to keep animals safe in the wild, flooding the body with stress hormones too often can lead to a host of health problems, including high blood pressure, kidney problems, and immune suppression.
Socialization allows your dog to become used to all sorts of sounds, sights and smells. Their confidence grows and they learn to accept new environments and animals rather than shy away. This makes life easier and stress-free for everyone! You won’t have to wrestle with your dog at the vet while they get a shot or worry about aggressive behaviour while they get soaped up at the groomer.
2. It helps curb destructive behaviours.
A tired dog that’s had plenty of interaction, stimulation and exercise is a good dog! Get on top of chewing, digging and other naughty behaviours by taking your fur baby to the dog park every weekend; they’ll have a ball meeting and playing with plenty of new pooch pals.
While the exercise of playing with other dogs can tire your pup out (meaning they won’t have the energy to chew your favourite pair of shoes!), that’s not the only way it helps. Getting your dog comfortable with leaving for doggy play dates helps lessen separation anxiety, which is a common cause of many destructive behaviours.
3. You’ll appreciate their increased comfort with new places and experiences.
No one likes dragging their dog into the vet’s office or having a pup who barks at the mere sight of another dog on a walk. While socialization might not totally eliminate those habits, the increased confidence and overall ability to enjoy new situations that your dog develops can reduce the severity and frequency of such reactions. When your pup learns to be excited about going someplace new and develops more comfort around other dogs, it can do wonders for your stress and anxiety levels too!
4. Watching your dog play happily with their pack is so rewarding!
As we noted earlier, dogs play differently with each other than they do with us. Giving your furry friend an outlet to run, wrestle, chase, and play with other pups allows them to do what dogs do best: be dogs! Even better? Having a regular outlet to play like a dog can make playtime at home nicer too! Dogs with a lot of pent up energy often play a little too hard at home—biting, scratching, or jumping are common examples. Ensuring your pooch pal has plenty of chances for dog-on-dog play is a fantastic way to help them release some of that excess energy.
How to ensure your Dog gets the regular Socialization it needs…
We get it, us humans live busy lives. But if you’re strapped for time, let us look after that for you! With our group Doggy Adventures, your dog will receive off-leash play time under professional supervision, so when they’re dropped home you can ensure they’ll be settled and relaxed for the remainder of the day.
If your dog’s not quite ready for our fun-filled group Doggy Adventures, regular dog walks are a great way to provide structured and one-on-one social interactions. Our professional walkers ensure each walk provides a safe and healthy opportunity for exercise and fun.
Don’t let your busy human lifestyle get in the way of your dog’s health & wellbeing. A Pawz & Me group playdate ensures your pooch doesn’t go without!