Dog Socialization, Parks and Rec Style!

Posted on December 20th, 2012 in BISSELL Pack of Pet Lovers, Dogs, Pet Care, Pet Information

This is a guest post by

At the Dog Walking Company, we love good TV almost as much as we love our dogs! And we think you can learn a lot from both – including how different personalities influence proper doggie socialization. Let’s take Parks and Rec – If Leslie Knope had a dog, she’d love love love people and couldn’t get enough playtime with other pups. Ron Swanson’s dog would probably prefer his company, and only his.

Just like humans, introversion and extroversion are totally valid in dog world. But also like humans, social awkwardness can leave your dog feeling depressed, fearful, and confused. He needs to be socialized early and often so he doesn’t become a Jean Ralphio crotch-sniffer, a Tammy Two dog-park bully, or a bumbling do-gooder. (Damn it, Jerry!)

You can’t change your dog’s personality, but you can make sure she has the doggie skills necessary to avoid conflict with humans and other dogs as well as interact safely with a world full of sights, sounds, and crazy metal contraptions we humans can’t seem to get enough of. Here are some tips on socializing your dog like a Champion. ;)

1) Just Like Andy Dwyer, a dog’s personality is generally formed by the time he’s a year old. Teach him all about the world when he’s a pup or he may try to use bandanas for underwear when he grows up.

2) Anne Perkins knows health goes hand in hand with safety. Dogs are no different. Make sure your pre-vaccinated pup is socialized with older dogs who’ve had all their shots and he should be fine. And for the love of dog, boys, please stop sending Anne those “mumps” photos!

3) If you rescued an older dog, have no fear, she can still learn new tricks. Give her lots of opportunities to meet new people and pets and try new things. Be her Chris Traeger and reinforce each adventure with lots of praise, treats, and reassuring touches.

4) If Champion shows unwanted fearful behavior in social situations, like growling at Little Sebastian (R.I.P.), don’t cuddle or pet him to calm him down. Tell him he’s okay and reward him when he STOPS the behavior. Distracting him with a good behavior he knows, like sitting, is also a great tool.

5) Dogs have their own language, just like Tom Haverford. You might not always understand it, but don’t fear it. Growling, jumping, and mouthing each other is perfectly acceptable. Just keep an eye out for aggressive body language, like super stiff bodies, uncomfortable eye contact, or raised hackles. In no time, you’ll all be enjoying your apps and ‘serts after a successful dog park visit!

For more great tips on socialization check out Paw Rescue and Best Friends Animal Society.

Written By: Sarah R. Parker

One Response to “Dog Socialization, Parks and Rec Style!”

  1. Jessica Sala says:

    Great post :) and Love P&R!

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