Man is a social butterfly. The human race is not genetically designed to function like islands. Human
beings NEED to socialise, so they can feed off each other’s energy, learn from each other’s rights and
wrongs, and improve the quality of their life. Dogs also need to socialise like man, but not for the
same reasons. Keep reading to know why socialising your dog is important and how you can do it.
Why is it important to socialise your dog?
Humans socialise to have a sense of belonging in the society. This not only gives them security but
also better mental health. Similarly socialising your dog can relieve them of stress; stress imposed by
situations that intimidate or challenge them. Dogs need social interaction, so they do not feel alone
in this world. Dogs need to hob-nob with a few of their kind, so that their hormones operate the way
Eliminate Behavioural Issues
Most behavioural issues noticed in pet dogs today can be attributed to insecurity – i.e., a sense of
abandonment – arising out of loneliness. Similarly, the aggression that one sees in dogs can be
because of stress. This stress can come about because dogs do not know how to respond to signals
from other dogs. So, they fight or take flight. Under such circumstances, dogs also release hormones
that can prove to be detrimental to their health. If this release occurs frequently, then dogs can
develop digestive problems, cardiac issues, eating disorders and many more health hazards.
Socialising your dog can help him stay calm and understand how to react when surrounded by other
pets or even strays.
Is your dog the happiest pup at home but the moment you bring him out to introduce him to other
furry friends, he freezes out of fear, with his tail tucked under his legs, ready to scoot back to his safe
house? If so, know that your dog feels safe and confident at home but outside he is completely lost.
He doesn’t know what to do and what might come next. Lack of socialisation makes them under-
confident. And therefore, it is important to socialise your dog to give him the required boost of
confidence that he can face the world. Also, the lack of adequate socialisation opportunities, can
also trigger a rebellious streak in dogs. They will defy orders from masters, and may even urinate or
defecate where they should not. This can also cause them to be destructive.
How to socialise your dog?
Numerous pet parents around the world have struggled to get their pet dogs to listen to them. To
de-stress dogs and to relieve themselves from the stress of parenting dogs, it is important that pet parents teach essential socialisation skills to their pet dogs. There are many ways by which you can
nurture your dog’s social skills. Here are a few:
Walk your dog often
Walking your dog frequently is best to alleviate dog stress. There are dog walkers who can provide
specialised walking services on a daily basis. Walking also provides dogs with an opportunity to
meet/interact with other dogs on walks. That will serve as the perfect platform to test a dog’s
socialisation skills, and figure out what more needs to be done to make sure that the dog is friendly
with other dogs. So, gear up, put on your walking shoes and make it a routine to go for at least a 20
walk everyday with your pup. This will help you to bond with your pet and give your pup an
opportunity to socialise with other dogs.
Take your dog out on play dates
Looking for a fun way to socialise your dog? Here’s one. Dogs socialize the most when they are on
play dates. So, when other pet parents invite you to one, then do not pass up on that opportunity.
Play dates are a fun way to get your dogs to socialise with other dogs. Parks in some cities have
earmarked specific days of a week or selected times of a day at which pets and pet parents can
congregate. It will be best to leverage these days and times to enhance the socialisation skills of your
Make sure your dog participates in pet-related social events
- Events, parties, gatherings for pets and pet parents are often conducted in many cities. Take some
time off your busy schedules to be part of such events. In fact, recently, Petcation, in partnership
with the Indie Frost Cafe, Chennai, conducted a wonderful Pet ‘Paw’rty to celebrate Christmas with
fur buddies. Prior to that, a Pet Photo Fest and a Pet Show were also organized by Petcation. The
core focus of these events is to provide an interface for pets and pet parents to come together
under one roof and socialise. Such events are a perfect platform to foster the socialisation skills of
Dog trainers often conduct training workshops or programs to develop the socialisation and life skills
of pets. Be part of such workshops/programs, so your dogs can learn from the best and on the job.
Also, your pet dogs will have the opportunity to interact with other pets as part of the training. This
will help develop their socialisation skills tremendously.
Host pet parties
Why wait for other pet parents to host social gatherings for you and your dogs? Take the initiative
and organise a pet-meet yourself. This may prove to be the fun dog socialisation exercise your pets
have been waiting for.
Benefits of Socialisation Amidst Dogs
Socialisation has many positive effects on dogs:
- It can help dogs de-stress;
- It can reduce aggression in dogs, when they come face-to-face with other dogs;
- It can also help build a dog’s confidence;
- It can make dogs feel less insecure or less threatened around other dogs;
- It helps safeguard pets’ mental health;
- It helps keep hormonal release from dogs minimal;
- It prevents the diseases that dogs can contract in the event of frequent hormonal release;
- It helps improve your pet’s life-span;
If you want a congenial, less-aggressive, friendly pet, then try and follow at least some of the
socialisation methods cited here. Remember, dogs that socialise are happier!