15 Ways that People Unnecessarily Shorten Their Dogs Lives
4. Improperly socializing the dog
People do not expect infants and toddlers to understand how to properly treat others. Adults understand that social skills must be taught to little ones so that they will properly interact with other people.
Likewise, dogs must be taught proper social skills. Dogs are pack animals, and they are most content when they understand the “rules of the pack.” As a human, a dog owner must become the “dominant dog” in the pack, teaching the dog to behave correctly when interacting with other people and other dogs. According to the ASPCA, properly socialized dogs are more relaxed and happy than nervous, poorly socialized dogs.
Dogs must learn how to get along with other dogs and with new people. They must learn to properly approach another dog or an unfamiliar person without seeming threatening. Well-socialized dogs get to know one another by sniffing each other and reading one another’s body language.
Poorly socialized dogs may see other dogs and new people as threats. They may react with total panic or respond with aggression to dogs and people that do not intend any harm. Socializing a dog can take place in a dog park, in a neighborhood, or in a friend or family member’s home.
Even if a dog is the only dog in the house, he should still learn how to behave properly because no one can foresee what the future may hold. A dog that is happy, well-behaved, and comfortable in a wide variety of situations can easily find a new home if for some reason his original owners cannot take care of him.
A dog that is poorly socialized, reacting in fear or aggression to new situations or new people, may never find a new home, and could be euthanized because there is no one to take care of him.
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