Dog's eye view.

Dogs may not be able to talk but they certainly communicate in their own way.  And, all dogs love to play and interact with other dogs and people.  Socialization is an important activity for any dog, regardless of breed and age.  In fact, not only is it important for a happy life, but it is actually important for the health of your dog.  Socializing your dog means introducing them to many new environments including dogs, people, new environments, and new circumstances and should be done as soon as possible.  Below are 3 reasons your dog should be properly socialized.

3 Reasons Your Dog Should Be Properly Socialized

  1. Confidence
    • When a dog is socialized from birth or as soon as possible, they will feel more confident with a variety of people and settings. When a dog feels confident and secure, they do not exhibit signs of fear or anxiety which means they will be better behaved.  Many dogs who feel insecure in settings like dog boarding, meeting new people, meeting new dogs, or going to the veterinarian either cower or become aggressive.  Aggressive dogs are hard to handle in healthcare settings and frightening for other dogs or people to deal with so having confidence from being socialized will help them live a much better life.
  2. Calmness
    • Because a dog has been socialized and has learned that they are ok in new or varied settings, they are far more likely to be calm and collected. This will make it easier for you to take them places, have new people to your home, etc.  For example, if you need to go out of town the last thing you want is to take them to a dog boarding facility where they become frightened, aggressive, and hyperactive because they are not used to being in new places.  This is not only frustrating but bad for their health, asPetMD points out, “Poorly socialized dogs are fearful of unusual or new circumstances. This sets off neurological signals that result in hormone secretion by various glands in the body. Adrenalin hormones increase heart and respiration rates and blood pressure in anticipation of “fight or flight.” Corticosteroid hormones also contribute to heart rate and blood pressure. They also increase awareness and responses. But corticosteroids also decrease blood flow to the kidneys and intestines, promote muscle breakdown, and suppress immune system function.It is these consequences that lead to stress related conditions in poorly socialized dogs that are frequently engaged in stressful situations. The addition of children to the household, frequent show and event competition, frequent grooming, and daycare and boarding can all cause chronic stress hormone release for poorly socialized dogs and affect their health.”  Because your dog has been properly socialized, they will be able to adjust to new settings in a far more calm way.
  3. Happiness
    • No dog owner wants to see their beloved dog sad or scared. There are many happy circumstances that, simply because they are new, a dog may be upset by.  When your dog has experienced many different circumstances, people, pets and settings, they will be able to adjust more easily and enjoy their day to day life.  Things like playdates or going to the dog park would have otherwise been stressful but now they can happily enjoy their life and play time!