Making new friends can be a daunting task — even for your dog. Having your pup socialize with other dogs is very important. Don't be discouraged if your dog is having trouble getting along with other dogs. You can help him win canine friends. Animal behaviorist Mary Burch offers some tips on how to help your dog become the most popular pooch on the block. American Kennel Club
1Start slowly: If your pup is nervous around other animals, you don't want to throw him to the dogs — literally. Going to a dog park might be too much for your pooch's first step in making new friends, especially when there are quite a few others dogs there running around and possibly starting trouble.
2 Be systematic: Start off by planning to meet one friend with one dog at a specific time. Make sure that dog is a well-mannered pooch that is polite. If your dog happens to be full of energy, you might want to have an experienced trainer with you just in case your pup wants to dominate the other. Your dog can sense if you are nervous, so having a trained professional there will help you feel at ease and in control of the situation.
3 Expose your dog to all types of dogs: If your purebred pup has only met other dogs of his breed, imagine his surprise when he meets another breed for the very first time. You want to make sure that you expose your dog to all types of dogs — small dogs, large dogs, quiet dogs, active dogs, long-haired, short-haired, etc. Training classes are great places to go in order to have your dog meet all sorts of other dogs.
More information: Additional tips on how to socialize your dog can be found in Citizen Canine, the official new book of the AKC Canine Good Citizen Program. Additional tips can be found on the American Kennel Club website at www.akc.org.