Tips for Socializing Your Quarantine Dog

Millions of people adopted pets in 2020 during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. More people were working from home, limiting outings, and had plenty of time to spend with their new dog. However, many of these dogs missed the opportunity to socialize with others as families were quarantining. They became very comfortable with a small group of people.

As people go back to the office and communities continue to open up, socializing your pet can be beneficial to help them feel more comfortable around different people and places. You don’t want them to be fearful of every sound, new person, or other dog they meet.

Explore Your Community

Let your dog become familiar with a variety of settings. Go for walks around different areas where they are exposed to new smells, sounds, and sights. Visit local parks or neighborhoods where they’ll hear kids playing, other dogs barking, traffic, sirens, etc. When you encounter other people, take steps to help them stay calm and relaxed. Reward them with a small treat for desirable behaviors as a form of positive reinforcement.

Visit with Friends or Family

Invite people that you feel comfortable with to come over to your house and interact with your dog. They may feel safer being in a familiar environment and engaging with people on their own terms. Let your dog go to the person rather than forcing them to meet. It can also be helpful to have people with socialized, friendly dogs, bring them over so your dog can begin to socialize with them in a controlled environment. Make sure any children know how to calmly and safely approach or play with your dog.

Sign Up for Training

Enrolling your dog in a training course can also be beneficial. You will have a professional leading the way and teaching you how to promote positive behaviors and interactions. They can see first-hand how your dog responds and give you tips and guidance. The instructor can also help facilitate socialization between dogs in the class.

Try a Dog Park

After your dog has spent some time around other people and dogs in a one-on-one or very small group setting, then you can work your way up to the dog park. You don’t want your dog to feel overly anxious, fearful, or aggressive being around so many people, dogs, and smells. If your dog appears stressed out or is aggressive toward others, leave and try again later when there are fewer people.

Consider Doggie Daycare

Since your dog has gotten used to you being home all day, they may experience some separation anxiety being left alone now that kids are back in school, and adults are back to the office. Doggie daycare can be a good way to provide socialization and positive interactions. Your dog can spend some quiet time relaxing by itself, but it will also be paired up with dogs of similar size, breed, and behavior to run and play, all while being monitored by trained staff. You can feel more comfortable knowing your dog is not home alone destroying the house, stuck in a crate for hours, or barking incessantly.

Contact Lake Wylie Pet Resort to learn more about doggie daycare as well as boarding for those times when you’re out of town. Help your dog become more relaxed around different people and pets in a safe environment. Schedule your pet’s next stay today!