Planning a dog’s socialization class requires many attentions!
Problems in interspecies socialization, or socialization among members of the same species, are a common problem for dog owners. Dogs who didn’t have the chance to socialize with other dogs during their first months of life, dogs who have experienced trauma or shy dogs, may have problems interacting with other dogs.
Here’s where a socialization class comes in handy. However, keep in mind that this is not a job for you to do on your own. I’d like to make recommendations and provide information so that you can have a better understanding of how socialization works with the help of a dog behaviorist or a dog instructor, depending on the personality of your dog.
1) Socialization class for a fearful dog
If your dog is fearful, socialization classes should be composed of no more than 2 dogs. The other dog should be calm and confident. It would make no sense to put a fearful dog in a big socialization group because this may lead to complications, further reinforcing his idea that other dogs are scary. Once your dog starts to become comfortable around his new friend, then it will become possible to expand the group by adding a third dog, one who is also calm and confident.
2) Socialization class for a hyperactive dog
If your dog is hyperactive and has difficulties staying calm, it won’t be a good idea to put him in a big socialization class. He will also need a small class with just 1 or 2 dogs that are calm and confident. This way, he can understand that he can easily be with other dogs without the need to run, bark, and play all the time. A small socialization class will help your dog learn the concept of calm, so that he can apply it to other situations both in and out of his home.
3) Socialization class for a reactive dog
If your dog is reactive, which means that he always tries to attack another dogs, barking and growling, the kind of socialization class you enroll him in will depend on how reactive he is. You dog will need to meet a calm and quiet dog, but a fence may be needed to separate them. During their initial meeting, don’t be surprised if barking and growling will ensue from your dog; however, the other dog’s calm temperament should trigger your dog to calm down. Gradually, over more socialization classes, the frequent interaction between your dog and the calm dog will eventually allow them both to be in the same area without a need for a fence.
Avoid Using The Leash
It’s important to note that in socialization or puppy training classes, it’s never advisable to use a leash. If a leash is used during these classes, it will limit communication between the dogs in an activity where communication is crucial so it would only be counter-productive.
The importance of the location
Another aspect that you need to take into consideration is the area or location where socialization classes are going to be conducted. Is it safe? Is it calm? Are there things that can distract them? Feel free to discuss these matters with the dog behaviorist; they should be able to find a good area that is conducive for your dog to learn.
What was your experience like in socialization classes? Comment below!