Weekly Wag: Socializing Your Dog Quiz

1. True or False? Smart Socializing involves setting your dog up for success with only positive dog-dog interactions.

TRUE! – The more positive interaction ANY dog gets with other dogs, the more likely he will develop and maintain ‘dog-tolerant’ behavior for life.

2. True or False? – Dog Parks are a dependable place for positive dog-dog socializing opportunities.

FALSE! – While Dog Parks can be fun, they also bring plenty of NEGATIVE interactions by forcing your pet to come up against dogs that might be overly stimulated, short tempered, outwardly aggressive or otherwise badly managed. Smart Socializing means keeping your friend dog-tolerant, and that involves AVOIDING dicey situations where conflict can spark.

3. True or False? ‘My dog is really good with my brother’s dog. Is it true that he’ll be good with all other dogs?

FALSE! – The friendship your dog has worked out with your brother’s dog will not necessarily translate to other dogs. It would be completely normal for him to be very picky about which dogs he likes.

4. True or False? – I heard it’s okay to go to the dog park until the first fight, then you can quit going with no harm done.

FALSE! – A dog’s first fight is always the one you want to avoid. Why? A bad fight can make a huge impression on your dog and cause him to have a shorter fuse the next time a dog-dog conflict comes up. Dogs learn from their bad experiences just like we do, so it’s best to protect them from conflict.

5. True or False? – A good way to socialize a dog is to let him walk up and greet dogs that he doesn’t know during his walks.

FALSE! – Leash greets can be a very challenging way for any two strange dogs to meet and a sure bet way to set the wrong two personalities up for a loud argument. Also, allowing your dog to do this will encourage him to pull like crazy towards any dog he sees. The tension that builds from the excitement of a rushed greeting can escalate into leash aggression for him and yanked shoulders for you – Not good!

TIP: Protect Your Dog from a Bad Dog-Dog Experience.

Dogs don’t need to ‘prove’ that they can be buddy-buddy with every dog they meet. A good goal is making sure your dog can calmly tolerate and even ignore other dogs when he’s out on-leash. Even better if he also has a small handful of trusted play partners for supervised fun in safe areas.

Note: When taking your dog, especially pit bull, to the dog park please be a responsible owner and KNOW your dog’s personality. Although your pet is not dog-aggressive, there could be a dog-aggressive dog running around in the park. Although a pit bull may not start a confrontation, they will usually not back down from one. Game on. This is part of their “bad rap.” Never introduce your on-leash pit bull nose to nose with another dog! Introduce dogs slowly with the “butt sniff”, nose to butt first and watch your dog’s and the other dog’s body language. START SOCIALIZING YOUR DOG IMMEDIATELY WITH OTHER DOGS AND HUMANS.

From BADRAP.org printable handouts.

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