Just like humans, there are introverted and extroverted dogs. Some enjoy socializing more than others—and that’s all good and fair.
But what if your dog is exhibiting behaviors that go beyond typical introversion? Anti-social behavior such as aggression, lunging on the leash, or avoiding people altogether can negatively affect you and your dog’s life.
In this article, we’ll talk about why your dog might display these anti-social antics and how you can help transform your pooch into a social butterfly.
Why Is My Dog Not Socializing?
Most anti-social behaviors start during your dog’s early puppyhood. This can either be a result of abuse or a lack of proper training. Dogs who have limited access to other people and pets can also develop shy, antisocial characteristics.
Abuse or Mistreatment
Unfortunately, the number one cause of an antisocial dog stems from abuse or mistreatment.
If you adopted your dog from a shelter, there’s a high chance that your new family member is extremely timid—especially if you chose to adopt an adult dog.
Lack of Early Training
Puppies can be raging balls of energy and excitement. They can also be shy and scared. After all, they’re just beginning their lives. And let’s face it—the world is big and scary.
The best way to instill good behavior is by training a puppy when they’re between seven and eight weeks old. Oftentimes, this early training period is missed and can lead to unwanted behaviors. It’s never too late to train a dog, but it gets harder once they reach adulthood.
Being Confined at Home
Many dog owners choose to shelter their canines from other people and animals. However, this is not the way to go about protecting your dog.
Confining your dog at home is a recipe for an anxious, frustrated, and anti-social dog. Your four-legged friend needs room to release his or her energy while learning how to navigate the world by your side.
How Can I Help My Dog Become More Sociable?
Do you recognize antisocial behavior in your dog?
From basic commands to in-depth training, here are a few methods you can harness to help your dog grow into a more sociable pooch.
1. Practice Basic Commands
Commands are confidence boosters for dogs—and who doesn’t love a good boost of confidence? Make sure you’re praising your dog every time he or she sits, stands, or shakes on command. But don’t just limit basic commands to your dog; make it clear to your friends and family that they cannot make any sudden movements toward your dog, as this may increase anxiety.
2. Practice Leash Etiquette
If your dog is walking you rather than you walking him or her, or if your dog is lunging at other pets and people, then it’s time to teach leash etiquette. You’re the leader of the pack, so it’s your job to remain assertive and in charge. Take the lead and invest in a quality harness that won’t jerk or injure your dog’s neck while teaching commands.
3. Introducing to New Dogs
Introductions can be nerve-wracking. A dog dealing with social issues might be scared or hesitant to meet new dogs, so it’s important to introduce them at your dog’s pace. The best way to start is by introducing your dog to dogs you already know and trust. Reward your dog each time they exhibit good behavior.
4. Contact a Professional
Sometimes, the best course of action is the help of a professional. Certified behaviorists will work closely with you and your dog to offer the support they need. Training sessions for remedial socialization usually start with a behavioral assessment followed by a personalized plan.
Our advice? Remain patient with your dog—and yourself.
Make Your Dog’s Tail Wag With The Absorber®
It’s important to remember that your dog has a unique personality, and their level of socialization may not be what you dreamed of. Whatever you do, don’t get discouraged.
It’s your job to love your pup—and one of the best ways to show your love is with a soft and snuggly absorbent towel. The Absorber® is our flagship product that dogs and owners can’t get enough of. It’s quick to dry, handy to store, and takes the dread out of bath time. Grab the towel that keeps your dog happy and comfortable no matter where you go.