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My Dog Isn’t Social – What’s the Deal?

Dog - Pet Wants Exton
  • 23 August 2017
  • Pet Wants

Dog parks can be really awesome places for exercise and socializing with other dogs. Since so many dogs seem to love this environment, owners of dogs who aren’t as fond of running around with other dogs often wonder if there’s something wrong with their pet. Not only is it completely normal to have this concern, but it’s also totally normal for some dogs to not be very social with other pooches.

Common Reasons Dogs May Not Be Very Social

There are several reasons why dogs may not feel comfortable playing with other dogs or humans. The first is if a dog has a history of being mistreated or abused. Even minor cases of of mistreatment can result in a dog being timid in social situations. Another common reason is a dog simply wasn’t around many new people, places, or pups when it was young. Finally, a dog that is used to spending the majority of its life at home may take some time to warm up to social settings like dog parks.

Because dogs are very expressive animals, there are a number of ways they can show that they’re feeling shy. Tucking their tails, folding their ears flat, or retreating to the farthest possible corner of a space are all classic signs that a dog is feeling shy, timid, or anxious. Other potential signs of these emotions include noticeable panting, inappropriate urination, crouching, or refusing to make eye contact.

Making Your Dog More Social

While dogs tend to have very strong personalities, that doesn’t mean their behavior is set in stone. If you have a shy dog, there are ways to help it become more social. Since you want to help your dog by making a permanent behavioral change, be sure you’re going to have plenty of time over the course of a few weeks to help your dog with this issue.

Once you have time in your schedule to focus on helping your dog become more social, the first step is to avoid coddling or praising your pet when it’s scared. Instead, the behavior you want to reinforce is whenever your dog acts confident. Next, spend some time refreshing your dog’s basic training commands. From there, make a point to go to places where other dogs are. By staying calm and positive, you can help put your dog at ease and let it get used to being around others at its own pace.

Just as the right dog food can help your pet enjoy life to the fullest, taking time to help your dog feel comfortable around others and in places like dog parks can have a positive impact on its long-term well-being.