The winter cold, wind, rain and shorter daylight hours see some of us hibernating to keep cosy and warm. We’re still socialising through work, family, social media etc, but what about our four-legged friends?
Socialisation for dogs is an ongoing process with developmental stages that can exhibit undesirable behaviours. Adolescence for dogs begins around four months of age, so think of teenage behaviour!
Socialisation is ongoing development. The importance of continued meetings with people and other animals ensures you dog meets and greets with openness and trust.
Do you think your dog gets sad in winter?
Does he or she or mooch around, sleep more or seem hungrier? There is no conclusive research to suggest dogs suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, but we do have discussions with owners who notice a change in their dogs on continued rainy/cloudy days. Therefore, socialising your dog can make a huge impact on their happiness and mood.
Dogs perceive their environment by sniffing, as their nose is their best processor of information. Exploring through sniffing and walking allows for a healthy dog – both physically and mentally.
Choosing a time to get out on a daily basis so your pooch is exposed to new dogs and people is achievable with warm, wet weather gear. Once-off walking at a reasonable pace, both dog and owner, can keep you both warm!
What about interval training, alternating walks with throwing a ball or frisbee?
Ten minutes of this will have you both warm and exercised. Play dates also offer rewarding and fun contacts. Invitees can play in the garden and get affectionate pats from the humans. Our Maisy has a very special friend, Kipper. We travel half an hour in the Pet Taxi to visit him, have great walks, get warm and have coffee at the local dog café. Think about a trip to the pet shop - that can be a very social event!
So, don your winter gear and off out for a walk. Like us, your pooches are very social animals and do not like to be cooped up all winter. A well-socialised dog is a happy dog; and that is what we all want for our fury friends.
How do you keep your pet socialising? We’d love to hear some of your ideas below!