Socializing your dog essentially means getting your dog used to life outside the  house. When you socialize a dog you are introducing it to the sights and sounds of  your world and helping him/her to see it as normal. There are simple ways to do  this and the benefits are many for both you and your pup.  

Why should you socialize your dog? 

An under-socialized dog could become too excited or even aggressive with  strangers and can harm someone seriously. 

If a dog is well accustomed to being out in public you can enjoy doing lots of  things with your pet like going to the park without serious concern over your pets  behavior. Your dog will be able to enjoy these outings and even “mingling” with  other dogs without fights. 

Dogs that haven’t been socialized are unpredictable and dangerous. A well-socialized dog is a calm, confident, and happy one. 

There are a few simple ways to teach your dog to be comfortable and well behaved outside of the home. Something key in beginning this process is to  remember to repeat the same lessons daily so that they are not forgotten. If you  are patient with your pet and have a positive attitude you will succeed.  

Some socialization methods include: 

Enroll in an obedience class to teach you positive ways of training your dog. 

Take your dog out with you into the streets. Bring lots of treats for a reward to  reinforce positive behavior. Be sure your pet is secured on a leash first, of course. 

Allow your dog to experience the sounds and sights of cars going by, people  walking past and other animals being around. The more you do this the more  accustomed to it your dog will become. 

While you will be tempted to punish the dog if it behaves badly, you should just  ignore it. The kinds of bad behavior that you should ignore are jumping, barking,  leash jerking or biting, and other attempts to get your attention or go free. Rather  than harshly punishing the dog, you should simply try to redirect its attention  toward you. Only reward or praise any desired reaction like calmly walking, sniffing  around, or sitting patiently. This will teach the dog to only do those things because  they are good.

Take your dog everywhere you are allowed and expose it to as many different  places and situations as possible.  

Socializing your dog is just one of the many other ways to strengthen the bond  between dog and owner. If you continue to train your dog in this way you will see  results that will benefit both you and your pet. Remember that a confident dog is a  happy one.