4 Best Ways to Train Your Dog to Become More Sociable

Socialization is critical to raising a happy, friendly, confident, and well-adapted dog. It opens your pet to experiencing new places, smells, sounds, people, and objects, among others. When done correctly, socialization creates a positive experience for the animal.

The best time to present the challenge is during the first three months of a pup’s life, as this is the time when they are most receptive to instruction and experience. As such, socialization is one of the critical aspects for pet owners when bringing in a new dog into the household. However, this is not always the case.

There are many reasons why not all dogs get the required training during this time. Sickly pups, for one, are often isolated from other dogs. In the case of adopting or taking care of older dogs, they may have had bad experiences or never had the opportunity to be around other animals or people other than their family.

But all is not lost. Regardless of the situation, your dog can still learn to be friendly towards other people and animals. Here are some of the best ways to get you started.

1. Start small

Unsocialized dogs may feel overwhelmed when you take them out in public right away. Instead of doing this, gradually introduce them to the outside world. Start by taking your pet for a walk around your yard while wearing a muzzle and leash for a time before you venture outside your property.

If there are other dogs in your neighborhood, this will let your pet observe how they will react. You can also use the muzzle and leash when you invite other people (and their pets) over to your home to slowly ease them into the experience of being with others. Experts recommend putting a funny muzzle on your dog to make the first encounters less intimidating for both parties.

2. Take plenty of walks

When your pet has grown accustomed to your yard and is ready to go further, begin taking trips around the park or a similar public area with your dog. Do this daily to help your pet become more comfortable with the world outside your home. Given this is your canine’s first experience, expect to come across some issues along the way.

Keep in mind that the experience will be overwhelming for your companion. There is a lot to see, hear and smell along the way, so your buddy will understandably seem frightened or make several stops. If you usually take a jog during the day, expect your trip to take longer than usual.

Much like people, dogs have unique personalities and will react to situations differently. Be patient and observe how your companion reacts to the new stimuli, and adjust your training accordingly. How you respond to their behavior in public can affect how they will see future walks.

If your companion starts barking or reacting negatively, do a quick tug on the leash or a tap on the side. This does two things: distracting them from the negative stimuli while correcting the behavior. In situations where this does not work, calmly walk away with your dog.

3. Mix it up

Elements inside your home can help prepare your canine to meet the outside world. Everything from large appliances to toys can be also used in the training process. You can even get other members of the family involved in taking your pup or senior dog outside his comfort zone.

Let your kids play with their pull toys with the dog around. If your pup is not used to toys making loud noises, supervise them to ensure that your pup doesn’t feel frightened.

You can also buy your canine his own toys to get him accustomed to different textures and sounds. If you live in the UAE, there are plenty of reliable online shops that sell dog toys in Dubai. However, you may need to test different toys to see which ones your pup or senior will enjoy using the most.

Toys are also a great way to train dogs to interact and play with people and other animals. Remember to supervise playtimes between your pooch and young kids. During this time, you can train your pet to play safely with other people without being too rough.

4. Always create a positive experience

As with any training exercise, you can use treats to help your four-legged pal understand how to behave and interact with other people or pets. Have a stash of treats ready whenever you are training your pet, but only give them out whenever your dog has accomplished a good deed or exhibited good behavior. This way, your furry pal will associate the treat with the action and, ideally, continue doing it.

Treats are readily available in any local pet shop. You can order the treats and toys along with your dog food delivery in Dubai, for instance. By ordering some toys and treats before the newest member of your family arrives, you are better prepared to train your pet on socializing.

The best time to expose your pet to other people and dogs is when they are very young. But this doesn’t mean an old dog can’t learn new tricks or skills. By following these tips, you are in a better position to raising a friendly dog, regardless of his age or previous experiences.


Farah Al-Khojai is the Managing Partner of Pet’s Delight. A passionate entrepreneur, Farah holds a Bsc in Government from the London School of Economics. She is always on the lookout for new opportunities to develop and grow the pet and equestrian retail and wholesale market in the UAE and beyond, and is proud to be at the helm of the first and the largest pet care provider in the market representing world-class brands including Orijen, Applaws, Hunter, Savic, Flamingo, Ruffwear and Rogz.