Getting your dog comfortable around crowds of people is necessary if you want her to share more and greater parts of your life.
Today, discover some of the problems that may arise when you want your dog with you during social events.
In this episode, you will learn some examples of desensitizing your dog to being around groups of people.
- The biggest issues I get calls for are Jumping-Up, play-biting, or barking and growling. Sometimes it is a combination of two or all of those problems. For each of those we have a podcast.
- Other times it is riding in a car, doing well on-leash, or anything that pertains to the actual travel time to get to the destination. We also have podcast show for these problems as well.
- Today I am going to specifically talk about two issues I hear about often. Both of these issues typically happen when an owner is not prepared for this behavior because they have never seen it before or they have not properly prepared their dog for these high end social activities.
- Going to festivals or a party
- Going to a dog show or dog event
- Going to a ballgame or picnic
The issues are that the dog starts to become protective; barking, lunging, growling at everything. Or, that the dog freaks out and wants nothing to do with the activity.
Socializing your dog to large crowds or places where there could be a potential crowd.
- I have a client that has an enormous farm with a beautiful home, yard, and property. They have the potential for crowds of people at their home because they both on on the board for non-profit businesses and people ask to use their home and property for many gatherings and social outdoor events.
- The dog has to be not just used to being amongst the crowds, he also has to be okay with people coming onto their property without feeing he needs to protect it.
- I also have many clients with children that play sports and many of them want to bring their dog to these sporting events.
- Knowing this is going to be your life, it is best if you can expose your dog to these situations as a puppy and that is not always going to be a possibility.
- You may want to adopt an older dog that you do not know its background and it is important to get them used to these environments as well.
- It is also important to know if your dog is going to behave in a good or bad way prior to getting your dog into these situations.
- Start out at a dog park.
- Dog parks are a great way for a dog to be around people and dogs.
- Start during the week then build up to weekends.
- This is a time for you to observe how your dog does when socializing.
- Next, go to a ballgame or park where there is a lot of activity and do not participate in the activity.
- I used to go to a large park here in Nashville when there was a festival or outdoor concert going on and just hang out at the opposite end of the park.
- As we get used to the sounds (I would go with other dogs and clients) we would approach the activity.
- Sometimes, depending on who was with me we, would go all the way into the crowded area starting for short periods of time and working up to longer.
- All the time watching the dogs for certain things.
- Once a guy just reached down and tried to pet one of my client dogs and the dog turned and snapped at him.
- I happened to be walking Rosie at the time and the guy looked at me and said I should not bring an aggressive dog into the park and I just looked at him and said, you should ask permission before touching a dog that is not yours.
- This dog, Rosie, never got really good at greeting people, but she knew the rules when she was on the leash and in a crowd to keep to herself. It took a long time to get her to that point.
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