Is Your Dog Anti-social?
Published on Tuesday, 09 September 2014
A well-socialised dog will respect its pack members, know its place in the pack, and follow the pack’s rules. Socialisation starts from birth - when the mother dog starts teaching her puppies how to behave, and disciplining them when they break the rules. However, issues often arise when a dog is adopted by humans who either do not see the importance, or know how to set the rules and boundaries that the dog needs to be well-socialised.
If you think that an anti-social dog simply refers to a dog that does not mix well with others, you are mistaken. Here are four signs that your dog lacks adequate socialisation:
1. Not Respecting Space
A socialised dog knows its place in the pack. An anti-social dog, on the other hand, does not respect the space of other humans or animals, especially those in its own pack. If your dog is begging for food or jumping on guests who come into the house, correct the behaviour by claiming your space. This means blocking or pushing your dog away whenever it invades your space.
2. Showing Overexcitement
Is your dog jumping, spinning or barking when you return home? While we will like to think that this means fido is happy to see us, it is not true. Overexcitement in dogs is caused by the lack of rules on where to go or what to do in certain situations, and this energy gets expressed physically and randomly. It’s impossible to calm a dog in this state of mind.
Stop rewarding this behaviour by ignoring your dog when it’s in that state. Also, it’s important to ensure that your dog gets sufficient exercise to drain excess energy.
3. Pulling on the Leash
If your dog lunges when it sees another dog or person during walks, it means your dog is not getting the leadership it needs from the human on the other end of the leash. Naturally, it will assume the role as a pack leader and move to the front. When you walk your dog, learn to be calm and assertive and do not let it pull in front of you.
4. Avoiding Others
The most obvious sign of an anti-social dog is when it avoids other animals or humans, especially strangers. If your dog repeatedly avoids or flees when meeting others, you will need to restore its confidence by first building trust. If your dog trusts you, it will be less fearful in these situations. Also, ask strangers or guests to ignore the dog, which includes avoiding eye contact, until it feels comfortable approaching their space.