Category Archives: socialization

Moving in Together: How to Socialize Pets from Two Homes

By Linda Cole

Adding a new pet to a home where one is already residing can be a challenge for some pets, but bringing two or more pets together under one roof when you move in with your significant other can be an even bigger challenge. The goal is to help each pet transition into their new life without breaking up your relationship. It can be a delicate balance, in the beginning, for owners and their pets.

Combining pets from two different homes means both pets’ routine has been changed. They have to get used to new smells, sounds and how each person interacts with them. Pets don’t usually like change, and it can be a reason why some pets develop behavioral problems. It can take time and patience to make a transition, and how to handle the pets is a discussion couples need to have before they move in together. It’s important to socialize pets as soon as possible and it’s equally important for each person to take the lead role with dogs from both homes. Pets are important to their owners and can be a reason for friction between a couple if it’s not handled carefully.

Socializing pets when moving in together is done the same way a new pet is added to a home. However, there is one difference to keep in mind – each pet has a bond already established with their owner. Dogs are more apt to follow their owner’s commands over someone new in the home. The solution is for both people to learn which commands are used and be consistent with them to keep the dog from being confused. Discipline is also a subject that needs to be discussed, as well as what sort of liberties will be permitted by both owners. Are pets allowed to sleep in the bed? Is the furniture off limits? It’s important to have a serious heart-to-heart talk before moving in together to work out a compromise, if it’s necessary.

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The Importance of Play Dates for Dogs


By Suzanne Alicie

You can take your dog for a run or enjoy a game of fetch in the backyard to provide him with much needed play and exercise, so why would you go to the trouble of arranging play dates for your dog? Don’t you have enough to do with kids, work and home? Keep reading to find out the importance of play dates for your dog.

Imagine that you are walking your dog in the park; suddenly he sees another dog and goes crazy pulling on the leash, barking and dragging you along as he runs after this other dog. This can lead to reluctance to take your dog anywhere he may encounter other dogs. The fear that your dog will attack another dog or even a person can lead you to feel much safer playing with and exercising your dog at home.

This is where play dates come in. Dogs are social animals, and many of their behaviors that may seem threatening are simply their pack nature. Dogs are either submissive or dominant, and in any group of canines there will emerge a natural alpha dog. By setting up play dates and allowing your dog to indulge in the sniffing and romping that is normal for him, you are allowing him to be a dog.

Dogs need to be socialized not only with other animals, but with other humans as well. A dog who is isolated and only interacts with their own family will tend to be more high strung and vocal when he encounters other people or animals.

Early socialization helps puppies grow up to be amiable and cooperative around other dogs and people. If your dog is already grown and hasn’t socialized with other dogs and people very much, it is important to start slowly to socialize him. Arrange to meet a friend to walk your two dogs together at the park. If your friend’s dog is used to other dogs and not afraid, it will be better for your dog to adjust to.

Muzzle your dog to prevent any accidental damage should he become frightened or aggressive. When you meet your friend, allow the dogs to do their doggie thing. Give them time to sniff and become accustomed to one another before beginning your walk. Don’t despair if your dog growls or even cowers from the other dog in the beginning. He is simply reacting to the other dog and after a few moments will take his behavior cues from his new friend. This is why it is important to introduce your dog to another dog that has been socialized. Bringing two un-socialized dogs together can be chaos.

As your dog becomes more accustomed to his new doggie friend, find a few more people that you know with dogs to join you on your walks. Over time your dog will grow to look forward to the time he gets to spend with his canine friends. You will be able to remove the muzzle and in certain situations even unleash the dogs and allow them to run and play together. These play dates make for dogs who aren’t timid or aggressive with new dogs or new people that they encounter.

Your dog will thrive and be much happier if he is allowed to play with other canines. While interaction with people is important, dogs need time to be pack animals, to find their place within their circle of friends, and to learn more about being a dog as well as a pet.

Read more articles by Suzanne Alicie

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

Puppy Classes are Not Just for Training

Sounds funny doesn’t it? What are you taking the puppy to classes for if not to train them? Well, your new family member needs to be socialized as well as learning what the rules are. Your new dog has become a member of your pack (family) and just like any other family (or pack) member they need to learn the dos and dont’s of what is allowed, not just in your home but out in public. And as funny as this may sound, they need to learn what other dogs are and how to behave around them.
I chose to train my dog Katie at home. My older dog was ill and I didn’t want to be away from him for too long, but I should have taken the time to go to a class where Katie could meet other dogs. This was a drawback to training at home for me that I didn’t realize at the time. Katie was a stray on the streets and was found with her sister at about 4 weeks old. Her health became an issue for her due to her beginnings; and when I adopted her, it was suggested that I not take any chances introducing germs or stress which could aggravate her condition.
So I chose to train Katie at home, after all I trained Nimber (with the help of a class). “How hard could it be?” I asked myself. I should have remembered that first of all, I had a terrier on my hands. She learned, but very slowly and was always antsy during training, as if she had somewhere else to be.
Besides the obvious reason for a training class, learning the basic commands of sit, stay, down, heel, and come; your puppy gets to go in the car for a different reason than going to the vet, they get to go for a ride with you and get more used to traveling in the car, which is another plus.
The most important thing that Katie missed from going to a class was the socialization and the “meet and greet” with the other puppies in the class. She loved the dog she lived with and after he passed she loved the dog that came after him. But she disliked any other dog she met with a passion that bordered on irrational. She had never had any bad encounters with any dogs she met — they pretty much ignored her. I wish I could say that Katie did the same, she barked and carried on so, you would have thought I was keeping her from her favorite bone. Unfortunately for Katie, she didn’t get to go for rides very often because she had such temper tantrums, it was easier to leave her at home; and unfortunately for me I did not have access to a behavioral trainer back then or even a dog park where I could have taken her when she was a puppy.
Besides your class for meeting and greeting, you now have other options that were not available to me. Now there are dog parks where you can go to meet other dogs. There are doggie day care facilities where your dog can go for playtime while you have to work. Another great place to socialize your puppy or dog is your local pet shop. Most pet shops will allow dogs in their stores, as long as you walk them outside in case they have to “potty”, before bringing them into the store. Some stores like to offer the dog a biscuit, at some it’s a pat and a hug; some stores even have special events where they invite the dog into the store.
Whichever path you choose, training class, private trainer or do-it-yourself; make sure you don’t forget to socialize your puppy well. Katie was not, and though she was a gem to the cats, Smokey her canine cohort, my family, myself and any human she met, she was obnoxious where other dogs were concerned. So take a tip from my book of personal anecdotes and get your puppy socialized. Your relationship with each other and other dogs will be that much better for it.

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.