Many boarding kennels offer their canine guests the opportunity to enjoy supervised exercise periods with other dogs. This is a great way of breaking up your dog's day and can help to overcome the homesickness that some dogs suffer whilst away from their owners. However, if your dog is to safely enjoy this activity, he must first be socialised.
Here are some tips on how to socialise your adult dog before his stay in boarding kennels, like Dogdayz Country Club.
Daily doggy introductions
If your pet is an 'only child/dog', there's a good chance that his only interaction with other canines takes place infrequently during his daily walks.
Aggression between strange dogs is often sparked by pent-up energy. If your dog has already enjoyed a good run around, he'll probably be more chilled-out and submissive when you encounter another dog, so take a ball or Frisbee to the park with you.
Regardless of the amount of posturing and barking that ensues when you meet another dog, it's important that you stay calm yourself. Don't pull on your dog's lead or shout at him. This will just create more excitement and he may interpret your reaction as aggression towards the other dog. If things get too frantic, just calmly walk away.
If your dog is inclined to take on the role of aggressor when you meet other dogs out walking, fit him with a muzzle. This not only guarantees that he cannot physically bite another dog, but it can also help to calm him down mentally too. He will be more inclined to investigate the other dog in a positive, rather than a negative way.
Canine "play dates"
If you have a friend with a quiet, non-aggressive dog, it can be a good training tactic to arrange a play date. Let the dogs meet in the garden first rather than in the confines of the house, and encourage a fun play session using toys and treats.
When the dogs have become acquainted and are well-exercised, move indoors. It's a good idea to remove toys and food in case squabbles break out.
Obedience and training classes can provide a great, safe environment in which your dog can meet others. All activities are supervised and the dogs mingle in a controlled setting. Classes have the added bonus of a professional dog trainer on-hand if things go wrong.
The dog park
The next phase of your dog's training could be a visit to the local dog park, ideally with his new play date friend. Don't just unleash him and let him get on with it though! Stand outside the park with your dog on his lead with this friend and let him just watch the fun for a while. When you go into the park, keep your dog on his lead and allow him to meet a few of the other dogs before letting him off. If his play date has come along too, your dog won't feel threatened by the other unfamiliar dogs around him.
Most dogs enjoy the opportunity to socialise and interact with others. Make sure your dog will be able to have fun during his stay in boarding kennels by socialising him with other dogs well before his visit.