With everyone out and about, people’s dogs are also out and about. If you are a pet owner going out on the town, this can mean taking your dog with you among the multitude. Facing a crowd with courage and calmness is often the greatest social feat a dog can accomplish, and it is by no means difficult with the right training. Below are ways to help your dog handle crowds throughout the years.
Before taking your pet into a crowded environment, you’ll want to be sure that it can follow your commands. Lessons such as “sit,” “stay,” “come,” and “heel” should be under your belt before going into a setting where they are crucial.
Socialization is another part of training to handle before taking your dog out on the city streets. It’s best to start socialization as early as possible so it does not risk social anxiety later on. Even so, no matter what age your dog is, you can start by introducing your pet to friends’ pets, dog communities, and other smaller social gatherings.
Shake Off the Nerves
Even if your pet is well-socialized and well-mannered, taking your dog on a jaunt can help your dog handle crowds without freaking out. Going into a crowd can be exhilarating for anyone, especially if you do not do so often, so shaking off some energy beforehand can allow you a calmer outing.
As your dog’s leader, it gleans confidence from you. It looks to you for guidance. When you are calm and confident in crowds, your dog is more likely to be the same way. Your calmness will do much more for your pet than if you are worrying and tensing up.
Use a Short Lead
In a crowd, it’s better to stick together. Use a short leash or harness to keep your dog close to you. This will prevent people from tripping or tangling on your lead and prevent your dog from catching people who are scared of dogs unawares. More control in this scenario is generally good.
Bring High-Value Treats
If your dog is nervous around crowds, you can help encourage your dog to feel calm and safe with high-value treats. When your dog enters this kind of environment, not only will it become calmer over time, but it will also look forward to those special snacks!
Don’t get discouraged if your dog is still anxious in a crowd. The process won’t necessarily happen overnight. However, every dog is trainable, and there is no better way to get better than to practice!
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