In a perfect world, we could protect our dogs from negative, anxious and frightening situations. In the real world, we must help our dogs learn how to cope and respond, in a healthy and acceptable manner, to the spectrum of people, animals, places and things they might encounter along the road of life.
By exposing our dogs to different kinds of people, animals and environments, which involves everything from dog obedience classes to vet visits to walks to the park, we can help them develop confidence and ease. This goes a long way in helping them become resilient in the face of unsettling situations.
So often, the way a dog responds to environmental stimuli is a product of owner training and management, or lack thereof. No matter when you adopt your dog, you can apply canine socialization principles to help him or her be a more stable, happy, trustworthy companion.
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