Socialisation is not all about being social.But socialisation of pets is important. Your pet needs to be exposed to life at an early age and this needs to be a positive experience.
What is socialisation?
Socialisation is the process of introducing a young animal to all the events, in a positive manner, that they will encounter throughout their lives. This process is vital to ensure that the animal accepts these encounters and regards them as positive whenever they experience them again.
Socialisation is especially important for puppies as they are required to be safe and courteous members of society. The process may be less important in cats who are taken out into society less often but is still required within the home environment.
Socialisation is not purely about being social, although being able to accept other pets and humans is very important. Socialisation is about accepting all experiences in life.
How to socialise your young animal
Make a list of all the events, experiences and encounters that your animal would ideally accept throughout their life. Then try to expose your pet to all of these experiences, in a positive manner.
For instance if it is important that your pup accepts children (and it should be for all dogs), then let your puppy watch a child play from a distance away. Praise them for calm behaviour.
My dog is an adult. Is it too late?
It is never too late to socialise or re-socialise. If you have a behaviour problem with your pet, chances are this is what you have to do. You may need some expert help in getting the process right, however. It is important that your pet does not endanger anyone and that they are not fearful. For more advice contact an animal behaviourist.