A properly socialised dog is comfortable with all the stuff that goes on in society - with people, places and things.
Socialising a dog is not just about throwing a dog in a room with a bunch of other dogs.
A properly socialised dog has been introduced to the widest possible range of situations and stimulii.
How a dog is introduced to the world is key.
Your job as leader is to lead by example, act with confidence, show that there is nothing to be afraid of, and you can handle things that need to be handled.
If you catch yourself saying, 'my dog's afraid of...' or 'my dog's protecting me from...' you need to step up as leader.
When you're out and about with your dog, chances are you're going to come across many new experiences, probably every day, whether it's other dogs, motorcycles, thunder...
Lead silently, and confidently. Be the person you'd trust in a crisis! The ways humans think they reassure each other is the opposite to what a dog needs to know everything's OK.
Ignore your dog's response; do not acknowledge it. Don't let your dog hide behind or between your legs. Instead, step to the side and keep quiet. Keep calm and carry on, and your leadership will be the example your dog follows. THAT is socialisation!
If you need help creating a well-rounded dog and preparing your dog for the real world, get in touch!