Is Your Dog Prepared for "Life"?

You’ve heard it ad nauseum — socialize your dog from the get go.
Seems obvious, eh?
Everyone knows that dogs are social creatures. Solid citizens that respect authority, follow the law of the land. They love a pack, a park and especially poker night with the hounds. 
While socialization is crucial for a dog’s well-being, it’s not enough to thrive in the modern world.
Like a mountain climber scaling a towering summit, a dog must acclimatize to his surroundings.
And that's work.
Yes indeed, the world is unpredictable, precarious, but nonetheless pretty interesting. Still, danger lurks about: around every corner, under every rock, swinging from the trees.
A cloistered existence does not prepare you for the real world. Ask any ex-monk auditioning for Dancing With the Stars. It's worse for dogs.
Humans have the ability to reason, to process bits of information and make sense of it. A toddler who slaps you in the face is annoying, but you understand it's not life-threatening. However, for a dog that hasn’t been exposed to kids, that harmless slap can become tragic.
Without environmental acclimatization, the simplest activity can become hazardous -- like chasing a butterfly. Fun in a field, deadly on a street.
Walking your dog around the neighbourhood acclimatizes the critter to common hidden dangers; passing cars, busy intersections, road work and that's good.
A dog needs exposure to it all — loud noises, speeding vehicles, boisterous kids. He needs to understand instinctively that the landscape is not static, that it’s in a perpetual state of flux.
And acclimatization permeates through every part of pooch life, even eating. Food — okay. Stuffed koala bears — not okay. I can’t tell you how many horror stories I’ve heard about object-eating dogs.
The good news though is that ultimately your pup will learn to navigate through life; maybe not to the extent of a seeing-eye dog, but he'll understand what's verboten and what's safe, what's a threat and what's just an annoyance. Experience will allow both of you to soak up life like a sponge; to behold wonder awaiting at every corner, beneath every rock, even swinging from the trees. 
And that makes it all worthwhile.