By Stefani Fortney ABCDT Adult dog socialization can be a very tricky process. In an ideal world, every dog would be properly socialized as a puppy—taking each pups personality into account and working to provide positive associations with a variety of people, places, and situations. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, dogs come into our lives as a poorly-socialized adult. Sometimes, we as owners don’t implement proper puppy socialization methods, and then have to deal with an adult dog who needs extra socialization work. Sometimes, we have an adult dog who needs additional socialization because of a timid personality or fearful nature.
Two things to remember with adult dog socialization
1. Know Your Dog
The most important thing to remember when developing and implementing an adult dog socialization program is to always make sure your dog feels safe. As his owner, it’s your job to know your dog. Know his fears, his likes, and dislikes, what makes him anxious, what makes him the happiest and most relaxed.
Know his thresholds. Be a detective! Your dog is depending on you to watch out for him. The more you know about your dog, the more you’ll be able to build his socialization program specifically to his needs.
- Know Your Surroundings
There are more and more public spaces that are becoming dog-friendly. Stores, outdoor cafés, parks… these are all great choices for working on socialization with your adult dog.
It’s important to remember your dog’s strengths, weaknesses, and fears, though. Don’t ask or expect a dog who’s afraid of kids to be okay working on his socialization program next to a playground full of screaming heathen toddlers. If your dog is anxious around large crowds, start your work in more laid-back surroundings. Keep your eyes open as you work. If you need help training your dog, give us a call to set up your training class with Stefani.