The socialization of an adult dog with other dogs looks different than the socialization of a puppy, but the basics remain similar. It is about familiarizing the dog with the world he did not know before and which he is afraid of. You have to pay attention to do it safely and comfortably for the dog. First of all, the dog must trust you and feel that it can rely on you. Below you will find a set of tips on how to socialize an adult dog with others successfully. Visit My Sweet Puppy to learn more about raising your furry friend.
To start with, take your dog to a quiet place; avoid the crowds of people walking dogs. Food will help you direct a dog’s attention on you, build positive associations with stimuli, and positively affect the dog’s mood. Depending on the situation, it is worth giving food from your hand and sometimes throwing a few snacks on the grass. Snooping calms emotions, thereby easing the dog. Whether your dog is eager to eat or not will tell you a lot about his stress level. If he refuses to eat, you may assume that the situation is too stressful and difficult. Another case is that your dog is simply full. In the first case, retreat and take the dog to a quieter place so that it feels comfortable again, in the second – reduce the portion of food consumed at home.
The conscious guardian of the dog must be assertive. It is up to you to provide your dog with a sense of comfort and safety. This is one of the most challenging tasks on a walk. Don’t encourage or force your dog to approach dogs he doesn’t know. Forced meetings – short and full of tension – cause anxiety in dogs. You can’t believe everything that other dog’s keepers say. “My dog doesn’t bite”, “This dog is wonderful with other dogs” – these are not always true statements. Sometimes the owner presents the expectations of his dog. Also, each dog is unique, and in contact with yours, the dog can behave quite differently than usual.
Hierarchy in the dog’s world
Dogs set a hierarchy among themselves, but by taking a dog under your roof you want to guarantee a sense of security. The idea is to allow communication between the dogs and prevent situations where conflicts can escalate. Of course, there will always be some quarrels, but as a dog guardian, you have to influence how intense they will be. It is your responsibility to take care of it, not your dog’s.
Aggression towards other dogs
In many cases, dog aggression is just a mask – a defensive attitude that dogs adopt in a dangerous situation. Some quadrupeds remain passive when they feel threatened, and then choose their escape route, while others show their teeth, snarl and take a position ready to attack. All this is to make the dog look more dangerous than it is. Dog’s point is to simply back out the opponent.
Fear of other dogs
Often, when we socialize an adult dog, we are dealing with an adopted dog from a shelter. Animals in the shelter are more likely to exhibit abnormal behavior based on unmet basic behavioral needs, fear or anxiety. Besides, many of them have traumas from before the times when they came to the facility. Working with such dogs can be difficult, especially at the beginning, when the dog is distrustful. Such a dog is often fearful and may feel anxious when dealing with other pets. All of this usually results from chronic stress to which it has been exposed in the past. You can work with such a pet yourself and e.g., gradually reduce the distance between him and other dogs when both sides are ready for it. The key to creating a genuine relationship with your dog is the patience, consistency, and care you give your beloved four-legged friend.
Take your dog to school
A basic obedience course is a great way to spend time with your dog. It is not only about the commands that you will learn there, but also about the contact with your furry friend that you will establish under the guidance of a trainer. A dog with a significant lack of socialization should learn to be surrounded by other dogs in safe and controlled conditions. During the training session, he will also learn to be around people he does not know and discover new places.
It will take longer for an adult dog and can be more complicated than with a puppy. But don’t give up as the hard work pays off. Very often, the dog does not know how to behave in a difficult situation, and this raises problems. Teach your adult dog these behaviors in calm conditions and gradually increase the requirements as the dog succeeds in spending time together with other dogs.