Adopting a dog is a rewarding experience. While you may not know much about your new dog’s past, you probably want to do everything you can to make their future the best it can be.
Because many rescue dogs aren’t properly socialized at the optimal age (approximately 3-16 weeks), this can mean you’ll need to give your rescue dog a little extra help learning how to interact with new dogs, people, and their environment.
Familiarizing yourself with these dog behaviors and training strategies can help!
Dogs are pack animals and benefit greatly from interacting with other dogs. No matter how much we love our four-legged friends, we simply aren’t able to play with them and teach them the way another dog can.
It’s a good idea to start off by introducing your furry friend to other dogs of similar sizes and energy levels. Observe your dog’s body language. Don’t push them if they display any of these fearful behaviors:
- Panting excessively
- Licking repetitively
- Ears flattened
- Back arched
- Tail tucked between legs
- Fur raised
In addition, if your dog seems to be getting tired, it’s best to end the play session on a positive note rather than let it go on too long. Much like children or even adults who spend a little too long around another human, your dog may get tired of their new friend.
One excellent way to socialize your dog is to find a facility that offers daycare and/or dog boarding with playgroups. While you’re at work or the next time you’re heading out of town, your dog will get to work on their social skills in a safe, supervised environment.
Asking new human friends to follow a few simple procedures when introducing themselves to your dog can get the relationship off on the foot (or paw). Ask people who want to pet your dog to do so where your dog can see their hand and give it a good sniff, i.e. under your dog’s chin or on their chest. Once your dog feels comfortable, it’s likely your dog will invite them to scratch their back or the top of their head, but let your dog set the pace.
If your canine companion gets anxious when new people enter your home, try introducing your dog to visitors on neutral territory. Bring your dog out to the sidewalk in front of your house, or a short distance down the block from your home to say hello to visitors and then walk your visitors into your home together with your pup.
Aggressive behaviors such as barking, lunging, growling, and snarling can be a result of negative past experiences. You will want to help your dog correct these defensive behaviors through training.
Whether you live in a city or the countryside, your dog is going to encounter all sorts of new things, and sometimes they may get scared. With each new sight and sound your dog encounters, they will improve their ability to react constructively to environmental stimuli from loud vehicles to rain. Introducing your dog to new things in short durations frequently can help your dog adapt more quickly. When it comes to socialization, slow and steady wins the race!
Wag Hotels is a luxury pet hotel where dogs can socialize, exercise, and train under the guidance of highly trained staff in a state-of-the-art facility. Bring your cat or dog to Wag Hotels for daycare, boarding, training, and grooming! From breed-specific spa treatments to engaging activities, and mentally stimulating treats, you can set your four-legged friend up with a full range of pampering while you’re running errands or traveling out of town.