A group of dogs in the park.

In a perfect canine friendly world, all adult dogs would have had the early training and socialization that makes them a well-mannered dog without any behavior problems. Unfortunately, many dogs, and especially those who end up in shelters, lack several of the essential life skills to keep them safe, happy, and trained. This is one of the primary reasons for dogs being surrendered.

Many pet owners are enthused about bringing home an adopted dog, only to realize that they have some work ahead of them. The team at Blue Valley Animal Hospital can offer you some great tips on how to socialize your adopted dog for a lifetime of happiness.

Grab the Leash

Getting your pet trained and comfortable on the leash is important to their later social time in public. Practice at home or in the yard with some basic loose leash walking manners. Use treats as an incentive. If your dog responds to commands and is comfortable on a leash, keep your daily walks to the neighborhood, where they can get used to local people and pets, smells, sights, and sounds. 

Use caution when approaching other dogs to make sure they are not aggressive or fearful around strange dogs and people they don’t know. If your dog reacts, walk to another area with them until they calm down and begin to acclimate to new experiences.

Sign Up for Training and Socialization Classes

These classes are focused on giving adult dogs the skills they may have missed out when they were in their formative years. Older dogs can learn new tricks, though, and these adult classes are great for giving your dog a safe and supervised way to become better adjusted to other dogs and people. 

Professional trainers work with your dog on basic commands that keep them focused on you. Through these experiences, your dog will gain confidence and a better understanding of the behaviors you want from them.

Invite Friends with Pets Over

A great way to get your furry friend used to the presence of others and their four-legged pals. A backyard gathering in a fenced area or an open family room can provide a good setting for your dog to be around other well-behaved dogs. Make sure that every pet is vaccinated, healthy, and on a parasite preventive. Avoid giving food, favorite toys, and other cherished items to the pack, as this can create fights.

Encourage fun between the dogs by playing fetch with a frisbee or a ball. Observe the dogs together to make sure they aren’t getting into too much roughhousing. Small groups are ideal or one-on-one time with another dog is best as you introduce social time to your dog.

Patience and Practice

Over time, your pet will grow in confidence with their people, other pets, and their surroundings. At first they may be shy or fearful, so don’t push them too quickly. Slow introductions with anything or anyone new is the best approach. 

If you would like tips on how to socialize an adopted dog, or would like to schedule an appointment with us, we welcome your call. We look forward to meeting your new furry family member!