How to Socialize a Puppy or Adult Dog

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dogs playing

Whether we live in a natural environment surrounded by various animals and nature, or if we live in a town or city, we must pay special attention to properly socializing our puppy or adult dog.

Socialization will help our dog to live with its environment, to respect people and of course other dogs, not to be aggressive and above all to live without fear. It is such an important process that most behavior problems in adult dogs are caused by poor socialization when they were puppies.

Index of contents

  • 1 What is socialization in dogs?
  • 2 How to socialize a puppy with other dogs?
  • 3 How to socialize a puppy with humans?
  • 4 What are the most common mistakes when socializing a puppy?
  • 5 What happens if my puppy is not socialized?
  • 6 How to socialize an adult dog?

What is socialization in dogs?

Let’s say that it could be summarized how we can teach our puppy or adult dog to live in the environment that surrounds it, respecting other animals and humans. Socializing is the way we have to define the act of entering society, and it is a really important process that we all must follow.

It should be done when they are puppies, after they have been vaccinated to avoid unnecessary risks. During socialization our puppy will come into contact with other animals, so we must wait obligatorily to have all necessary vaccinations before going outside.

dog smelling an ass

Our puppy or adult dog must socialize with other dogs and different animals, in addition to, of course, humans. The difference between a friendly, respectful, well-educated dog and an aggressive dog, is not only in its education but also in the way of socializing that it has had throughout its life.

How to socialize a puppy with other dogs?

When we go for a walk with our puppy we must go to areas where there are more dogs, so that he can interact with them. If we are a little afraid that other adult dogs will hurt you, we can check with their owners beforehand to make sure they are not aggressive dogs.

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The best age to start socializing our puppy is from 3 months of age, both with other dogs and with adults and children.

The dogs know each other and greet each other by smelling their parts, they smell their bum and their genitals, sometimes they even lick each other. It is something totally normal that we must let our puppy do, it is his way of introducing himself to other dogs.

The best way to socialize our puppy is to let him meet other dogs, to play with them, even to quarrel a bit. They set their own limits and have their warning signs when they do something they don’t like (they growl a little), so we just have to let nature do its own work.

It is also highly recommended that we invite our house where obviously our puppy will also be, friends who have puppies or adult dogs. Our puppy must understand that other dogs can enter the house and be with him playing or getting to know each other.

Contact with dogs of different ages and breeds will teach our puppy to respect other dogs and live with them peacefully.

How to socialize a puppy with humans?

That our puppy learns to live with humans is as important as that it learns to live with other dogs. We should ask other dog owners or our friends to pet and play with our puppy.

Even if we have children, we must let them play with him (although always under our supervision). Our puppy must learn to be touched and caressed by strangers, in the same way that he would be left with us.

Asking friends and family to come home on a regular basis is an excellent habit for our puppy to socialize and understand that everyone we invite can come into the home. This is very important to prevent it from being territorial in the future.

Walking through areas of the city where there is a lot of traffic and noise can help our dog lose his fears. But we must do it progressively to avoid causing trauma.

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Puppies are very given to biting everything and sometimes hurt our hands, they do it playing so we should never be angry, but if teach them to play with their toys and not bite to humans.

dog in arms

What are the most common mistakes when socializing a puppy?

Many people take their dogs in their arms or push them away when they are walking and cross other larger dogs … that is a huge mistake that will strengthen fear in our puppy.

Other people just don’t let their dog or puppy smell the ass or genitals of other dogs, that’s another great mistake that will make our dog unable to socialize properly.

Some do not even let their dogs play with other dogs because they bite their necks or sometimes squeal a bit… When dogs play, it is normal for them to bite and even accidentally get a little hurt. We must let them play and learn to have their own limits, otherwise we will be making another big mistake in their education and socialization.

We should never scold our puppy or adult dog for trying to meet other dogs or for playing with them, much less greet them. Although it is recommended scold or correct our dog when taking aggressive behaviors, to indicate that it is not the right thing to do.

What happens if my puppy is not socialized?

The lack of socialization or a bad practice during it, will cause our dog to not respect other dogs or humans and to live in fear. A dog with fear is a dog that can be very dangerous, since fear can push him to have aggressive behaviors.

Many problems of aggressiveness, fears, excessive barking and a very long etc … are the product of poor socialization during childhood. Dogs should enjoy the company of other dogs in complete serenity (although there are always some dogs that get along better and others a little worse, it is natural).

If we have a dog that is not socialized, we should try to socialize it on our own by following the advice that we expose or go to a handler to help us with the process.

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dog park

How to socialize an adult dog?

Before trying to socialize an adult dog we must know if it is a dog with aggressive tendencies or not. If it is a little aggressive and we know that it can bite other dogs or people, we should always carry out the practices with a muzzle. Dogs over twelve months of age are called adult dogs.

It is highly recommended to take long walks in areas where there are people walking or working and other dogs walking. We will try to approach other dogs that are walking so that they smell, the best way is to approach slowly and without fear, since our dog can detect our nervousness.

When our adult dog shows a positive aptitude against other dogs, we will rewar
d him with a natural dog biscuit or the award that we usually give him. If, on the other hand, he shows a nervous or aggressive aptitude, we will calmly walk away until our dog relaxes.

We should walk near dog parks, but not let it go. We will only walk outside so that our adult dog can see other dogs and sometimes greet those who approach the fence. If our dog greets them without aggressiveness (tries to smell them) we will give him a prize, to associate positive behavior.

We can ask a friend who also has a dog to go for a walk with us, in this way our dog will learn to walk with other dogs and copy the behavior of a dog that is well socialized.

It is a slow process but one that, if well done, brings great benefits to our adult dog, since we are teaching him to live in society. When our dog shows symptoms of being friendly, we can let him interact with and play with other dogs.

We must avoid at all costs the use of balls, sticks or toys that can create tension between dogs. Some are very possessive of their toys and can make the situation worse rather than better. However if we see that we are incapable, we can ask for help to a trained dog.