When adopting a dog, specifically an older one, there is one thing that every pet owner must do — socialize him. Dogs that aren’t socialized can develop a variety of problems ranging from fear to aggression. Even worse, if your dog suffers from fear and aggression, you also run the risk of being sued if someone is bitten.
Go to the Dog Park
After getting to know your new dog, it’s time to start introducing her to other dogs. A great way to socialize your pet is to take him to your local dog park. The dog park is often packed with other animals for easy socialization. Through socialization, your dog will become friendly toward both animals and people alike. However, always remember to always keep your dog safe at the dog park in order to prevent anything from happening to your precious pup.
Get Another Dog
Another great way to help your dog interact with others is to get another dog. Some people may think getting another dog is an unnecessary responsibility. However, doing so can be beneficial to your other dog. Having another furry friend around can make it easier for your older pet to adapt to others. Sure, it may cost you a bit more as taking care of two pets is more expensive, but it’s ultimately better for the older dog, and can be helpful for any dog that has a lot of energy.
It’s no secret that dogs tend to take on the personality of their owners. If you’re on edge and constantly on high alert, then your dog will take after you. Dogs that are constantly on edge are more prone to lashing out in aggression.
Dogs may begin to pace around, try to hide behind you, become restless and may not want to eat. Remember that your dog can sense how you're feeling, so it’s important to stay calm and relaxed when you’re trying to socialize your older dog. Make sure that your tone of voice is soothing, not high pitched or stressed. If your dog senses that you’re not upset, she will follow suit and become more open to socialization.
Dogs are on a similar level as children. They need guidance in order to thrive in the world, and it’s your responsibility as a pet owner to help them. Socializing your dog early on will make him friendlier and more open to accepting other animals.