It’s been said that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but that’s not true. Dogs are social creatures and should enjoy being around other people and dogs. If your dog wasn’t socialized as a puppy, it’s never too late to help him learn to be more comfortable in new experiences, such as dog daycare. You’ll need to take your time when socializing an older dog. Here are some tips that can help you.
Take Your Dog Into the Community on a Leash
Use walks to introduce your dog to new surroundings and others. Daily walks aren’t just for exercise. You can use this time to help your dog be more social. If your dog gets overly excited or disruptive, don’t scold or tug on their leash. Just redirect them from the situation to calm down.
Teach Your Friends How to Approach Your Dog When They Come Over
Have friends come over to visit but keep the environment positive and relaxed. Ask your friends to let the dog make the first move. You could give your friends a treat to help your dog come closer. Make sure to associate new people with good experiences.
Watch Your Own Stress Levels
Your dog responds to your emotions more than you realize. Don’t play into your dog’s nervous reactions by comforting them or acting nervous yourself. Stay calm and collected. Act like the situation isn’t a big deal. Your dog will follow your reactions and attitude.
Work Your Way Up to the Dog Park
The dog park is a great place for socialization, but it can be very overwhelming to an older dog. Start by walking around the dog park to give your dog time to investigate. Create positive associations by offering treats when your dog acts friendly and social. The first time you go in the dog park, find a time when it’s not as busy, maybe a mid-morning weekday.
Try Doggie Daycare
Dog daycare businesses are another great place for dog socialization. Start out by visiting the doggie daycare to let your dog sniff around. Make the experience positive. When your dog acts friendly, give treats. Ask the staff to help you introduce your dog to the pack of dogs slowly, so your dog isn’t overwhelmed. At Aunt B’s, “love is our specialty.” We know how to help dogs fit in.