Socialization in dogs should begin from a young age. If not trained while they are puppies, many dogs grow up into poorly socialized adults. However, with proper training, you can reinforce socialization even in grown-up dogs.
When a dog is effectively socialized, he will be comfortable in all types of surroundings. You can take him anywhere, allow him to be a part of various activities, and can introduce him to new dogs or people. Poorly socialized dogs are easily stressed and tend to get anxious around unfamiliar people, places, and situations. He might even get aggressive or scared, and stress can lead to behavior issues. Check out these tips to help you to have a well-socialized dog.
The first 16 weeks are the ideal time to teach your dog new things. This period is also vital for your dog's overall development because puppies' brains absorb experiences instantly and form associations. A dog's temperamental progression happens between 18 to 24 months, and in this stage, you'll want to be careful not to subject him to fear-inducing scenarios. If you do not expose your pup to different situations in this phase, he might become neophobic or afraid of anything unfamiliar.
You may adopt an adult dog, and his age doesn't fall within the timelines mentioned above. Fortunately, learning is a lifelong process; even older dogs grasp new things throughout their lives. In this case, you will need more time, practice, and patience to help with the socialization process. But in the long run, the efforts will reap good results.
Start by recognizing if your dog has poor socialization skills. A lowered head or tail, furrowed brows, a rounded body, not making eye contact, trying to move away, showing whites of the eye, shaking, panting, lip licking, yawning, or flattened ears are all indications that he is stressed. Depending on the scenario, attempt to create new associations by rewarding your dog at a safe distance. Eventually, your pup will begin to adjust to the new environment, knowing that a reward is coming.
Another tip is to use pet hemp oil to induce a calming feeling in your dog and help him manage his stress and anxiety. However, you need to be patient. Step by step, you will be able to improve your dog's socialization skills and build his confidence as he faces new situations.