Socializing a Shelter Dog

Have you recently adopted a shelter dog? Congratulations! We love seeing dogs that have had a rough start, or perhaps just had some bad luck, getting second chances. Unfortunately, not all of our canine companions are pampered pets their entire lives. One thing we often see in shelter dogs is a lack of socialization. This is an important process. While socialization should happen in puppyhood, you can still socialize an adult dog. A local Frisco, TX vet offers some tips on this below.

Daily Walks

Walks are important for Fido in many ways, aside from simple potty breaks. The exercise, mental stimulation, and change of scenery are all good for your canine pal. Taking your four-legged friend to different places, and letting him meet new people and pups, can be great for socialization.

Have Puppy Parties

Many experts recommend having puppy parties when socializing young dogs. This can work for older dogs too. You don’t want to go overboard. Being around too many pooches at once could be overwhelming to Fido. Just have one or two friends or family members with a happy, polite dog come over. Offer lots of treats and toys. 

Take It Slow

Don’t try to take your furry buddy to the dog park on Day One. You want him to get comfortable with you first, and settle in a bit. Aim for one new thing a week, whether it’s exploring a trail, going through a drive through, or introducing Fido to your brother’s dog.

Seek Help

Socialization can be tricky, especially with older dogs. Done right, it can really help Fido come out of his shell and overcome bad memories. However, improper socialization can do more harm than good. Don’t be afraid to seek help from your vet or a professional dog behaviorist!

Make It Fun

Anytime you expose Fido to something new, be sure to reward him with treats, praise, and attention. This can go a long way towards helping him form ‘pawsitive’ associations with new things.

Be Realistic

It’s also important for you to be realistic. Keep in mind that Fido may never be that outgoing, bouncy pooch that greets everyone with tail wags and happy dances. That’s fine! You just want him to be happy, healthy, and functional.

Please reach out if ever we can be of assistance. As your local Frisco, TX veterinary clinic, we’re here to help.

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