Dog Training: Socializing Your Dog – It’s really never too late

Dog not socialized well?  With patience and a little common sense, it’s never too late to have a very friendly, well-socialized dog. In fact, it will make you the envy of all dog owners who wish their bratty dog was well socialized and friendly. It is great to have the confidence in a well mannered pooch – one that politely greets your house guests and you for that matter and all without jumping or barking. This perfect, well-socialized pooch would also get along with all kids and adults as well as other dogs.

While the window of socialization closes for most puppies by the age of five months, many puppies – and dogs slip through the crack without this experience. Not to worry, all is not necessarily lost. It is still very possible to begin again with an older pooch – it may just take time and patience. Oh yeah, and food treats!

If your dog was not socialized by 5 months of age, start now. Today is the first day of the rest of your dog’s life! Remember the first time your puppy or dog came home and you called him into the kitchen as you unscrewed the lid on the “doggie cookie jar?” The sound had no meaning until your dog connected it to the cookie in the jar. Now every time he hears that lid unscrew, it’s a good thing! Cookies! What if your dog made that same great connection with people he didn’t know? Every time he met someone new he got a bunch of high value cookies? That would be way too cool!

You may be able to pin point some types of people that are more scary to your pup. For example, dogs that are fearful of people are generally most fearful of adult men, then little boys, then little girls and the least afraid of adult women. This is generally speaking. It would be best to list all the people types that seem to affect your dog the worst. That is the starting point. Each new person your puppy or dog meets, he gets a cookie. Just toss it on the floor. It works best if the new person tosses it to the floor at first. Then move into hand feeding next as you see your dog getting more comfortable.

If you have not taught your dog commands, work on sits, and downs so that you can eventually give your dog sits and downs to focus on rather than feeling anxious about the new person. Always work your puppy on leash to control the training environment. Each new person widens his circle of friends. Take your time with your dog and move at his speed.

Want more info on helping your dog’s behavior.  We got some great tips for you.  Just enter your name and email and we hate spam so you will be asked to confirm that you requested this information.

Jim Burwell

8 replies
  1. Client Care
    Client Care says:

    Yes, socialization with your dog doesn’t really end. I would not wait much longer though. Make sure each interaction is postivite.

  2. Eric Lukin
    Eric Lukin says:

    I am getting a 4 month old pure breed Croatian Sheepdog, and I am a little worried about getting her too late in her puppy hood to be properly socialized. I have 4 children ages 10,8,5, and 3 in what is always a loud and crazy house if you can imagine. Do I still have time to properly socialize the puppy with my family??

  3. Stefanie
    Stefanie says:

    Received a purebred six month old Chihuahua, however he is quite skittish as if he may have been being chased by children. Hides under couches and such. Is it too late to calm him and socialize him?

  4. Brian McTear
    Brian McTear says:

    My dog was pretty well socialized as a puppy. As of lately, he has become very anxious and unsettled, especially on his leash when he sees other dogs. He is 1 1/2 years old, and I personally do not think its too late to get him reacquainted with society. Any advice will help!



  5. Jim Burwell
    Jim Burwell says:

    Ami: Go read this article and hopefully you will see that your relationship with your dog is upside down. You are giving her the message that you belong to her so she is telling all the other dogs/people to go away
    because you are her property. It’s upside down.

    Here’s the article to read: there are also many many other articles on our site about territorial aggression and resource guarding
    just do a search in the search box

  6. Ami Qi
    Ami Qi says:

    My dog is 6 years old and was socialized for the first year, but then it all stopped when we moved to a pretty isolated location. She is along hair miniature dachshund and is very protective of my husband and I. She is as loving and loyal as can be, but does not like other dogs and snaps at people if they do come around. It takes her about 1 week to get acquainted and 1 month before she will feel comfortable enough to jump up and sit close by you. We don’t know what to do? We’d like for her to become socialized but don’t know how to start. We don’t want for her to get hurt or bite another dog or another human being in the process.

    What would you suggest?

    Thank you for your time 🙂

    Ami Qi

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