Puppies are usually socialised when they join a new family, but this is notalways the case. There are lots of reasons that dogs might not have had thechance to be socialised, and suddenly they are adults! Socialising an adultdog can be challenging, but with a little help is it possible.

Regular Walks

Taking your dogs for regular walks is the best way to get them out and aboutfor some exercise and help them learn through observation. Dogs enjoy routine,so choose a time of day that suits you and stick to it as often as you can.This will help them adjust to something new.

Use the right tools – For example, if they are very excitable and pull alot, try using a harness to decrease their neck strain. If they are verycautious and timid, try using an extendable lead so that when they have thecourage to explore, they can!

Remember, some extra precautions might be needed – Always consider thesafety of your own dog, and also the other dogs and humans around you. If youknow that your dog is fearful or anxious and might nip first and ask questionslater, consider using a muzzle so that your walking experience is as positiveas possible.

Take it slow

Remember, if your adult dog has never socialised before, they will not beready to be let loose in the dog park during their first walk. Once they havesettled into your walking routine, start taking them to the outside permittedof the local dog park to observe and learn. Slowly work your way up toentering (on leash) as they get accustomed to being around other dogs, beforeletting them loose.

Join an obedience class

Dog training classes are not just for puppy pre-school! Most dog trainingcompanies run adolescent and adult obedience classes, which is a great way tointroduce them to other dogs. It will also teach them (and you!) someimportant skills that will increase their safety and prevent accidents fromoccurring.

Reward good behaviour

Don’t forget to reward them for good behaviour! As they learn to enjoy theirsocial time, give them a small treat or a pat and cuddle when you notice themresponding well to their new adventures. They will learn quickly and enjoy thepraise!

Provided by Australian Pet Care Association (APCA) – Become a member with usat https://www.australianpetcareassociation.com.au/membership/application/ orcontact us anytime by emailing [email protected]

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