Adult Dog Socialization Training

labrador hug



Hello again animal lover friends and Labrador parents:) Today I will continue the socialization lesson, and we will talk about adult dog socialization training.

What if we made some mistakes when our furry friend was just a puppy or if we inherited some bad behavior or fears with the adult dog that we just brought home?

Reasons people do mistakesblack labrador


There a lot of reasons that people miss to socialize their Labrador puppy in the proper period of time (3 to 12 weeks). Some of them are real mistakes some… just bad timing.

A lot of people, when the vet says to not take the dog out until fully vaccinated they just keep the puppy isolated. About the socialization in the pre-vaccination period, we talked in a post before. So here I just want to tell you to not do this mistake.

Of course, bad things can happen to a family the socialization of the puppy is missed. If this happens, it is never late to start and you will see here, how, step by step. Even if you adopted your Labrador at on older age, you can start this process at any age. Maybe it is slower but it is possible.

A big mistake is when some people don’t want to make their dog too friendly, in order to have a guard dog. It happened to me when I wanted to cuddle a puppy that somebody had in the park.The owner stopped me, forbid me to touch the puppy, and the explanation was..; ‘I have the dog for my land, and I want him to be an aggressive guard’. This is really a big mistake.

If for any reason, you end up with an adult Labrador who missed out on this process as a puppy, you don’t have to give up. Follow a few simple steps and your dog will learn everything you want to.

A few basic things to do


First, you have to inform yourself read books, look on the internet, ask the vet or a dog teacher.Labrador research

If your adult Labrador is scared of a few things and he is not comfortable in the presence of other dogs or people…you should teach him from the beginning that the world is not as scary as he thinks but at the same time to protect him. In my opinion, the world it is full of dangers and it is really scary, but we want a confident and friendly dog.

So the first thing is to take his fears one by one and help him to pass them. Deal with the problems one at a time, not together.

Is your furry friend aggressive, uncomfortable, and unfriendly with other people and other dogs?

Take him on many walks so he has the opportunity to meet people of different ages, sex, colors, as we talked in the post about puppies’ socialization. Different places, different kinds of people and of course, different dogs: big, small, noisy, males, females. Those different experiences will teach him to not be afraid.

Don’t pull the leash or shout to your dog if he is angry or barks because this will make the experience negative and he associates your anger with another dog.Try to distract him with a touch, treat, hug, calm words or if nothing works just walk

Try to distract him with a touch, treat, hug, calm words or if nothing works just walk away.

Try to introduce the things he is scared of from the distance in the beginning, and that show him from a safe distance that it is not any problem to go closer.

I know you need a lot of patience but you love you furry friend and you will find the motivation. Maybe you have to introduce the scary things many times until he starts to be comfortable in its presence.

Always use a muzzle when other dogs are around. This will prevent your dog from attacking and you avoid a bad experience. Don’t underestimate the capacity of your Labrador to bite if he is frightened. It doesn’t matter how friendly and playful he is home, a frightened dog can be also aggressive.

A good trick is to have a bag with treats and when another dog is coming just put some treats on the ground and their attention will be away from your frightened dog. Like this, you can go away and can show your dog that the other dogs are not a danger.

Don’t rush things! Don’t stress your dog and press him to pass his fears. You can introduce your dog to one activity each week or this depends on your program. Make a plan, for every week.white lab on the beach

For socializing your four-legged friend with people and dogs, first, don’t take him direct at the dog park.Better have a walk from outside, let him see how other dogs are playing, running, having fun.

The same you do with his fears of cars, bikes, crowded places and even water. You introduce your Labrador one thing at a time. You can take your dog many walks near a busy road just to see the cars, buses, bikes than you can take him with you in your car for a  short drive.

Some dogs (very rarely at Labradors but happened) are afraid of water/ they don’t want to go swimming. In this case, you will introduce him to small puddles and that to the see. He will love it very fast.


 So what you have to do is to take your dog, to show him the world, teach him how to behave, teach him, if he doesn’t like other dogs or people, at least to tolerate them.

labrador hugThe best way always to teach your dog something is the reward. So when your dog listens to you and his behavior is good, give him a treat, a big hug. When another dog is coming, give him a  nice treat to associate the other dogs with the treat, not with the fear and shouting.

When you introduce him to people, try one person at the time, if he is afraid of people.

When he is scared and hide under the bed, for example, don’t go to pull him, just wait, and when he comes out, give him a treat.

The outcome is that you have to make any new experience of your dog associated with something positive. This is the way you will finally have a fearless, friendly and confident dog. Have patience with him and you will both have to win.

If you need help go to socialization classes but of course this depends on your financial situation. This is all I can tell you for now but if you have any question, if something you want to teach your dog, just ask me. I will help you as much as I can.:)

Thanks for reading:)


For further reading about your furry babies choose below



  1. Mara

    I really like that you have addressed the need for adult dog socialization. You are so right that we don’t always get it right at the puppy stage, and an older dog that has been re-homed or adopted from a shelter will likely need to start from the beginning with you. I agree that we all want a dog that is confident and friendly, and a well-socialized dog will go a long way towards this. Some people don’t like using a muzzle, but I think it’s important in the beginning with an adult dog. It’s far better than seeing a dog biting or attacking another! I like your site and will come back again – Labradors are one of my favorite breeds!

    1. admin (Post author)

      Thanks for reading and also for your comment.yes i think they all deserve from us to provide them a happy fearless life and the muzzle it is necessary for his safety, other dog or people safety. Even us when we are in a situation we feel fear and danger we attack to protect ourselves or the loved once . the same with our dogs.So…is in our hands to tech them that is nothing to be afraid and which are the real dangers( for example not to eat from the ground- poisoning danger) Thanks again for reading:)


  2. Evie

    I should actually pass these details to a friend of mine – he doesnt have a lab but instead two shar peis. One of the shar peis though is very unsocial – I am probably the only person outside the family that the dog doesnt run and hide from (or growl at). The problem is that this shar pei is now a few years old (they had her from a puppy) and does not get on with the other shar pei either (another female).

    Problems started to occur when the pei came into her first season (they had a male dog as well at that time). Immediately she started to argue with the male dog and it all went down hill from there. Sad in a way as there are some great pictures of her cuddled up with the male dog when she was a puppy. Not sure why the change – possibly because she was not speyed before her season. I am not sure what they can do to rectify the situation and socialise the dog back with the other female (they lost the male last year to cancer) as I think they let it continue for too long

    1. admin (Post author)

      hello Evie. How old is the unsocial one shar pei? It is never too late but i need to know more details to help you. For the beginning ,i have to tell you that the fact that it is not social with people has any connection with the make dog. Why is hiding? This mean the dog is afraid of people. Your friend should take his for walks and introduce him to people but always with.he should show the dog that humans are not a danger, . Show her every time different kind of people. Take out in public places, in parks, beach, for a coffe together where allowed…First let her see people from distance, and that introduce her ,with children, old people , man with hats, different categories.

      With the other dog, I don’t know if she can do something now, if is not late but worth trying. take them together to play, Cuddle both of them to show her that and he other is a good girl, give her treats when she is behaving nice.

      send me more details, what happen. She is biting the young one? They live in the house together?

      Thanks for reading and i am waiting for more details to help you. If you want you can even send email. Thanks again.


  3. Cathy

    Adult dogs can be trained, but owners need to be patience. They don’t bounce around like pups do and will probably take a while to disassociate with the bad habits they developed during their younger days.

    Outdoor is the best place to train and get them to socialize because of the space and the exposure that they get. I would do that after they have their shots covered and slowly start them from within the neighborhood, car rides and eventually some outdoor hikes.

    I noticed that most healthy adults pick up commands very fast, granted that you take the time to bond with them.

    1. cristina (Post author)

      You are right Cathy and i see that you know a lot about dogs:) The important thing is to give to your dog love ,time, patience and he will learn to respect and to listen to you , He has to do it because he loves you not to fear you 🙂 Do you have a dog? Thanks for visiting my site and come back any time 🙂



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