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 mistakes
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.
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.
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.
The 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