How to Socialize Any Dog? It’s Never Too Late (Full-Guide)

Last Updated on July

DOG SOCIALIZING, Is it too late to socialize my dog? The latest topic being discussed and confused by all the dog parents. To be honest, it’s not that tough as you think. Simply this matters in how you are going to train your dog with outsiders.

All right, I’ll make this article about how to socialize a dog as simple as you prefer. Just read it till the end you’ll find the way more easier in socializing your furry buddy.

Quick Summary

It is never too late to socialize a dog, but it may be more difficult to do so with an older dog.

Socialization is important for dogs in order to prevent behavioral problems later in life.

The best time to socialize a dog is between 4 weeks and 3 months old.

What is Dog Socialization?

Two dogs fighting

Simply, socialization refers to mingling with the community for a better experience with people. It is alike for all the animals and dogs as well.

Introduce your canine companion to new people, teach them new things and good things, and they will gain positive experiences.

It’s the time when your pup starts to experience different environments, habitats, people and activities by moving with many individuals.

It sounds like all the professional dog trainers had worked so hard!

Why is it Important to Socialize Your Dog?

When it comes to the behavior of dogs, socialization is most important. This may help your dog to lead a peaceful and relaxed life with no stress. 

Your pup becomes much more easy and very reliable in moving with you and people when it is well socialized. 

Qualities like: aggressiveness, anxiety, shyness, fear etc.. develop when your dog lacks socialization. This is because your dog might feel awkward around people and will not feel comfortable. 

Therefore, socializing plays a vital part in a dog’s good well-being.

Signs of an Under Socialized Dog

Aggressive dog barking

Though your dogs are strong and hefty, it does not mean that they are courageous if not socialized at the beginning. They will have to undergo various experiences throughout their life. 

Since that is the case, people and dogs must have harmony together. (1)

Here are some signs of an unsocialized dog:

  • Acting fearful and aggressive when meeting new people.
  • Anxiety develops when authorized by any other new individual.
  • Body language turns stressful when around dogs or people. 
  • Anxious and shy when around people and dogs on a walk.
  • Shows no interest when going on an outing or hiking with your dog.

Best Time to Socialize Your Dog (Timeframes)

This is something you’ll have to consider keenly. Scientifically it is proven that whatever behaviour you tend from an early age will be applied in your future. One and the same for every dog as well. 

Between the age of 4 weeks old and 3 months old, your pooch will hang the training of socialization. The earlier you start, the better results/outcome you’ll get. 

This is the time where your pup is likely to grasp new things instantly, soak it up at no time and implement those later in life.

But after the conclusion of 3 months, your pooch will lose its skill in socializing. And there, you are in a complication! The socialization window can slowly start to end up dispersing.

The best dog socialization period is between 6 to 16 weeks. Between this time, your poochs go through a critical socialization period. 

Get your pup maximum trained during the above time and teach your dog good qualities which can help you get a well-trained canine friend.

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How to Socialize An Adult Dog or an Old Dog?

Okay! I know it's a bit complicated, and you have to bear the provocation. 

Basically, as I've mentioned above, 4 months or small puppies can be trained easily with time. 

But if you have adopted an old dog and it wants to get socialized, then you must be very keen and work hard on breaking its old behaviour.

Adult dogs would possess qualities like: shy, fear. Nervousness etc.. if it has not socialized at the earliest.

To break the behaviour of an adult dog is a difficult task, but there are some strategies to be considered to do so.

Remain Patient And Start Socializing Positively.

Make sure you are calm and patient in all aspects when you are with your adult dog. If you are tense and anxious, your dog may share the same feeling as dogs can feel you. 

Take your dog outside for walks, often with a leash. It's the best way to socialize with your canine companion.

It can help your dog learn new things and can hold a positive experience. Introduce your dog to different people and new dog friends.

If you notice your dog being fearful, frustrated, or any other behaviour to be corrected, then slowly make him feel comfortable when people are around. Bashing at your dogs for mistakes can make them act aggressive.

The basic training principle, positive reinforcement, can have a huge impact on your dog when he does something good. Praise him always. 

Visit Dog Parks And Doggy Daycare

dogs playing in park

If your dog masters being relaxed when meeting new people and dogs, then it's your work to take them to the dog park. But make sure you are not leaving your dog unleashed inside the park.

Be vigilant towards your dog, walk him outside the fence and look into his reaction to those people and dogs inside the park. If he seems to be easy, slowly walk towards the park.

Take your adult dogs to dog daycare once a week. This can help your dog improve its social skills immensely. It'll break all your dog's old behaviours like: shy, fear etc… and pal up another dog and become best buds. 

Invite Your Family Home And Let Your Dog Play!

Invite your family or friends with their dog over to your house. This can assist your dog move with people with no fear. Keep your friends a bit away for your dog to analyze the new people and let your dog approach the guests. 

Take your dog for a walk with your friend's dog. If both of the dogs remain relaxed, let them sniff each other with the leash loose. And still, if they remained calm, try off-leash inside your garden area. 

Want to completely train your older dog perfectly? Read our guide here.

Puppy Socialization

If you are to adopt a puppy, then start socializing at the earliest. 

Generally, puppies should experience different positive experiences in order to diminish qualities like: fear, shyness, anxiety etc.. and possess an easy-going characteristic.

Dog owners may feel easy to handle their canine companion with ease and reliability after socializing at the earliest.

Your puppy may get familiar with new things around and different dogs once they master socialization. (2)

Lack of socialization can affect your puppy later in life. To grow up a confident dog, better training in socialization is a must. 

Below are certain ways to start puppy socialization,

  • Keep your puppy in contact with humans frequently. 
  • Expose your puppy to different outdoors like: pet stores, restaurants etc...
  • Leave your puppy alone at home at least once a week to make your puppy refrain from separation anxiety. 
  • Let your puppy play in the water.
  • Train your puppy for different environments, people and habitats. 

Importance of Continuing to Socialize Your Dog

Continue socializing your pooch and teach them to survive in all sorts of situations in life. The more you train them, the more they become unruffled and self-assured. 

It all matters in how you're going to deal with your pup. Socializing them perfectly as puppies till they reach adulthood is one of the best assurances you give your dogs to lead a peaceful life.

Don't give up! Try hard till your dog is well socialized.

Is it Too Late to Socialize My Dog With Other Dogs?

If you are a good dog trainer, nothing becomes much complicated when dealing with your dog. 

Certain dog owners ponder on how to socialize their dog when it reaches adulthood.

It's never too late for your dog to get socialized and learn new social skills. But you will need patience to fit your dog to social situations. 

Always praise your pooch by offering him treats when he does something good and obeys you. 

Come on! Are you still waiting if your canine companion isn't socialized? Start it now on before it becomes more challenging for you to deal with.

Socializing Your Dog With Other Dogs

Socialized two dogs

As I have mentioned above, take your dogs outside to observe other dogs to a dog park.

You can prefer your dog to join dog training classes if your dog is still learning commands before attempting to go to the dog park. 

You can tell your trainer about the problem of your dog, and the relevant trainer will train your dog to move with many other dogs while in training class.

This also a way to socialize your dog with other dogs. 



No, it's never too late in socializing your furry buddy. If your pup is trained in a way how it should be trained, then it'll learn things in no time. 

Be patient and kind towards your pooch and praise him whenever needed. Take him for walks frequently and allow him to move with the society. 

By the time your doggy understands things, he will master socialization. 

I hope my article helped you in sorting out your doubts. 

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Thomas Villalpando
Thomas Villalpando is the main author of Dogs Academy. He spends his time reading, training, and working with several Dogs' behaviors. He has been featured in MSN, Yahoo Finance, The Sun, Entrepreneur & More. You can find more about him here.

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