Socialization is vital for proper social and mental development in dogs. After all, it’s good for your furry best friend to interact with members of his or her own species.

While it is best to socialize your dog between the age of 3 and 12 weeks, we want you to understand that socialization does not end at puppyhood. By exposing your dog to different kinds of animals, people and places, you can help your dogs develop ease and confidence and protect them from anxious, negative and frightening situations.

In this blog post, you’ll find several tips on how to socialize adult dogs.

Familiarize your dog with other animals

Puppies are easier to socialize than adult dogs. Older dogs may either stand close to their owners, avoid other dogs or may become aggressive.

Before you bring your pet to the dog park and allow her to interact with other dogs, make sure that she gets along with other dogs you have at home. If you want to introduce Fido to other dogs, make sure you do it one at a time. Let them sit quietly at a safe distance until they get accustomed to each other. When both dogs appear relaxed, that’s the only time you can let them interact with one another.

Familiarize your dog with different people

Make sure your dog is exposed to people of different ages, sizes, gender and ethnicities. You want your dog to trust people. We can’t stress that enough. Otherwise, she’ll feel anxious when a groomer or a veterinarian has to handle her.

When introducing your pet to a person, make sure you do so in a calm, reassuring manner. Make sure the person speaks using a calm and polite voice. A happy, high-pitched voice would excite her. Keep the interaction short and brief so as not to overwhelm the dog. Don’t forget to reward her for the good behavior.

Get your pet used to all kinds of sounds

Most dogs are afraid of unfamiliar sounds. So before taking your dog out, make sure she’s familiar with certain sounds so she won’t panic or get frightened when she hears them later on.

Consider downloading sounds such as birdsong, gun fire, fire trucks, police sirens from the internet and play them once in a while.