By the age of 16 weeks, your dog should have been introduced to many other dogs, lots of people, and numerous places. The window of opportunity for socialization begins to close, after that.
If you own an older dog that seems afraid or aggressive when meeting other dogs, there are things you can do to lessen his defensive attitude. First and foremost, don’t put your dog in with a crowd of other dogs! This method of desensitization is called flooding, and is ineffective; it may even harm the dog. Instead, take your dogs on walks with a friend that owns a well-socialized dog. Have both dogs on-leash on the outside of the 2-people, 2-dog group. After awhile, try alternating person, dog, person, dog. It may help if you switch dogs at this point by taking the other person’s dog. Finally, see if the dogs are comfortable walking together, with the humans on the outside and the dogs walking side by side.
You might spend many hours walking until Fido is comfortable with a walking buddy. However, the rewards will be HUGE if your dog can begin to tolerate just one other dog. In time, you may be able to include others in your walking routine until finally Fido can begin to enjoy the company of several dogs.
Our new Call of the Wild class begins on Saturday, April 5 at 11 AM. Tuition is $20 per class, per dog, with a discount for multiple-dog families. Call 856.981.8957 to enroll and for the location of the first class.
Wado udohiyu (thank you very much in the Cherokee language)
Owner, Brother of the Wolf, LLC
700 Market St
Gloucester City, NJ08030