But Mom, I Want to be with the Other Dogs
I run into a lot of clients’ dogs who were not socialized as puppies whether it was voluntary by the owner or a stray that grew up in less than ideal conditions. They have a severe reaction to meeting other dogs by reacting either with fear aggression (attack mode) or outright terror (running away). Not being around other dogs goes against nature and their genetics and just allowing them to play with the other dog in your house is NOT socialization. It’s heartbreaking when I take care of dogs like these, as they miss out so much in life. But all is not lost even if your dog is an adult. If you are willing to put the time and effort in to socialize your dog, he will have a more fulfilling life, and you won’t be the scourge of the neighborhood when walking him.
How to Socialize an Older Dog
I found an all-encompassing article on the consequences of not socializing your dog as well as one that helps owners start the socialization process. I urge frustrated dog owners to check these out: