Can I Socialize An Adult Dog?

Drum roll……..The answer is………Yes and No and Maybe. What an answer. There just is not a better answer because there are a bunch of things to consider. Let’s talk about this so that my crazy answer can start to make sense.

It all depends on a bunch of different things so let’s talk about it and see if we can answer the question for you. What breed is it? I ask that question because breeds that are known for their protectiveness will be much harder now that it is an adult. Yes, those are the breeds that really needed that socialization before they were 20 weeks old.

The period of socialization is the same for all dogs however some of the sweetheart breeds like labs and golden retrievers can be socialized at an older age even if they were not socialized earlier. A lot depends on their current temperament as an adult. Are they showing aggression, or they fearful?

Is the dog good in its environment but spooky and scared in new locations? This is a dog that just may be able to be socialized and brought around with some patients and time.

Keep in mind that when you are socializing and adult dog take it slow. It will not happen overnight. It could take days, weeks and even months of working with your dog and making it feel comfortable with new people and places.

You may even want to use what I call positive association when meeting new people if needed. It is simple to do and the dog will love it. Keep some high value snacks available and when your dog meets a new person have that person give your dog this high value treat. Your dog will begin to look forward to meeting new people because there is always in it for them.

If your dog has gotten to a point where it appears to be aggressive with new people there can still be some help with obedience training along with some behavior modification. Of course not every dog will be able to be cured however a lot of the dogs we deal with come out of the training with a completely different attitude.

The main thing to consider when getting help from a trainer is to make sure that you are dealing with a person that has a bunch of experience working with aggressive, fearful and un-socialized dogs, not just a regular dog trainer. Look for a Canine Behavior Specialists with heavy aggression experience.


If you have an aggressive or un-socialized dog please be sure to visit for help…

Please remember we can help you with dog training or problem solving no matter where you are located.  In fact we have clients all over the U.S. simply visit  for more information and the give us a call.

Until next time,


P.S. Do you need some advice from a Canine Behavior Specialist?  If so CLICK HERE now!

About Wayne: Wayne Booth is owner of Canine Behavior Specialists which is headquartered in Nashville, TN but serves clients all over the U.S..  If you have a dog with aggression, behavior problems or simply needs training feel free to contact him.

Wayne has also been teaching people how to become Professional Dog Trainers since 1990 and he is the Training Director of  Canine Behavior Specialists Network at

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