Usually the window for socializing your dog as a puppy is around 4 months of age. This window of opportunity will never open again and once shut does quite a bit to form the dog’s actions and reactions. A dog that was never socialized as a puppy will be shy, aggressive, and even off put by normal everyday things.

Some of these dogs even show signs as though they were abused, when in reality they are simply fearful of the world around them. You can still try to work with your dog to correct these signs, however there is no guarantee that they will be as happy as they would have been had they been socialized.

Step 1: Bonding

The first step to handling a dog that hasn’t been socialized as a pup is to first bond with the dog. You want to make a strong connection with the dog first and gain its trust before attempting to ease its fears of the outside world.

Not only will this make working with the dog safer for you, but will keep the dog from over reacting to the new things around it while training.

Step 2: Patience

You will need a lot of patience to work with a dog that hasn’t been socialized as a puppy, and you will need to understand that when the dog has had enough for the day, that training should be put off.

You should never push a dog that is fearful of anything as you could get hurt or the dog could hurt itself. Ensuring that you work slowly can provide you with the ability to take a fearful dog and help it become more confident in the world.

Step 3: Introducing People

The first thing you could start with would be the introduction of new people to the dog. This can be both easy and difficult, and it is best to start with adults as they are less likely to surprise the dog and get hurt.

Taking things slowly and ensuring that the dog understands that everything is okay, you can ease the dog into checking out these new people and becoming comfortable while gaining the understanding that people aren’t bad.

Step 4: New Places

Don’t be afraid to take your dog to new places with you to see how they do. You will want to keep them away from other animals for the time being as they could become aggressive, but starting slow and working up to other animals will be a good goal. Bring your dog around with you and watch how they react.

If they are calm you should treat them and show them affection for their bravery, if they show aggression it is time to simply head home.

Step 5: Animals

In many cases it is not recommended that you take a dog that has not been properly socialized around other animals for fear of injuring the other animal or themselves.

However should you encounter another dog while out for a walk or a friend brings their new pooch over to your home, follow simple steps to introduce them and watch their behavior for aggression or hostility.

If they get along, wonderful. If signs point towards rocky shores, simply separate the two until another time.