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Socializing the Adult Dog: Sorting Good Advice From Bad

From Wooster, Ohio

One of the most common behavior problems I see among adult dogs is overly reactive or fearful behavior. People frequently think that when they see a dog that barks and lunges at other dogs or people on the leash that the dog was not properly socialized as a puppy. However, this is a common misconception. There are many owners who have put a lot of time and effort into socializing their dogs and still have animals that may cower or bark and lunge. Why would this be the case? Sometimes the socialization techniques used might not have been appropriate for these dogs. Or the dog may just have a genetic predisposition to being fearful and anxious. As most owners of these kinds of dogs soon find out, they will often receive a great deal of unsolicited advice from people when their dogs exhibit these behaviors out in public. Your best source of advice should always be your veterinarian or a local certified animal behaviorist.

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