Deciding to adopt a dog is an exciting adventure! Keep the good vibes going after bringing your dog home by socializing him or her with other humans and pets with these easy tips.

Take Your Dog on Walks
One of the best ways to meet your neighbors and make friends out of strangers on the street is to walk your dog a couple of times per day in the neighborhood or nearby park. You’ll be amazed at the multitude of opportunities your dog will have to build a fan base of people who can never get enough of these fur babies like the many volunteers at Sophie’s Circle for those who are in the Volusia County, Florida area. Also, you can expect to see plenty of other dogs, along with squirrels and other woodland creatures who will help you quickly learn your dog’s training strengths and those things he or she could work on.

For example, if your dog pulls on the leash while on walks, especially around other people or animals, you will know it’s time to revisit some basic leash training. Keep in mind, not all rescues come fully trained. So, there may be a few fundamentals you’ll need to teach him or her at the beginning. Visit our blog article about preparing for adoption and the beginning training steps to take for a more enjoyable transitional time both indoors and outdoors with your new dog.

Hitting the Beach or Trails
Have a high-energy dog? If your dog shows no signs of aggressive behavior while out on walks and prefers a good run over a slow stroll, there are still a few places where a dog can run free and greet other people and dogs off-leash. Check your local hiking trails, dog parks, and beach areas for their rules for dog owners. Oftentimes, there are specific hours where dogs are encouraged to interact with nature and explore the world around them while getting some of that extra energy out. As a bonus, training and snuggle time will be a whole lot easier when all the wiggles are gone.

One note, before taking your adoptee off-leash, test him or her on walks around the neighborhood or park areas for signs of aggression. Also, spend some time working on the “Come”, “Heel”, and “Leave It” commands to prevent a short sprint off the beaten path from turning into a long day of chase the squirrel. If in doubt, don’t worry. We have posted some articles on our website that share ways to teach your dog essential skills.

Bringing Your Dog to Stores
Looking for something a little more relaxing? Why not show off your furry friend while running errands? If you are heading out to the stores, you might be surprised to learn many places of business allow well-behaved dogs to walk beside you or even ride in shopping carts. Try a weekly trip to the local hardware store or pet store, for instance. Such excursions give your dog a chance to meet different people and animals while exposing him or her to unique experiences. Plus, taking your dog inside stores with different sounds, sights, and smells will help prepare him or her for the occasional wellness visit to the vet.

The Power of Group Training
Does your dog need a little training? Group training is one of the best ways you can socialize your dog safely while also building a closer bond. In addition to learning the commands you are teaching him or her, your dog will also have a chance to watch other dogs and follow their example. Just don’t be surprised if you and your dog form some BFFs for life!

Socializing While Away From Home
Did you know there are ways to socialize your dog while you are not home? Professional dog walkers who walk multiple dogs per day and doggy daycare facilities can help ensure your dog’s social skills stay sharp. Your dog will love greeting new people and dogs are usually walked or placed with others of a similar energy level. This way, he or she will be able to feel completely comfortable while getting exercise and making friends.

Still Looking for That Special Rescue Connection?
At Sophie’s Circle, we have a wide range of loveable dogs who are waiting for their forever homes. During their waiting period, they live with our fabulous volunteer foster families who get to know more about their needs and preferences they note in each profile to help you find the right match. Be sure to visit our adoption page that we updated frequently and see if your new best friend is waiting for you.