Dear Bark: My husband and I are having a disagreement. He wants to take our two-year-old dog to the dog park for socialization because we don’t want her to become rusty at getting along with other dogs. But I have read that you can only socialize puppies—that it doesn’t work for adult dogs. Can dogs of all ages be socialized? Should we take our dog to the dog park?
In the world of canine behavior, the word “socialize” has a specific technical meaning (which I’ll address shortly), but it is also commonly used to describe another activity: to engage in social interactions. The latter is what your husband seeks for your dog at the dog park. As long as she enjoys other dogs and can play appropriately with them, she is a good candidate for visits there.
Socializing a puppy and providing an adult dog with a social life are two different things.
There are a few caveats. Make sure…