In many shelters, a big part of getting dogs and puppies ready for the adoption floor is having volunteers and staffers play with them. That’s because play – even something as simple as fetch – helps socialize dogs and gives them positive associations with people.
When it comes to socializing your dog with other dogs, proceed with caution. Puppies usually love to be around other puppies, but some adult dogs that haven’t been socialized adequately at an earlier age may find the pressure to play with other dogs stressful. If you bring your dog to a place full of other dogs, at first it may be best to keep him close to you and reward him for sitting quietly while other dogs pass by.
Remember, playing with other dogs should be fun for your dog, so if your dog exhibits signs of stress, it may be best to enjoy some other activities.