Introducing dogs to other dogs
Imagine this… you are standing in the cereal aisle at a grocery store. You and an employee make eye contact. Then, that employee runs up to you as fast as they can, gets in your face and yells HELLO!
Something our dogs are like that employee, and to other dogs, this is just plain rude.
How Can We Help!?
We need to show them how to be appropriate. If their energy level is at a 10, we are not setting that dog introduction up for success. Once your dog has calmed down, we will let them approach their future friend slowly! Rushing in to greet another dog in not appropriate. Typically, a “rude” dog is going to be very intrusive upon greeting. Even though they do not have bad intentions, if you dog acts this way toward an intolerant dog it could cause a scuffle.
It might take several retries, but your dog will catch on and they will begin to understand calm behavior = I get to say hello to my new friend.
Once they have mastered the on-leash greeting and offered the appropriate butt sniff we cna let our dog off leash to play. Until our dog understands what is appropriate we are going to need to monitor their play. If you find your dog “picking” on other dogs, be sure to interrupt the behavior.
Remember, our dogs are learning and we are helping them be the most successful.
by Melissa Kolmar, CPDT-KA, SBA