Meeting other dogs on leash is a common occurrence when out on a walk with your pup. By following the tips below you can ensure that every dog interaction is a good one!
Manners Matter- Before you let your dog approach any other dog on leash ask the owner if their dog is friendly. If you hear anything but a resounding “Yes!”, keep on walking. Some owners will hesitate with their answer because their dog is friendly with some dogs and not others. However, you don’t want to take the chance that your pup won’t be well received. Also, if your dog is off leash and you see another owner approaching with their dog on leash, put your dog on leash as well. Your pup may be friendly but you never know if the other dog is and it is best to be safe.
Nice to meet you- If you decide to let your dog greet the other dog you make sure that your leash is loose when they dogs initially meet. This allows the dogs to greet properly. Many owners hold their dog’s leash too tight because they are afraid that something might happen. But can you imagine meeting someone new while your friend is holding your hands behind your back? Awkward, right? Your dog feels the same way!
Just Having A Friendly Conversation- If you want to have your dog get along with his new friend, make sure you start a conversation with the owner! Most times, people get very quiet and stiff when their dog first meets a new dog because they are waiting to see what happens. However, in the dog world, that tension transfers down the leash as a threat and the dogs are likely to think that their owners don’t like what is going on. This can lead to aggression. Happy owners mean happy dogs. Also, make sure to watch your dog’s body language during the greeting. Is he happy? Is he engaging? People say that their dog attacked or were attacked out of “nowhere” but most dogs give extensive warnings that they are uncomfortable before they are aggressive. Owners just miss the signals because they are busy talking to each other.
Short and Sweet- What is the best way to guarantee a great interaction? Keep it short. Let the dogs sniff, wag tails, and then move along. This way they don’t have the chance to get in an argument. Plus, the more fun your dog has meeting new dogs, the more he will enjoy it.