First impressions can be lasting so getting you and your neighbor’s dog off on the right paw is critical. To help this happen:
- Make sure that both dogs have plenty of exercise before they meet. This will make sure that they have burned off all excess energy.
- Put both dogs on leash and, starting 20 feet apart (more, if either dog seems nervous), start walking in the same direction. As the dogs become more comfortable with each other, slowly reduce the distance between you and your neighbor. Once the dogs get side by side, let them walk another half a block together. This allows them to get to know each other in a safe, pack bonding, environment.
- Bring the dogs back to the house and take them straight into the backyard. Anything the dogs could be possessive about such as toys, beds, or water bowls, should be removed.
- Calmly drop the leash and let the dogs interact. Watch closely for any signs of aggression.
- You and your neighbor should stay happy and calm throughout this interaction. If either of you are anxious, your dogs will feel it and will be anxious too.
- Keep the first interaction short and sweet. Remember that we want your pups leaving on good terms so they are excited to hang out with their new friend again soon.