How to Have Your Dog Meet and Greet Other Dogs
I was in Naples last week installing a Dog Guard Out of Sight Fencing® system for a new client and his Cocker Spaniel named Buddy. Buddy liked to jump over the back fence and explore all over the neighborhood. This made it very inconvenient for my client and he wanted his Spaniel to stay put in the yard. I installed the fence with the wire along the top of his current fence to create a “no fly” zone for Buddy. It worked perfectly. He still had all the yard to run and jump. He could even get close to the bottom of the fence. As soon as he started to jump up or climb up the fence, he would get the warning that he should probably reconsider his actions. Buddy responded perfectly and my client was thrilled. As I was finishing up, it seemed that my client had another issue with Buddy. He was having a hard time whenever Buddy would come into contact with other dogs.
When we (humans) meet new people, our subconscious makes an instant decision regarding our safety. This decision is based on prior experiences, assumptions, location, visualization, auditory queues, and many other factors. When all of these instantaneous and unconscious actions send us a “go signal”, we feel happy and comfortable in greeting the new person. If our unconscious sends us a “no go”, we feel nervous and become a little “back offish” in meeting that new person.
This same activity takes place in dogs. Like us, it is their natural, defense mechanism that helps keep them safe. When done naturally and slowly, there is no problem and they can produce their “I am fine with you” or “Not today” result and take the appropriate actions.
First of all, a proper greeting action should not create aggression. That is when the greeting is rushed or otherwise inappropriately handled. It should also not produce uncontrolled, excited adrenaline. This displays inappropriate disrespect to the dog’s owner and master. The bottom line is that you want your dog to be able to greet other dogs without a big hoopla and angst.
There are two, simple rules that you need to follow to make a dog greeting just fine. They are:
- Keep it slow
- Let your dog lead
If you follow these simple rules, all will be fine. Here is what you do:
- Pick a meeting place in a neutral location where neither dog feels that the other dog may be encroaching on his territory.
- Both dogs are on a short (six foot) leash attached to a secure collar or dog harness.
- One dog is stable in a location where he can easily see the other dog approach. This location also has many avenues of retreat in case he becomes nervous and needs to disengage.
- Now I want my client to bring Buddy into the sight of the other dog. They should be at least fifty to seventy-five feet apart. If he starts to go nuts, he needs to redirect him away until calm.
- When all is fine, guide Buddy towards the other dog. Do not pull him. My client is to allow Buddy to approach on his own accord.
- Move up half way to the other dog and stop for a moment. Allow both dogs to take a good look at the other.
- If either dog shows signs of heightened adrenaline or anxiety, redirect them for a moment and continue.
- Continue to move Buddy towards the other dog on his own time. Keep cutting the distance between the two in half until there is about five feet separating the two dogs.
- If, at any time, Buddy becomes over adrenalized and you can’t get his focus, stop the exercise for the day and try again tomorrow.
- After both dogs are fine with being five feet from each other, repeat the exercise the next day and allow them to completely approach and sniff. Always have them on leashes and always stand in a position where you can direct them back without getting the leashes tangled, if needed.
If you can remember when you were young and hated when your mother forced you to “like someone”, you can emphasize with what your dog can go through in the same situation. We are waiting for all your questions at Dog Fence Training Help Naples South Florida . You can also call us at (954) 472-4724. Discover all the benefits of Dog Guard Out of Sight Fencing® and find helpful dog training tips at Best Out of Sight Dog Fence Trainers Naples South Florida. We are thrilled to have been your neighborhood dog professionals for over twelve years in Naples and all of South Florida. Our products really perform in keeping your dogs safe and on your property. Robin and I have trained nearly 4,000 dogs as professional dog trainers. Read more about our Dog Behavior and Obedience Training at Home Dog Training Naples South Florida.