Meeting other dogs safely and calmly

Dogs meeting other dogs

We learnt the hard way how not to meet other dogs safely and calmly! When two dogs who either don’t know each other at all, or its been so long they have forgotten each other meet it can go horribly wrong!

This is the way you should do this in your home safely and calmly, or if you are on a lead it is the same principles.

When a friend knocks on your door with a new dog, ask them to wait a minute and pop your dogs in another room behind a closed door. Let them in and make a cup of tea, let the new dog off the lead and allow them to sniff around. Settle down with your drinks and chat you need to wait for all the dogs to relax. They will have sniffed each other out from the safely of different rooms with a closed door between them. Wait until the visiting dog is calm and lieing down, your want your dogs to be calm too, so they need to be silent and relaxed.

With my dogs this can sometimes take 30 minutes, less if it is a dog they already know. Then open the doors and use peripheral vision to keep an eye on the dogs. What usually happens is a big fat NOTHING!! My dogs will come out and either play if its a dog they know or simply disregard the other and settle down.The whole process becomes a non event because you have taken all the stress away and given the dogs the important message to respect each other.

When you are on lead just as you did in the home do not allow the dogs to immediately greet each other head on. Wave to your friend and line the dogs up parallell to each other going the same way. If they are already getting over excited/stressed move as far away as possible until they are calmer, then walk alongside parallel keeping an eye on your dogs body language. Slowly walk closer and closer until you are next to each other and the dogs are both walking calmly, then let off lead in an open safe space.

If you see a dog ahead of you when on a walk and you want your dog to be calm, do not continue to walk head on with the other dog walker. Take a 90 degree angle away from them if in an open space or cross the road, this means you can keep an eye on the other dog but are sending non confrontational silent messages. If your dog is very reactive then turn and walk slowly parallel to the other dog walker until they are ahead of you, then you can turn back and carry on your way. If your dog is very relaxed then carry on walking in the same direction further away. If you want to chat to the other person you will have to do this until both dogs are calm and then meet parallel to each other. This is teaching your dog manners. Yes it may take a little longer but you won’t be the person hanging on to a jumping barking dog while you try and have a conversation!

 

By Sarah Greeff

I am a graduate Jan Fennell Dog Listener. Canine Communication creates stress free happy dogs. I do home consultations for anyone who currently has problems with their own dogs and also use these skills to raise the best puppies I can.

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