When dogs meet

Dogs really do not communicate in the way humans do, so when you stop in the street to 'introduce' your dog to another, typically on a lead, you are creating a potentially stressful, somewhat unnatural and forced situation, and one that the dog cannot control - because it's on a lead. 

You may have noticed how dogs sometimes 'freeze' some steps before some sort of noisey kerfuffle.  To some extent, you may be recreating this behaviour when you 'freeze' on the street, with the intention of 'introducing' your dog to another.


Some dogs will learn to somehow cope with, endure or tolerate this unnatural way of meeting and interacting with other dogs, and some will not; they may act in a way that makes you say 'my dog doesn't like other dogs' - the lunging, barking, snapping.

To make matters worse, you may even be adding fuel to the fire. You may very well be sending half a dozen messages before, during and after the interaction that tell him to prepare for confrontation, and then 'join in' a fracas if it starts by shouting, lunging, grabbing and pulling!

If you come across another dog on leads, do not change your behaviour - typically the 'freezing', the tightened lead and talking or shouting. Maintain lead length and control during your whole on-lead walk, and simply greet the owner and move on.  Demonstrate with your calm silence that everything is 'situation normal'. If your dog does act in a way you don't want, don't react, don't get embarrassed, keep calm, cool and quiet, keep moving. 

If your dog's off lead, leave things well alone - he can decide himself whether he'll interact with the other dog, and how - your noise, interference and proximity can escalate undesirable behaviour.

If you have problems when your dog meets another, contact me to find out how you can address this one!