So your dog loves a meet and greet with any furry friend on the street, but knowing which dog is the right dog to socialise with can often be a stressful experience. Here are some top tips when it comes to introducing your pooch to other four-legged friends on your next walk!
1. Always ask the owner “is your dog friendly?”
It may seem obvious but this question will be your number one safety tool. Every walk you take your dog on will be different. When you see another dog approaching, take the time to watch for any unfriendly behaviour such as, raised hackles, growling, teeth showing or tail between the legs. No matter how many dogs your dog has met, you can never assume that all dogs are friendly.
2. Loosen the leash
Once you decide to introduce the oncoming dog with yours, make sure your leash is loose. When you keep the leash tight it creates tension and adds stress to the introduction, so always make sure your’e giving your dog enough slack. however, if you are unsure, or don’t feel confident doing this, then maybe you should not be letting the dogs meet this time.
3. Keep your cool
When your dog is happily greeting another dog, be sure to keep a calm and relaxed energy – this means no yelling or high-pitched sounds. When dogs are being introduced they are more sensitive and easily excitable and will pick up on any sounds or shifts in energy. Maintaining clear and relaxed verbal and physical communication will help your dog stay calm in an otherwise stimulated situation.
4. Keep it movin’
During the first introduction, it’s important to keep your dog in motion. This helps alleviate stress, intensity and takes away any pressure your dog may feel. Keeping the dog “on course” also works as a distraction so that instead of the focus being on meeting a new dog, the focus is always about the walk itself.
5. Space it out
Now that your dog is comfortably interacting with another dog, respect the situation by allowing enough space. You don’t have to be far away, but standing over the top of them, can make the dogs feel crowded and may add pressure and stress to the situation. Just bear in mind that you still want to keep that leash loose!
And of course, if pup's just in need of a play with a few new friends, toss round one of these incredibly indestructible chew toys by Kong! Available here for a steal.