Social Interactions (dog to dog socialisation)

Mar 10, 2023

Social Interactions (dog to dog socialisation)

Here are a few hints and tips on introducing your dog to another dog in a safe and friendly manner: 

Always ask the other dog's owner for permission before approaching their dog. Not all dogs are friendly or comfortable with new dogs. (And be aware if the person is the middle of a dog training session to give them space).

Approach the other dog slowly and calmly, with your dog on a lead (on the video I was completely with all dogs behaviour before calling ours over). Don’t rush towards the other dog or pull on the lead, as this can make your dog excited and/or anxious, which can escalate into a negative interaction. 

Allow the dogs to sniff each other briefly. Sniffing is natural for dogs and is how they gather information about each other. Keep the leads loose and allow the dogs to move around freely. Do not force them to interact if they seem hesitant or uninterested. 

Observe the body language of both dogs. A relaxed and friendly posture with a wagging tail is a good sign. Signs of aggression or fear include growling, snarling, barking, hair standing on end, and a stiff body posture. If either dog shows signs of discomfort or aggression, separate them, walk away and try again another time. 

If the initial greeting goes well, you could allow the dogs to play and interact under supervision. Keep an eye on their body language and intervene if necessary. Avoid allowing the dogs to play rough or get too excited, as this can escalate into negative behaviour. 

Always be prepared to intervene if the dogs become aggressive or if the situation becomes unsafe. Keep the leashes on and use them to separate the dogs if necessary. 

Remember, every dog is different, and some dogs might not enjoy interacting with other dogs. You'll notice one of mine (Freya) didn't some to say hi when asked, and that's ok, she didn’t fancy it this time. 

It's important to respect your dog's preferences and personality and not force them into situations that make them uncomfortable.