By having your dog comfortable around people and other dogs, they will be less likely to be nervous and scared.
I’ve noticed some new clients struggle with getting their dogs to settle in a kennel with other dogs.
Your dog will be comfortable when they are confident and comfortable around you and the other people and dogs you meet.
Introducing your puppy to the other dogs is also a good opportunity to help them learn to tolerate all dogs as they grow up.
They’ll learn that there is no real reason to be scared of other dogs and they will be less likely to get into situations where they could be bitten.
Dogs have an innate ability to sense another dog’s fear. If you are asking your puppy to be around a particular dog when he’s still learning about other dogs, he will end up being scared around that dog even if the dog is not showing any signs of aggression.
Start with a calm greeting with your dog
Kneel with your puppy next to the other dog. If your puppy already meets other dogs, you can skip the introduction.
If the dog is not friendly, walk away and repeat the steps above until you get a calm, comfortable meeting.
For many dogs, a few weeks is all it takes. They may play as well as they normally would and, although they may be a little nervous, they won’t be showing any signs of aggression.
Repeat these steps until you get a positive response.
Be ready for some acting out. Dogs are animals and want to express themselves.
They may show your dog some affection, chase him around a bit or roll around with him. It’s normal, but you need to be sure your puppy isn’t being overly aggressive with the other dog.
When in doubt, be sure to wait until he’s calmer. If you are unsure, you can always send your dog back for a couple of rounds of the above steps until you can see your dog is calm and happy to be near the other dog.
You can’t expect your puppy to act nice around other dogs if you never introduce them to each other. If you are going to let your dog go off-leash to play with other dogs, take this into account.
Introduce your puppy to a dog, but don’t let him interact if he’s not comfortable.
When introducing a dog to your puppy, be sure to monitor them for signs of aggression.
Dogs can be social around each other, but the minute you allow them to get in close contact, they’ll start to nip, lick, bark and potentially bite.
You have to be ready for that.
The use of treats when introducing a puppy to other dogs has many benefits. It can also have several downsides.
If your puppy likes treat, he’s likely to want to work for treats when introduced to the other dogs.
Unless you let them off-leash, this can turn into a fight. Treats are often a quick reward for a behavior you want to encourage and can help a dog know what behavior is being rewarded.
Because a lot of owners feel their dogs get along so well, they may not realize that this is not the way they act around other dogs. Treats can reinforce aggressive or fearful behavior, especially when a dog is still learning.
If you don’t want your puppy to work for treats or treats that will give your puppy too many calories, try swapping to human treats instead.
If your puppy is particularly food motivated, be sure to stop when he is full. Puppies tend to want to work more for food than they do for toys.
Some dogs don’t respond well to threats, so you should think about how much he’s eating before you introduce treats. A good rule is to cut treats back as much as possible when introducing other dogs.
Puppies should be supervised whenever they are off-leash so that they don’t get away from you and try to play with the other dogs.
You will often see owners walking with their dogs or letting their dogs run off-leash. These owners seem to take no preventative measures against dogs that may growl, bark or nip at other dogs.
Most dogs growl or bark or nip as a signal that they aren’t comfortable. The moment that your puppy receives this signal, you need to stop the interaction.
You can use the same techniques to prevent behaviors that begin before you enter a new environment.
The shock collar doesn’t work because a dog that isn’t happy with what you’re doing may choose to make sure you aren’t happy again by doing something dangerous.
If your puppy growls, barks or nips, he’s probably feeling stressed. Use a touch or scolding motion (which is your safe response) to let your dog know that you aren’t happy.
You don’t want to scare your puppy. You’ll also want to discourage him from escalating a situation. If your puppy is showing signs of stress, you want to stop her from doing something that could escalate into a fight.
If your puppy is still showing signs of stress, leave the situation. Go back to the leash.
You can also use a different touch to help your puppy work through his own stress and feel comfortable with whatever behavior is happening.
Tapping your fingers against each other or tapping the side of your hand can be calming and can also help him move away from whatever is upsetting him.
A lot of dog owners make the mistake of waiting for the other dog to approach their puppy before letting the puppy approach the other dog.
This can backfire. When a puppy is off-leash and another dog approaches, the puppy may decide to chase or nip the other dog.
If you wait until your puppy is sitting or walking, it can be even more difficult to prevent this kind of behavior.
Instead of waiting for the other dog to approach, let your puppy approach the other dog in the context of his learning.
Dogs should learn that they must approach a dog, not the other way around.
If a dog runs towards your puppy, there’s a good chance your puppy will chase or nip at the other dog to try to stop him.
Some dog owners want to introduce dogs to their puppies from behind. This means that the dog is behind you and facing away from you, then the puppy turns around to face the other dog.
The dog owner can then approach the other dog and let your puppy approach the other dog. This is a safer introduction than from behind, and it means that the dog will already be facing the other dog.
You can use a clicker and hand-clap to reward your puppy for trying to stop the other dog from being aggressive.