Dog encounters should actually be something completely natural in everyday life with his dog. But for very many human-dog teams it means stress. Be it because your own dog pulls wildly on the leash, barks or jumps forward or because a strange dog rushes towards you and your dog unleashed – the encounter with other human-dog teams is not always easy.
Mastering dog encounters
This title alone, “Mastering Dog Encounters,” already causes many people’s pulse to increase slightly. However, today we want to show you that there is no reason to panic when meeting other human-dog teams, nor is there any reason why your dog should learn to ignore other dogs.
Teaching your dog to ignore other dogs would mean that we forbid him to interact socially with other dogs. However, since our dog needs contact with other dogs for a happy dog life, since it is even required by the Animal Welfare Act, and since it does not necessarily make a dog encounter any better, we do not recommend it.
It is better if your dog learns to be relaxed through dog encounters. For this, the following rules must be followed.
- Both human-dog teams (dog and human) must want the contact. Pay attention to your own dog’s body language and that of the other human-dog team.
- The dogs will not have contact until you give your dog the all clear.
- There is no playing on the leash.
- The leash always remains loose when in contact with other dogs.
- As soon as one of the dogs shows signs of anxiety, stress or fear, contact is broken and the dog owners communicate with each other.
How my dog learns to pass other dogs in a relaxed way?
Of course, you should first practice with your dog not to pull towards every human-dog team. You do this by practicing leash walking and impulse control with your dog.
Your dog should learn to resist quick stimuli, such as a thrown ball. Only when he makes eye contact with you will he get either a “go on” and you continue with him on the leash or an “ok” and he may fetch the ball.
In dog encounters, first increase the distance to other human-dog teams and reward eye contact here as well, either with food/game or if the other human-dog team agrees, with dog contact.
Your goal is to keep the leash loose. The looser the leash, the more relaxed you and your dog will be.
For more tips on leash walking, check out our app.
We hope you have fun training with your dog!
Your Pupy Team