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How to get to know dogs step by step [behaviorist tips

How to meet dogs?

In this article, I would like to focus on a fairly common problem, i.e. as in a smart way to get to know dogs, so as not to lead to conflicts, and to help them make friends.

  • When we bring the dogs together?
  • In what situations do we introduce dogs to each other?
    • You are moving into a new flat or house?
    • The new partner is going to move in with his dog?
    • You want to adopt a new dog?
  • How to get to know dogs - basic rules
  • Dog body language

When we bring the dogs together?

When we bring the dogs together?

Below are a few of the most common situations in which we need to connect two (or more) dogs together, but we want the familiarization process to be as least stressful for them (and also for us, let's face it).

It may seem like there is nothing difficult to establish canine relationships, but it can be very confusing. Not every dog ​​is willing to contact, it is easy to enter into new relationships (even if it shows interest), some dogs have a bad experience with other dogs, so our task is to ensure that the situation is comfortable for all parties.

In what situations do we introduce dogs to each other?

In what situations do we introduce dogs to each other?

Here are some of the most common examples I come across, but there are certainly many more!

You are moving into a new flat or house?

The first situation, i.e. we move into a new apartment or house and we want our dog to have new canine friends. We know that a cheerful dachshund lives on the 3rd floor, a husky in the cage next to it, and a chihuahua barking further away. Our dog is sociable, but it is worth checking first if he likes each of the mentioned dogs.

The new partner is going to move in with his dog?

The second situation, when we live with the dog in the apartment and our new partner intends to move in with his dog. Dogs do not know each other very well and it is not known how they will cope with such a small space that they will have to divide 24 hours a day, so here it is also worth taking care of a good start of acquaintance. The same is true when our friends decide to go on vacation and ask us to look after their dog. And we already have our dog at home.

You want to adopt a new dog?

The third situation is perhaps the most common. We want to adopt a new dog, but we do not know if he will get along with our "old " resident dog. We do not want our dog to feel bad and start to stress about the new guest, so first at introductory meetings, it is worth finding out if the dogs "interact " with each other and transmit on common waves.

How to get to know dogs - basic rules

How to get to know dogs - basic rules
  • Make the rules. Before you start introducing the pooches, try to talk to the guardian of the other dog and determine how the reconciliation should proceed and what to do in the event of a conflict in order to work efficiently. Of course, no one assumes that the meeting will start with a doggy brawl, but it can happen, so if we decide in advance what and how our reaction will be faster and more effective.
  • Security. This is a key issue, so we should always remember about it. If our (or the second) dog has aggressive behavior towards other dogs behind him and there is a chance that he will react badly, let's think about a loose and light physiological muzzle, thanks to which the other dog will be safe. Additionally, dogs should be somehow controlled by us so that they do not run away or start throwing themselves at each other, so it is good to prepare a long rope / leash on which we will keep the dogs, but so that they have a lot of freedom, they can move freely. So not a one-meter leash, so that the dog cannot move away from us and has to struggle, because then it will be difficult for him to use his body language to suggest to another dog that he has no evil intentions. In addition, string aggression can appear, and it is very easy to get tangled up in the leashes.
  • Meeting place - neutral ground. This is another important element. Dogs should not get to know each other in one of them (eg. at home), because there the dog can begin to defend its territory, toys or bowls. Therefore, it is better to conduct the acquaintance in a quiet, unstrained space, where the dogs will feel comfortable, they will be able to sniff, explore and go about their own business. It is also important that dogs are not distracted by other stimuli, such as loud cars, running dogs, petting their people. And at the same time, so that they do not have to be constantly focused on themselves - the point is that our dog can calm down, reduce arousal, for example by sniffing.
  • The guardian's responsibility. It is true that the dogs are supposed to get acquainted, but we should create safe conditions for this and manage the situation in a clear and legible way. Our behavior during familiarization is also important - if we are nervous, our stress will affect the dogs as well, so try to stay calm and calm.
  • Parallel walk. One of the most popular (but also effective) methods is the so-called parallel walk. What does this mean in practice? Well, dogs walk at a safe distance from each other in the same direction, on loose lines, together with their owners. At the beginning, the keepers can walk alongside the dogs in the middle so that they can block the other dog with their body, but the general idea is to make the dogs see each other. However, if we see that our dog (or the other dog) becomes too active, starts grinning and lunging, then we definitely increase the distance until he is able to walk parallel, but without too much attention to the other dog. Similarly, the other way around - if the dogs are far away, but behave calmly and are curious about each other, we can gradually reduce this distance. The ideal situation is that the dogs walk side by side, feel good in each other's company, but do not have to constantly interact and stimulate each other. This is also a general guideline for the later time when dogs, for example, live with each other. The fact that they share a space does not mean that they have to have everything in common - bowls, toys, a bed, walks. Each dog is an individual that should be given its own space, items and attention from the handler. Dogs do not have to be great friends, a neutral attitude towards each other is really a lot!
  • Recognition through the barrier. Another form of familiarization is when the dogs meet over a natural obstacle, such as a net or a fence. Dogs can see each other and run freely, but they cannot access each other directly because they are protected by a net. And at the same time, they can smell each other and get used to each other's company. If this form of getting to know goes well, we can go for a walk together and reduce the distance.
  • Flash points. This is also an important point, and often underestimated by caregivers. At the meeting, we should avoid things that dogs may want to fight for, such as toys, balls, sticks, treats or even the attention of the guardian. Dogs treat these things as a resource so they can compete for it.

Dog body language

Dog body language

We may not be fully aware of it, but dogs have an extremely complex, subtle, and developed system of non-verbal communication. With the help of body language, tail position, sounds and smells they can convey a lot. For us, reading all these signals can be a challenge, but luckily for dogs it's a piece of cake so be sure to take advantage of it.

When one dog pee on the bush and walks away, the other dog may want to quickly come over there and smell that scent trail. There is a lot of information to be found in the urine, so it is, in a way, a form of dog introducing themselves. So is sniffing under the tail, at the mouth or at the ears. Dogs can learn a lot about themselves this way.

Also, pay attention to the signals the dogs send to each other and react in time. For example, if our dog begins to raise his lips (the so-called. fafs) and growling at the sight of another dog, this is a signal for us that he does not feel comfortable and that the distance between them should be increased. In this way, we respect what our dog told us.

Similarly, if we see that our dog stiffens the body, begins to rhythmically wiggle its firmly placed tail and stares intensely in the eyes of the other dog, it indicates a tension in this relationship, not a pleasant greeting, so it is also good to change the approach.

This is just a small excerpt from the full spectrum of dog behavior, but to learn to observe factual things, you usually need practice, so I always recommend using the services of a good trainer or behaviorist who will react to the situation on an ongoing basis.

Summary

Getting to know the dogs

Developing a relationship between dogs is a long-term process, their behavior may evolve over time, but a good start for a relationship is very important because it's hard to blur the first impression. It is similar with people ?

The first meeting of dogs serves primarily to gather information about the second pet and to get used to staying calmly in the same space. The time for fun will come when both dogs trust each other! So try to keep pets calm and relaxed when they are together.

If the meeting fails, do not stress, let's try again in a while, maybe the dogs had a worse day.

If the dogs get used to each other, and even make friends, that's great, we've done a good job, but let's also be prepared for the risk that the dogs will not necessarily get along, despite our efforts, and then we will have to look for a different solution. But let's always assume a positive scenario, of course!

Where is the best place to get to know dogs?

Dogs should not get to know each other in one of them, because there the dog can start to defend its territory, toys or bowls.

How to take two dogs for a walk?

One of the most popular (and effective) methods of introducing two dogs is the so-called parallel walk.

Sources used >>

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