It's not only puppies who get overexcited. Dogs of all ages can have very outgoing and active personalities. But, like humans, dogs vary wildly in how they act and one dog's friendliness can easily frighten a more reserved animal, or even provoke aggression.As their care-giver, it's up to you to show your pup the right way to act in public. Here are some tips for how to handle your exuberant pooch so that their attempts to make friends are successful:
Puppies especially can get overwhelmed if they are thrown into a situation where there's suddenly lots of other dogs. Again, canines are social creatures and they may want to check out your new pup... All at once.If possible, try to introduce your dog to other dogs slowly. If you have a friend with a well behaved dog, you can ask them for a play date to see how your pooch reacts to other animals before you take them somewhere where there will be lots of strangers. You can also use this as a training opportunity, if you have the time and a patient friend!If you do want to go to the park, keep your distance from other dogs until you are sure that your dog can handle it and try decreasing the distance bit by bit.
It is a bad idea to let an unknown dog rush into another's space as it can make that dog feel defensive and aggressive towards the 'intruder'. Instead, let the dogs meet outside. It is also easier to separate them if growling or bad behavior occurs in a larger space.
Try to know your dog's body language well before taking them to meet other pooches. Then you will immediately know if they are feeling anxious, threatened, or overexcited and can intervene before it gets out of hand.It can also help to know the signs of canine aggression in case your excitable pup doesn't realize that they are getting on another dog's nerves.
If possible, all dogs being introduced should be leashed when being introduced for the first time.Harnesses are also good ideas for more excitable dogs. This makes sure that unfamiliar dogs can sniff and inspect each other safely and you can regain control if something goes wrong.Going on a walk together is another good way to introduce dogs to each other. Walk a short distance away from the other dog and slowly decrease the distance until they feel comfortable enough to initiate contact themselves.
Good behavior begins at home! If they've learnt from you that wrestling and nipping equals affection and attention, they might try this on other dogs who might not be as forgiving. Discourage your puppy from rough behavior by not responding to it or firmly telling them "no".With these tips, you and your dog can go out and make friends, no matter how excitable they are!
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