How to Introduce your Puppy to Other Dogs
Throughout a puppy’s early years, there will be countless opportunities for them to become acquainted with other canines. Sometimes these will be invited and sometimes they will not. Thus, it pays to be prepared when it comes to puppy socialisation and have your pet well accustomed to meeting other dogs. By introducing your puppy to others at an early age, you discourage the emergence of some of the negative, aggressive habits associated with territoriality.
Meet at a Neutral Location
Dogs are naturally highly territorial animals. They are highly likely to display aggressive behaviour when they feel as though their territory is threatened, even at a young age. For this reason, we strongly suggest introducing two puppies at a neutral location, no matter how friendly each puppy is normally. Bringing a friend’s dog into your home or backyard is likely to arouse aggressive behaviour like barking, growling and biting which could permanently scar the two puppy’s relationship.
We suggest introducing two puppies at a local dog park for the first time. That way neither puppy feels as though they need to protect their territory.
Meeting on the Lead
Leads, and especially harnesses are a powerful tool for controlling a puppy’s behaviour. If used properly, a lead or harness reminds your puppy that they need to be following your instructions.
When introducing two puppies for the first time, it’s a great idea to introduce them on leash. This way, they are less likely to lash out. Also, it means that in the case of aggression, you are more easily able to get your puppy under control.
Why Be So Cautious?
Just like young children, puppies are extremely impressionable. Accidents that occur at a young age can shape the way your puppy behaves for the rest of their lives. An aggressive encounter can cause your dog to become shy or even aggressive. But this doesn’t mean we should avoid other dogs. Quite the opposite actually, it means we should be carefully and safely socialising our puppies with as many other dogs as possible!