For all new members, please check out the thread New to the Forum? What to do and forum guidelines.
How to help cultivate successful dog greet?
  • PupChowPupChow
    Posts: 100
    Between my friends and I, we have ironed out that my 5 year old boy is a little shy towards other dogs and whenever he meets an unfamiliar dog he would more often than not growl. If the other dog does not heed the warning it would escalate into bark. Thankfully he has never lashed out yet but I want to make sure it stops here.

    Are there steps we as owner can take to ensure a good meeting between two dogs? I tried to find the answer in the book "The Other End of the Leash," I got excited when I read a case where the author has a dog with the exact same issue, but unfortunately she just passed right over the issue saying "... as long as I managed the introduction, she can be trusted around other dogs." I am hoping somebody here can help me fill in the blank!

    [mod edit: re-categorized due to addition of new category]
    Post edited by sunyata at 2013-06-06 15:15:19
  • velvetkatvelvetkat
    Posts: 497
    Thats a greats question that I would like to know the answer to also. I always try to meet in a neutral location so neither one feels they have to defend their "turf" I also let them get close enough to sniff but not smother the other one. Then I look for the body language and sounds the dogs make to see if they are feeling comfy with one another. My dog just wants to love every other dog and start playing and rough housing but he scares them sometimes so I just take it slow.
  • CrimsonO2CrimsonO2
    Posts: 1165
    Is the other dog directly facing Mac or is he turned sideways? Does the other dog raise his head up in inquisition or does he lower his head? Does the other dog lean or carry his weight forward on his front legs on approach or does it keep balanced or more to his hind legs?

    Same questions for Mac. Does he raise his head or does he lower it? Does he shift his weight to his rear legs or his front?

    So many things about a dog's body language that happen in microseconds that result in different emotions based on different combinations. I love that book by the way. My dog is 2 years old and still crouch and pounces 7ft away when he wants to go meet another dog. While I know what he wants to do, other owners unaware of that dog behavior would think he's ready to "attack" or "fight". I know my dog also needs some manners so I will be looking to work with a dog behaviorist this Fall/Winter.

    Jesse
  • PupChowPupChow
    Posts: 100
    Basing off memory, most of the times Mac's head is held high, weight equally distributed and standing tall.

    If I remember correctly, he especially dislikes dog coming towards his side. Most dogs we met so far come dragging their owner toward us very eager to meet. I will see if I can get better observations and possibly some videos this weekend.

    Some questions:

    1) If a dog comes overly excited and eager to meet, what is the best course of action? Should I simply turn Mac away and present his back-side? Body block?

    2) Once two dogs smelled each other's back-side without issue, it is safe to say we are 50% there?

    3) A lot of times after they smelled each other, both dogs would come very close nose to nose; after a couple seconds of this sometimes Mac would growl -- if that happens I normally just take Mac away to be safe. Should I have given them more time?
    Post edited by PupChow at 2010-08-27 15:29:56
  • CrimsonO2CrimsonO2
    Posts: 1165
    Regarding #1. You want the excitement to subside in the meeting. Ask the other person to probably put the other dog in a sit first before they greet because you are training your dog on greeting other dogs. Any reasonable dog owner would understand and try to comply with your request. If they don't, turn and walk away. Don't offer your dog's anything. Shibas have a lot of fight in them regardless of who tries to force them.

    Regarding #2/#3. From what I've read/heard/seen...
    Butt-sniffing is "normal" behavior for a greeting with two dogs. "Face-sniffing" is the next step/escalation and is more forward and intense and can be in-your-face (pardon the pun). This is possibly why Mac would show his discomfort. Might I suggest keeping the face-sniffing short. Give it a split second, and walk away with high praise and treats for Mac for the brief face-sniffing with no reaction. Per Victoria Stillwell, "Don't give him a chance to decide whether he likes it or not." Walk away with high praise and treats to let him know that face-sniffing with no growl from him gets him rewarded with food.

    My dog is actually uncomfortable with the butt-sniffing and more comfortable with face-sniffing so I have a lot of work cut-out for me.

    Good luck to you,
    Jesse
  • PupChowPupChow
    Posts: 100
    Jesse, thank you for your thoughtful responses! I met up with Mac's sister at the dog park yesterday and observed a few things!

    Initially when I entered the dog park on leash, 4 big dogs came calmly towards us and started sniffing, Mac did not like that and started growling. Unable to stop him from growling I started heading back towards the door with 4 dogs in tow, he would keep turning around to growl at them loudly.

    After Mac's sister arrived, her owner mentioned that her dog growls a bit more when on leash as well and maybe I want to try entering off leash. We did and the growling was gone! Mac was running all over the place with the dogs and had a great time.

    Now the issue is slowly becoming clear, it's on the other end of the leash, lol!
    Post edited by PupChow at 2010-08-29 10:34:49

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

In this Discussion

Who's Online (0)