Safe & Fun Introductions for Dogs
March 24, 2017

Dogs are just like people: each one is unique and has their own special personality. Dogs are social by nature, but with all these different personalities, it is important to make sure their introductions are done right. Your dog probably interacts with new dogs all the time, and you want to be sure your dog is safe and polite. Here are some ways to make sure the introduction process goes smoothy.

New Puppy

Bringing a new puppy into your home is extremely exciting, but it can also be overwhelming for your current dog. Puppies don’t fully understand communicating with other dogs yet, so it is crucial to make sure you are present and supervising their first interactions.

Learning the Rules

Your puppy wants to play with someone, so they will try to play with your dog. If your dog doesn’t want to play, allow them to correct the puppy as long as it is safe and appropriate. Don’t reprimand them. Examples of appropriate ways to correct the puppy including growling and grumbling at the puppy. This teaches the puppy that what they did isn’t acceptable and your new puppy will begin to learn the rules of the home.


Keep an eye on all interactions between the two dogs in the early stages. While it is good for your older dog to reprimand the puppy, you want to be sure they don’t get too irritated and injury them. If the situation escalates, you can be there to step in. If you can not supervise at a certain time, put your puppy behind a gate or in a crate.

Other Tips

To avoid your elder dog getting to this point of irritation, they should get breaks. Put one or both dogs in a create or behind a gate so they can be on their own for a while. Reward both dogs for good behavior. Exercise is also very important to be sure the dogs are not completely focused on each other.

New Adult Dog

You will probably run into another dog at least once when you’re on a walk, in the dog park, or just roaming around a new place.

How to Meet

The first step in interacting with a strange dog is to ask their owner if the dogs can interact. It is a good idea to ask just in case the dog is timid or aggressive. If they say yes, then you can allow the dogs to interact. They will probably sniff and explore each other.

Signs to Look For

If the interaction is positive for the dogs, they will…

  • Have relaxed facial expressions.
  • Play bows.
  • Wag their tails fast.
  • Wiggle their butts.

If the interaction is not going well, they will..

  • Yawn.
  • Turn their heads away from each other.
  • Have tense jaws.
  • Have their tails held low.
  • Shake.
  • Have hair standing up on their backs.

If any of these negative signs occur, you should remove your dog from the situation to avoid any serious issues. Your dog shouldn’t meet and interact with every dog you see. You don’t want your dog to be jumping towards all dogs and disrupting the focus of the walk.

It is very important for your dog to learn the social and communications skills between dogs. But it is also important to supervise these interaction and keep your dog safe. Always take meetings slow and know when your dog is uncomfortable. Good luck!

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