Many people are not aware that if you let dogs meet on a leash, this can cause many problems. Yet this is usually what happens when you meet another dog in your street, for example. Let the dogs sniff or chat with the owner and then continue walking. This can have unpleasant consequences for your dog.
The ideal meeting between two dogs is without a leash, where both dogs have the choice whether they want to meet, at what pace and at any time the meeting can be interrupted by walking away.
In a leashed meeting the dog is disturbed in their natural communication.
Normally they would reduce their walking pace when they walked towards each other. The leash length is determined by the owner. If you walk on the same sidewalk as the approaching dog, the dogs run straight for each other. In dog language this is rude behavior. Dogs would choose to twist curves around each other and if desired, make the bows smaller and smaller, after which they can be cuddled together.
The belt ensures that dogs have no possibility to flee. If they find the other dog exciting or scary then they can not go anywhere. In case of threatening situations, a dog chooses whether to flee or fight. Because the flights are taken away by the belt, there will be chosen before to take the fight. Because a dog is often forced to meet other dogs, many dogs end up with reactivity to other dogs.
If your dog goes down, growls and barks someone else with a dog,he will probably keep a distance, so that your dog learns that this behavior gives him something and he will repeat it more often.
Many owners say that their dog loves these encounters, but that is still to be doubted. Many people do not see the stress signals of their dog. Firstly because many people are not familiar with it and secondly because we do not pay attention to it.
But also for the dogs who like it very often problems arise. That often starts as a puppy. Proudly the owner walks with his cute puppy on the street. Under the guise of socialization, the dog can get acquainted with every dog (and person) they encounter. The pup soon learns that seeing another dog is the same as meeting this dog.
The sight of another dog will make him more and more enthusiastic in the future. We want to teach a puppy to show calm behavior when seeing other dogs (or people) on the street. An over-enthusiastic dog is not a good start for a meeting. The other dog can not be served by the busy behavior and the encounter can turn into an annoying experience, where aggressive behavior is shown.
Eventually you will also start to notice that if you do not feel like meeting in one go and walk in the other direction that your dog does not agree with this. He may struggle, pull to the other dog or bark and squeak.
Apart from the above reasons you do not know how this dog will react when you meet an unknown dog. Maybe it’s an aggressive dog, a dog with pain that can have little, a frightened dog, a female bitch, and so on.
With the above I do not suggest that you have to let your dog run loose everywhere. The leash is also for the safety of our dogs. Do you have your dog on a leash and do you want to prevent a meeting with another dog?
For example, cross the street so that the dogs can pass each other on either side of the street or if possible take some distance by stepping on the roadside a few paces and let the other dog pass while you do an exercise with your own dog.
If unexpectedly a loose dog arrives at your leash or someone with a dog on the leash that pops up from nowhere, make sure you keep your leash relaxed. Move your hand holding the belt with your dog if it takes some distance and prevent the belts from twisting. Do you see that there is too much tension or stress in one of the dogs is built, then see if you can get the attention of your dog and walk together again. Do not feel compelled by social pressure to introduce your dog to another dog.