Updated: Feb 18
Written by Naomi White
I never trust dogs who I don’t know, I see every dog I meet as a potentially dangerous situation, maybe that’s an unhealthy approach but I’ve met enough to know you can’t trust people to keep their dogs under-control. The majority of people I meet seem to have no concept of appropriate or inappropriate dog-to-dog greetings, I regularly see dogs being jumped all over, over-sniffed or barrelled into by other dogs, sometimes nothing comes from the inappropriate greeting but all too often it can cause tension or unnecessary stress to the dogs involved.
People need more education regarding social etiquette between dogs, there’s not enough awareness about the risks of dog-dog greetings or how to train and manage dogs in these interactions.
My main rules with greeting unknown dogs are:
The dog must approach with their handler, never being allowed to run over to an unknown dog from a distance
If the dog isn’t capable of this control then it should be on a lead or longline
Work on calm approaches – my go-to method is scatter feeding or placing treats on the floor as approaching to keep the dog relaxed and less fixated on the other