How to Introduce Dogs to New Dogs on Walks

By: David Codr

Published Date: June 26, 2023

how to introduce dogs

For this Santa Monica Dog Behavior training session we worked with 3 year-old Shiba Inu BB, focusing on tips on how to introduce dogs to other dogs on walks.

We started off the session by covering quite a few fundamentals. Often when dogs have behavior problems, helping the dog feel secure and confident in it’s day-to-day life is an often overlooked, but important part of the process.

We introduced the marker word of yes, practiced some hand targeting to help the guardian get her timing down, talked about dog consent and body language as well as the importance of communicating clearly what we want from our dog. This is especially important in more aloof breeds like a Shiba Inu. You need to find a way to motivate determined dogs like that and sometimes be willing to outlast them by not petting when they decide to ignore a cue that they know.

How to Introduce Dogs to Other Dogs on Walks

We headed to Palisades Park by the beach so that I could give BB’s guardian some tips on introducing a dog to new dogs. As we walked, we discussed the number of social dog interactions and situations. Knowing what body langues makes a good candidate to meet and which ones to avoid can help BB’s guardian set him up for success. I made sure to point that out whenever I teach people how to introduce dogs.

We did talk about how some dogs lose interest in making friends with new dogs as they get older. I think a little bit of that is what’s going on here with BB since he still likes to play with dogs he knows. But still, its never a bad thing to go over how to introduce dogs to each other.

We met several dogs on our walk and most of the encounters went great. There was a little bit of a scuffle with one of the dogs, but it was a good opportunity to see how BB interacted and give his guardian some tips on how to handle those situations.

Since the greetings and interactions were so sporadic, I wasn’t able to film the interactions or a best way to introduce dogs video. But any such video would onl be a snapshot. Just like humans, each dog is unique, so there’s really a number of variable factors that you have to take into consideration if you want your dog to successfully meet other dogs.

I wanted to consolidate all of the positive dog greeting tips in one place for the guardian, so I had her film me as I summarized the encounters that we had when we successfully met other dogs. If you have a dog that doesn’t always enjoy meeting other dogs, you should definitely check out the free positive dog training video on dog greeting tips below.

By learning to recognize her dog’s body language and cut off signals, BB’s guardian will have a better feeling for when she should and should not try to introduce him to other dogs. I also shared the number of tips on how to successfully meet unknown dogs like meeting in an outdoor park and how to arrange a structured walk together to help the dogs feel comfortable and relaxed around one another.

To wrap up this in-home Santa Monica dog behavior session, I recorded a short roadmap to success summary video that you can watch below.

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This post was written by: David Codr