How to Introduce 2 Dogs on Leash

How to Introduce 2 Dogs on Leash

Introducing dogs while they are on their leashes can be a potential disaster.  Not even getting into the discussion of leash aggression, dogs that are well socialized and friendly can react differently when faced with the spacial limitations and added frustration that leashes sometimes provide, especially when greeting another dog.

In a perfect world all dogs would be introduced to each other with the presence of movement, in a calm state of mind, and without the restraint of a leash.  Unfortunately the gap between the perfect world and reality can be enormous at times, so let’s go over some tips for a successful on-leash meet and greet with two dogs.

  • Control the approach. Having a dog pull their owner towards another dog is not going to make a good first impression.  The greeting starts well before the dogs actually meet, so be sure to approach either in a heel or a loose leash walk.
  • Keep slack in both leashes. Having a tight leash will only add tension and stress to the interaction.  Do your best to follow your dog around so that slack remains in the leashes, this is much easier to do when you have cooperation from the other dog owner.
  • Keep motion in the greeting. Dogs move around when they greet, the smell here, they smell there, and they approach from different angles.  Stiffness and stillness are signs of tension and a possible fight in dogs so even if it’s just motion in a small area, keep moving.  The motion will also help to dissipate stress, and in order to keep slack in those leashes, you will have to be moving.
  • Keep it one on one. There is a reason there are two dogs in the picture above and there is a reason why the article refers to introducing two dogs on leash.  Keeping the leashes from getting tangled up is hard enough with two dogs, when you add another dog or two it becomes nearly impossible.
  • Use your head. Just because you see another dog on your walk or at the park, it doesn’t mean you are obligated to stop and introduce the dogs to each other.  This is especially the case for a dog who is already lunging and barking on sight of another dog.  If you get the feeling that the introduction is not going to go well, don’t do it.

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