Re: LisaT thought this would be a good thread
Sorry Smith, guess I thought there would be more discussion on this.
I agree with what Jaimie posted.
I was thinking of all the issues with nose to nose contact when dogs are meeting each other, particularly on leashes. The leashes, because we are controlling them, change the way that dogs approach each other, and also the signals that they give each other.
A dog on a leash, sees another dog coming straight at them, and that sends all the wrong signals. Typically, dogs that don't know each other won't come straight at each other. And being restrained, the dog that is being approached will often have a reaction, one that is not positive, even if they aren't dog reactive. In fact, as Jamie said, you will often get that snapping dog in this instance, thought the dog is really not aggressive. Often you can't predict if the dog will snap, because the dog determines that by summing up all sorts of things that us humans don't see or smell.
Like Risa, Indy is dog-reactive. I deal with that by just making sure that dogs leave her alone. She wants nothing to do with them, unless of course she makes first contact, which is rare. If a dog approaches her, I drop the leash so that she does not feel confined (don't do this if your dog will bite!!).
I think that pet stores are great for distraction training -- teaching your dog to be around dogs without feeling the need to run up to each of them. Playing and greeting best done with dogs in the neighborhood or those you meet at training or other activities.
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