I take my 5 1/2 lab, Lila, for numerous walks during the day in a very dog friendly environment. As I would expect from a puppy, she gets quite excited when meeting other dogs in the neighborhood. I don't want to cross the road or blatantly walk Lila away from other dogs as I want her to be socialized but she just becomes very hard to manage when saying "hi" to another dog. She wraps herself between the other owner's legs and is doing everything possible to make the two leads as tangled as possible. Argh!
Any tips to help me/her say hello to dogs in the area? I know she is 5 1/2 month old pup, but I would hope there is a way to calmly say hello?!
Your mileage may vary, but personally, I don't allow on-leash meetings 99% of the time. Off leash playtime is important, but greetings/playing on leash often backfire - dogs need space and freedom to properly greet each other, and leashes force face-to-face contact, which is unnatural and confrontational.
So I would schedule playtimes, and work on her obedience, encouraging and rewarding her for sitting and staying as dogs pass by. (You're going to have to move off the sidewalk initially, to give her enough space to succeed.
I completely agree.Your mileage may vary, but personally, I don't allow on-leash meetings 99% of the time. Off leash playtime is important, but greetings/playing on leash often backfire - dogs need space and freedom to properly greet each other, and leashes force face-to-face contact, which is unnatural and confrontational.
I don't allow greetings on leash, either. I can't tell you how many times I have had someones "really friendly" dog drag them across the road to greet mine, only for their dog to try and rip my dogs head off, followed by the old "oh, he/she has NEVER done that before!" excuse. And, as already mentioned, many dogs are uncomfortable with greeting other dogs on leash which often leads to confrontation.
Obviously your dog means no harm, but if you don't know the other dog it is best to avoid it completely while leashed for your pups safety.
The best ways to socialize your dog are through training classes and off leash meet-n-greets. 'Puppy parties' are often held everywhere, which are exactly as they sound -- get togethers for new puppy owners. Try asking your vet to see if they have any recommendations.
I agree with Rosie and Nancy, and we too do not allow on-leash greetings. Henry has been attacked too many times by "friendly" dogs, when he was younger and before I knew any better.
It would be ideal to be able to socialize your pup with friendly adult dogs off leash, or other pups off leash.
I can tell you that it takes a lot of time and training and heartache to undo one bad encounter with an allegedly "friendly" dog.
I also agree.
I was walking my pup this evening and someone actually had their dog loose in front of their house who started to come toward us. I picked up Lexi and calmly started walking back the other way. You never know.
But the learning to socialize and play with other dogs IS important so it's good to arrange it.
Since you live in a dog friendly neighborhood, can you set up some regular or irregular 30-60 minute playdates with other dogs friendly dogs in fenced backyards? Dogs of about the same age and size would be ideal but friendly and playful is most important.
Or do you have a Bark Park/fenced offleash dog park in your town?
Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]
Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":