Meeting other dogsIf you were walking down the sidewalk and you saw a person acting crazy coming your way, struggling to get to you, would you want to meet him? You’d probably cross the street to get distance between you and this weird-acting person. You’d probably be a little afraid and ready to defend yourself.

Your dog is no different.

Don’t assume that because your dog is a “pack animal” he has to embrace every other canine like a long, lost buddy.

Dogs read body language and energy much better than we do. A strange dog coming toward yours can trigger stress, fear, even defensiveness in the form of growling, lunging or snapping.

Until you are 100 percent sure your dog wants to meet another, don’t put him through that.

Move away if you can and say to the other person, (who, chances are, has a dog straining at the end of his leash!) “My dog is in training.” That usually does the trick. But not always! Because some people will say, “Oh, he’s friendly.” At that point, I simply say, “Mine’s not!”

Do I risk social stigma doing this? Yes. But I care more about being my dog’s advocate and keeping him safe than what some stranger thinks.

Super Dog School believes dogs on walks should behave in every situation. We can make it easy for them to learn what is expected and how to act through controlled situations. With training, meeting other dogs should be a breeze, not a disaster.