Do foreign dogs really always have to greet each other?

Have you ever experienced that your dog rushes towards a unkown quadruped to greet him or that a foreign dog came sprinting towards you? Maybe you have also asked yourself whether this really has to be. In this article we want to deal with the question of whether foreign dogs always have to greet each other and what there is to consider.

There are often situations when dog owners are unsure whether they should bring their dogs together or not. At the same time, there is no universal answer to the question of whether foreign dogs must always greet each other. The decision should be made individually, taking into account the behavior of the dogs and the circumstances of the encounter.

There are a few factors that can play a role in whether or not dogs should greet each other. For example, the breed, age, size, gender and behavior of the dog. Some dogs are naturally friendlier and more open than others. The experiences a dog has had can also influence its behavior. It is important to consider these factors when making a decision.

Another important aspect to consider is the environment where the dogs meet. Is it a public place, like a park or a walking path? Or is it a private space, like a garden or an apartment? In public areas, it can be more difficult to keep control of the situation, especially if there are a lot of people and dogs running around.

As a general rule, we would also always advise against allowing a dog greeting if at least one of the dogs is on a leash. An exception can be that the dogs know each other and you go directly on before dynamics arise. The background is that dogs on a leash are so limited in both their body language and their range of movement on the leash that they can hardly take advantage of an encounter with their conspecific. In many cases, leash encounters even create potential for conflict. So it is better to move on directly or ask the other dog owner if you would like to find a place together for a short free run. By the way, the same recommendation can be helpful for dog encounters along a street.

But why is it important for dogs to greet each other in the first place? Many dog owners think that it is important for their dogs to behave socially and develop social skills. However, it is important to know that dogs can be socialized without constant contact with other dogs. Meeting other dogs too often can even lead to aggression and conflict.

There are also situations when it is better not to bring the dogs together. For example, if one of the dogs is sick or shows behavioral problems. Also, if a dog is aggressive or seems unsafe, you should not just let him meet other dogs. In these cases, it is better to avoid contact and, if necessary, have the dog examined by a veterinarian or dog trainer. It is best to briefly consult with the dog owner beforehand and clarify whether a “dog greeting” is desirable at all. If not, do not take it personally. Maybe there is an understandable reason for the negative behavior, which the owner cannot or does not want to share with you.

If you decide to bring your dog together with a foreign dog, you should observe the behavior and body language of both dogs well. If you notice that one of the dogs is insecure or fearful, you should stop the encounter. However, if the dogs are friendly with each other, you can let them interact slowly.

As you can see, there is no one right answer to the question whether foreign dogs always have to greet each other. Basically, dogs do not suffer from not “meeting” every other dog. Nevertheless, many animals can gain good social experiences from encounters with their peers. However, it is always important to consider the circumstances of the encounter, such as the environment, as well as the compatibility of the dogs and to weigh them well in advance.

Image by Freepik

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