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Why You Shouldn't Allow Your Dog to Approach Other Dogs

Why You Shouldn't Allow Your Dog to Approach Other Dogs


There are many reasons why you shouldn't allow your dog to approach other dogs.

It’s important to note that many anxious dogs can be reactive to other dogs that approach them. This can create a dangerous and unsettling situation for both the dogs and their owners. Moreover, it can reinforce anxiety in the reactive dog, leading to further behavioural issues and stress.

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Let’s Get into Why You Shouldn't Allow Your Dog to Approach Other Dogs

Allowing your dog to approach other dogs might seem like a natural part of socialisation, but it's essential to understand the potential risks and implications.

Here are key reasons why you should avoid letting your dog approach other dogs, focusing on common concerns and best practices for responsible pet ownership.

Preventing Dog Fights

One of the most critical reasons to keep your dog from approaching other dogs is to prevent dog fights. Even if your dog is friendly, not all dogs they meet will be. Some dogs may react aggressively due to fear, territorial instincts, or past trauma. A sudden, unexpected confrontation can lead to serious injuries for both dogs and humans trying to separate them.

Avoiding Unwanted Behaviours

When dogs approach each other without proper introductions, it can lead to unwanted behaviours. Dogs may learn to pull on the leash, bark excessively, or become overly excited when they see other dogs. Consistently allowing your dog to approach other dogs can reinforce these behaviours, making walks and outings stressful and challenging.

Read more on Addressing Unwanted Dog Behaviours 

Protecting Against Disease and Parasites

Allowing your dog to approach unknown dogs increases the risk of exposure to diseases and parasites. Canine illnesses such as parvovirus, kennel cough, and parasites like fleas and ticks can be easily transmitted between dogs. Ensuring your dog maintains a safe distance from unknown dogs can help protect their health.

Why You Shouldn't Allow Your Dog to Approach Other Dogs

Respecting Other Dog Owners and Their Pets

Not all dogs are comfortable around other dogs. Some may be in training, recovering from an injury, or simply not sociable. Respecting other dog owners by not allowing your dog to approach theirs without permission shows consideration and helps create a more positive environment for everyone.

Understanding Canine Body Language

One of the best ways to ensure your dog’s safety is to understand canine body language. Dogs communicate their feelings and intentions through their body posture, facial expressions, and vocalizations. By observing and interpreting these signals, you can make informed decisions about when it’s appropriate to allow your dog to interact with others and when to keep them at a distance.

Read more on Understanding Canine Body Language  

Practicing Safe Socialisation

Safe socialisation is crucial for your dog’s development, but it doesn’t mean allowing them to approach every dog they see. Structured environments like dog parks, training classes, and supervised playdates are excellent opportunities for dogs to interact under controlled conditions. These settings allow for positive social interactions while minimising risks.

Read more for Dog Socialisation 

Training and Obedience

Investing in training and obedience is essential for preventing your dog from approaching other dogs without permission. Teaching commands like “stay,” “leave it,” and “heel” can help manage your dog’s behaviour and ensure they respond to your instructions. Consistent training reinforces good habits and builds a strong bond between you and your dog.

Here are 7 Practical Training Tips  

Allowing your dog to approach other dogs might seem like a natural part of socialisation, but it's essential to understand the potential risks and implications.


How to Stop Dogs Approaching Your Dog

Despite your best efforts, there may be times when an unwanted dog approaches yours. Here’s how to handle the situation politely and effectively:

  • Stay Calm: Your dog can sense your emotions. Staying calm helps prevent escalating the situation.
  • Use Verbal Commands: Firmly but politely tell the approaching dog's owner, "Please call your dog," or "My dog isn't comfortable with close interactions."
  • Position Your Body: Place yourself between the two dogs to block the approaching dog and protect your own.
  • Leash Management: Shorten your dog’s leash to maintain control and prevent them from engaging with the other dog.
  • Walk Away: If the other owner doesn’t respond, calmly walk away with your dog. Removing your dog from the situation can prevent potential issues.


Read more about Understanding Common Dog Behavioural Issues 

In Summary

While socialising your dog is important, allowing them to approach other dogs freely can lead to various problems. By understanding the risks and practicing responsible pet ownership, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for your dog and others.

Preventing dog fights, avoiding unwanted behaviours, protecting against disease, respecting other dog owners, understanding canine body language, practicing safe socialisation, focusing on training and obedience, and politely managing unwanted approaches are all crucial aspects of being a responsible dog owner.


The entire contents of this email and website are not to be taken as medical advice. The team at Pet Squad Pty Ltd trading as PetWell encourages you to make your own pet healthcare decisions based on your research and in partnership with a qualified pet healthcare professional.

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