If a dog has had a bad experience with another dog, he will understandably be wary and lacking in confidence when confronted by another pup.
Usually, dogs greet each other by sniffing nose-to-tail, play-posturing, and coming together nose-to-nose. However, a dog that lacks confidence can find those standard greetings a little
short of terrifying. In that case, you can use what’s called the “directed walk” technique to help your fraidy pup.
Ask a friend with a calm, friendly dog to come along on a play date. Keep both dogs leashed and have the “buddy” dog walk at your pup’s worry radius, as described above. At this stage, do
not allow the dogs to touch or sniff each other. Once you’ve been walking for a few minutes, stop. Get the dogs to sit, keeping them about 12 feet apart. Reward the dogs for sitting calmly.
Now, walk on, and repeat the exercise.
Eventually, you can begin to reduce the distance between the pups, still without allowing them to touch each other. Depending on how nervous your dog is, the directed walking process can
take weeks or even months.
Directed walking can be very effective in teaching a shy or frightened dog that the activity of walking with another pooch is a fun, safe thing to do. That’s going to give your dog lots of