Dog Breeds

Best Small Dogs for Families

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When Dog Meets Dog

Dogs are among the most socially inclined of all animals. They love company, whether it be that of humans, other animals or other dogs. The mutual affection that often exists between a horse and a dog is proverbial. Many a temperamental thoroughbred is encouraged to do his best on the track by the inspiring barks of the devoted little pal that shares his stall. Dogs and cats are, in theory, natural enemies, but when they live together in the same household almost invariably become fast friends. A female dog mothering and even nursing orphaned kittens is such a common occurrence it hardly rates a news item in the local paper. It would be difficult to find a fourfooted animal or even any species of bird that the average dog will not accept as a friend and companion if conditions are favorable.

Since this is true, it is no wonder Jock takes delight in meeting others of his kind, and that when such meetings occur you usually find everything is lovely and the tails wag high. The introduction may take place in your home when a friend and his dog drop in for a call, or outside, when you and Jock are taking a walk and both dog and owner are strangers. In either case your interference is not only unnecessary but inconsiderate. In the park or on the street the little formalities all dogs seem to think constitute good form are quickly over as a rule and the two go their respective ways, each rejoicing in the fact that he has made another acquaintance.

There will be times, however, when the pair are so congenial they immediately want to run and romp together. Unless you, or the other owner, are in a hurry its a good idea to let them have their fun for a few minutes, since both will be benefited by the more or less violent exercise they might not get in any other way. But you will make sure Jock is always under control by whistling him in now and then, tactfully choosing a moment when he can obey without too violent conflict between his sense of duty on the one hand and his inclinations on the other. Be sure, too, you anticipate Jock’s sudden rush to greet the other dog by a warning “Heel!” followed almost immediately by “All right, Jock!”, cluck or whatever your “go” signal may be. You should be tactful, too, in selecting an opportune moment to decide enough is enough, call your dog to heel and go on with your walk.

Unfortunately the agreeable social amenities we have described as usual when two dogs meet do not invariably take place as advertised. Sometimes it’s a case of Greek meeting Greek. If both belligerents are on leash, it may be a tug of war; but even if neither is properly trained the owners have the situation well in hand. If either dog is free and under poor control, a battle may be imminent. This calls for prompt but never excited action.

Assuming that Jock is not the aggressor and his training to stay at heel has been thorough, the affair should be comparatively easy to handle, since you can confine your attention to the other dog, making him keep his distance or beat a retreat. But if, by any chance, you have your dog on leash, don’t take advantage of the fact by pulling him forcibly away from his attacker. Dogs are extremely proud of their courage, and inclined to bluff even when they are scared stiff.

Holding Jock back reflects on his willingness to fight and gives the psychological edge to his opponent. But you can forget this angle if Jock is a little fellow and a member of the toy group. In that case you simply pick him up in your arms and hold him out of harm’s way. This will hurt neither his feelings nor his pride. On the contrary he will be pretty sure to take advantage of his temporary social security to be bold as a lion, bark his defiance at the other dog and do his best to indicate that, if he could only get down and at him, he would chew him to ribbons.


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