What is a parallel leash walk introduction?

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A parallel leash walk introduction is one of the best ways for two dogs that have never met to be introduced to each other. The hope is that when the dogs meet in a controlled environment, they will be less likely to try to show dominance over one another or fight. A parallel leash walk introduction can be especially helpful when introducing dog breeds or certain dogs that are known to have high-energy or show signs of aggression to other dogs.

A parallel leash introduction is best done on neutral territory, where neither dog has been before. This cuts down on either dog feeling territorial or protective of his environment. Both dogs should be wearing well-fitted collars and walked by two walkers who have a firm hold on their respective dog. The walkers should walk side-by-side and leave just enough slack in the leashes so that the dogs can walk in a natural manner.

When walking, alternate which dog is ahead of the other during the course of the walk to establish an even relationship. The dogs should always remain a few feet apart to avoid any direct interaction, other than seeing and smelling. Do not allow either dog to greet any other dogs you may come across on the walk. If the dogs seem to be friendly towards the end of the walk, allow them to briefly sniff each other for a few seconds before regaining control and separation.

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