Smaller dogs are very popular for urban living but it can be difficult to get your small pup to socialize with the bigger dogs in the park. We understand that some small dogs may have a Napoleon complex where they feel the need to try and intimidate larger dogs with barking. And on the other hand, there are those small dogs that simply cower in fear when larger dogs come near them. Both cases don’t make for a very sociable dog. Our Vancouver Animal Hospital wants to offer help and give some tips for safely introducing your smaller dogs to larger dogs.

Work your Way Up
If you would like your small dog to start socializing with the bigger dogs in the park we recommend starting off by introducing your dog to another dog of similar size. Try and find a friend that has a small dog as well and set up a play date for the two small dogs. Once your dog becomes comfortable with the other small dog, try the same process with a medium sized dog and then a larger dog.

Neutralize the Atmosphere
If you’re planning a play date for two dogs eliminate any playing field advantages and meet in a neutral location such as the dog park or any pet friendly location. Smaller dogs can be very territorial of their space and having a new dog in their home may upset them. Make sure to keep your dogs on a leash at all times when introducing them to larger dogs in public.

Keep the Distance
Try to introduce your small dog to a larger breed at a safe distance. You can do this through chain link fences which allow the dogs to both see and smell each other. To improve their socializing skills you can try to find dog parks that have separated fields for larger and smaller dogs. The separated space is perfect for watching how your dog interacts with the larger breeds and to also see how the bigger dog reacts.

We hope these recommendations help your smaller dogs become more comfortable around larger dogs. Remember to keep both dogs on a leash when introducing the dogs to one another. If you would like to discuss vaccinations for your dog or schedule an annual checkup please contact us today.

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