All Things Dog

Introducing Dogs: The 3-Second Rule

Share

When it comes to friendship, dogs are a lot like people: True friendship lasts a lifetime. Think of your dog and his favorite canine companions. As they romp, run, roll, sniff, dig, and jump together, try to remember how these relationships started. Was it friendship at first sight (or sniff)? Or did it take several encounters before they realized they could get along with each other?

Fact is, first encounters for dogs are complicated events. Dog begin to size each other up very quickly. Sometimes a dog’s behavior during the very first meeting determines how—or if—the relationship will develop. And how long does it take to lay the foundations of a solid, lifetime friendship between two dogs? Some trainers believe it only takes three seconds.

More and more trainers are encouraging dog owners to abide by the 3-second rule. Here’s how it works:

  1. Select a neutral location for the dogs' first meeting. That way one dog doesn't have a "home field advantage." Or disadvantage, as the case may be. After all, if one dog is on his home turf, he may feel that the "stranger" dog is invading his space.
  2. Keep the first encounter to a mere three seconds in length. It sounds like a fleeting flash of time, but a lot can begin to happen between dogs in those few seconds: sniffing, judging, and quick bursts of aggression or nervousness. The idea is to keep the meeting brief enough so that neither dog establishes dominance and that both dogs remain calm and comfortable.
  3. During these crucial three seconds, watch the dogs, not a stopwatch. Pay attention to the dogs' body language. Immediate growling, "staring down," or a stiff tail usually indicates that at least one of the dogs is uncomfortable. If you notice this type of behavior before the three seconds are up, cut the meeting short. And remember, one of the best ways to help dogs remain calm is for the dog owners to remain calm.
  4. If all went well during the first 3-second encounter, give the dogs a short break from each other (a minute or two is usually enough), and then bring them together again. The second greeting can be longer, but remember to watch for behavior that can indicate one (or both) of the dogs is uncomfortable. During this second meeting, the dogs can get more personal by sniffing each other. Some people use this second encounter as a time when the two dog owner’s take their pets for a walk together. By walking, the dogs remain close but not in physical contact. And the walking activity serves to distract them while keeping them engaged.

Is the 3-second rule a good idea for your dog? If your canine companion has a history of socialization problems, he may need more intensive training with a professional. When in doubt, ask your dog’s trainer for his advice.

Recommended For You

Not on Facebook? You can register by clicking below.

Sign up on this site
We just need a little information.
All fields required.
FIRST NAME
PassedFailed
LAST NAME
PassedFailed
EMAIL
PassedFailed
A confirmation e-mail will be sent to
the address you provide here.
PASSWORD
PassedFailed
password must contain between 6 - 10
characters, no spaces.
ZIP CODE
PassedFailed
This will help us provide you with information
that's specific to your area.
Yes, I'd like to receive updates and special offers from PEDIGREE® Brand. You can withdraw this consent at any time.
Check if you'd like to give permission for future special offers and additional useful information from Mars, Incorporated. (We will collect the information you've entered here, store and process it in the U.S.) You can withdraw this consent at any time.
Go to last step >
Privacy Policy. We will never share your information.
Thanks for the information. This is the final step.
To get personlized special offers and alerts, enter your
information below:
EMAIL
PassedFailed
STREET ADDRESS
PassedFailed
CITY
PassedFailed
STATE
PassedFailed
ZIP CODE
PassedFailed
Get Special Offers and Updates on Your Mobile Phone
This is the convenient way to get the latest info when you're on the go.
-
-
PassedFailed
Providing your mobile phone number is optional. Msg & Data Rates May Apply
Submit >
Privacy Policy. We will never share your information.
All information will be sent to the mobile phone number you provided:
MOBILE PHONE #
-
-
PassedFailed
You can also sign up by sending a text: PEDIGREE to 97979

Msg & data rates may apply. You will receive up to 4 text messages per month. For HELP, please text HELP to 97979. You must be the account holder or have the authorization of the account holder to request this text service.

This text service works on on Alltel, Appalachian Wireless, AT&T, Bluegrass Cellular, Boost, Cellcom, Cellular One, Cellular One of East Central Illinois, Cellular South, Centennial Wireless, Cincinnati Bell, Immix Wireless, Nextel, Revol Wireless, Sprint, Unicel, T-Mobile, US Cellular, Verizon Wireless, Virgin Mobile, and West Central Wireless. This is a subscription service. You can cancel your subscription at any time by texting a STOP to 97979. Terms & Conditions apply. For support, call 1-888-782-2180.
PLEASE ENTER THE CODE DISPLAYED TO VERIFY YOUR REQUEST:
Terms: I have read & agree to the Terms & Conditions.Failed
Submit >
View our Privacy Policy.
Now that you're registered, you can subscribe to our free e-newsletters. There's one for every stage of your dogs life.
Puppy Planning E-Newsletter > Puppy Scoops E-Newsletter >
Dog Knows E-Newsletter > Healthy Living E-Newsletter >
Close x Subscribe Now
Look to receive your coupon by mail within the next 10 - 15 days. We hope you enjoy our best Dry Food ever.
Puppy Planning E-Newsletter > Puppy Scoops E-Newsletter >
Dog Knows E-Newsletter > Healthy Living E-Newsletter >
Close x Subscribe Now
Or log in to the PEDIGREE® website using the fields below
EMAIL
PASSWORD
Having trouble with your password?
Click Here
Forgot your password?
No problem. If you originally registered on our website, just enter your information below and we'll e-mail your password.
EMAIL
Password sent
Your password has been sent to the e-mail address you provided.
We're always happy to be of assistance.
Close x