Most people think that it’s important and beneficial to let puppies play together. In this way puppies learn to be together and they won’t develop unwanted angry behavior towards other dogs. At least this is what people think…
In my experience, letting the puppies play together is a questionable thing and there are more drawbacks than benefits. Of course you have to let them play together once in a while but this has to happen in a controlled manner. Understand that you are the herd leader, and you decide when to play and when not. Usually this kind of “puppy play” takes place when two dog owners meet in a suitable spot, let their dogs run free and puppies have a tremendously good time.
But actually if you and your family desire to build a good understanding and a beneficial relationship with your dog, it’s more important that you play with the dog than letting it play with other puppies.
This is because you and your family represent the herd for your dog for the next 12 years! If you want to have an obedient dog you have to dedicate much time in the beginning so that it learns your ways, manners and style.
If you let your puppy play which other puppies and also older dogs, it will always try to run to every possible dog that it sees. When your puppy is free, it will run immediately to another dog and disregard your commands. If it has to run over a road to meet the other dog, there’s a danger of an accident.
So many dogs have died in vain when they have run over a road after another dog. And there’s another thing to keep in mind also; all dogs are not nice and if a strange dog bites your puppy, it might be frightened and angry towards other dogs for the rest of its life.
It’s very important to train your dog to be obedient even when it’s among other dogs. After some time, you might find yourself interested in different dog activities, experiments and even competitions. There are so many different activities available that there’s something for everybody, and here your dog meets other dogs and you meet new people.
Maybe you also want to teach your dog to be a hunting companion, and in this case it will definitely meet other dogs. A competition or a hunting environment is very demanding for you and your dog, it is very important that you are able to work seamlessly together and your dog is under your control at all times.
There’s no use to go hunting if your dog is only interesting in other dogs. There are also other hunters and people with dogs in the woods, and if one troublemaker ruins their day they won’t ask you to come along a second time.
If you’re planning to train your dog to be a hunting companion, it is very important to start this training from the early stages; all advanced training is going to be much easier if the fundamentals are in order.
Regulate and control how much time you spend playing with your dog and activating it. Hiking together with two dogs on the loose is a stupid and irresponsible gamble, and it works only if the dogs are under complete control and obey when called back to their owners.
None of the dogs should run after a rabbit without permission. If you are walking together with another dog owner and you don’t have visible control of your dog, it can easily happen that one of the dogs runs after quarry or something else it sees, and the other dog follows it. It’s natural for fellow creatures to do same things and they also learn from each others. Especially bad manners are learned more easily!
Because of the above facts, consider carefully before you let your puppy play without control with other puppies. Only after it has learned teamwork and is absolutely obedient, should you let it make acquaintance with other dogs. Your dog has to be able to concentrate only on you, even if there would be many other dogs present.
Only after your dog can keep touch with you at all times and you can control it in every imaginable situation, you get the full enjoyment from your activities. Then you don’t have to control your dog all the time and be concerned what it does or where it is, instead your dog keeps contact with you!
This is the way it should always be.