Interacting through the crate–this option is NOT for every dog. Some dogs guard their crates or are too anxious in their crate so it would actually be a horrible idea.
For the dogs that the crate isn’t a big deal for, it is can be an excellent tool. If you are the only person home, you can still get in some good togetherness time for the dogs without putting any of them in danger.
Treat these interactions as training opportunities. You can see the dogs in the photo above are working on “sit” and other basic obedience commands.
Don’t allow any cage-fighting and increase distance if you have to. Sometimes having the dogs meet while one is in a kennel will give you a good idea how they would initially react when meeting.
It has the additional bonus of keeping overly exuberant dogs from leaping on top of dogs that may be intolerant of such rude behavior or from running amok during group training situations.
Make sure you are reading the kenneled dog’s body language. Above is our current foster, Jonah, showing that he is pretty anxious and would not like to be introduced to anyone at this time. How do I know that? Look at his posture. he’s tense and hunched over. His eyes are wide and his pupils are large (although it is dark in the room, which can confound things). His ears are back and his brow is furrowed. He’s obviously not comfortable so it wouldn’t be a good time to introduce more stress into his life.
You want to make sure that crate interactions are a positive experience for every dog involved, but especially the dog in the kennel. The kennel is supposed to be their safe space. Don’t ruin that for them with a kennel interaction gone south.
Pingback: Imperfect Dogs: Dog-Dog Introduction Overview | The Imperfect Dog·